Commanding Chaos for Coworking, Open Source and Creative Communities

January 2012 Posts

Coding for a Cause and Florida DrupalCamp in the Orlando Sentinel

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 19:58 -- rprice

Our charity Drupal coding event, Coding for a Cause, made it to the local paper earlier this month. It's always nice to be worthy of a picture in the paper.


Credit: Ricardo Ramirez Buxeda, Orlando Sentinel

"Sometimes 'hacking' gets misconstrued as being something bad," said Ryan Price, a 29-year-old consultant and trainer for Drupal, a content-management system that can be used to build websites and blogs. "But it literally means tinkering, and there are all sorts of different hacking events. … We wanted to set aside a day and work with nonprofits."

I have to say, for the handful of times I've been mentioned or quoted in the press, this is probably my favorite. Kate Santich writes about social services and volunteerism for the Orlando Sentinel, so she was a great person to help us get the story out about our 3rd annual Coding for a Cause event at Florida DrupalCamp 2012. This year, Lisa Thorell and Diane Court have been assisting us with some marketing, publicity and programming tasks in the camp, and they are certainly responsible for getting us in touch with the Sentinel. All I had to do was answer a few questions.

the Drupal community — united by the idea of sharing computer code for free — believes in helping people to help themselves, rather than charging even a small fee.

"All you have to do is show up and put on your thinking cap. You have to want to be there," Price said. "The No. 1 thing for us is actually to be able to get inexperienced people in an environment where they can sit down and work next to someone who is very experienced and work on the same project."

It's not just knowledge for knowledge's sake either. Mike Anello, principal partner at Anello Consulting and one of the camp organizers, said he hopes volunteers who want to learn how to use Drupal — employed on websites from WhiteHouse.gov to Sony — might be able to pick up job skills from it. Already, the Merritt Island resident has trained laid-off aerospace workers looking for a new career path. So far, 14 of the 18 students in his recently completed 10-week course have landed internships.

"With unemployment so high," Price said, "we're just trying to create opportunities for people."

For me, this event is really about growing the pool of talented Drupal developers, and the people who see Drupal (or any open source project) as a viable option for solving their problems. It's a bit of a catch 22, though, you kind of need one to get the other, hence the game-changing nature of Coding for a Cause.

Some organizations see websites like the ones we're building as prohibitively expensive - that's money they could be spending on other things. Then there are the developers saying "I need to eat". This way, everybody wins. We also hope that experienced people working along side inexperienced people creates all kinds of new opportunities and experiences we can't even predict. New best practices get shared, partnerships get formed, whatever.

It's a lot of work, but I'm looking forward to the challenge, and hopefully launching three sites in the next month or two.

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Where is the video crew in this film?

Mon, 01/02/2012 - 09:43 -- rprice

The Kogeto is an exciting piece of hardware for any video geeks our there: It films in a full 360ª panorama, and comes with special software to be able to upload and view the video. They also have an iPhone version. Watching this video just now, I see that there are a ton of new tricks that can be employed when filming "in the round". However, I have a similar thought every time I watch one of Disney's 360 films at Epcot: where is the film crew? Unless they are laying on the ground under the camera. Where is the director? I'm guessing there was a fair amount of rehearsal and playback at the shoot. Could he be laying on the ground? Luckily, they did not need to record sound for this video, but that would be a great challenge to solve.

People have said to me a few times: "You know there are people who have shot and edited entire films on their iPhone?"

To them I say: "So what? That was inevitable." Making a "normal" film is just a feature. This Kogeto is a true innovation. The iPhone enabled it, so that makes it a platform. I can appreciate that.

The Tummeler in me also wonders how a camera like this could be used to immerse people in a video conference. I would like to see Kogeto make a projector or other display that can immerse you as completely as the camera captures.

Alan Wilkis - "Come and Go (feat. The KickDrums)" from David Sosnow on Vimeo.

This video was created using a single-point capture 360º panoramic camera, courtesy Kogeto of NYC - http://kogeto.com

Download the MP3 for free here: http://bit.ly/Wilkis_CAG

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Co-directed & edited by: David Sosnow and Alan Wilkis

Produced by: David Sosnow, Alan Wilkis and Tavit Geudelekian

Starring: Caralyn Stone, Alex Fitts, Alexis Oliver, Kim Skadan, Katy Parnello, Lisa Harper, Caitlin Biskup, and Jamie Berg

Special Thanks: Michael Prall, Caroline Duncan'

As seen in PAPERMAG (http://bit.ly/v7uXbF) and The Atlantic (http://bit.ly/shVX8N)

Made in NYC.

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