Posts tagged ‘entrepreneurship’

The Unusual Suspects

i love unconferences because i usually run into cool folks doing interesting things quietly on and off of the radar. i was not disappointed this weekend when i attended the second day of podcampnyc (april 25 and april 26) at polytechnic university in brooklyn, nyc.

i enjoyed john herman’s presentation on using multi-media in school. the most interesting part of the lecture centered around challenges faced when attempting to integrate popular, feature-rich web applications in the classroom; often due to “i don’t get it” attitudes by administrations in youth-serving entities including public schools and libraries.

perhaps my favorite presentation was the very last session i attended. hip hop association presented a podcast demo using us, the audience, as the live recording guinea pigs (in a good way). it seemed most people were familiar with how to create a podcast, but it was a fun activity.

personally speaking, the most interesting portions of dialog came after the “official” recording. for instance, we all noted the unusually large presence of black, tech-savvy entrepreneurs, connectors and activists in attendance (at least for the session), which too often seems lacking in respectable numbers at similar conferences. post-dialog interaction touched upon the one laptop per child initiative, open source, equity investing in black-owned enterprise, social enterprise, community development and incubation. of course, given the sean bell-shooting verdict had been released the previous day, there were discussions around viable solutions in addressing community concerns through the resources we already provide or could be created.

a very unassuming, humble and baby-faced bill cammack recorded the session which is available here. thanks bill!

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April 27.2008 at 2:27 pm 2 comments

Mobile Web and Community Benefit…

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for the record, i am not just focused on phones. i do think web media will look different from what we see today with web media in terms of devices and applications.

one thing i am noticing is a huge interest in development of networks and services in developing regions. the interest makes sense given that those regions skipped traditional telecommunications networks due to poor infrastructure. indeed, some of the population is being trained in computer science and technology to address it. nathan eagle is doing work in africa that seems particularly interesting. a guy i used to work for wrote an article on grameen bank’s phone program running into a wall. for the most part, it’s a product life cycle issue (i believe). i think interest and investment in mobile tech and web could be the solution, especially if platforms like android by google make their way across the pond. btw- android aka open handset alliance is google’s effort to create an open source platform and network for mobile phones and applications. it’s going to be interesting to see if apple’s approach of working with streamlined design for mobile apps will survive or go the way of the dinosaur. i think they were counting on iphone to pretty much do what windows and microsoft did in the 90s but the open source movement should have taught everyone a lesson about the power of closing things off too tightly. there’s a fine line between protecting ip to remain competitive and becoming a resented juggernaut in industry.

so this brings us back to the u.s. i sense we are dramatically behind when it comes to prevalent deployment of innovation in these areas because we expect to offer higher end, pricier services. this could end up hindering us as a top-level producer of such and things could get worse without a home-grown brain-talent pipeline to draw from.

the links:

http://eprom.mit.edu/
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/25/technology/25proto.html
http://mobileactive.org/
http://www.womenwhotech.com/

January 21.2008 at 10:21 pm Leave a comment


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