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thoughts on glowlab's session

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i have enormous amount of gratitude to all who helped assemble last night's lab.session. christina ray and the whole glowlab crew unveiled a wonderful spread in an intimate setting. surround by the avant-garde, i couldn't have asked for a more magficicant room. after spending two days running through every conceivable slide, comment and potential conversation piece, last night's q & a session took me down an unusual path. in someways, it emboldened some thoughts, destroyed others, and created a more welcoming mental space. thank you pernod and michael~david vineyards for the social lubrication.

thank you all who attended, as my first public presentation i was scared shitless. between the droplets of rain, i feared the worse. in solace, my friend, lucia rollow, told me every would be fine. little did she know that this marauding conversation would lead into the wee hours of the morning. fueled by rich beverages, delightful caramel cheese and my nervous energy, i could haven't have asked for a more comfortable space to discuss the shackles of this project.

if i start to think about the path and the intersections of people, places and things, there is no better place than to think of than the internet. as an intersection of all the minor things to the mainstay of the global economy, we have transcended a point in time where exposure is a business. as i pondered about the best question last evening, i once again balanced the age old question "what is the balance of living your life online?" like any relationship, you voluetnarly provide information to others. in a relationship, devoid of one particular person, we find our self in a global outpour of thoughts and emotional reason.

we now find that this global outpour is commerce. a very successful commerce. these outputs of human emotion now sustain a multi-billion dollar industry. as every year progresses and new tools allow for easy convergence between thought and dissemination.

as i spoke at liberty, i began to wonder how did we enter into a time warp. my bedroom presentation, only took 20 mins... yet, when i stood in front of 20 friends and strangers, i stumbled onto a path. a path that marauded into a never ending combination of statements. oh how, twisted it seemed to cross the point of no return and take something so simple and make it completely convoluted. in hindsight, those in attendance could not have offered more welcoming thoughts and questions. i am truly in debited to those of you who attended and saw past the sweat and awkward phrasing.

for who where not fortunate enough to sit through the three hour long event, you missed me maturing 30 slides into a 40 min presentation. blinded by the projector, first i outlined seven explorers (don quixote, snoopy, le petite prince, christopher columbus, neil armstrong, my grandparents, my parents). then, i moved into a point by point walk through of the project. cursing my tongue-tied presentation, i concluded with hour and a half long question and answer session.

as this morning's hours floated by, i continued to ponder the confinement of exploratory topics. as i desire to be free and explore those things around the world that are free, yes, i can see how some may consider these topics as confinement. at the same time, i see them as a palette to paint. i take this journey from a first person perspective confined to the limitation that is my own mind.

but i do not see them as limitations. i see a canvass. while i am using a similar technique employed by many, i am subverting myspace as my central point of conversation. i refuse to use fully embrace the tools that are contrived and well worn by other explorers. i fundamentally feel that this project should show alternatives to the mainstay of myspace generation.

once from the couchsurfing "marketing" community and then again last night, people feel that this is "tightly marketed." i'm not sure to take it as a complement or as a dig. i personally feel that if it was successfully marketed, i would have all $7,777 and a line of sponsors out the door. though in the same vain as four eyed monsters who have been highly marketable, they too are in debt. (btw, if you sign up for an spout account, you can help mitigate their debt.)

in today's age with the notion that a single journalist has to be a camera operator, writer and editor, no longer do we have a single focal point for the journey. there are many viewpoints to perch. each one has it's own story. each one is it's own compendium of art forever referencing each other.

i agree with christina's that this is a "highly networked" project. i have thought over the evolution from an art project to a social media project to a digital anthropology exploration. the transition arose slowly, first from a social entrepreneur conference at harvard. then it took a new spur after podcamp. the idea of taking art, social art, holistic digital art, etc.. and melding it into a loose business plan isn't too farfetched. i wish there was more time focus directly on the work, but a fear of production, but more importantly, post-production looms over my head every morning, noon and night.

from that perspective, using modern marketing antics to change the world isn't a bad thing. hell, i think that more people should be thinking twice about the bill of goods that are blindly sold. we have a unique opportunity to change the world. if we don't find away to "sell" others a viable alternative we are doomed.

...and speaking of doomed perspectives, there were many questions that arose from the concept of failure. "what if this happens? what if that?? what if you go over budget? what if your bag is stolen? what if you don't make your brother's graduation? what if you take 8 months??"

well, i could quote bob dylan's visions of johanna - "Inside the museums, Infinity goes up on trial" but one thing is clear. what ever happens on the road, is part of the story. i think that is the true beauty of the story... being able to travel to the intersection of order and chaos is a magnificent thing. stepping into the unknown can never be learned from an FAQ. one must accept agility as your best friend.

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now i just want to sin!

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zinfull! it's funny what hunger and strong coffee can do to the mind. it's more disturbing to have a case of wine sitting behind you, lusting after your free time. low and behold, shortly after the noonish hour, FedEx appeared with my second delivery of the day. right from the michael david vineyards, i now have six bottles of seven deadly zins and six of seven heavenly chards, a t-shirt and a lovely hat! oh what zinful pleasures will come!!!


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veterans history project and their field kit

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1978 October XX, Sheppard AFB TX, Marlyna and Noel A. Hidalgo - the AF gave me a baby pictured to the left is my mother, marlyna, posing with me in october of 1978. i was five months old. she was just entering the united states air force for what would turn out to be 25 years of service. last year, when she retired as a lieutenant colonel from the united states air force reserves, she out ranked my father. my mother has always been a true patriot.

when i last visited my parents, my loving mother showered me with gifts. from powerbars, books on leadership, to a small guide book from the library of congress, her love was tireless.

contained within this little book is a simple guide for interviewing veterans for the veterans history project. packed within it's pages are documentarian's dream. paid by the american tax dollar, you can easily cut and paste their simple guidelines, sample releases, audio and video recording log, photo log, and manuscript data sheet into any project you would like. check out their website for PDF versions. also, if you know of any pearl harbor survivors, you should also check out the pearl harbor survivors project.

while i may not always agree with american foreign policy, i will never forget that the men and women that serve our country are no different that any family i see walking down the street or having a bqq. as i once prayed that my parents would return home soon, i pray that our warriors can return to their families safe and sound.


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four eyed monsters

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last year, i was introduced to the lovely young couple that is four eyed monsters. though the thick and thin, they triumphed in melding grassroots organizing, internet fandom and movie production. in my honest opinion, it is the best mix of online/offline organizing i've ever seen. wrapping their hearts in the the D.I.Y. aesthetic, Erin and Susan have triumphed in getting their art into movie houses around the globe.

through the lens of their movie, now you have an opportunity to see the story of their romance. for one week only, you can experience one of the great revolutions of movie production. (click here for YouTube.)


one month to go...

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"Always fall in with what you're asked to accept. Take what is given, and make it over your way. My aim in life has always been to hold my own with whatever's going. Not against: with." - Robert Frost

the past three weeks have given me so much, i can only offer profuse thank you's of generosity. not only did luck of seven break the $3000 mark, but we have an official press release too boot!

as you might have noticed, today marks one month until departure. in my head, there are many thoughts... too many bubbling thoughts to place in writing. somewhere between Zanzibar and wanting to scream at my inner child, i will not lie, i am very conflicted. gratefully, my father's words reverberate in my head as they were first muttered 20 years ago. "you come from a family of explorers."

the time i spent with my family to make episode 4 affirmed my unquestionable believe that we really are explorers. my parents, like my grandparents, married at a young age. since that day, they have seen the best and worst this world has to offer. from birth, love and beauty to segregation, genocide and terminal illness... my parents have always fought for a better world.

episode 4 is just a small smidgen of the hour long interview i conducted with them. in due time, their words will pop up again and again... until then, let me introduce you to my other partners...

for now there are three, and incase you're wondering, a partner not just some schmo who comes off the street offering wine, women and song. these partners, have been vetted to have similar beliefs. also, they see the merits of sending me around the world without asking for too much in return.

Transitions Online (TOL) - http://www.tol.cz - founded in 1999, this Czech non-profit was founded to replace it's print predecessor, transitions magazine. TOL works within the vast post-communist region of eastern europe to help young, up-and-comming journalist to take advantage of electronic communications for journalism.

after a chance meeting at the salzburg seminar, TOL's Evgeny Morozov sought me out to help present a week long course on new media essentials. since the course was scheduled to coincide with the start of my trip and they offered to cover a portion of my transportation costs, i couldn't refute an offer to help fellow citizen journalists learn about new media.

Mobile Active - http://mobileactive.org - is a global network of people, tools, projects, and resources focused on the use of mobile phones for activism, campaigns, and civic engagement. Mobile Active focuses in on four principles - 1. expand access to knowledge, ideas and experience about the use of mobile technology, 2. reduce learning costs for civil society organizations, 3. accelerate the use of effective tactics in campaigns, and 4. provide a comprehensive platform for building partnerships, and for facilitating access to technology and funding.

as a former campaign coordinator, technologist and volunteer, i know all to well the intimate complications of skill sharing within organizations that have little to no budget and infrastructure. when katrin, also the executive director of nten, contacted me about forming a partnership, i couldn't think of a better complement. while on the road, i'll be reaching out to organizations who are using mobile technology and profiling their use in the field. conversely, Mobile Active will provide logistical and mobile technology support.

Michael David Vineyards - http://www.lodivineyards.com/ - home to the award winning seven deadly zins and seven heavenly chards, and producers of "seven brands of distinctive wines for each of your varied whimsical desires." Michael and David Phillips are fifth generation of growers in Lodi, California. though not certified organic, Michael~David Vineyards strives to use all natural methods including integrated pest management, beneficial insects for pest control, trellising, leaf pulling and natural mined sulfur for mildew control.

in their initial donation/email, they wanted to send me a few bottles of seven deadly zins and seven heavenly chards. then i informed them, that i'll be hosting a few salons, and they snapped at the offer to send a few more! as i make my way back to north america, i've added lodi to the list of places to visit. let's just hope that Creedence Clearwater Revival did not write a premonition.

also, i hope you are in new york city on the day of departure, 7 july 2007. my friends and i are having a mid-day roof-top brooklyn bbq! so save the date and see you real soon!

Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.
Buddha

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next tuesday lab.session @ glowlab in brooklyn

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next tuesday, 12 June, i am fortunate enough to have the honor in helping rekindle this year's glowlab speaker series. while normally, i would cast the door open and invite all of you, space is limited to 15. RSVPs are on a first come first serve. if you are interested, drop me a line at press(at)noneck.org

also, there is good chance that club of seven member, Tracy, will send some award winning bottles from Michael David Winery. can you believe that they have two wines that fit Lo7's motif, 7 Deadly Zins and 7 Heavenly Chards... perfect... just perfect...

from christina ray, the founder and director of glowlab...

In 2003 I started a series of artist presentations that were held in local bars in Williamsburg. One artist would informally present his or her work to a small audience of about a dozen invited guests and after the presentation the group engaged in lively Q&A/discussion over drinks. We enjoyed talks by artists including Swoon, Lee Walton, Bill Wasik [flash mob founder], Jonah Brucker-Cohen, and more. The salon-style setting was perfect for some really engaging conversations. After a while I became too busy to continue this series, but I've really missed it and have decided it's time to commit to bringing it back. This re-launch will roughly coincide with the re-launch of the Glowlab website happening within the next few weeks.

Lab.Sessions will now be held monthly at Glowlab's Williamsburg studio, which has been redesigned to include a small gallery space presenting a changing display of artists' works. We're currently exhibiting new pieces by Kurt Bigenho, Bethany Bristow, Marisa Olson, Mark Price, Josh Goldstein, Heather L. Johnson and additional artists. Here's a look at the space [photos are from a recent event we did for this year's Gel Conference]: http://flickr.com/photos/glowlab/sets/72157600311414219/

I'd love to have you attend this Lab.Session, featuring the fabulous Noel Hidalgo.

Please let me know as soon as possible if you can make it. RSVPs are taken on a first-come, first-served basis up to about 15 people and we do have an ongoing waiting list, so the event will fill up quickly. If you'd like to bring one guest, please include their name when you RSVP.

if you would like to attend please email press(at)noneck.org

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Glowlab Lab.Session . June 2007

date: Tuesday, June 12, 2007

location: WILLIAMSBURG, BROOKLYN

time:

8–8:30pm: cocktails

8:30–10:00pm: artist presentation followed by Q & A and conversation


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breaking through USD $3,000!!!

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with 5 weeks to go, your donations have just placed me trough the $3,000 mark!

just to forwarn you all, i'm sending out a special message to all donors tomorrow. if you haven't joined the club of seven, i hope you take a chance and join today. ;)

welcome to the club

pardon the dust bunnies, i'm still around

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the past two weeks have given me introspective time to think about one of the most important part of this trip... love. the unrelenting, always self giving love. you know, the type of love that builds from years of exposure and common kinship. the type that type that exists from parent to child. the type of love that builds among friends who grow up experiencing the same joy, excitement and loss. the type of love never seems to die.

thankfully, the past two weeks have been spent with some of my oldest and dearest friends, stories of treasured memories, my brother and my parents. as the next five weeks unfold, there are many things that must be done. a majority of them will rattle my cage, shake my will, and question my own personal resolve. one thing is certain. love is immortal.

Ohio - May 207 - 67this morning, as i uploaded several photosets to fickr, i read a pleasant piece about two late-twentysomethings who will embark on a similar voyage around the globe. throughout the article, i can hear the same answers to the same quick witted questions i am asked. when it comes to why we attempt such an experiences, well...

People are always willing to lend a helping hand,” Ms. Collins said, “because there are so many things, like the wind, that are completely out of your control.”

...and frankly i feel the same way... my mother has always said, "if you are nice to people, people will be nice to you."

over the next week, i'll be cranking out two video pieces, a travel narrative of the past few weeks and a very special announcement (that has taken longer to announce that original conceived). until then, i leave you with Buddha's four immeasurables - love, compassion, joy and equanimity.


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heading to chicago

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i'll be in chicago as of 8 am central... if anyone is interested in hanging out, give me a call at 917.657.6999.

also, i'd like to thank all of club of seven donors who have donated since april 15...

seven weeks to go!

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ten days ago, i sent out an email to my donors asking for help.
nine days ago, i sent out an email to my address book asking for help.
eight days ago, i email all of my lists and ensured proper messaging on all of the social networking sites.
within that time, you answered the call and raised total donations to $2678.12!!!
THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!

seven days ago, i dusted off a camera and headed out to the humble abode of House 2.0 for jelly nyc. jelly nyc is unique member of the coworking family. coined by House 2.0 residents, amit and luke, while working out from home. the two wanted external stimuli and desired to meet new and interesting people. so, they open their doors and invited a few people in. this past week, (sadly sans luke) while in the pleasant company of strangers and friends, we chatted about our projects... in a stroke of magic, a new york times reporter came by to figure out the world of coworking and more importantly the humble side of Jelly. after a few good hours of productivity and several conversations that created a warm happy feeling, i turned on the camera and created Episode 3.

just yesterday morning, they let me know you were gone... - james tayor

as of this week, the luck of seven is now my full time job. my last consulting gig just ended. despite the fact that i don't get paid, and i'm living off of savings... i feel very good about this. there are many hard times ahead and the only way is to be fully prepared. ok, that's just a BS statement saying, "it's a lot harder finding people to interview than originally thought..." nonetheless, today i had a great interview with jamie and dan from Mayfirst/PeopleLink which should be up by monday. on sunday, i'll be out doing a few more interviews... all in all, this is turning out to be a much larger production than i ever thought.

"there were peasants singing and drummers drumming and the archer split the tree..." - neil young

next week, two friends get married. painfully, one in nyc and another in detroit.
next week, i turn a year older and get to celebrate with a bachelor party.
next week, i'll be chicago (21 - 23), detroit (24 - 27), dayton (28 - 30) and columbus (31).

if you're interested in showing me around chicago on the 21st and the 22nd. shoot me an email. i'll have camera in tow! also, if you know of a good person to interview, shoot me a line!!.

rounding out the housekeeping issues, i don't know why it took so long for me to figure out how come my site was poorly organized. i've striped out a bunch of wiki junk. now there is a new and improved itinerary and equipment listing. if you know of anyone, any product or project that can help. don't hesitate to contact me...

ps - special announcement on monday!!!

cheers!
noel

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project pedal + envy + meta = this

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at times, i can feel very timid... i just got done watching project pedal's videos and they are slick... many kudos... nice intros, segways, effects, myspace music, good press, good fundraising, etc... in summation, i am envious.

preface for rest of post, this is a meta and i'm getting cranky.

i did my second interview today. while walking around looking for community shots, couldn't figure out what to shoot... then i thought about my situation. contrasted it with others' and started to wimpier... i'm just getting started with shooting, learning to edit, adding effects, finding music and despite the fact that i've emailed a gazzilion and one people, nonexistent press. golly, i hope this doesn't sound like a rant... to be honest, i thought about doing it on video... then i thought that i would have to watch my self and then edit it all down... how conceit... ewe... then again, i should make a freaking trailer or something explaining what this thing all about... and now after four eyed monsters and project pedal and make... i have to have a hand written intro... ugh!

so, back to the complexity of the situation. i see that no one else is going to elevate the same ideas that i see tightly intertwined. then again, i like being a behind the scenes. so, how do i combine the two? OR better yet how do i gain a sense of vanity. god, maybe i shouldn't be blogging this at all... (jb, maybe this is what i was really trying to say...) after reviewing the past five months of work, the following are things that i really have to do...

  • one, feel comfortable in front of the camera, which is something that i detest...
  • two, detach from myself to make a documentary, and record my actions that seem significant or insignificant...
  • three, keep true to the humble boy who on the playground would sit off in a field with a stick and a bumble bee...
  • four, think...

added complexity? i'm a gemini with a serious case of attention deficit disorder. no really, medically certified!

to some it might not mean much. to others, they set clocks by that &h1t. yet, to me it helps explain the duality to life. granted, this is not a black and white world, but at least i though this lenses i can see clearly. one side of me relishes conversation, excitement and perpetual mental stimuli. the second side, recoils and hides among the masses looking to be like everyone else.

when this project was first conceived, it was an attempt to regain a part of my life that had been lost to three years of political campaigning. then, i set my self free much earlier than i expected, but have now started to float into a unknown space. space that seems more philosophical than physical. theory more so than practice. love more than hate. distance more than connectedness. at the same time, i see the converse being also accurate... i'm more physically adventurous, practicing more than preaching, hating the world that doesn't understand the ramifications, and am now saying something that i should be telling my friends in private. all of this is for some grand metaphysical project that enviably will be more personal, private and adventurous than anything that i've ever done...

ok, that last statement isn't true. there are many things that i've done that i can not commit to admit for fear of the strong arm of the law, but at least it made me feel good. in the end, there are many things that i could be thinking about with the preface of "i wish i could be..."

in reality, i should be saying "do i really need to have..."

ps - go check out project pedal. it's got a good "four eyed monsters" feel... oh and more than likely, it will make it to SXSW '08 and be a huge hit. by the time my movie is ready to happen, this whole notion will be tired. i can see the wired crib right now...


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a question...

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just browsing through my email and i see that a friend of mine/donor, jonathan berger, is making some introductions, and in his cut and paste, he added this IM message...

"he's kind of like a batman villain, now that i think about it"

which i chuckle. not that it's a bad thing, but there could also be a hidden message of conflicted good/bad guy. i really don't think that JB intended that. ;) instead, i see the statement pointing directly to the fact that it speaks to the power of cultural references. (furthering reading henry jenkins for a modern viewpoint)

as some of you might know, i worked on john kerry's presidental campaign (i was on the winning campaign, the side that got him nominated). when i look back at the leaders of the modern era, i consistently see figures who not only can embody their own existence, but who can manifest the pop. i'm not just talking about elected officials, but musicians, painters, writers, directors, etc... frankly, this is not intended as some grand notion, but just a refinement of a question that's that perplexes me.

how can one produce a timely documentary without seeking out the pop?

Just passed $2,000!

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Thank you Alexandra Deschamps! Your the lucky winner for setting me past $2000!!!

META: overloaded server and move to blip.tv

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it appears that my dreamhost server flipped out earlier in the day. thanks to the hard working support staff we are back up and running.

though through my foraging, i once thought it was a good idea to host everything here at Lo7. in reality, between server constraints and thoughts of the unknown, i have walked down the path to to blip.tv.

WHY???

first, the blip.tv guys and gals are awesome. ever so often, when we would go out drinking, they would laugh stating my foolishness in hosting my own video.

second, it's super easy! i once thought that i had to use a special drupal module, but that hasn't turned out to be the case. instead, i'm using the drupal video module and imbedding the blip.tv flash and quicktime file within the node. too boot, i now can promote my self on iTunes, Windows Media Center and on Democracy Player without having to blink.

ok, i just blinked.

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two months to go...

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Dear Friends,

Today, marks a very special day, not only has Luck of Seven crossed the 20% goal in fundraising, but in two short months, I will depart from my beloved city of New York to explore this planet. On 7 July 2007, and traveling for seven months, my feet will wander the earth contemplating seven topics of freedom. On the way, I'll be documenting the experience on the "Luck of Seven" travel site (Lo7).

The seven topics of freedom are not some crazy manifesto, but an exploration of a world without any borders. Our ability to transcend, distance, time and culture are unprecedented. With more people living in urban environments, our world is growing and condensing at the same time. Fundamentally the seven topics of freedom boil down to four: open source communities, open source technology, social entrepreneurs and the greater conversation of global change. Ironically, a few weeks ago my mother sent me Leo Buscaglia's "The Way of the Bull." If you haven't read Mr. Buscaglia's books you will find them highly entertaining. While I instantly laughed at the outrageous cover, I found this motherly highlight, "The only thing that is certain for us is change. To battle change is to waste our time; the battle can never be won. To become the willing ally of change is to assure ourselves of life."

Now with 07/07/07 quickly approaching and my first month planned out, I look at my life and see a wealth of opportunities to explore this world. BUT I can't do it alone. I need your help in three ways...

1. A small donation of USD $11.11.

Thank you donors!! As of today, we have reached 20% of Lo7's fundraising goal! Not only will your donations help me go around the world, but in return, I promise you an autographed copy of the book. In the meantime, luckofseven.com will continue to tell the story though rich media. < http://luckofseven.com/donate >

2. Spread the word and connect me with your other friends.

There is nothing more important to me than my friends. Though my past years of traveling and countless workshops, I know that we can make this a better place. Regardless if it's just a smiling face, a pint of beer or a hard floor to sit on, I want to visit your friends and say hello. Forward your friends this message and copy me < noel(at)noneck.org >! Then, if you have a blog or social networking site, spread the word. I really need the link love ;)

3. Organizational sponsors for equipment and travel.

In Prague, Transitions Online has asked me to teach on new media journalism to former Communist countries. While "on the way," I look forward to teaching, conversing and interviewing citizens of this earth. If you know of an organization that might be a good fit, please don't hesitate to forward this email or make a formal introduction. I'm quite keen on helping organizations adapt technological frameworks for their own uses, elevate the seven topics of freedom, and share my experiences at an organizer. Otherwise, I'm looking for sponsors to acquire equipment: an HD Camcorder, a GPS device, an GSM cell phone, etc... I have a list and would love to entertain any ideas. Have your people call my people!

... and with that, I hope you place your luck on seven and at least give a donation.

be seeing you...

noneck noel


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on the luck of seven was an open-source, around the world project by noel hidalgo, a new york city based activist, organizer, barcamper and coworker.

for seven months, he traversed the globe. using a new media voodo (blog, vlog, wiki, flickr, couchsurfing, twitter, myspace, dopplr, and facebook), noneck harnessed the collective knowledge of the internet, and report on seven topics of freedom. this trip was funded by 253 people and supported, house, fed, and loved by countless others.

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