Making History

I try not to talk too much about work but I’m laid up here in Horizontal HQ (bed) and a certain pixie has been on my back (figuratively speaking) to blog yet my mind’s a bit of a haze from a cold. So I thought I’d show you what we been working on as it went live today.

History of Disability in South Australia.

You can go there to find out what it’s all about. I wanted to relay a few details about it. I kind of wanted to put a (beta) sign on it as there’s much more in plan for it. We want to enable a way to comment on the articles and stories, to allow conversations about and around the content while it adds to the richness at the same time. You know, “I went to that school too, I found…” type discussion.

My major focus when building out the infrastructure was to allow it to scale over time and be easy for the staff who adds stuff to do so. Also not having access to bunches of resources (including our funding which was recently cut in half) I wanted to use tools and services available where possible and not re-invent the wheel.

It’s based on a wordpress backend that’s been modded for easy content management, Flickr for images and lots of custom kludges to bring it together. The whole thing is tag based so offers extreme flexibility for future. We plan to also build fulfilment services in and make use of classification of resources ongoing by incorporating the ability for people to add to the collective by submitting tags. Search also is anticipated.

All these things should be relatively easy to implement given time due the nature of wordpress.

There’s been lots of behind the scenes things that conspired to never let it come to pass, but at least now we have the first building blocks down.

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Kent swivels

Here’s my submission of blogs for Kent’s Swivel feeds experiment.

jp rangaswami – confused of calcutta –
jp is a kind of information hero of mine. something about how he sees things just clicks with me in totally perpendicular ways. he’s the cio of bt global services.

nick hodge – mungenet –
Uncle Nick is a Munge Brother of Mike‘s (and more recently mine). He’s a smart cookie, all round good guy and professional geek at Microsoft…says so on his business card. likes subverting hierarchies (come to think of it, that seems a Munge trait).

hugo ortega – ubertablet blog –
hugo is a tablet freak but more than that he’s a great guy. he’s also the first and rare person who actually lends me gear to test drive and review on lifekludger. and he was the very first guest on the very first show of our podcast for a reason totally not tech related and for which you’ll have to listen to find out.

beth kanter – beth’s blog –
beth is a one woman non profit technology blog phenomenon who loves Cambodian kids. read her, learn from her, support her, hire her!

father bob – father bob maguire –
father bob is a often cantankerous, often quipping, 70-something catholic priest with a heart bigger than kent’s home state, gold as the sun and spot on with care attitude – turned new media denizen. bob appears anywhere he can get his message of helping the poor out including an abc radio show, tv, and a podcast on tpn. even if you don’t subscribe, put a tip in his foundation’s paypal account. a buck a week is good.

So there you have it. My reads for Kent’s swivel feed experiment. An eclectic mix. Hope you enjoy something from there.


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South Australian State Budget out of touch with Information/Knowledge Economy

In an age where information is the key to a emerging knowledge economy I was amazed at the SA Governments decision to kill nearly half its’ budget for advocacy and information.

What’s more, I was stunned by the fact that nearly a third of that was from where I work. Over half our total budget wiped.

Mr Weatherill said the $1.3 million budget for non-government advocacy and information groups would be cut by $750,000 with the savings reinvested in supported accommodation and respite care.

Rann toxic tonic to fix all ills

Someone just moved my cheese.

Dave (will blog for food)

Photo by stopthegears

If it ain’t broke don’t fix it

That’s one of my chief guiding principals. If something does the job, go with it until it doesn’t.

So, turns out there was something I wanted to do on this blog that my ole WordPress v1.5 install wouldn’t support, so I’ve just upgraded it to v2.

It went fairly painless. I disabled plugins, copied the directory over to a backup spot, dumped out the database as a backup and hit the upgrade via Fantastico (I use Bluehost which supports it).

After that it was just a matter of seeing what wasn’t there and filling in the blanks by copy/pasting from backup styles and my heavily modified theme.

There’s a couple little things I’ll need to follow up re sxore comments but generally everything seems to be going fine.

Now, on with the show.


Back on the air after 48 hours

I don’t believe it.

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Mark of the beast?

I’m actually back connected to the outside world after over 48 hours of two of my phone lines being out of order – one of them my ADSL connection.

I felt helpless as I rang Telstra again and again with them saying that its a ‘major fault” (no shit sherlock!) that had taken over 200 services out with it.

Geez. Realise just how much of what I do depends on net connection.

I managed to keep an eye on services at work through my 3G phone, at times connecting via BT on Mac out through it, but doing that too long would get very expensive very quickly so kept it to a minimum.

Along with thinking about contingency plans for your online identity, best think about your connections if a lot of what you do resides in the cloud.

Well, there went my plans of upgrading this blog to WP 2 today.