Saturday, April 17, 2010
Hackers and Sharers and Tweetups and Mittens
Local communities benefit from sharing knowledge. This past Thursday a bunch of smart, creative locals got together at the Pixel Lounge in Collegetown to host Ithaca's first IGNITE Ithaca. IGNITE is a series of five minute talks given by smart folks on hot topics. The talks are "sponsored" by the ever-innovative O'Reilly media who launched the concept in Seattle back in the mid 1990s. To find out more about the history of IGNITE, click here.
On Thursday night there were about a dozen talks given, but the ones that intrigued me most were explicitly about the spread of knowledge. For example, my colleague Matt Bernius gave a clever talk on file-sharing at the dawn of the print age. Matt has a gift for relating contemporary problems, for e.g., Napster, to the history of publishing. Then Peter Marcheto from itHACKa.org gave a passionate talk on the need for a hacker space in town. Hacker spaces are places where people come to gether to take shit apart and put it back together. A great way to learn from local tinkerers. Shira Goldberg from Share Tompkins (Ithaca is in Tompkins County) told us about the Community Swap Meets that she and her gang have organized. Why buy new crap when you can get your neighbors old stuff for free, right? Then Franklin Crawford chatted up his absolutely charming publication, Tiny Town Times, which is everything the local news should be - focused on local flavor and local characters (The DandC in Rochester could learn a lesson or two from these folks). And then the last talk wasn't explicitly about sharing knowledge (it was more about being humbled by great patterns at work in the universe) but the talk was given by Matteo Wyllyamz who organizes tweetups in the Ithaca Area. Tweetups are yet another face-to-face venue for locals to meet up and compare notes.
If you're looking to get some things happening in your community, I highly recommend organizing an IGNITE. They are fun, educational, and o so effective.
To see the complete list of speakers from Thursday's event, click here.
photo by Franklin Crawford