Two weeks ago, we had a blast organising the Firefox OS Open Apps Day here in Barcelona. With more than 60 participants, we spent the day having conversations, thinking about fantastic apps you can build for Firefox OS and last but not least, a few hours of intense hacking.
Here is how the day developed:
After participants presented themselves quickly, we kicked off with an interactive session, igniting a conversation about different aspects of current state of Apps.
Central statements for this conversation were: The current state of Apps offers equal opportunity to both developers and store providers; I have remorse when I use WhatsApp; In a near future, a mobile App will substitute my GP doctor.
This conversation setted-up the ground for a round of brainstorming and thinking at which kind of webapps could we build for Firefox OS. And there were dozens of ideas, from to-do lists, event managers to local social networks.
Presentations – keep it short, 5 minutes! This time I tried to adopt the speedgeek model for presentations. The reason: give more hours to the actual hack and less to the yack, keep it short and focused. Here are the presentations:
And there was the 4 hours hacking session:
Prototyping webapps. Hacking doesn’t mean mean only writing code, but thinking, iterating and designing scenarios. Some of the participants spent some time paper prototyping.
The RESTfull hackerspace. During the event we had a special room for people interested in physical webmaking. Thanks to Casey who set-up everything, participants had an access to a cluster of Arduinos, sensors and just focus on building webapps. And, as I heard, there were interesting conversations around energy consumption to local storage.
And thanks goes to: Cecilia and David at MOB – who hosted us and helped with logistics! Casey for supporting with the event and made the makerspace happen; Toni for spending all day giving p2p support and helping participants with technical issues related to Marketplace and HTML5 apps! Jordi and Eduard for joining during the day to help with logistics and registration.
And of course to the presenters and Havi from Mozilla DevEngagement (for the great resources she shared with us)!
Feedback and what to make better next time:
Feedback is always welcome to make events better. Indeed there could be next Open Apps events (that depends on a series of factors). So, my thoughts for an eventual series of Open Apps events are:
Demos and more photos are coming up in the next days!
2012 was an interesting and reflective year. I spent lot of time learning about the social initiatives and education here in Barcelona, doing some institutional outreach, organise a few events (as Design Jam 2, #mozparty, Popcorn workshop) and getting to know the data journalism community. I’ve also been invited to participate in some Government initiatives as the Barcelona the Lab and Open Data Catalunya.
During Campus Party this summer and MozFest I’ve also experimented with a Web and Science Design Jam session, exploring the intersection between web native technology and science. Lots of new patterns discovered during those sessions, especially for building tools (web apps) that could open up scientific research to citizens.
By the end of 2012 I presented the idea of Webmaker club and I’ve joined a small working group (Catalunya CodiClub), that hopefully will grow a community of people and teachers who want to advance coding literacies here in Catalonia (I’ll update on this more)
But here are, shortly, a few of the things I want to do this year:
* Hive Barcelona. The point bellow I think that’s the core of a Hive Barcelona network. But as a fellow from HiveNYC, Leah Gilliam, mentioned in a recent community call, Hives are built by people and organisations that want to work together, share and innovate. That’s it, bottom-up movement. So something that will start small and take time. Something that doesn’t depend on me 100%, but on local organisations that wants to level-up, adopt the open source way of thinking.
I received an initial support for my ideas and activities from local public initiatives on this, so I’ll commit part of my time in 2013 to work with those community organisations, public libraries or schools who want to take a next step into teaching coding, developing web apps to solve their problems, build their maker/hackerspace corner and bring open source thinking in their activities. But that’s part of another next post.
* Host a @mozpub monthly: the last @mozpub I hosted one year and so ago was amazing, I got to know lots of people and helped to start some new initiatives like Design Jam Barcelona.
* Move to work from a co-working space (and that’ll happen this January). I was thinking that’s worth the investment. And not because the space, but because the people you meet there. The space I’ll be working from has a lot in common with my thinking: doing things for social good, growing community, the culture of collaboration.
* Focus on (financial) sustainability. A few years ago I took the risk of focusing on community building, social technology and using technology and open source for social innovation – which is great because I learned a lot, I’m doing things I love is a very challenging (and always changing) environment which I like. But that’s twice harder to really find support. So the next months my principal focus would be to make my work sustainable and learn a bit more about local philanthropy (to help initiatives I’m involved in to find support).