October 17, 2017

How I GovHack'd

I participated in the first Northern Territory iteration of GovHack. We were based at the Sandbox - co-working and innovative space in Alice Springs and hosted by Edan Baxter.

The core team in Alice Springs registered 9 projects by midday Saturday. Then the hard work continued as datasets were analysed and scope creep managed. Teams ranged from two people working together for the first time to 6 people in an organised team structure. What you needed in a team was multiple skills - video production, storyboard writing, software programming, software design and writing skills with a liberal sprinkling of good ideas.

This is not the time to learn new software. It's great if you have a large grab bag of tools that you are familiar with. One outcome of the weekend is the list of things I have to try and programmes to check out.

The finished project videos and write-ups were loaded to the hackerspace just in the nick of time by 4pm Sunday. Projects varied in degrees of complexity, sophistication and innovative power.

Here is the video of my project.



I picked up the Spirit of GovHack Award to Alice Springs. Then we hacked the hack! Jay Tucker was the winner of the Spirit of GovHack award for the Northern Territory. He was part of the NT winning team and Runner-up for the National Places Hack for the Red House Blue House Project. As their project was using the same maps as my hack but in a different way, I contacted Jay and proposed a crazy idea for a combined hack. We designed a t-shirt which Jay wore around Brisbane as he toured the city before the Red Carpet Awards! T-shirt complete with scannable codes to read 1948 news articles direct from Trove, what more could one want in unique wearables?

My thinking was consumed and pushed into totally new areas for those 46 hours. My thinking expanded on how to use open data to benefit the community and how my own skills could be put to use to directly benefit the local community I live in. There was also a roadmap to think about and to extend the project to next steps and other iterations. The next time someone asks me what Govhack was all about....I'll definitely be able to confuse or clarify it to some extent.

Check these out for ideas for next year!
Northern Territory Project Awards: https://2017.hackerspace.govhack.org/awards.
National and International Awards: http://govhack.org/national-international-winners/http://govhack.org/national-international-winners/

September 15, 2017

Out of Range


OUT OF RANGE

Out of range
pull the plug and sleep
switch off, disconnect
no charge, no beep

Out of range
why blue?
time to talk
our connections too few

Out of range
a vision of star
sky turning slowly
no pollution to mar

Out of range
no mobile connection
no bars of service
no bill, no insurrection

Out of range
firelight
dust on pancakes
in morning light

Out of range
a strange kind of bliss
never imagined
when Dylan wrote this.

Wendy Taleo
CC BY NC


People are crazy and times are strange
I'm locked in tight, I'm out of range
I used to care, but things have changed.

Bob Dylan from Things Have Changed

August 14, 2017

Once Upon a GIF Story

This is a story of collaboration, ideas, experimentation and our relationship to technology. It's also about being willing to follow through with what we might (lightly) put into Twitter chats!

You will see the GIF story (17 pages) thanks to Kim (@MrKMaston) and a willingness to collaborate. We chatted about the concept over Twitter DM and then took it in turns to add a page to the story. As you 'read' the story I'm sure you will make your own interpretation. Like a comic strip, there is enough mystery in the silence and the gaps between the moving images for the reader to get involved. Leave some comments about the possibilities that you see in GIF stories.


View it via Twitter moment: https://twitter.com/i/moments/895845199208865792

AN OPTIONAL WORD STORY
(written after the story was compiled and not sanctioned by Kim)

Once upon a time
there was a generation
that could only interact
through their shared technology.

This was not a good situation!

Something had to be done?
Who to call?
Would post-humanism be a solution?

Meanwhile,
that same generation of people,
ignored climate change and
continued to feed the web
with pictures of themselves
with only their self-selected
best side.

Nooooooooooooooo, said the others.

Could new technology save us?
Is there anyone out there to help us?

Wait.....

Perhaps reading the manual would help?
The solution is here somewhere.....

The crowds were lined up to witness the next best thing!

With new bells and whistles, infinity screens, smaller batteries,
colour lights and explosions....

All that happened was the setting of the sun,
falling of a wave, feet running on a treadmill, 
a never ending story.

The only thing left to do was 
destroy the thinking 
behind the technology

until

the

end.

August 2, 2017

How a poem travelled

From 
A Postcard (me)
with
Poem (me)
to
squiggle (Karon B)
to
music (me)
to
another voice (Karon B)
to
a remix (Kevin H)
to 
a small story (me)
to 
a drawing (Sheri E)
to
another story (Sheri E)

That is a #CLMOOC adventure.
Each time the postcard was handled with care.
Treated with respect.
Interpreted and shared.
No stamps required.

Most of this is found on a Postcard Reimagined or on Sound Mountains.

Please add your interpretation to Sound Mountains. 
Thinking about doodling this week in #CLMOOC.

August 1, 2017

Data to Design

I've been collaborating with Karon Bielenda. Karon started collecting data from Google plus on the posts that she has shared as part of the Connected Learning MOOC. She shared the spreadsheet with me and we started playing and discussing options to use this data in different ways. 


The raw data looked something like this:
Post XXX
Person A made a comment
Person B liked it
Person C liked it and made a comment
Person D reshared the post
By playing with all the Excel chart formats, I created this radial design.  This only includes 4 numbers and does not include the people side of it (that gets more messy!). On reflection I thought that this looked like a leaf or petal of a flower.

The next step was to take a screen capture of the Excel chart. I moved it into Baazart app on my ipad. I could then 'cut out' and copy the petal, duplicate it and add the background. It seems like wallpaper to me plus it would make a great postcard to send out.

Like the zeros that sit at the centre, these mini projects are like germinating seeds for ideas. I've taken this idea and applied it to a weekend hackathon and created a wallpaper design from open data!

I've just discovered that Australia Post has a print-and-send postcard service through an App! It is only marginally more expensive that sending your own postcard. I'm thinking that will be a good option for my next round of CLMOOC postcards that I send over the waters in various directions.