How to make awards for the people not at the people

  • involve folks from the community in the judging, the more diverse the better
  • make the nomination process super simple with minimal questions
  • start with as few categories as possible
  • never talk about winners, talk about celebration
  • have an awards night connected to an established community event
  • put on a night
  • no invitations / reg necessary to attend
  • make the night short n sweet.
  • provide drinks & food
  • do something special for those that turn up, eg special badges for the night
  • get the judges, who are members of the community, to announce the recipients
  • dont have a stage, make sure the speakers are standing on the same ‘thing’ as the audience ie. the same floor
  • if you have a projector, make it jst low fi, nothing fancy
  • have a wireless mic so judges can move around a little
  • no podium, nothing between the presenters and the audience
  • dont dress anyone up formal šŸ™‚
  • if you do anything do it with the feeling that you are part of a community, not a part from a community
  • make sure the presentations are only about celebrating the cool award recipients, not about promoting the host org etc
  • just from the heart … yknow…

just notes for now..


…am i tired. A three month roadtrip to put Coko back on its feet in a long term sustainable way. its been very worthwhile but I am so fucked. Body took a beating. Home on thursday. Can’t wait. IĀ ā™„ Koutu

Org Open Source toolkit

We use the following tools at Coko, all open source and all excellent:

  • Code repo – GitLab
  • chat – mattermost (web/desktop/mobile apps)
  • video calls – jitsi
  • shared folders and shared docs – NextCloud (also with desktop and mobile sync)
  • most websites (we run several) -WordPress

All very good apps and highly recommended.

Just now looking into open source CRMs. Will report back šŸ™‚

Apps I also personally use everyday

  • Ubuntu
  • thunderbird and lightning (email and cal)
  • k9 (mobile email)
  • signal (mobile and desktop)
  • pencil (wireframes)
  • gimp (sometimes also Inkscape)
  • super productivity (excellent productivity / to do manager)
  • caldav (shared cal)
  • carddav (shared contacts)
  • Libreoffice (I use the desktop version less and less and instead used the web version via NextCloud)
  • loomio (for some distributed decision making projects_

Hotel showers are like open licences

So… have you ever had the experience where you go to a hotel and there is a shower. You are in desperate need of a good hot shower after your travels, nothing could feel as good. So, you get all sorted and then when you are ready to go you discover some bespoke piece of crap shower control that looks like no other shower control you have seen before in your life? No matter how much fumbling around you do it just doesn’t make any sense and you are lucky if you manage somehow to get it to work at the right temp and power, or maybe if you get it to work at all.

Its like that because some moron decided that no other shower controls, in the history of shower controls – which is, lets face it, rather a long history – is good enough. No other shower control in the history of the world was exactly what they wanted so they had to go ahead and reinvent one. Except they did a shit job, and not only that, they did a uniquely shit job so there is no other learnings you can bring to this particular control that will help you work out just what the fuck is going on….

Well… thats the same problem, believe it or not, that bespoke open licenses present the world. Open licenses are a design problem and one that needs considerable thought and consideration. A good open license is not only one that is easily understood, but one that can be translated across territories (legally and semantically),is legally sound, and one that can be understood in relationship to other licenses (‘license compatibility’).Ā  These features are hard to achieve but they are important to achieve.

If you come across some thing with a open license, you need to know it is bona fide, it is legally sound, and will help you use/reuse etc that thing in the world. That is why the Open Source Initiative checks licenses and keeps a list of those that they can verify are legally sound and conform to their definition of openness.

Now, if you go ahead and make your own license you are really making life difficult for everyone. How do we know that license actually conforms to a sensible definition of open and how do we know the construct is legally sound? How do we know that licenses position in the world in regard to other territories and licenses? Quite simply, we don’t know.

We simply, like the screwed up shower controls, don’t know how to use your license.

The lesson is – don’t do it. Don’t make your own piece of crap license. Use one of the existing ones, of which there are many.