Oz Girl Develop IT 2011 #ozgdi

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Just spent another evening with a great bunch of women learning about JavaScript as part of the Oz Girl Develop IT program for 2011.

Discussing the plans for this year’s Oz Develop IT with Pamela Fox and Cathy Lill tonight it became clear that there’s an interesting line up for the rest of 2011.

For example we’re planning to run sessions on:

  • SEO for geeks
  • UX for n00bs
  • Introduction to Blogging
  • PHP for script kiddies
  • Introduction to web programming – HTML and CSS
  • and a special workshop on blogging for Ada Lovelace Day in October

Final dates for these sessions are yet to be confirmed.

If you’re a woman who’s interested in learning more about web development sign up to our OZ GDI meetup group to find out about upcoming sessions and meetups
Girl Develop IT (Sydney)
You can also follow us on Twitter @OZGDI.

Some more about Oz Girl Develop IT:

Welcome, women developers of tomorrow!

Want to learn how to code? Have a great idea? Don’t be shy. Develop it.

Though the web developer community these days is open and welcoming, it is still up to 91% male and it can be intimidating for women to learn and ask questions when they are in an extreme minority. We decided it was time to provide a place where all questions are OK and everyone can learn in a supportive environment. The idea started in New York, and now we’re taking it down under to Sydney, Australia.

Our courses focus on coding, leveraging existing technology, and having something to show for it (aka building sweet websites). We will start with a series on HTML/CSS, and if that goes well, we can hopefully offer additional series to continue building your skills, or repeated sessions of that series

Note: Membership and event attendance is currently limited to women.

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Don’t forget to sign up for the next Sydney Social Innovation BarCamp 26 Feb

Social Innovation Sydney
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Join us for the next Social Innovation BarCamp in Sydney. It’s free registration so sign up now and participate in a day of ideas, conversation and creative thinking.

Register for Social Innovation BarCamp 26 Feb 2011 in Paddington, Australia  on Eventbrite

Again we’ll be crowdsourcing ideas for creating new business models for social good and building up our community network of changemakers.

Like our previous Social Innovation BarCamps this one will provide a place for facilitated conversations (details of the session format here) where anyone can share:

  • a story or an idea
  • kick off a discussion on something they are passionate about
  • share about a cause they want to rally support for
  • road test new social innovation ideas and workshop them with a group

This is your chance to get your ideas out into the open amongst a friendly crowd, as one of the participants said after our last BarCamp:

“thanks #sibsyd, without the barcamp I would never had courage to actually talk about my ‘silly’ idea with somebody else let alone pursue it.”

When: Saturday, February 26, 2011 from 9:30 AM – 5:30 PM
Venue: COFA Cnr Greens Road & Oxford Street, Paddington 2021 Australia

Register for Social Innovation BarCamp 26 Feb 2011 in Paddington, Australia  on Eventbrite

Social Innovation Sydney
This post was originally published on Social Innovation Sydney and is reproduced with permission.

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Inspiring women: Louisa Lawson – women's suffrage activist and publisher

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The fight for women to get the vote was a monument to cooperation, ingenuity and collaboration on the part of many women in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These women educated themselves and their peers about women’s issues and agitated for women’s rights. And the women of Australia owe a debt to these women of the past who achieved the privileges of full participation in the political process that we now enjoy, and often take for granted.

In the nineteenth century it was true to say:

“A woman’s opinions are useless to her, she may suffer unjustly, she may be wronged, but she has no power to weightily petition against man’s laws, no representatives to urge her views, her only method to produce release, redress, or change, is to ceaselessly agitate.”
Source: Louisa Lawson, speech to the inaugural meeting of the Dawn Club. Published in Dawn, July 1889.

Louisa Lawson is an interesting example of these women who paved the way for our participation as equals in Australian democracy . Louisa is one of my favourite characters from the Australian history – strong willed and cantankerous, she was one of the key progenitors of the women’s suffrage movement in Australia. And among her important contributions was The Dawn, a journal for women:

“In 1888 Louisa Lawson, who had previously edited the Republican with son Henry, launched The Dawn; a journal for women. The publication’s purpose was to be a “phonograph to wind out audibly the whispers, pleadings and demands of the sisterhood”. It advised on women’s issues, including divorce, the age of consent, and women’s right to vote. As well as operating as an important vehicle for the communication of feminist politics the paper also contained short stories, fashion notes, sewing patterns and reports on women’s activities around the country and overseas. By October 1889, the Dawn office employed ten women as typesetters, printers, binders, and unskilled workers. They were harassed by male workers, and by their male union, The New South Wales Typographical Association. In 1905, after seventeen years, the publication ceased production.”
Source: The Australian Women’s Register

Donna Benjamin (aka @KatteKrab) reports that there is no funding for the National Library of Australia to digitise The Dawn. However, Donna estimates that $7,500 should be sufficient to see the entire publication digitised.

Donna has had the brilliant idea of collecting funds to Digitise The Dawn. If we all put in a little bit then it can be added to the Trove Project and provide open access to this important resource for historians around the world.

UPDATE:  The new Digitise the Dawn website is up and you can follow on Twitter or identi.ca @digitisethedawn.

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Floods, community spirit and Australia #qldfloods

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Along with most other Australians I have been moved and disturbed by the unfolding flood disaster in northern Australia. The floods are said to cover an area of Australia the size of France and Germany combined. Typical of Australia we also have bushfires in the western part of the country.

Over the past few days as the scale of the tragedy has become apparent I have observed people reaching out to help. Social media has again stepped into the breach in an emergency situation, providing fast breaking news (with occasional misinformation, usually corrected speedily), coordination of assistance, uncovering of scams or shaming bad behaviour, and sharing of needs.

Jason Langenauer’s tweet this morning summed it up for me and made me glad to be a part of this country that pulls together in a crisis and helps out those who are in need:

“The values exposed by this flood – mateship, care for people, altruism – are the complete opposite of the usual values of capitalism.”
Source: Twitter, Jason Langenauer Tweet 12 Jan 2011

There has been an outpouring of support for the flood victims with donations at $32million as of this morning. More information on the QLD government site.

Again Twitter has proved itself to be a great resource in a disaster situation. It has enabled people to easily pool resources and to share information where the traditional media is just to slow or not capable. Some great examples of this include:

Many people tweeted about the Queensland Premier’s Flood Relief Appeal ensuring scam sites were not used – official Qld government site #thebigwet #qldfloods Donate to the official flood relief appeal here.

Retailers perceived as seeking to cash in on the #qldfloods were speedily smacked down on Twitter – like this one.

Individuals made offers of help via Twitter like:

” If there are pets in need of housing let us know! We have 5acres #qldfloods #thebigwet #bnefloods #RT”

“Now that we’re safe, this is a 6 bedroom house. There’s beds for 3 and floor space for twenty. Peeps in need – ping me. #qldfloods”

“have space for pets from evacuations if needed. On a hill in brisbane. Please rt. #qldfloods”

“Anyone in New Farm area needing some storage space – our place isn’t in the flood zone. Have LUG and a spare room #qldfloods #bnefloods”

It has been heartening to see that only one politician so far has tried to use this disaster as a political sledge hammer. While, in my opinion, the performance of Queensland Premier Anna Bligh and the Mayors of the affected areas has been excellent under extremely difficult circumstances. One of my favourite comments came from the Ipswich Mayor: “If I find anybody looting in our city they will be used as flood markers” (via @1233newcastle).

Kudos to the organisations who have already made donations of greater than $10,000.

Some resources and ways to help:

Donate to the Queensland Government flood relief appeal

Donations can also be made in person at any branch of the Bank of Queensland, Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, ANZ, NAB or Suncorp.

Donate to RSPCA Queensland to help animals

Can you offer emergency animal foster care in Brisbane area?

Lifeline phone: 13 11 14

Alerts and updates

Live flood updates
Queensland Police Service
@QPSmedia (Queensland Police)
@consultqld (Queensland Government)

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People are still the best thing about LeWeb

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Each year LeWeb conference evolves and improves on the last one, but one thing remains – the amazing diversity of people that you meet. And this is one of the reasons that, in spite of many criticisms that others level at this conference, I like to attend.

Last night this was proven on a number of levels. I joined a diverse, smart and interesting group of people for dinner. The conversation ranged far and wide and it was a privilege to participate. I will not report the substance of the conversations as we were all very frank and it would not be fair.

The restaurant we dined at was wonderful, great traditional French food and wine, and the staff looked after our boisterous group very well. I had the venison and it was delicious. The desserts were amazing as well. I will share the food pr0n pics once I get around to uploading them.

L’Aiguière 37 bis, rue Montreuil 75011 Paris

Closest metro is: FAIDHERBE CHALIGNY – Line 8 (pink) towards the direction of Cretel Prefecture.

I can recommend this as a good place for a convivial meal in Paris.

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1 more sleep until Social Innovation BarCamp #sibsyd

Social Innovation Sydney
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After many weeks of planning with my co-conspirators Selena Griffith, Michelle Williams and Kim Chen we are finally on the eve of the second Social Innovation BarCamp.

This venture was a leap of faith for us. At the start we did not know if anyone else had a passion for social innovation and wanted to join in creating conversations around making change happen. Nor did we know if the unconference format would transition successfully out of the geek world where it originated.

But now with one successful event done and another under way it looks like our idea of creating a shared space where ‘change makers meet’ is coming together.

We’ve had great support from organisations like ASIX, COFA, Cisco and Headshift. Brasserie Bread also helped out with some of their wonderful artisan style bread for lunch. A huge thank-you to our kind supporters.

It’s not too late to register for this free event in Sydney. Also check out:

All you need to know for tomorrow’s Social Innovation Sydney!

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Serious games for business and education #GlobalSCRM

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I’ve never been a big online game player (the third world bandwidth here in Australia has been enough to discourage many like me). But, having observed the development of online games and the gamer communities since the early days of the internet, I can see clearly that this is a significant phenomenon. One need only to look at the size of the global games market. Here I am drawing a distinction between online games and online gaming (the latter is the online equivalent of going to the casino).

The session that I attended recently on The Future of Games: enterprises, education, social + more really got me thinking about how we can use games and games-like technology for better results in the workplace and education.

I learned new words like ‘gamification‘ and discovered that the power harnessed by computer games can also be channeled to achieve better health results or to drive changes in consumer and employee behaviour.

As a non-gamer I had never really stopped to think about this before. Although Chris Penn often writes about what he learns about business, the world and human behaviour from World of Warcraft (aka WoW) I had not generalised this thinking to the broader category of games and beyond to business and government applications.

But the mechanic of games touches on important human urges and needs in ways that other kinds of technology interactions do not. The popularity of games is not surprising when you consider, and not just hard core gamers, but games played by ordinary people (such as Farmville). One of the drivers of Facebook’s popularity has been the number of games available through its interface. My partner often plays chess on Facebook, while many other friends play word games and sudoku on a daily basis.

Consider also the millions of people – young and old – who play games on various devices everyday. No longer is the player tied to a PC or television, now the devices for playing games have gone mobile with access via mobile phones and portable games devices.

Thus with sites like Facebook we are seeing a broad majority of people being trained to use online games and to collaborate together using online tools. This new tendency has hardly been touched on in the workplace.

For many years we have struggled to get messages across at work or for public service – about important things like safety, diversity, legal compliance, health – with limited success. Admittedly our training methods were relatively primitive. Although there is a large body of work around adult education and online learning it has been a challenge to adopt these on a grand scale for workplace education. But games offer us a new channel to get these messages out more effectively.

The other part of the equation is that our customers have also been educated to use games and associated technology. This opens up new possibilities for our customer relationships. This is not to say that every brand needs to go out and develop a game (although that is probably what we can expect to see next from voracious marketers). Instead brands and products that need to drive behavioural change can leverage the repetitive nature of game play to build up that change over time. For instance, products like medications that require high levels of compliance and regularity of schedule to work properly could be tied to a game mechanic to assist consumers in achieving the full benefits of the treatment regime.

Games are not only a serious business for pleasure. They also offer significant promise for reshaping business and consumer interactions. Watch this space to grow over the next few years and expect to see various experiments of varying success as we evolve new ways of using games in mainstream business and marketing.

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The Future of Games – Global Social CRM #GlobalSCRM

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Yesterday I attended a fascinating session hosted by the Bay Area Executives Meetup on the topic of the The Future of Games: enterprises, education, social + more.

The session was conducted via CISCO Public TelePresence Suites, WebEx, Livestream, Twitter – with attendees from all around the world (Santa Clara, CA, San Francisco, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo). The panelists all have experience in social gaming in general and social gaming for education. Some of the questions we considered were:

  • How do we use the energy of gaming to support organizational activities and broader missions?
  • What are the other possible futures for gaming?

I suspect that many of the ideas covered during this session are going to ferment in my brain and lead to a number of follow up blog posts.  Kudos to Tatyana Kanzaveli for coordinating the session.

The panelists were:

  • Lyle Fong – CEO & Co-Founder – Lithium Technologies
  • Dr. Keith Devlin – Co-founder and Executive Director of the university’s H-STAR institute, a co-founder of the StanfordMedia X research network, and a Senior Researcher at CSLI.
  • Douglas Goldstein – a eFuturist and CEO of iConecto, Inc.
  • Mathias Crawford – Research Manager at the Institute for the Future

The session was moderated most excellently by Terri Griffith, Professor of Management, Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University.

Attendees
Emmy Gengler
Patrick Searle
Carlos Miranda Levy
Carl Hewitt
Terry Mandel
Terri Ducay
Doug McDavid
Daniel Holden
IdaRose Sylvester
Matt Perez
Sanjeev Sisodiya
Patrick Nicolas
Robin Stavisky
Yuko Ihara
Haixia Yu
Kate Carruthers
Jay T Dautcher
Anca Mosoiu
Max Skibinsky
Keith Devlin
Lyle Fong
Terri Griffith
Tatyana Kanzaveli
Ian McGee
Jared Waxman
Kristi Miller
Tim Stephenson

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