Another speaking engagement at the SilverStripe Wellington Meetup (my third time!) on the 1st August 2012. This time I took the concept of a Communty of Practice outlined by Etienne Wenger et al, and applied it to the open-source software development community that works on the SilverStripe CMS. We later followed this up with a 20-30 minute hands-on workshop in which participants were asked to look at providing ideas around ways SilverStripe Ltd and the Community itself could help build bridges between the different levels of participation present in a Community of Practice.
I got an interesting email through from Rackspace Cloud last week... (Rackspace Cloud being a cloud based hosting, virtual server and storage/CDN available from Rackspace hosting.) The are starting an initiative called "OpenStack" which is essentially the open source software they are using to power their cloud hosting platform. Check out the video below for a good overview.
The company I work for has been with Rackspace Cloud for several years now, seeing as our core business is in delivering and supporting our products and services to our customers, we made the clear cut distinction that we were NOT in the server administration game. We made a major push at the start of this year to move our entire codebase, websites, and web services we had been running on a dedicated server over to the Cloud architecture.
We haven't looked back since as it has added almost unlimited scalability to our web applications, lower cost per GB for delivery to our customers as well as transforming what was a reasonably high fixed cost expense every year (for dedicated server racks) into a variable cost (we now only pay for the bandwidth we actually use to deliver our services!).
All in all if your a company that is in the business of delivering a product online to your customers, quickly and cost effectively heading towards the Cloud might be the move for you.
I am very excited in thinking about the future of Cloud based computing and services for all businesses but where I believe it will make the most difference is in those small to medium size enterprises (SME's) who need email, communication tools and automated business processes (Sales Dashboards, business intelligence statistics). This means your average business can now communicate much more effectively for a fraction of the cost (if not free with tools such as Google Apps Standard), hopefully those days of the clunky old server sitting in the back of the office are numbered!
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After some good talks with the co-ordinator at the Brooklyn Community Centre in Wellington and having found another like-minded Iaidoka, we will be running an introductory Iaido workshop on the 19th June.
More information and registration at: www.wellington-iaido.com
All going well, regular weekly classes should be starting in mid to late July.
UPDATE: Thanks to those who attended the workshop last Saturday, keep checking back for regular training times TBA.
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A couple of weekends ago I made a trip to Christchurch to attend a full day intensive Iaido training day a the Canterbury Kendo Club.
We spent the first half of the day teaching all the Kendo students a little Iaido as many of them have never tried (and have usually seen us Iai people practicing our strange moves lol).
It was a really good experience to teach, rather than learn or practice, it really tests how much you really know about the art you are practicing. I taught the first kata of the Seitei set, Ipponme Mae, a very important one as it is always the first one you learn when starting out in Iaido.
Sensei Eynon Philips has always told me that knowing this kata inside out is like knowing ALL kata as it contains all the elements that make up all kata. I think I must have done this kata 100's if not 100's of times now over the last couple of years of training!
The rest for the day was spent training and perfecting our kata and of course doing the ever popular "make up your own kata" kata, a lot of fun!
Since moving to Wellington, I have not managed to find an Iaido club to train at as of yet. Despite enquiring at a few martial arts stores (who all seem to say "yeah someone else asked about that a few months back"). So I am looking into starting the Wellington Iaido "study group" under guidance of the Canterbury Kendo/Iaido teacher and hopefully talk more with the other Sensei at the Auckland Kendo club (where I attended the very first NZ Iaido seminar last year).
What I am really hoping to achieve is to bring together all those people that may have trained in the past or are looking to start in Wellington. I still am yet to find a venue, though the Brooklyn Community Centre is looking promising.
So this is a call out to any one in the Wellington area interested in training in Iaido.... get in touch!
Email: [email protected]
It will be great to get something going and build the art of Iaido in New Zealand even stronger!
UPDATE: I have been speaking with the Brooklyn Community Centre in Wellington, they seem very open to the idea of setting up Iaido classes at their venue! Will continue to update once I have met with them and organised some dates and times for possible training sessions.read full post
With the Wellington round of the ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) on the table "in secret" this week, InternetNZ hosted the PublicACTA conference at the Wellington Town Hall Civic Suites, Sat 10th April 2010.
I managed to make it along to the keynotes on Saturday morning and also followed it on the live stream throughout the day.
The goal was to pull together a declaration to be presented to the negotiators at ACTA and call for more transparency and public consultation.
The so called "anti-counterfeiting" trade agreement really takes more action on digital copyrights, trademarks and patent infringement than dealing with the sort of counterfeiting that we normally associate with the word, that is "he problem of large-scale commercial infringement, for profit, that is direct and intentional" (PublicACTA Wellington Declaration, 2010).
Instead it seeks enforce criminal liability, statutory damages and possible Internet connection termination for BOTH commercial and non-commercial "infringements" utilising intermediaries such as ISP's, public Internet access points, workplaces, website hosting to do the dirty work.
I could go on about the concerns of this agreement but really it is un-required and will not offer benefits to any parties that it seeks to protect (See Kimberlee Weatheral's and Micheal Giest's keynotes from Public ACTA available from the PublicACTA website for more information).
The key issues, concerns and then subsequently suggestions from the 120 people that attended the conference (as well as many hundreds more following along at home on the live video stream and twitter hash tag #PublicACTA) have been complied and crafted into a concise declaration to what we as Internet professionals, consumers, producers, freaks and geeks would like to see taken on board within the Wellington negotiation round of ACTA.
The declaration and petition can be accessed here, please take the time to read through and sign the petition if you are in favour of fair democratic process and your rights as consumers of digital content.
Let's start a movement.. like this guy...
PublicACTA copyright InternetNZ and is used under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 New Zealand Licence.
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A great video I had to share from the TEDxUSC conference earlier this year on tribe leadership, some useful insights and ways we can all become more inter-connected and interdependant. Joining your tribe to others and other tribes to others you don't know will push things forward. If you enjoy this then check out the Seth Godin video I posted earlier in the year (be warned it a full hour length talk from him) or check out his book tribes.
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Just a quick update, lecture for my uni paper have finished up for the year... I'm currently on some study leave to prep for the exam... wish me luck.
So whats next for the blog? Well I have planned a series of posts with some great info on how to become more independent from your computer and make use of some of the great cloud computing tools available out there.
Also before I forget a big shout out to Simon Waterhouse a great photographer and designer here in Christchurch for his help on the photos and design of my personal development plan(PDP) assessment. Be sure to check out his great photography here www.simonwaterhouse.com
Another shout out to the great guys at Silverstripe CMS... i used this to power my PDP website... once I had the design I was able to integrate and drop in the content in just under 4 hours work! A killer speedy content management system for anyone looking to jazz up their website.
My final big thank you goes out to Juliette Powell, Author of "33 Million People in the Room" who sent me a signed copy of her book... made my day! A great read if you are interested in social media, co-creation, and where things are headed online. I was lucky enough to meet her at a conference this year and really enjoy her contributions online through twitter and facebook.
On the leadership tip, I will leave you with some words of wisdom from the women herself, Juliette Powell, enjoy....
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Last Thursday and Friday (8-9 Oct) I was lucky enough to be part of the very first national New Zealand Iaido Seminar held at the Auckland Kendo Club in of course.... Auckland.
It was a 2 day intensive training, grading and a good opportunity to network and meet the others throughout New Zealand swinging a sword in this age old martial art.
The plans moving forward are to start building numbers and really promoting Iaido in NZ and I am hoping that I can add my knowledge of social networking and online communities to work towards this.
Thursday saw a full day of training and learning some new kata in the Kendo Federation Seitei Iaido which consists of 12 kata (I know up to number 11 at the moment!)
It is interesting learning from others as each teacher does seem to put their own knowledge and spin on each kata. At the end of it all I think gathering as much knowledge as you can from as many teachers as you can and then combining that with what feels natural with your own movement and focus is the way to go.
Thursday evening I dug deep despite extreme tiredness and a rather painful toe injury I performed the best I could at the grading and came away with a 2nd Kyu (ni-kyu) grading! A jump of 8 grades as I had been previously ungraded.
Friday saw more training and a Shiai (competition) and something even more fun... getting to invent our own kata!
The "build your own" kata concoctions were all very interesting with one of our (chch) dojos students ideas using an umbrella as a sword took it top marks.
The 2 days were a great challenge that everyone who attended met and got something out of...
Before I left for Auckland I flicked to a random page in my copy of Yamamoto Tsunetomo's "Hagakure" (a classic Japanese warrior code text) and thinking back on it now it shared some insight into the days ahead, it read:
The talented rise to the challenge-
There is a saying, "As the water rises the boat rises". When a person of talent ... encounters a difficulty, his [or her] heart rises to meet the challenge, and the greater the challenge the more he [or she] is spurred to take it on. - Hagakure, Book 2, Line 42
Rather fitting I think! A big thanks to all those at Auckland Kendo as to all those who attended the Seminar. Look forward to next year!
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