Category Archives: unconferenz

CityCamp Honolulu, the journey begins!

CityCamp Honolulu Thank you to all for being an integral part of Honolulu's first CityCamp. It was by all measures a great success, all because of you. I love how the community came together, shared knowledge and brainstormed ideas. It was inspiring to see City employees collaborating with the community in a productive, can-do environment. As the day concluded, many people asked, what's next? CityCamp Honolulu was just a catalyst, a spark that we must now nurture and fuel to create lasting change. As Forest Frizzell said, "we will continue to have monthly meetups throughout 2012 as we usher in Code for America." Some key dates to keep in mind:
  • Fri-Sat, January 20-21, 2012 - CityCampHNL Hack-a-thon
  • Saturday, February 25, 2012 - Unconferenz 2012
We will also keep you informed of any meetups that get scheduled through our Facebook page, Twitter and blog. We wil also continue the conversation and develop our ideas online. Here are a couple resources I encourage you to participate in: We got some great coverage of the event thanks to citizen journalist and the media: Thanks again for being a part of CityCamp Honolulu. We've made a great first step and I look forward to being a part of this ground breaking journey.

CityCamp Honolulu

City Camp Honolulu is an event sponsored by the City & County of Honolulu that I have the honor of working on. I've been hired to help organize this event that brings City experts together with the community who are interested in building applications around accessible City data. There is a move in this current administration to embrace the principles of open government, Gov. 2.0 and transparency, to make data available for citizens, not only to build apps but to better understand and be a part of the city they live in. You can find details of CityCampHNL at the website. CityCampHNL is not just for the tech community. We are looking for programmers, designers, artists, businesses, entrepreneurs and engaged citizens. We want to hear your ideas about what can make Honolulu a better place to live. If you have ideas we encourage you to check out this list and make your suggestion. In an unconference format we will build sessions around these ideas and explore how we can bring these ideas into reality. More so, we encourage you to be a part of this exciting process and register for the event. In addition to the website and idea page we are active on Facebook and Twitter. CityCampHNL is not a singular event. We will also have a application building  hackathon in conjunction with CityCampHNL in January 2012 leading up the the launch of Code for America in February 2012. Please stay tuned as this will be an exciting time for Honolulu as we stir the crucible of tech and talent.

Activity Monitors

Unconferenz 2010At this year's Unconferenz 2010 there were many session topics that warrant their own blog post but this one I will put to keyboard, so to speak. We usually have a gadget session and talk about smartphones, Kindles, Livescribe, etc. This year the gadget that caught my attention was the personal activity monitor. Bob Lew headed the show'n tell and demonstrated two devices while Kevin Lohman had on him the third one. Bob showed off the Fitbit and Philips Direct Life. Kevin passed around the BodyBugg. Each of these are geared to be worn over longer periods of time, as compared to the Nike+iPod Sport Kit that came out last year which is more geared around the run. The idea behind Fitbit, Direct Life and BodyBugg is that we need to understand what is happening with our waking and resting activity throughout the entire course of the day and perhaps measured for weeks. They each have the capability of synchronizing their information with a nearby computer either by Bluetooth or USB connected device. With information about heart rate during a run contrasted to a period while sitting behind a desk one can get a better picture of your overall physical condition. These devices will also monitor you while you  sleep and graph your sleep patterns over the period that you are wearing it. For sleep deprived people like me it will probably come back and tell me the 5-6 hours of sleep I have each night is not enough. Oh well. The price points on each device is different. Fitbit cost about $100 while the Direct Life cost $100 and has a monthly recurring fee. This goes toward a health coach which you are able to access as a part of the service. The BodyBugg cost the most at $179 which has sensors to determine calorie expenditure. Obviously this is the wave of new devices that will help us better monitor our physical activity with the goal of maintaining better health.  With health care reform now passed the House, there will be a big push toward lowering the health care costs by being more healthy. The technology is becoming readily available. The more informed we are about how we are taking care of ourselves the better we are able to stay healthy. I hope to get my hands on one of these mobile devices and will  keep you informed of my tech/fitness journey.

Unconferenz 2010

UnCon_no_year_sqMark your calendars, the 3rd Annual Unconferenz is happening on Saturday,  Feb. 27, 2010, starting at 8:00am. This year's event will take place at the beautiful Diamond Head campus of Kapiolani Community College. The Unconferenz is a grassroots gathering of tech enthusiasts interested in exploring, collaborating and interacting. The nature of the Unconferenz is organic. Session topics are determined by what is timely and of interest to the participants. There's a discussion going on at unconferenz.ning.com about potential session topics. At the event we will post these suggestions along with any others that come up that morning. Everyone who attends is a participant. During the sessions we encourage short presentations and long discussions. The goal of the Unconferenz is to:
  • Be a catalyst
  • Create an environment for sharing
  • Provide support for people and innovation
  • Network and connect
  • Start a movement
Bring your ideas, your experience and spend your Saturday expanding your mind. Hope to see you all there.

Unconferenz 2009

It's amazing how fast time flies by. It didn't seem like one year had gone by since the first Unconferenz took place. The Unconferenz is Hawaii's grassroots tech gathering, organic and self-organized by its participants. On Feb 7, the Unconferenz 2009 materialized at JAIMS where 65+ attendees convened to discuss topics that ranged from Hawaii's broadband future to video streaming. As spontaneous as I might make it sound, the Unconferenz is really a participatory event that is planned over the months preceding the date. The primary discussion takes place at Unconferenz.ning.com where session topics are proposed. As usually is the case there are sessions that you have to choose between. My morning session choices were Second Life, Broadband in Hawaii and Dev. iPhone Apps. The afternoon sessions were split between New Media in News and Gadgets - Show and Tell and wound up with Video Streaming. You can get a sense of the place by checking out the Flickr set by @Quilldancer and the set by @Beegkahuna. I posted my set here. Another great place to experience the flow of events is from the Twitter stream at hash tag #unz. People ask me what is the purpose of the Unconferenz?  It is really about collaboration, participation and sharing. It's value to me is to bring people together to interact on topics of interest and to create an environment where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. I cannot help but feel that for this the Unconferenz was a great success. A big Mahalo goes out to all the attendees since the Unconferenz is a direct reflection of all who participated. MAHALO!