Friday 31 October 2008

Larry Lessig packing his bag for Auckland

Prof Larry Lessig, the foundation Creative Commons hero , and now creative and legal impresario should be packed and ready to go for Auckland, New Zealand LIANZA conference this coming week. If you want to hear him you will need to register for the conference, at least for the day he speaks.

Public Seminar - Keeping culture free
However, good old Auckland University and University Law School have organised for Prof Lessig to give a public session at the University of Auckland from 6.30pm - 8.30pm, Monday 3rd November.

His topic is "Keeping culture free: the choices law and technology force us to make about the future of the Internet and the progress of cultures"

The venue for this is the new Owen G Glenn Business School building at 12 Grafton Rd.

Turn up early if you want to get in. This is a very popular man with a message all of us might like to hear - i.e. we need to stop criminlising our children and develop a digital copyright frameworks which works for all parties.

More on LIANZA
The full LIANZA programme is over here. There is a Twitter Tweme here. A what? A Tweme is a mix of twittier posts on a common purpose/event/subjet - explanation, here.

My friends/colleagues on the APN are putting together a stand at the conference. Just out is an evaluation report , here [PDF]

Open Access - Open Data NZ
This years conference also has a presentation from Keitha Booth of SSC and Andrew Matangi of Buddle Fiindlay. They are co-leads to a project to open up access to New Zealand public information and encourage its re-use to benefit both citizens and the NZ economy.

The project's vision is "Open government data to enable our digital future". The project will report to the NZ Cabinet on impediments and how to remove or overcome them and will recommend new government information policy and approaches to achieve the vision.

These will include copyright, licensing, funding, pricing and the use of technology to enable exposure, discoverability and remixing of open government data.

This is a work programme of the Digital Strategy 2.0, released in August 2008, and the commitment to make "public information accessible to everyone. Information should be available in the way you want it, when you want it".

Tom Steinberg - My Society
This open data open access agenda is a very big deal across all jurisdictions. As noted before on this blog, one of the cheer leaders for this is Tom Steinberg of MySociety UK.

Be advised, there is a very solid possibility that he might be out in New Zealand early next year for a visit/lecture. Fingers crossed.

If so, 'tis to be hoped we can surprise and delight him with the news that the newly ensconced government [of whatever hue] has already announced their intention to give NZ one of the most robust and enlightened e-democracy frameworks in the OECD : and as a result, there is already evidence of a myriad of open data projects being planned which which will see New Zealand taking real global leadership at all levels of e-democracy.

Naturally to achieve that we will have also transformed our entire understanding of how to run a 21st digital intellectual property regime.
Prof Lessig speaking at TED, here.

Tuesday 28 October 2008

Monday 27 October 2008

NZ Labour weekend

This is Labour week-end here in NZ. That means, in theory, if you have a beach house, or bach, you should have headed out to it on Friday to open it up for the summer. 

The NZ bach was a wonderful tradition - there are still some around, but, in general, they have been replaced by the ubiquitous lifestyle beachfront house. 

Te Ara, the online encyclopedia has a feature on it as part of their bigger beach culture section. Well worth a look - here 

Baches on Flickr
I also found some lovely examples of the surviving real mccoy  on Flickr - here 

The week ahead. 
Meanwhile I am just back from the Melbourne trip - more on that through the week.  

Friday 17 October 2008

The homeless thing - Auckland - Sydney - New York - Karen Anderson - TED

The debate on the extent of the homeless problem in Auckland, and what the city fathers should be doing about it, continues apace. Though New Zealanders rarely talk about their, albeit small homeless problem, the issue opened up with a bang in response to a council planning report that Auckland street people will/may need to be moved out of town in advance of the Rugby world cup.

As much rights to stay as stray cats
The latest episode to the story has Mayor John Banks reported as reassuring the homeless in Auckland that they have just as much right to stay in the city as stray cats. And he was being sympathetic!

The story has also been picked up by local televsion. With both TV3 Cambell Live and TV1 CloseUp covering the issue.

Mankind is No Island
This video, “Mankind is No Island” recently won first prize at Tropfest NY, directed by Jason van Genderen, in association with Karen Anderson, it was shot in New York and Sydney, entirely on a cell phone with a budget of $57.

It makes it point far better than any words I can come up with . More on the project, plus other links and comments, here

Credit - TED Prize
I got to this via TED - where else - they have also just announced their TED prize winners for 2008 - and that's definitely worth a Friday afternoon look.

Thursday 16 October 2008

London under fictional attack

Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster
I am currently looking around for really good examples of how libraries, galleries and museums are using video and audio. This also, on occasion, includes main stream media. I'm thinking of putting together a presentation to share with the McGovern Online subscription list.

Ths one is definitely going to be on the list. It is from the UK Guardian and shows artist Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster on her vision for the future at the Turbine Hall in the Tate Modern. Lovely piece.

Click the picture to get to it.

McGovern in London
Helen Smith, the co-director of McGovern Online is heading up to London for three weeks starting tonight. We have two current clients in London, as well as old friends and colleagues.
She will be in discussions around some interesting new new projects.

If any of my UK visitors to this blog would like a chat with her around potential projects, then let me know? Best place for that, is here.

Wednesday 15 October 2008

On Twitter - tv3 sunrise

I have discovered I like using Twitter. This surprises me. having known about it for at least a year, I was convinced that it was not for me. The idea seemed idle- i.e. posting lots of little updates - 120 characters maximum - which describe what you were up to, or who you were off to see, which in turn are viewed by people who "are following you". You in turn get to read and see tweets from people 'you are following' Sound like a potential episode of Wire in the Blood to me.

However, two things helped me change my mind. First, I have been playing with an iPhone which is on loan from Apple Aus. As part of this I was looking at the iPhone applications. There were a bunch of Twitter related items to look at.

Second I was due to go on Sunrise Breakfast TV and in addition to the lovely World Beach project from the Victoria and Albert Museum, I needed a handy tool or hint to talk about. So I thought - hmm - time to deal to my Twitter block.


So off I went to - set up my account [] and proceeded find out who else was on the wire.

In seconds I discovered my neighbours Simon and Marie Young of iJump - Richard McManus of Read Write Web, and of course, celebrity comic and all round techie/geek boy Stephen Fry. Plus a bunch of friends were also on. So why not me?

A couple of days later, I am a little bit hooked. I have installed two applications on the iPhone - have picked up the iGoogle updater widget, and am tweeting on what I am reading, doing, and playing with. I'm going to give it another week.

If you want to follow the experiment, then check me out, here. You can also follow the RSS feed on the right. If you feel like having a go- then head off to here.

And, thanks to iJump next door for the link to the Twitter song.
Enough, already!

Sunrise TV3.
Nearly forgot - the Sunrise TV spot is here. They did some nice screen graphics which helped explain it all very nicely.

California dreaming - foreclosure 'trash-outs'

The global met down/re-alignment continues apace, with the sub-prime mortgage crisis further down the running order. This video embed from SoCal reminds us of the stark human cost of the lost California dream.

Earth First
The report comes from It tells of Foreclosure Alley’: area in Southern California that’s been so hard-hit by the mortgage crisis, there’s barely a home in the neighborhood that’s still occupied.

The report speaks off, 'a beautiful valley filled with spacious homes with formerly sparkling pools and manicured lawns is now decaying. So many homes have been foreclosed, the banks can’t clean them out fast enough. So, they’re resorting to the cheapest way to empty the homes of their contents: hiring companies to haul it all away to the dump'

and thanks to DM for the link

Tuesday 14 October 2008

First Monday - latest edition online

The latest edition of one of my favourite online journals, First Monday, is now online. Contents include:

Reasons for the non-adoption of in a data-intensive public administration
by Philip Huysmans, Kris Ven, and Jan Verelst

Free and open source licenses in community life

Two empirical cases by Stefano De Paoli, Maurizio Teli, and Vincenzo D'Andrea

Collaboration in context
Comparing article evolution among subject disciplines in Wikipedia by Katherine Ehmann, Andrew Large, and Jamshid Beheshti

Mass book digitization
The deeper story of Google Books and the Open Content Alliance by Kalev Leetaru

Education meets the free culture movement: An ethnographic investigation by Norm Friesen and Janet Hopkins

Complicit subversions
Cultural new media activism and ‘high’ theory by Ingrid Maria Hoofd

Learning together apart
Distance education in a virtual world by Kim Holmberg and Isto Huvila

Network locality
Local knowledge and politics in a network culture by Eric Gordon

Monday 13 October 2008

Wanganui with the APN possie

Monday in Auckland. Another big long week stretches ahead. Last week I was in Wanganui for the first time doing an APN web 2.0 workshop at UCOL. This is a really nice place. Great venue in UCOL - lovely open glass new classroom - big windows.

Half an hour into the session we had a visitor. David Cunliffe, NZ Minister of Health and Communication. He first hoved into view in the corridor outside accompanied by a bunch of UCOL staff/management plus the local Labour candidate. I waved.

Next thing he is in the room - and giving the stump speech on the digital strategy, plus a plug for the Aotearoa Peoples Network. My group gave him a spontaneous round of applause. Brilliant. You see Mr Cunliffe, sir, the APN works! Can we have some more please!

Back out in Wanganui I got to go for a walk along the river side and then along Victoria Avenue. It is a lovely town Wanganui. I really liked it. Would love to go back for something.

Canada - digital life.
Over the weekend I managed to catch up with some of the material that came over the desk, including this hefty piece of research out of Canada, courtesay of The Source at the NL -
The Internet, Media and Emerging Technologies: uses, attitudes, trends and international comparisons (Note: PDF)
The Canadian Internet Project (CIP) is a longitudinal study of trends in the use of the Internet, traditional media and emerging technologies by Canadians, as well as their attitudes towards media and online activities. CIP examines patterns of use across all media and technologies, with particular focus on the confluence of delivery platforms.
Today I also came across Journalism UK. a lovely new source of online journalism news out of the UK. They report that the UK Guardian has published its first article including geolocation data and is using geographic tagging to track reporters covering the US presidential race. Every time a reporter posts a blog their location will be highlighted on a Google map.’s Inside Blog
Citing , Paul Carvill who describes the geolocating process, they report that reporters can add their latitude and longitude to their article or blog post, then the location can be fed into a Google map using a java script.

The idea is that online users can type in their postcode to find out what is being reported in their area, or alternatively click on an area of the map to source information from another location.

Don't know about you - but this feels important.

European Journalism Centre
By the by - my other source of media/journalism news from the EU is the European Journalism Centre. They have a great weekly mailout. One of the web 2.0 items caught my eye:
A site which lets users amalgamate various social media, blogs and RSS feeds into a literal stream of consciousness. Twitter, Flickr and favourite RSS feeds can pour into your stream.

Wednesday 8 October 2008

TV3 - Sunrise - breakfast tv - new online spot

TV3 - Sunrise
This morning I did the first of a planned weekly series of short snappy session on TV3's breakfast TV programme, Sunrise. Recently given a bit of a strategic makeover they now have Oliver Driver co-hosting with Carly Flynn. They have also asked some new talent along. I was pleased to be asked. I also enjoyed being introduced as an 'internet veteran'.

For my spot, the format is simple enough - come along with a "site of the week" as well as a "tip or tool of the week"

I choose our old friend Flickr for the tool - and TED for the site of the week.
They might sound a bit obvious - but as I say on air, lots of people have heard of about Flickr, but haven't taken the plunge. Also I took the opportunity to emphasise that is offers an inbuilt Creative Commons option.

As for TED - what can you say - a real legend , and a great site to kick off the series. Oliver Driver, formally front man for a local arts programme was definitely up for it, had his own favourites and was a known enthusiast.

If you like, feel free to head over for the video link. They don't do an embed which is a pity. Might try and get them to change that if this works out. In the meantime - go here.

Sir Kenneth Robinson
As I say on air my favourite TED video is sir Kenneth Robinson, on " Do Schools Kill Creativity". I embed it below. Would love to hear from you if you have a favourite TED?

Tuesday 7 October 2008

Artpost - interactive website which showcases artists working throughout Australia.

Regular visitors to this blog will know that I have an ongoing fascination around how online mapping and the arts and cultural world might collaborate. Big thanks to Simon Riley, aka Radar' for this link to Artpost, an Australian project which others, including New Zealand, might like to emulate.

Artpost is an interactive website and short video series for TV broadcast which showcases artists working throughout Australia.

The centrepiece of the website is a digital interactive arts map of Australia where you can watch artists at work in their studios from Toowoomba to Strahan, from Broome to Lightning Ridge.

The site provides artists with the tools needed to embrace the digital space and present their work as part of an online community to audiences within Australia and beyond.

This is a cross-industry collaboration between ABC TV and Regional Arts Australia - the peak body for the Australia-wide network of regional arts organisations delivering arts projects in regional Australia.

It acts on behalf of the communities and artists of regional, rural and remote Australia. This initiative is supported by funding from Australia Council for the Arts.

Arts Sector research in Australia
The Australian Arts Council also recently announced the launch of a new central online resource on Australia's arts and culture. It features Australia Council publications since 1990, reports on the arts sector, arts resources, statistical snapshots on Australian arts and culture, and links back to the Australia Council's library.

To find out more visit

Monday 6 October 2008

The Speedy collection - local private library reveals its treasure after 35 years

Local antiquarian book auctioneers, Bethunes, report on  their discovery of a wonderful local private library from the Speedy father and son, who were also heavily involved in the Polynesian Society, and so made a point of collecting their publications as well as hosting monthly discussion forums. 

Bethune, part of the
Webb's Auction House also report the collection was found in an uninhabited family homestead, and that it's been 35 years since the collection has been viewed. 

The collection is currently being assessed and catalogued by Miriam Shaw,Webb's Head of Department - Bethunes@Webb's Rare Books. Early reports  say that there is a complete edition of  White's Ancient History of the Maori and Robley's Moko. 

Both these titles are part of the NZETC's brilliant collection of digitised Historical Maori and Pacific texts.

The Polynesian Society was formed in New Zealand in 1892, making it one of the oldest learned societies in the Southern Hemisphere. Its aim is to promote the scholarly study of past and present New Zealand Maori and other Pacific Island peoples and cultures.

It publishes The Journal of the Polynesian Society: this appears quarterly and contains articles, reviews, correspondence, shorter communications and other news. It also publishes a monograph series.

The University of Auckland Library and the Polynesian Society have collaborated in initiating the Online Journal. The project is progressively digitising the first 100 years of the Journal, from 1892-1991.

Also of note from the Univeristy Library is the news that The Early New Zealand Books [ENZB] project is celebrating its first one hundred books. 

Can you help tell the Speedy story?
As for the Speedy collection, it must have been just brilliant to have been one of the people going through the collection on site.  Had they been dusted! You have this sense of a real treasure hunt. 

There must be a story around all this? Can anyone help uncover it?

Friday 3 October 2008

NDF conference update, and APN and web 2.0

Strewth! It's Friday already. It's been a big busy week. Among the plethora of meetings and project stuff I managed a trip to sunny Gisborne as well as made it to my first NDF Board meeting

The APN web 2.0 series
The Gisborne trip came as part of the ongoing Web 2.0 workshops being put together for the Aotearoa Peoples Network, APN, Wave 2 libraries. These are being run in conjunction with LIANZA.

The idea is to give participants an introduction to the theory and practice of the web 2.0 ecology of tools and practice. I like this concept of an "ecology of tools and practice" It neatly summarises the idea that web 2.0 isn't one thing - you can't paint it blue, or green - nor can you put it in the back of the car.

Rather it represents the sum of the activities of a bunch of people who are using collaboration tools and frameworks to build up common communities of interest - e.g. using a blog to talk to one's own peers - or use You Tube to distribute a video - or Slideshare to share a PowerPoint. etc. In short its about a community of co-creators sharing and extending their practice together.

As part of this course we introduce people to all of these things - plus many of the other usual suspects in the likes of Flickr - Library Thing, and of course our own local star, Kete.

The Reaction
The best thing about it of course is watching for and then enjoying the "ahaha moment" - i.e. that place in the workshop when someone takes their eye away from their keyboard and goes, 'does this mean we could [fill in the magic moment]'.

I also love the sense of a new beginning that these sessons often/sometimes create - i.e. when people start seeing that the web isnt something that is "over there" but something that both begins and returns at the keyboard.

Invergargil and Whanganui
Next week the Web 2.0 road show splits into two. Paul Sutherland my co-conspiritor heads down to Invergargill [in the deep south for our offshore readers] while I head down to Wanganui.
We then join up again for a joint session in Hamilton. I'm looking forward to all of it.

New Zealand NDF
Also this week, I attended my first Board meeting of the New Zealand Aotearoa National Digital Forum. I was really pleased to have been elected to this. Even better I get to go as a represetative of McGovern Online who are partner organisations to this really neat group of 120 organisations and agencies who want to help and make the GLAM sector thrive.

The Auckland Conference - Nov 27- 28, 2008
The big NDF event is course the annual conference. Now in its 7th year, this years conference will be held in Auckland for the first time on November 27-28, 2008 at the Owen G Glenn Building, the University of Auckland Business School .

The conference theme is Creating value in a digital New Zealand. The big idea is to create the conditions which help New Zealand’s digital content providers make New Zealand stories and images accessible here and around the globe, and then help make value for users of digital content from communities, education, and business.

The theme allows helps focus this ambition, and asks a lot of key questions. Why are we putting all this effort into digitisation? How are we doing it? How are we connecting with other institutions? What are we learning ourselves and ultimately, who benefits and in what way?

National Digital Forum Conference Programme Update
The current programme is still under development. The current version has two confirmed keynote speakers: George Oates, member of the founding team behind Flickr, and manager of The Commons on Flickr, and Dr Paul Gerhardt, Director of Archives for Creativity.

Also coming as guests are Seb Chan from the Powerhouse Museum and Lynda Kelly from the Australian Museum, Sydney.

These will be joined by Dr Markus Brantl, Director of the Digitisation Centre at the BSB (Bavarian State Library), one of the largest European libraries and Graeme Austin, J. Byron McCormick Professor of Law, Rogers College of Law, University of Arizona and Visiting Faculty, The Melbourne Law School.

The Forums
Responding to calls for more interaction, this year’s conference will also have forums, workshops, and demonstrations.

There is a lot of energy being put into all this, especially the forums, with the idea being to focus discussions on the big NDF objective -“facilitate a national approach to building collections of digital cultural heritage resources by identifying opportunities for organisations to collaborate, cooperate and share"

Funny old world - sounds very web 2.0 to me!
Go register, here.