West Coast Hackfest – Summary

Sorry this was supposed to have gone out some weeks ago and I lazed it up. Blame it on my general resistance to blogging. :-)

This year, I helped organize West Coast Hackfest with my stalwart partner and friend Teresa Hill in Portland – with assistance from Kristi Progi. Big thanks to them for helping to make this a success!

Primarily the engagement hackfest was focused on the website content. The website is showing its age and needs both a content update and a facelift. Given our general focus on engagement, we want to re-envision the website to drive that engagement as a medium for volunteer capture, identity, and fundraising.

The three days of engagement hackfest was spent going through each of the various pages and pointing out issues in the content and what should be fixed. Fixing them is a little bit problematic as the content is not generally available on WordPress but embedded in the theme of which few people have access to. Another focus will be opening up that content and finding alternatives to create content without having to touch the theme at all.

Our observations going through them are as follow:

  • Our website doesn’t actually identify what we are as a project and what we work on. (eg the word desktop doesn’t show up anywhere on our website)
  • There is no emotional connection for newcomers who want to know what GNOME is, what our values are
  • We have old photos from early 6-7 years ago that need to be updated.
  • The messaging that we have developed within the engagement team is not reflected on the website and should be updated accordingly
  • We have items on our technologies that are no longer maintained like Telepathy
  • We have new items on our technology page that need to be added
  • We have outdated links to social media (eg G+ should no longer exist)

Our tour of the website has shown how out of date our website has and it is clear that it is not part of the engagement process. One of the things we will talk about in GUADEC is managing content and visuals on the website as part of the engagement team activity. We have an opportunity to really find new ways to connect with our users, volunteers, and donors and reach out to potential new folks through the philanthropy and activism in Free Software that we do.

I would like to thank the GNOME Foundation for providing the resources and infrastructure to have us all here.

The plans for West Coast Hackfest is to continue to expand its participation in the U.S. As a U.S. based non-profit, we have a responsibility to expand our mission in the United States as part of our Foundation activities. While we have been quite modest this year, we hope to expand even larger for next year as another vehicle like GUADEC as a meeting place for users, maintainers, designers, documentators and everyone else.

If you are interested in hosting West Coast Hackfest – (we’ll call it something else – suggestions?) then please get in touch with Kristi Progi and myself. We will love to hear from you!

Iran and the elections aftermath

I wanted to express my best wishes and hope for the safety of those
who are in danger.

Especially to the GNOME Farsi community in Iran, we are all hoping for your
continued safety during this upheaval. Please be safe.

re:Twitter –
The wonderful thing about twitter is that they can communicate their
stories and experience in such a profound way. I find myself glued
to the screen to see how things are unfolding in Iran. I’ve been
following the news on Andrew Sullivan’s blog site which gives up
to date information of what is happening in Iran.

edit: fixed broken link.

End of a stage of life.

I celebrated my 40th birthday yesterday. My parents and brother made a surprise visit and we had a good couple of days hanging out and having fun. I got a real nice gift of a photo album chronically 40 years of life. It was a really nice gift and I will treasure it a lot. Got two music cds as well!

Thanks everyone for all the birthday wishes, I appreciate it! I don’t particularly feel any different than I did in the 30s. I would venture to guess that I look better now than I did in my 20s with regular 3 mile.

All I need to do now is finish off my master’s and I can get back some of my free time!

Seeing as the end is near, I have started to get more active in GNOME this quarter. I’m working on Gnome Journal having completed an article this past issue on Gourmet Recipe Manager. A great little app, that you guys should check out.

We could use feedback on the last GJ issue so if you could mail me or post here or whatever that would be awesome. We are already working on our next issue! So if you know of interesting stuff let me know.

I’m on the planning committee of the Linux Plumbers Conference for the second time year in a row. We had great fun last year and those of you I met, it was great seeing you and I hope you will come again this year. We have some great keynotes that we will be announcing later. Also, I hope you guys are thinking of submitting some good abstracts. We are really going to be tackling sound and X again with our very own Keith Packard and Lennart Poettering and of course filesystems and embedded. If you’re an expert we want to hear from you!

http://www.linuxplumbersconf.org/

Check it out!

GNOME 2.24 release!!

GNOME 2.24 - teh Awesome!
GNOME 2.24 - teh Awesome!

Congratulations to everyone who worked so hard to get this release out.  Especially the release team.  You guys rock!!

Had a busy couple of weeks, putting on Linux Plumbers Conference An exciting time and it was great to meet old friends and new ones. I think we were able to get all the goals we wanted. It was amazing watching something from conception to execution. We didn’t have a lot of problems.

We’re hoping to plan next years soon and see if we can top what we had. Those of you I got to meet last week, it was great hanging out and I hope we get to do it again! Our community rocks! :-)