Commanding Chaos for Coworking, Open Source and Creative Communities

Orlando Weekly Interview - Thanks Omar

Thu, 05/03/2007 - 20:00 -- rprice

Here's the transcript from my interview with Omar de la Rosa for the Orlando Weekly. It went to print this week on page 30 - the cover story is "Spellbound".

> 1. When did you decide to start this and the other related local-based web
> projects? (like FloridaCreatives)

In late 2005 I was listening to lots of podcasts and reading lots of blogs, so I started talking to my friend Emily about doing a talkshow. (pfalliance.blogspot.com) On the show we had two musical guests - marc with a c, whose band I later played in, and Mumpsy. Marc and I experiemented with doing a live music show (live.liberatr.net), and I did some coverage of the Florida Film Festival (short.liberatr.net) and the Orlando Fringe Festival (bloggingfringe.com). I also started a channel to highlight creatives and entrepreneurs, but the concept was never complete in my head (meta.liberatr.net). The film, art::meta and music channels are going to be dissolved soon, but they're important to the history (if you're going to mention web addresses in the paper, don't mention those 3).

I realized I was hitting on some particular themes, but I saw the opportunity to do more than just a podcast, so I scheduled the first Florida Creatives Happy Hour in December. Now I am focusing on Florida Creatives, Blogging Fringe and getting more independent talent involved with Liberatr - bloggers, personalities, and most recently television-style hosts - we've produced some pilot episodes for a show called OrlandoScene.TV. The show is comprised of short 1-10 minute videos, each highlighting something in or about Orlando that is less obvious than the theme parks.

Why? I grew up and went to college in Central Florida, and I still didn't feel like I knew the area as well as I should. I started exploring and discovering things around the same time I got into podcasting, so I decided to share it with others. I've also got some friends of mine involved as well - Kyle (thestudentofthegame.com), Marc and Nicole (zanzibar.liberatr.net), Aleshia (bingoinsmoking.com), and Katharine (robotofleisure.livejournal.com).

> 2. I noticed that you've done some podcasts for local musicians and
> presented Mumpsy's performance at the grandma party, are you planning more
> collaborations with local musicians and other artists? What other future
> plans do you have for Liberatr (or even "ryanpricemedia.com")?

See above, but as for Ryan Price Media, that is my personal blog. There I can set up my identity as a web developer and consultant, an individual as opposed to an organization like Liberatr.net - your identity on the internet is becoming very important, and I want people who type "Ryan Price" into Google to see that site.

> 3. How has the internet's potential for community building changed in the
> recent years? (both online communities and offline, local communities)

Internationally, the potential for community is infinite. Podcasts and blogs are bringing together likeminded people from every country speaking every language, a true exercise of the First Amendment. Sites like Meetup.com (Orlando has about 200 meetup groups), Likemind.us, FloridaCreatives.com, even several of the aforementioned blogs and podcasts are leveraging the online community to bring people together physically - here in Orlando, check out BlogOrlando.com, or even the Orlando Fringe Festival's online efforts this year, who are creating the community online with the sole purpose of attending a convention or festival. I'm hoping these connections I'm making in town will lead to gigs like the one Mark Baratelli has with the Fringe - online community manager. I have one project like this coming up that I'll talk about in more detail when they're ready to.

> 4. How do you think podcasts differ from radio? How do you think blogging
> differs from ... whatever came before... newspapers?

If you look at the birth of the printing press or the radio, you'll notice an explosion of creativity, self-publishing and community building. The difference was that printing presses and radio towers had a rather large cost associated with them - the internet has thousands of free options available to bloggers, podcasters, video producers, community-builders, anyone looking to broadcast a message. The internet model of pull (subscribe) as opposed to push (tune in) is what maintains the choice.

> 5. Who are your heroes? (Feel free to include fictional ones)

My ultimate role model is Jim Henson - he took nothing, added a TV camera, a little fabric and tons of love, honesty and a message, and by doing so he created an empire. More recently, it's been those people who have laid the groundwork for something similar with podcasting or internet media - Leo Laporte, Kevin Rose, Jason Calacanis, Evan Williams. These are all people who have had their 15 minutes of fame and said to themselves "what's next?", could have easily taken their winnings and left the poker table, but decided to play another hand - or several.

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