Hanging in Moz

I was on my way to South Africa and it seems they changed the Visa requirements for NZers. I have been plenty of times before and always got a visa at the airport. So, I check ‘just in case’ – and I have to apply at an Embassy for a personal interview and the visa processing would take min 7 working days and not guaranteed.

So, I miss out on the Decolonising the Internet conf my buddy Anasuya is putting on plus we were going to be on a Shuttleworth panel at Wikimania. Sucks. But, its one of the few times I have had visa hassles as NZers are seen as ‘mostly harmless’ – so I can’t really complain. Except I really wanted to be there…ah well…so, last moment reschedule lands me in Mozambique for a 2 week holiday. Now I certainly can’t complain about that and not even going to try…

Rented a small apartment on the beach and a surfboard… if you  want to find me I might not be so easy to find for the next wee while…

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“PubSweet – How to Build a Publishing Platform” – Books Arrived!

They look awesome…the books took 3 days to write in a Book Sprint. Output from Editoria to book formatted PDF, send to the printers… printers took 3 times as long to print the books as it took us to write it and make the design ready copy 🙂



So…you might be wondering …just what is this book all about? Well, its about some of the tech the Coko community is building. And what does that tech do? In the main, it helps you build publishing platforms…And why is that important? Its important because the publishing industry has been crippled by expensive, dysfunctional, ‘big box’ platforms for a very long time. Its really terrible – these systems have been sitting pretty and earning a lot of money off the backs of the publishing of critical information that, at the end of the day, needs to get out there so we can move the world along. These softwares slow down the sharing of essential information and make it expensive at the same time – and we are aiming to put a stop to that.

Publishing platforms have been a mystery to many – how do you make them? What should they do? How do we even think about it? Its not easy because no one is sharing leanings. Why would ‘big box’ vendors want to share what they have learned about building publishing platforms with potential competitors? No good reason. In fact quite the opposite – the harder it is for ‘others’ to build publishing platforms the better for them, they can keep their clients’ data incarcerated within their systems that much longer and than means one more year living the good life, raking in the revenues (these platforms are unbelievably expensive).

Many efforts have been made to get out of these systems but they have largely failed. Until now… our aim is take these suckers down. We’ll do it one step at a time, one publisher at a time. We’ll demystify the process of making publishing platforms. We’ll make them faster, cheaper and better. We’ll turn them into something you can run for a tiny fraction of your current vendor agreement. …we’ll work it all out because the community is smart, experienced, talented and growing. Plus, they are having a great time doing it. Thats the thing about communities with a mission – if they are making progress and having fun they are unstoppable.

That day is coming. The good news is… its all open source. You can’t buy it from us, cause we have nothing to sell. We are literally giving it away….

Write to me if you want a copy of the book 🙂 I’ll mail one to ya…y’know…when I back from surfn….

Best Coffee in Uganda

I’m in Kampala for a few days and found an amazing coffee house. Its pretty well known but well worth finding if you come this way… 1000 Cups….

check it…some of their specialty coffees, all made with Espresso…


Above coffee is ‘salted caramel’…delicious…


In the above the coffee has ground peanuts and chocolate in the bottom….mmmm


Looking for work?

eLife, our buddies and comrades, are looking for a Node dev to work with them (and us) on their PubSweet platform…

“We are now seeking a full stack Node.js Developer to work on the development, automation, monitoring, architecture and testing of a system we are co-developing with other non-profits and publishers.”


Would be a (Pub)Sweeeeeeeet job!….