Archive for the 'online communities' Category

Every Human Has Rights

Every Human Has Rights Media AwardsWe (AF83) are supporting Internews launch an international support campaign for the journalists who risk their lives every day to bring you news about the current state of human rights around the world.  A people’s choice award (voting starts Nov 1st) will be given along with other media awards.

Given we are supporting this campaign in a Web2.0 world, you can follow the progress of this campaign via our Twitter feed, through MySpace, and even on FaceBook and Care2.  You can add a banner to your site.

Please join us in supporting human rights, and supporting the journalists who are on the ground every day, bringing us the news of the current state of human rights.

(Having cut my tech teeth in the nonprofit world for a decade, it’s good to be back in the realm of supporting social causes….)

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WineQuesters – and disaster mapping

Jim Preston from WineQuesters pointed me to his site a while ago. He logged several thousand miles (and hours, I’m sure) driving to wineries and tasting rooms, in order to get accurate GPS data on where these are located. Anyone who has seen a list of P O Box addresses and “nearest big town” addresses for wineries knows the challenge of using public address info for mapping. And as far as I can tell, he’s done this for wineries that accept visitors – and not necessarily “outing” small wineries that don’t accept visitors and don’t publish their vineyard address.

WineQuesters also has a forums area for people to discuss visiting wineries, and more to the point, propose wine tasting tours. This is a great niche, and one that I know has an audience. (I have a couple of friends who can spend far too much time on planning wine tasting trips. I think their all time best was 7 in one day, with a designated driver. It doesn’t seem like a lot but try it sometime….)

Then the fires started, and Jim began using his mapping skills to map out the Big Sur wildfires. The project started coming full circle once the wineries in Upper Carmel Valley began to be threatened…. Jim says 8-11 thousand people are using his maps – some people are relying on them to decide whether to evacuate or not!

Ultimately, he said his experience there will inform Wine Questers. And maybe some Questers will check out the wineries in Carmel who may need some extra attention after this fire….

Mapovino: Google-mapping and social-networking and wikipedia-ing

It’s very difficult to describe what we are aiming for with the Mapovino project without getting caught up in Web2.0 buzzword bingo; or, going the other route, being so pretentious that it’s we’re sooo different that we shun any words that sound vaguely like the “read-write web”. Sigh. Below are my best thoughts in words so far….

(We’re having a demo and wine-tasting in San Francisco soon. Contact me if you’re interested!)

Mapovino is a wine-mapping website incorporating GoogleMaps to showcase geographically distinct wines and the stories behind these wines.

Mapovino is interactive:

  • Users can add comments, photos, link to maps in their blogs, and even add blog links on the map.

Mapovino is encyclopedic:

  • It will pull wine and geography information from Wikipedia and other public information sources. This secondary user-generated content further enables users to interact with Mapovino.

Mapovino is information and referral:

  • Mapovino will not sell wines; instead, it will point to where to find the wine in stores and restaurants.

Mapovino will be driven by wine fans, helped by Mapovino staff:

  • Producers will not have the burden entering information about their wines and vineyards – fans of their wines can help input that information. Mapovino staff will highlight producers, and post in-depth articles and interviews. Producers can control their own entries, but do not have to do anything specific for their wines to appear on the site.

Mapovino is in development:

  • To be part of the conversation, please email “greg.beuthin” in front of “”

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Great Drupal Resources (and a fun event): Drupal Module Finder and Drupal Code Search

My friend Brian Wood at UC Berkeley (and part of BDUG) pointed to a couple of great resources by way of John Bern’s blog:

Drupal Modules:  A comprehensive way of searching for, favoriting and ranking Drupal modules.

Drupal Code Search
:  A site using Google’s Code Search API to lookup Drupal code strings.

Neither are officially sponsored (nor sanctioned – yet?) by  Nonetheless, I love this tertiary after-market style ecosystem building around Drupal.

Also, from Amazon, who is one of several people representing Druapl at the LUG Radio events in San Francisco:

Selena Deckelmann , and Andy de la Lucha, daytime Linux system administrator, nighttime design geek,  will be doing a fun and theatrical event pitting WordPress easy entry and their huge user community versus Drupal’s you can do anything and it’s huge “join the community now!” developer focus.

Should be a really fun event!

Signup and more details are here.

We’re hiring! AF83 is looking for a Drupal developer!

Read all about it over here. 

My contact info is on the linked page – yep, you’d be talking to me.  (The position is based in San Francisco…)

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eDemocracyCamp in DC!

I’ve been so busy focusing on, amongst other things, DrupalCon that I totally missed mentioning eDemocracyCamp, happening this weekend in Washington D.C. Good friend in the BarCamp, WineCamp and i18n / translation world Tim Bonnemann is one of the organizers.


“The place for innovators, optimists, and engaged citizens. March 2, 2008 in Washington, DC

We are building off the momentum of the 2008 Politics Online Conference
which always draws a spectacular crowd. If you are coming into town for one of these events you should definitely check out the other one in order to make the most of your time here in DC.

eDemocracyCamp will be the first BarCamp with a focus specifically on e-democracy. eDemocracyCamp will connect citizens, researchers, developers, practitioners and anyone else interested in the topic to learn about the current state of e-democracy and share their visions for its future direction.”

2 Guys Uncorked – and a question for Mapovino

I really like 2 Guys Uncorked for a couple of reasons:

  • It’s populist.  It’s meant to be populist.  They only (for now) review wines from Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.  They have a reason behind their philosophy, and in the end I appreciate it.  I can easily find stuff I too have tried without needing to dig too obscurely.  And it’s great for people just getting into wines.
  • The site is built on Drupal.  Thumbs up.  Nuff said.
  • They have a map.  Cool!

Wait a sec.  This is where it falls apart a bit for me (but that doesn’t have to negate the rest of the project).  How meaningful is a map “locating” Charles Shaw (“Two Buck Chuck”) in Modesto, the wine producer’s headquarters?  That wine is actually an amalgam of cheap surpluses gathered from around the state every year.  (On the plus side, I love the fact that they publish the pictures of the labels….)

Mapovino would – of course – identify wines that had some sort of geographic claim.  How specific that is, is something we’re still figuring out.  Thankfully, the U.S. has a system of regional appellations, so it’s not too controversial, but even calling something “Sonoma” (like “Loire” in France) can mean almost next to nothing – Sonoma wines can be Cabs, Merlots, Zins, Rhone blends, Pinots, any sort of white, etc – not to mention the actual style of the resulting wine.  OK, we can guess fruit-forward and higher alcohol, but then again, maybe not…..

But 2 Guys Uncorked raises a question for the Mapovino project:  Are regional-specific wines from, for example, Sonoma appellations like Dry Creek Valley going to be too expensive and out-of-reach for beginning wine enthusiasts or those without deeper pockets?  I can’t think of a single wine that comes from a specific vineyard in Napa or Sonoma that is under $30.  That’s a lot of money to spend per bottle for someone wanting to “learn” about how geography can affect wines.  We don’t want Mapovino to be elitist…..

(Obligatory Drupal nod:  See you at DrupalCon?  If so, ping me via my Drupal page.)

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