interviews

one week to go! (the email)

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freedom's burden

in seven days i depart to discover the new world

yes, it's true! this is my last week of insanity and jubilation. as the United States celebrates liberty and freedom from tyranny, i am gearing up to discover seven new freedoms.

to be honest, i am unsure of what comes next. departing from new york is the first step of many. unlike most trips, once i set foot in Prague, I have no firm transportation plans and will be purely dependent on the luck of hospitality. i am purely dependent on fortuna septi (aka the luck of seven).

while i might not have a traveling companion, i hope to bring all of you along. first, we need to spread the word. my good buddy, whurley, put up a link on digg and we need people to "digg it"

if we make the front page of digg, i can promise you many more contributions from around the world. also, if you have a blog, please toss up my chipin widget and ask your friends to donate. this trip is predicated on our connections. believe it or not, you are my first connection to the rest of the world.

also, i need your help in completing my itinerary. i'm looking for contacts throughout lebanon, israel, egypt, saudi arabia, india, southeast asia and south america. if you know any good techies, activists, organizers, coworkers, campers, thinkers, etc... send them my way...

OH and since today is the launch of the iPhone, guess what i have on camera? an interview with the first two guys sitting in line! whurley, raven and i trekked out the very night they set up shop. it really is a ridiculous video!

finally, i am having two parties. a going away brunch on saturday, 7th of july from 11 - 3pm, and another this sunday, 1 july. starting around 8:30pm, we will celebrate the first full moon of summer. both will be held in brooklyn, ny. if you are interested in attending, please rsvp.

on 1 july 2007 - starting at 8:30pm, please bring something to grill and drink. i will have some seven zins, i won't have the ability to turn water into wine. my good friend Jonathan Long will be spinning vintage tunes all night long as we watch the moon come to life.

on 7 july 2007 - from 11 - 3pm, please bring something to share. let it be a tub of wine, magic tricks or a basket of fruit, you will be introduced to my company of friends. as i know many of you, many of you don't know each other. once we have said our goodbyes, at 3pm, i will depart for JFK. i hope you can attend and celebrate friendship.

episode 6: renegade craft fair

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Recorded: 17 June 2007
Locations: Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Brooklyn, New York City
Music: David Byrne - My Fair Lady - http://creativecommons.org/wired
Tags: McCarren Park Pool, Brooklyn, Williamsburg, Handmade Nation Documentary, renegade craft fair, etsy, clothing of the american mind, progressive fashions, my car spotter, knit-head, pretty in punk, alyce benevides, souldier, show your soul, caitlin phillips, rebound designs, indie craft documentary, handmade nation

About:
some where between 90 degrees fahrenheit to 100 kelvin, i stepped out of my house and hopped down the street to see what wears the renegade craft fair had on display. with no money in my pocket, i scoured the vendors looking for the one desirable item i could not part. after about the third hour, i found it! nuzzled away in the far back, sat souldier. after a long discussion, i selected my materials and found a decorative strap for my camera. for the rest of the day, i bounced from booth to booth, in an attempt to fight off a dreary hangover and a the god of hades.

through the heat, i discovered that there is a documentary of the D.I.Y. craft community. while i originally intended this piece to wax poetic about how craft and free culture are intertwined... what i wanted to say has already been said. instead, i'm going to point you to Handmade Nation. (youtube clip, etsy page)

"the renegade craft fair is a unique diy event organized by sue blatt + kathleen habbley. when this event began in 2003, there was nothing else like it. we took up crafts as a hobby after college and decided to try selling our stuff in local fairs. to our surprise, no events were catering to the burgeoning diy craft community or even prohibited crafts all together. so we thought of organizing a fair of our own that tapped into this movement and provided a laid back, fresh venue for artists and shoppers alike." from the renegade craft fair website.

Episode 5 - May First / People Link

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Recorded: 17 May 2007
Locations: Sunset Park, Brooklyn, New York City
Tags: aMay First / People Link, Open Source, Activism, US Social Forum, Organizing, Brooklyn, Unconfrences
Music: "now get busy" - beastie boys - http://creativecommons.org/wired/

About: buried in the heart of sunset park, exists a worker run collective providing technology support to New York City nonprofits, ranging from designing web sites to fixing networks. growing from humble roots in 1995, this grassroots collective's primary work is to pool, improve and enhance the needs of the social justice community.

last month, i had the pleasure to visit with jamie and dan to discuss may first people link and some of the work they are coordinating for the the US Social Forum.

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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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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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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Luck of Seven in 125 words for Smith Magazine

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The world is an ever evolving place. Born in California to Puerto Rican US Air Force Officers, raised in the corn fields of Beavercreek, Ohio comes Noel Hidalgo. On 7 July 2007, Noel will depart from the streets of New York City, and set off on a seven month journey around the world to explore seven contents, dive into the seven oceans, and visit the seven ancient wonders of the world. His journey will be your journey. By donating US$11.11 you can help direct his footsteps. Donate today and help the world learn about open-source communities, social entrepreneurs and global change. Though the thick and thin, he will diary his conversations, photograph the world, and record your interactions with the luck of seven.

written for Smith Magazine; photo by whurley.

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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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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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