Category Archives: events

DrupalCampToronto organizing notes

We had the second organizers’ meeting for DrupalCampToronto 2009 today. I started a number of Google Documents for keeping track of minutes and tasks, and I also shared the sponsorship letter I’d revised extensively. One of the organizers mentioned that he had already found the letter useful. Hooray!

What worked well:

  • Asking someone else to take minutes made it clear that minutes are a rotating duty, which is good because it gets more people to pay attention and contribute, and it’ll help me see other ways of doing things.
  • Sharing all the documents through Google Docs made it easy to see changes in real-time and track the revision history. The interface was also more fluid than typical wikis.

What can work even better next time:

  • Task management – I’ve set up a Google spreadsheet for quickly capturing tasks, but there should be a better way to do this so that people can easily filter the tasks. BasecampHQ would be interesting, but it’s expensive and probably overkill. Maybe Manymoon?
  • Document management – I’ve shared each of the Google docs with the mailing list, and I’ll share more protected documents with individual people. It would be good to put together a central workplace.
  • Next meeting – We decided on the rhythm of meetings (every other Monday, same time, same place), but that would’ve probably been better to do earlier in the agenda rather than at the end, after another Drupal-related discussion.
  • Food – Gotta get better at nudging David @linuxcaffe to nudge _us_ about ordering the specials… =) He’s a great guy, Linuxcaffe is such a nice venue, and I’d like to make sure it works out well for everyone. It’s easy to forget to order and eat when the conversation’s flowing, but you end up starving when things are done!
  • Tables – a gap between tables is a good thing, so people can get in and out easily. =)

Learning more about organizing events… Cool!

Insights from the brainstorming session

It’s great to have such great friends. Dominique Cimafranca, Charo, and Charlie Lopez were absolutely invaluable during the impromptu Software Freedom Day planning meeting we had earlier. We brainstormed for ways to bring SuSE users and enthusiasts out of the woodwork in order to address Novell’s wants. It’s a pity the Novell guy couldn’t join us (he had to deal with a client’s emergency), but I guess he can always get these people together himself.

Anyway. Back to the insights.

Although we had originally planned to hold the event in UP because UP
offered us a venue for free, our ever so wonderful counselors
suggested much better locations in Makati. The Glorietta Activity
Center is the best place on our list: a central location with plenty
of pass-thru traffic would result in great crowds during the actual
event. Who can miss or resist a large banner inviting people to get
free software there? We’ve also added AIM to our list. It’s amazing
how other people can jolt us out of our limiting assumptions…

I guess the key paradigm shift here is that we can plan with
sponsorship in mind. The bigger we dare to plan, the bigger the
possibilities are. And I _want_ to reach out to the casual user, the
Windows-using non-geek who’s missing out on all the wonderful free
software out there. If we manage to convince them to switch to Linux,
well and good. But if they don’t feel comfortable doing that yet,
there’s still plenty of free software out there to make their lives
better. Mozilla Firefox. Gaim. Stuff like that.

I’m coming to realize that my address book is more important than my
source code. Having these insightful people on my team… wow!

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Make a difference

You are all invited to attend the New Volunteers Orientation of Hands
On Manila on Tuesday, June 28th at the Powerbooks Megamall, Bldg. A,
beginning at 6pm. Hands On Manila is a non-profit organization that
coordinates a wide range of flexible volunteer opportunities around
the Mega Manila area. There are no skills required so whether you
want to do a feeding program with street children, teach some basic
baking skills, tutor Math and English, or conduct a badminton sports
clinic, there’s something for everyone.

For inquiries, please call dondon marquez or abby pacquing at 843-5231,
843-7044 or email [email protected]

コンピューターを使える人を探しています。 We are looking for somebody who can use a computer.

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Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals

My Big, Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAGs) are:

  • Revolutionize computer science education by making it highly individualized and experiential.
  • Become a world-famous expert on creating systems for planning one’s life. Instead of pushing a particular methodology, I’d like to work with people’s current ways of planning, suggesting improvements and software/hardware to support their life.

I’m at the 1st Philippine Blogging Summit right now with my BHAGs firmly in mind. It’s _amazing._

The first person I talked to was J. Angelo Racoma, an old friend from my BBSing days. After chatting about blogging, talk turned to what we’re both up to. He told me about his work at . I told him about my BHAGs.

It turned out that his wife is into tutoring, and one of the things they’re planning to do in the future is set up a tutoring portal to help students, parents and tutors find each other. Neato. That looks like a great fit for what I want to do. =)

As I explained my BHAG for teaching and training to him, I realized that one of the things I really, really, really care about is quality assurance for teachers and tutors. I firmly believe that it’s not just about technical knowledge, but it’s also about teaching and communication skills. I don’t think we’re paying enough attention to that, and I think that’s a compelling sales point.

I also got to meet Gabriel Narciso. He started by asking me if I was still into open source. Of course! He then asked me if there was a native version of for Mac OS X. I remember used to support the Mac, so I should be able to find one. =) Good deed! I told _him_ about my BHAGs too. It turned out that he used to work at Franklin-Covey (as in, _the_ Franklin Covey franchise in the Philippines!), and is now into executive coaching.


Let’s say that again. Wow!

_That’s_ why you should practice talking about your BHAGs until you can squeeze it into a small-talk conversation. Joey Gurango told us how wannabe entrepreneurs would give him two-inch-thick business proposals and expect him to have the time or interest in reading them. He said that’s entirely the wrong way to do that. You start with your 90-second elevator pitch. You get people interested. Then you go for your executive summary—the shorter, the better. You get people hooked. When you get them hooked, _then_ you hit them with the business proposal.

BHAGs work the same way. Refine them until you get a sound bite. Say it with confidence and passion. Get them hooked. Explain the rest over lunch another day!

May 8, 2012
It’s interesting to see how much has changed and how much has stayed the same. I’m no longer focusing on computer science education, although I’m delighted to see that self-teaching resources are becoming more popular. I’m still interested in productivity tools and systems. I care a lot about teaching and tutoring, and the need is even more concrete for me now because we’re seeing what J- and her friends struggle with. I have new goals around writing, drawing, and tracking. I still have to practise explaining them, though!

Blogging party

The U.P. Law Internet & Society Program will be hosting the first
Philippine blogging summit entitled “iBlog” on May 7, 2005 Saturday
from 9 am to 5 pm at the UP NISMED, UP Campus. This is a FREE event
but registration at the iBlog website ( is

This will be a whole-day conference featuring CICT Commissioner Dondi
Mapa, The Sassy Lawyer, Yugatech, Dean Alfar, the PCIJ Bloggers and
many more.

See you folks at iBlog!

I guess I’ll take the Mensa test in the morning or something like that…

E-Mail from Janette Toral

問題は誰が猫に鈴をつけるかだ。 The question is who will bell the cat.

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World domination

Zakame said on PLUG:

Same here. Personally I was amused at the sight of them: actually, I was
more interested on the (pleasant sight of the) pretty girls inviting
everyone to sign up to MSDN. I did sign up (which shows my soft spot
;p), and I was expecting the reply mail confirming it. It never
came. :-/

Hmmm. Maybe I should go in my Japanese schoolgirl outfit (or my
kimono, or some other costume ;) ) and convince people to try out

World domination one geek at a time! Mwahahahahahaha!

E-Mail to Philippine Linux Users’ Group Mailing List

猫が丸くなって寝ていた。 The cat was curled up asleep.

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