coworking

day 13. on my way to london

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despite the fact i left berlin 45 mins late i was still abel to catch a train that seemed to be on the right time table to brussles. exhausted from sleeping on a hard bench, i geefully boarded what appeared to be my first class train.

little did i know that the wonderfully plush seats, smell of fresh coffee and abundant power outlets would not be my train. in a vain attempt to save 15 euro, i gladly said i would take local trains from klone to brussels... i should have known better. i really should have known better.

after pay 60 euro for a meal i didn't want to regurgitate, an electrical outlet i couldn't part with and a train i couldn't disembark, i tag, flagged and prepared for the next few days in the United Kingdom.

on my last journey, i was heading home from a salzburg seminar and had just paid 250 euro for a stupid belt knife to be confiscated in munich. before that, august of 2002. the US had just invaded Afghanistan, and the world was ripe in solidarity. young and inexperienced, i traveled to from boston to the Isle of Wight for a "little" scooter rally, spent a new days in london and also visited amsterdam.

five years later things are significantly different. now there is no home. now there is no warm bed waiting for me on the other side of the pond. now my world blessed a few days jammed packed with interviews, workshops, meetups and naps.

i'm really looking forward to being back in london to kick out the jams with...
- Joey Baxter, fellow coworking enthusiast.
- Alex Deschamps-Sonsino, fellow Lift 06 attendant and one of the organizers of Hardcore Hardware Hacking Weekend.

- Riccardo Cambiassi London barcamper, techie and fellow Lift 07 attendant.
- Steve Purkiss, Lo7 contributor and techie who's going to take me to Ecademy meetup.

- see the launch of the Mongol Rally and profile team Mr. Dinosaur from williamsburg, nyc and fellow spyten dyuvel regulars.
- and in brighton, profile tactical tech and tech rider, dirk slater.

somewhere with in that mix, i need to edit some video and desperately need to wash three pairs of socks. while in berlin, i was going to purchase flip-flops, but with my extra special train ticket behind me... i think i'll pass... that's unless i find a shoe store that's willing sponsor my feet! ;)

why seven topics...

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20070528.jpg This is a 21st century journey to the intersection of digital and organic communities. Communicating through a digital medium that has no borders, I want to share with you how this new world interacts.

Free culture. After a half-century of broadcast communications dictating the common perspective, people are now reconnecting—one-on-one, peer-to-peer, node-to-node—and proving that traditional copyright and patent restrictions need to be reformed to promote creativity.

Free and open-source software. Software should be a tool, like a shovel. With zero distribution cost, global, boundless open-source communities are competing in a world of co-opetition.

Couchsurfers and bloggers. People—from those who blog their souls to those who reserve their couch for strangers—are using technology to augment real-world relationships and bring modernism back to our post-modern world.

Barcamps, unconferences, meetups, and coworking. The online digi-world uses physical ad-hoc meetings to socialize, share, and advance ideas.

Agents of progressive social change. Inventors and concept peddlers—though not always leaders—change the way we think about the world through technology.

The environment. When we outsource jobs, we outsource pollution, waste, and other negative impacts of consumerism; we need to continue to use technology to educate the public on the true footprint of the products we use and lifestyles we choose.

Happenstance. Receiving a random e-mail, discovering a flickr profile, stumble-surfing across a facebook page, connecting in a café—the world grows smaller with every person we meet, and there is an art to discovering their stories.”

photo by charles hope

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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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Episode 3: Jelly NYC at House 2.0

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Recoded: 10 May 2007
Locations: Brooklyn, Greenpoint, Manhattan, Columbus Circle, Williamsburg, Subway, NYC
Tags: Coworking, Jelly NYC, Photojojo, Monkey Business Labs, Insanely Great Tees, Amit Gupta, Joshua Keay, Anna Grossman, Dave, Sahadeva Hammari, Ian Van Ness, Dave Keay, Ben
Music: " wonder what i'll do today" by oldDog, featuring narva9

on thursday, 10 may 2007, i loaded up my laptop and a borrowed a Sony HVR-A1U and headed over to House 2.0 for a bit of Jelly NYC. after leaving my house in greenpoint and stopping to smell some flowers, I found myself on a motionless 7 train, wondering what joy and excitement would befall the day. little did i know, how much i would learn in such few hours. while the day was filled with standard enjoyment and pleasant conversations. it wasn't until the afternoon when i started filming did i really discover the important lessons.

here are some tips on being a better videographer in nyc...
lesson 1 - people will stare at you and think you are a tourist. just remind them god created sky for everyone to enjoy. then, like a good new yorker, take off your cap, curtsey, and say have a good day.
lesson 2 - people will ask you what you are doing. just say, "I'm looking for something to report" and then politely remind them of the subway ads saying, "see something, say something."
lesson 3 - listen to what you have to say before saying it, but then again don't do it over and over. eventually you will get it. don't worry, after you're comfortable being in front of the bloody camera, things will flow.
lesson 4 - give your subjects a count down after hitting record. i found my self working with really tight record times. simply padding 5 - 7 seconds before and after interview statements would have allowed for better transition.

on the technical end...
lesson 1 - HD is HUGE!!! while i'm not sure of the exact conversion, it's roughly a GIG a min. oh, and if you think that your laptop's hard drive can handle that type of data manipulation... think again. right now, i'm using my 60 gig 4th gen iPod as my scratch disk, thank goodness it's the last model that had firewire!
lesson 2 - map things out. not only are tapes expensive, storage is a premium and so is your processor power. make a mental map of scenes, and do a bit of story boarding.
lesson 3 - it takes forever to convert data from HD to the web. make sure before outputting that you're ready, and then once your ready review Zadi Diaz's rules for making internet video compatible with appleTV.
lesson 4 - create an account on a content sharing site like blip or revver where you ultimately own the intellectual property.

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from austin to austria, i'm packing my bags and heading to sxsw.

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SXSW Interactive i'm packing my bags and heading to SXSW interactive. if you haven't heard of SXSW, it's kinda a Mecca for technologist, programmers, and anyone who's into socializing with notables who like to party. i'm going to promote a few things i've learned, learn a few more things that i don't know, talk incessantly about of on the luck of seven project, hang out with some friends, catch up with old friends at Barcamp Austin, and figure out a thing or two about life.

last year, i learned quite a few things... most of them too personal to tell here (it might make it in my book), but this year... i feel things are different. i'm not sure why, other than i'm 100% more adventuresome and well... i've got a nifty little vlog project! also, if you haven't noticed, for the month of march, i'm vloging every 7 days. on 14 march, my next video will be sent from austria.

YUP! on monday, i'm departing austin and spending a day in the air to attend a salzburg seminar - The New Information Networks: Challenges and Opportunities for Business, Governments, and Media. once on the ground, i'll be moderating a roundtable entitled: Participation, Community, Governance and be on the roundtable Communication, Networks, and Political Impacts. i'm really stoked to be in the same arena as yochai benkler, viktor mayer-schonberger, kenneth cukier, and jo twist.

in the meantime, i'm changing my fundraising tune and for the next three weeks will attempt to rase $2222.00. i'm not sure how i'm going to accomplish this step, but one thing is for sure... if i don't push to rase $2222.00, i'm not going to make my fundraising goals. if you can't donate money, give me a suggestion on were to go or what to see and whom to visit or interview.

well.. if you're looking for me, check out my twitter and my conferenceer profile, otherwise i'll see you around AUSTIN!


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brooklyn coworking in the greenpoint star

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"First and foremost, this is about communication and conversation, and building relationships," he said. "When you're freelancing, you don't have those opportunities when you're working out of the house."

However, the space suits its current users nicely. "Some people want a shared cubicle, while some want to work out of a cafe," Hidalgo said. "But for the work that we do, we want to have something more private. Also, we enjoy each other's company." download pdf'ed article

looks like our brooklyn coworking space received a bit of press in the greenpoint star / queens ledger. i'm shocked at the numerous quotations, i think this is the first time that i'm not made out to look like an idiot. then again, this is the first time i'm not interviewed with an alcoholic beverage in my hand.

speaking of interviews, tomorrow, i'm going to meet with heath row, fellow "coworker" and currently a reporter for fast company. maybe, i'll turn the tables and do an interview on his Roadshow. back in 2002, with sponsorship from Volkswagen and fast company, heath hit the road, "stayed with members of the readers' network in their homes, met with local business leaders and innovators, visited fast companies, and participated in local CoF events, documenting it all by filing frequent real-time reports in the Roadshow Diaries." i can't wait to see if other publications follow in his foot steps.

ps - if you're not sure on setting up a full blown coworking space, check out jelly nyc. jelly was coined by amit gupta, and for the past year has held coworking sessions in his house.


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the true power of the wealth of networks

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a funny thing happened to me last night...

first, for all mac users don't even think about purchasing a samsung SC-X210L digital camcorder. those suckers use a special AVI codec that is damn near impossible to find decoders. too boot, they are piss poor in low light situations. instead of me finding a good camcorder, i'm going to just use my little pocket point and shoot and a voice recorder. i'm not adverse to using something new, i just find my self able to produce better shots. while sound isn't top notch, noise and sound tend to time shift around me.... more to come later...

while on yesterday's voyage, i met up with my old friend, lucia rollow. we traded our most recent stories while i reviewed head shots she took of me. sitting together, i tweaked. no, it wasn't some drug nor was it a hang over. instead, i was tweaking out on a cup of joe, from a cup of joe. oh lord how i was tweaking. shaking, shivering, and some what unconversational, i found some tea that suited my biochemistry a bit better.

after burning through the itch, i headed to paragon sports to find the cheapest/cold-rated sleeping bag i could find. after a 5 min reorientation with in the store, apparently the owner loves flamboyant colors and the place is always changing, i found my self in the exact same tiny-ass room, where i picked up my camel pack and the same room where my brother picked up his Timbuktu laptop/currier bag.

new york city stores are funny. sometimes you walk into a place and find a sales assistant quickly, other times you have to spar with an attendant to find the right attendant. sex, affluence, prejudge all are factors. don't be insulted, it's part of the game. after a quick discussion on who would help me, and a quicker discussion on what's on sale, adam (the third recommended assistant) cranked out a woman's sleeping bag for US$71 and he tossed in a $5 stuff sack. so apparently, this sales attendant got into a tussle with a baseball bat and his best friend.... he really didn't mind that i was purchasing a woman's light blue sleeping bag, so i didn't inquire about his propensity to get his ass kicked.

some how, instead of heading to drop off my gear, i ended up at Spuyten Duyvil. as the weather turned from humidly cold to pissing rain, i sat in at the Duyvil shooting the shit with my friends. floored in rickety wood, yellow walls, and a red tin roof, i've called the Duyvil my second home. i love the place so much, when it came time to open up a coworking space, i petition beka, from not an alternative, really hard. with a non-stop assortment of unique beers from around the world and one of the best set of taps in America, beka, who lives and works across the street, loved the idea.

low and behold, at 6pm i found my self sharing a cheese plate with beka and eric, my coworkers. in tow, drayton heirs. ironically, drayton (rimes with layton or if you're from my past, dayton) is a nick name. apparently a bad nickname that stuck like glue. sound familiar funny? what's more funny?

drayton, beka, eric and i had a long chat about the history of environmental capitalism and our mutual connections. beka and drayton first met in 2004 in the mits of the north brooklyn redevelopment debate (greenpoint / willamsburg). over the years, beka and drayton have reconnected in brooklyn and amsterdam. on his way back from Switzerland, and on his way to LA, he decided to drop by brooklyn for a bit of R and R.

while most would think this is just some boring ass story of two damn world traveling hipsters, this is where it gets weird. when we were first introduced, we couldn't pronounce each other's names. on the way, out i had to cow out of their invite to manhattan. my excuse, i'm leaving for geneva... inevitably there is the question of why... and i lay into my lift spiel...

"i'm going back to geneva to help host the best damn european technology conference; lift!"

to be honest, i've never really seen a light bulb pop up over someone's head. standing in front of me, drayton's head nearly exploded with the question, "do you know a guy name noel?"

i chuckle, and then ponder, is there another noel in nyc going from new york. cause if so, OMG! now that's weird! as my head quickly swells to deal with the complex question of two noels from new york heading to lift, drayton brings up couchsurfing.com and a post to one of the more elusive CS groups. apparently, before meeting up with beka, drayton sent me a message inquiring about a currency exchange. with 20-30 franks in his wallet, and a desire not to see a changing agent. we quickly negotiated an exchange and eliminated any notion of a second noel from nyc heading to lift.

now that i'm in geneva... it's only going to get better...

btw, flickr photos are coming soon... the wifi here at the hotel is too slow for me to upload them.

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what's the focus

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yesterday, while my friend assisted in editing my first post, she kept asking me why are people going to care? from her point of view, everyone travels and writes about their journey. why would anyone care about this trip? after thinking about it, she is right i need to detail my rational for topics i will be covering...

the seven topics of freedom

  • free culture - originally a book by lawrence lessig. free culture is now a movement to break through the walled gardens of our minds and share information. if you scroll down to the footer, you'll see that this site is under creative commons. what does that mean? just like you have shared information with me, you can take this content and share it. as long as you don't make a profit; you are free to use this work. wikipedia on free culture.
  • free and open-source software (F/OSS) - there are many examples F/OSS, firefox, open office, wordpress, and drupal, just to name a few. (more on wikipedia) sadly there are only a handful of profiles and conversations of their products outside of their respective communities. as we will see, the agents of open-source software are diverse, eclectic, and highly lovable.
  • couchsurfers and bloggers - imagine opening up your house and letting a complete stranger sleep on your couch? believe it or not, there is a social network dedicated to couchsurfing. as an avid supporter of couchsurfing and people who share their life online, i am looking forward to the network of connections and a wealth of stories.
  • agents of progressive social change - if global agents of change are as unusual as my friends, their stories will be pure insanity. here's to the crazy ones!
  • barcamp & coworking - are two mimes espouse physical conversations organized through the internet. barcamp is a grassroots technology unconference where attendants are presenters and presenters are attendants. ironically, there is a workplace equivalent, coworking. coworking is a grassroots organized office with café culture. both mimes have demonstrated unbelievable levels of free thinking.
  • happenstance - happenstance is the art of random interaction. i bet you are thinking it is not possible to focus on happenstance. if you do not believe it, i will free your mind.
  • our environment - nature's beauty is quickly being consumed. i will spotlight locations and the people who are protecting them. my focus will be on the destruction we don't see on the evening news.

as you can see this project is about many things. many of these things i can no tolerate languishing on the back burner. if life is a fickle flame, i must let it burn brightly. last year at this time, i was stuck in a serious rutt. frequently, on my journeys, i quoted former fellow gemini henry kissinger, "there comes a time in every rightly constructed boy's life when he has a raging desire to go somewhere and dig for hidden treasure."

for the past few months, i've been hung up on the fact we are losing every element of our freedom. the world i knew as a child is not the same; the world i knew ten years a go is not the same. as the years move on and information becomes entertainment, we are enveloping ourselves in a world devoid of freedom. from nature and property, to rights and intellectual property, i see our lives slipping into an abyss devoid of alternatives.

chip in and help support the dig.

where will the luck of seven take me...

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I've been sitting on my inaugural post for too long. It's been over a year since I first conceived of this, and despite all of my work on paper, I still can't think of an opening. Time and time again, I mention the same words over and over... seven, seven, seven...

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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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