[portland] followup re Red Cross

kirby urner kirby.urner at gmail.com
Thu Apr 16 17:31:53 CEST 2009

Hey there geeks!

pursuant to my lightning talk this last time @ PPUG, which was
somewhat impromptu i.e. I only got the info that very day, here's more
of the deal on my Red Cross connection:

(a) read both blog posts if interested in an idea of the current
status quo (fucked up):


(b) I'm staying in touch with the Red Cross CTO plus have forwarded
more details including some emails to our combined PPUG & OS Bridge
leadership, namely Jason and Michelle, Selena and Audrey, though I'm
thinking they're all too crazy busy to do much about it, just wanted
to scattergun across skill set communities, with Michelle strong in
Django, Jason in everything Python, Selena in PostgreSQL and Audrey in

Yes, I'm cluing the Rails community as I'm looking from over the
shoulder of Red Cross CTO towards Cubespace as this bevy of relevant
webapp developers, not differentiating much further than that, all
comers welcome (Perl Mongers, let's get on it).  I do favor Django
though, have been consistently suggesting it both around Ecotrust
(which already uses GeoDjango) and around Center for Outcomes Research
and Education (Providence, more into MUMPS, not atypical in

I also forwarded the data to Mosaic Consulting whom I contract with
for HR (human resources) consulting, in case this gets to the resume
stage or we actually want to offer Red Cross a coherent development
plan.  Fred Meyer Trust is a puzzle piece.

I'll be happy if we get that far, as I think the promise of open
source is it actually strengthens NGOs, nonprofits, those glue
organizations that serve community.  It's not just that the tools are
powerful, but that we think more the way they do, in terms of freely
sharing our liberal arts (cite R0ml Lefkowitz et al).

This has always been the hype, plus it's real on the ground in a great
many cases, however Portland, with a reputation as a FOSS capital
(CSM:2005) stands to improve its reputation as such if its signature
nonprofits aren't wallowing in licensing fee hell paying like double
for only half the result.

As an erstwhile consultant with Free Geek (CollabTech chapter) I know
that serving in the nonprofit community is difficult, frustrating,
often uphill work but is also potentially rewarding and great for your
resume if you wanna be a USA senator someday (OK, most of us don't).

I've played (and been paid) in this sandbox for years and have
treasured working with some really dedicated people doing obviously
important and interesting things.  If you've not worked with
nonprofits before, I suggest trying to find out more at OS Bridge.  Or
talk to me sometime (4dsolutions.net), maybe after a PPUG meeting, or
talk to Jason (idealist.org).


PS:  and again with the Pycon slides, which went by kinda faced on the
remotely operated white screen:
re my workshop:  http://worldgame.blogspot.com/2009/03/urner-workshop.html

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