Oct 262015
I‘m here for a conference.  It’s a Thursday in October and I prepared for chill, but a light windbreaker surprisingly suffices.  The sun is partly out as Alan and I tool around the city, and you only know it’s autumn when you’re hit by the breeze off the canals.


Amsterdam has always been a magical, mythical place for me, a city of forbidden freedoms whispered about at home by daydreaming stoners with distantly-glazed eyes.  I never thought I’d be here, but thanks to a little tech community volunteerism, Nokia has funded this adventure.  I’ve just been elected to a council that will act as a proxy between the Finnish cell phone giant and its burgeoning open source developer community.

I couldn’t be more excited. Continue reading »

Aug 262014
Today I’m spamming the Internet with yet another appeal, this time involving a possible opportunity for this unofficial ambassador to revisit one of my favorite cities: Helsinki, Finland.

There’s no funds or funny stuff required.  Visit Helsinki has arranged a contest where contestants’ photos are displayed in a Facebook media album and all you need to do is Like those of your favorite participant.  In this instance, me.

And in case you need further motivation, as I noted in the previous post here I’m working on a book about maker communities.  One of the coauthors, Jarkko Moilanen, works in Helsinki and I’d like a chance to get with him face-to-face for a bit.  I also hope to interview former Maemo/MeeGo community members (now with Jolla) to get their perspective on collaborative communities.

I have many friends in Finland and several of them have jumped in to help.  But so far it’s not nearly enough– I’m being beaten pretty soundly by another contestant and could use all the assistance I can muster. Continue reading »

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