Archive for the ‘challenges’ Category

HiperBarrio in Medelink 2008

Monday, March 10th, 2008

Translation of post by Jorge Montoya on hiperbarrio.org [ES]

CatiRestrepo Hablando del proyectoOnMarch 7th and 8th the Digital Culture  Festival in Medellín took place, Medelink 2008 [ES] . We were there representing our project. The main objective we drew for our presence there was to bring more people into our project of sharing knowledge with as many people as possible.

Two whole days standing behind a table, where some participants from previous workshops talked about their experiences and motivated others to join our network. AS a result, we know have a database where we have collected  a good number of people willing to be either facilitators or give workshops, and others who are interested in taking the workshops themselves and help the hiperbarrio family grow.

We also met with people belonging to local innitiatives who expressed the desire to join this project which bit by bit has stopped belonging to us and know belongs to everyone. We already have scheduled appointments with these organizations to see how we can work with their needs and what will be the steps to follow.

After this event, we are left with a positive balance regarding expectations and achievements. We need to look towards the future which will surely also bring great satisfaction to those of us who believe that we are doing useful, worthy and worthwhile work.

To each and everyone who has expressed their support, to those who volunteered, to those who are waiting to be a part of this process, to the Medelink organizers and the HiperBarrio team who were those two days telling their stories in person: Thanks!

———-

More about the event:

Tasks and Inspiration: Pictures and posts

Sunday, October 14th, 2007

Jorge wasn´t able to make it today (he had rehearsal for election day vote counting) and Peter had to work, so Galo and I ran the workshop. Like in previous days, participants arrived and checked the wiki. Today we were a bit scared about how few participants showed up. When we arrived at 9am, only Caro was there. Nevertheless, a new participant joined the group. In a way, it was easier for us to get her up to date in a crash course in blogging with almost no other participants: Luz Mabely was able to open her blog, a flickr account, write an introductory article and also explore a bit, all we needed was for her to open her google reader, but I believe that in a future lesson she´ll be able to do that as well. When we had finished, Ángelo and Yennifer had arrived, so Caro and Ángelo went to take pictures of the neighborhood and then Yenni went out with Luz Mabely.

Caro was inspired, as she said herself: she wrote 4 articles in that hour before heading out to take pictures. Crónicas de la lejanía, a critique on Good Charlotte in English, she wrote A story of MY barrio , and also did the task of the day: inReality she uploaded the picture she took and wrote about it:

Foto de Caro para La RealidadEstaciones hermosas, vagones impecables, limpieza por doquier. Derroche, luces, clase, estilo; pero más allá, se ven los techos de lata, las calles dañadas, el río sucio. Pobreza.

Beautiful stations, impeccable cars, everything is clean. Abundance, lights, class, style; yet, beyond, you can see the tin roofs, the damaged streets the dirty river. Poverty.

Ángelo was also inspired, so he decided to skip lunch just to be able to finish his article about the historical icon of the 80´s: the Renault Master 4 :

Foto de Ángelo para Renault 4Lastimosamente la gente de mi generaciòn estamos acostumbrados y en demaciados casos tocados por diferentes hechos ocurridos en los años 80, època de guerra, lucha,liberales,conservadores, embajadas,palacios,camisas de chaliz, zapatos zodiac, attaris 2600 y porsupuesto el juguete preferido del patròn el MUNRA el casi HIGHLANDER de los autos en Medellin el infamous RENAULT MASTER 4.

Sadly, those of my generation are used to and in many cases influenced by the different events that took place in the 80´s: a time of war, fights, liberals, conservatives, embassies, palaces, silk shirts, zodiac shoes, Atari 2600 and of course the patrón’s [Pablo Escobar] favorite toy: the MUNRA, almost the HIGHLANDER of the cars in Medellin, the infamous RENAULT MASTER 4.

When Yenni and Luz Mabely came back, they were accompanied by Andrea, whom they found on the way in. Andrea took pictures, but wasn´t able to upload them to the computer because the cables we have don´t match her camera, however, she did write the article My work in Santo Domingo:

…hoy cuando subí en el Metrocable, mis compañeros de viaje eran unas personas de Bogotá, las cuales estaban sorprendidas y gratamente encantadas con lo bonito que se ve la ciudad desde este medio de transporte (Metrocable), de pronto una de las señoras dijo: esas Terrazas tan bonitas, que plantas, en ese momento mi corazón latió mas fuerte y como si la conociera y con un orgullo que se irradiaba en mis ojos, empecé a contarle a ella y a todos los presentes que yo había participado en ese gran proyecto que se llama Solares Ecológicos y al llegar a la estación Anda Lucia, les dije miren a la izquierda esa terraza es de la señora Felicidad, ella y su familia aprovecharon al máximo el proyecto y ahora tienen ese jardín con aromaticas, hortalizas y plantas, los presentes solo se miraban entre ellos y con un signdo de afirmativo con sus cabezas, decian eso es lo que necesitamos en este país que la gente haga cosas provechosas y así no tengan tiempo de pensar en la guerra.

Today when I got up in the Metrocable, my car companions were some visitors from Bogota, who were pleasantly surprised and enchanted with how pretty the city looks from this means of transportation (Metrocable), suddenly one of the women said: those rooftops are so nice, look at those plants, at that moment my heart beat faster and as if i had known her from before and with pride irradiating from my eyes, I began telling her and all of the others in the car that I had participanted in a great project called “ecological rooftops”. When we got to the Andalucia station I told them to look to their left, and said that rooftop belongs to Felicidad, she and her family took the greatest advantage from the project and now they have that garden with medicinal herbs, vegetables and plants, those present looked at each other and with nods said that this is what we need in this country, for people to do fulfilling things and not have time to think of war.

Many pictures were taken!

Luz and Yenni didn´t have enough time to publish their articles. They tried to, but the system would collapse every time they tried to publish something, they agreed to do it later on this week. Luz Mabely´s blog is called mi blog, and here is her flickr account. Yennifer wrote about a class trip during the week, so take some time to go and visit and learn what comes out of combining cold weather, tents and teens.

Then we went to eat something. Diana and Liseth, who are doing their thesis based on our project in Santo Domingo, arrived to interview the participants. We had a brainstorm for ideas of video projects to do on the next workshops and Caro documented the results::Lluvia de Ideas

For the next workshop, they decided to do idea number 3: record noises, and also the sounds these noises make. The free hug project will wait until we get the costumes.

At the end we weren´t able to get the press passes for Alta Voz, or to meet the Zampues girls during the two weeks. Let´s blame it on Phonetag. However, since Angelo was going to the AltaVoz concerts, we lent him the camera and lets hope he´s able to take pictures of the concerts and share them with the rest of us.

In the meantime, take a look at pictures the participants took in Hiperbarrio´s flickr, pictures are titled with the photographers names. We already reached the 200 limit on the free flickr account: anyone interested in giving us a Pro Account? ;)

Catching Up: RSS feeds and individual work

Saturday, September 15th, 2007

Since last time some bloggers didn´t have time to update their blogs, or they didn´t come and couldn´t upload pictures or open their flickr account, this time we gave each one some time to update their content and for participants to catch up with their peers, get them used to the different tools. We noticed that some of them seemed a bit overwhelmed with the different accounts they had opened, so we gave them space to test them out and see how they can be used. Andrea joined us today and Natalia sent us a note excusing herself. The odd thing was that today there was a special event at the library, with lots of foreigners.

Today participants did get to open their google reader accounts and we showed them the different websites we have on the sidebars in the wiki and on the hiperbarrio.org website: global voices, medallo bloguero, the wiki and each one added them to their feeds and some added them to their blog roll.

We faced the same problems today with internet connection than last time. Many had to sit with a friend to be able to see the “RSS in Plain English” video. Once again, we can´t notice a pattern. We expected things to be faster in the morning when less people are online, but today it was slow from the start and as the morning goes on it becomes impossible to visit any website.

Today we also noticed that Facebook is blocked at this library and throughout the network, since it is considered a “social networking site”… so much for being a library “network”.

Participants sent in their written contracts through email and some included it in their blogs. They also wrote and posted about their “experience with Hiperbarrio”.

Imago says:

ya he avanzado mucho con este blog en estas ùltimas semanas. por ejemplo, tengo un àlbum que creè desde un mòdulo de flickr que se vè en la parte superior de mi blog -se ven en movimiento porque estàn en flash.
abrì un lista de feeds, con algunos blogs que quisiera visitar y quiero tener como contactos.tambièn he escrito comentarios en algunos blogs, he subido màs fotos y he aprendido a modificar comentarios en mi blog y los que he hecho en otros blogs.

I have gone far with this blog in these past weeks. for example, I have an album I created using flickr, you can see the badge on the upper part of my blog, it moves because it uses flash.
I opened a list of feeds, with some blogs I want to visit and keep as contacts. I´ve also written comments in some blogs, I´ve uploaded more pictures and I´ve learned to modify comments in my blog and edit those I´ve written in other blogs.

Caro wrote:

Hiperbarrio es una comunidad, nos reunimos cada 15 dias y es increíble todo lo que hemos aprendido en el corto tiempo que hemos estado juntos… Desde los principios de cómo crear un blog, hasta cosas mas personales como el respeto, tolerancia y apreciacion por los proyectos de los demás; Aqui todos nos sentimos interesados por el trabajo de los demás, o por lo menos yo me siento así.

Hiperbarrio is a community, we meet every 15 days and it is amazing we have learned so much in the short time we´ve had together… from the basics creating a blog, to more personal things like repsect, tolerance and appreciation for other´s projects; here we all feel interested in other people´s work, or at least I feel that way.

Alejandra said:

ME SIENTO MUY ORGULLOSA DE MÍ MISMA, ES QUE NUNCA ME HABÍA DESENVUELTO TAN LIBREMENTE, (CLARO QUE CON MUCHA AYUDA PARA UNAS COSAS ELEMENTALES, PERO QUE EN MÍ HAN SURTIDO SU EFECTO); ESTOY SEGURA, QUE LOS CONTENIDOS FUTUROS SERÁN COMPLETOS Y MUY BUENOS PARA LA COMUNIDAD VISITANTE DE NUESTROS PRODUCTOS Y QUE EN ESPECIAL, NUESTROS CAPACITADORES SE SENTIRÁN FELICES POR HABER INVERTIDO SU TIEMPO EN UNA CAUSA TAN INNOVADORA Y ENVOLVENTE, PEGAJOSA Y DE SEGURO MUY ÚTIL EN NUESTRA NUEVA CIUDAD.

I feel very proud of myself, I had never performed this freely, (of course with a lot of help in basic things, but they´ve had their effect on me); I´m sure that future content will be complete and very good for those who visit our products, and in particular, our trainers will feel happy to have invested their time in such an innovative and engrossing, addictive and surely quite useful cause for our city.

Ángelo also praised the project:

No solo he de agradecer a la ciencia y a la tecnologia con toda su parafernalia, tambien dirigerè mi gratitud a aquella entidad cuyo altruismo proyecta formaciòn humana y didàctica, al limite de poder alcanzar la sastifacciòn moral e intelectual…

Not only should I thank science and technology with all its accoutrements, I´ll also send my regards to this organization whose altruism provides human skills and educates us, to the extent where I can strive to reach moral and intellectual satisfaction…

Yenni tells us a story about her artistic troupe and ends her account with:

Un dìa cualquiera nos llegò una invitaciòn para formar parte de un proyecto en la biblioteca españa para las personas que les gusta todo el rollo del internet y quisieran saber un poco màs de èl, nos parecio muy buena la idea, en este momento llevamos cuatro encuentros donde hemos creado el blog, le hemos cambiado la apariencia , los colores, hemos creado correos electrònicos por todas partes, flikr para subir photos y muchas cosas màs.

One day we received an invitation to be a part of a project in the España Library for any of us who liked the whole idea of internet and would like to know a bit more about it. We thought it was a good idea and so far we´ve met four times and we´ve created our blog, changed its appearance, the colors, we´ve created numerous email accounts, flikr to upload pictures and many other things.

In el Parche, Juan Manuel shares with us an encounter they had with the police for riding their BMXs, with flickr pictures to illustrate their adventure.

PARCEROS !!! , LA TOMBA NOS COJIÒ ESTE DOMINGO , ASI FUE :
ESTÀBAMOS LLEGANDO AL ALTO DE LAS PALMAS PA DARNOS LA GUERRA DE AHÌ PA BAJO, CUANDO PASÒ LO QUE TENÌA QUE PASAR !, LLEGÒ UNA PATRULLA, HACIÈNDONOS MUCHAS PREGUNTAS Y AL CABO DE MEDIA HORA DISCUTIENDO CON ELLOS, LLEGARON A UNA CONCLUSIÒN ” SE MONTAN YAA !! QUE NOS VAMOS PARA LA ESTACIÒN ” EFECTIVAMENTE LLAMARON A UN PLANCHÒN Y MONTARON A TODAS LAS 20 BICICLETAS QUE ESTÀBAMOS,YA QUE OTROS 10 SE LOGRARON VOLAR, NOS MONTAMOS LA MITAD EN EL PLANCHÒN Y LA OTRA MITAD EN UNA PATRULLA, Y NOS LLEVARON A UNA PEQUEÑA ESTACIÒN ANTES DE RIONEGRO, NOS DEJARON COMO 3 HORAS AHÌ TIRADOS, AGUANTANDO SOL, HASTA QUE EMPEZARON A LLAMAR A TODOS LOS ACUDIENTES DE CADA UNO.

Dudes! The coppers caught us this Sunday, this is how it went: We were arriving at the Alto de las Palmas to race it out to the bottom, when what had to happen happened!, a squad car arrived, they asked many questions and after half an hour argueing with them they reached their conclusion. “Get in now, we´re going to the station”. So they called a platform truck and they loaded all our 20 bikes… 10 lucky ones escaped, half of us climbed on the truck and the other half on the squad car, they took us to a small station right before Rionegro, they dumped us there for about 3 hours, roasting in the sun until they started to call each one of our parents or guardians.

We ended the day talking a bit about each particular project our participants would like to begin: Caro and Ángelo are thinking about interviewing musicians and reporitng on the work of several of the city´s rock bands, integrating podcasts and music files. Yenni and Ale would like to showcase the Zampues troupe work, assisted by videos, pictures and articles.

By the way, Ángelo already replicated his knowledge and showed his dad how to opne his own blog: Poesía y Reflexiones Meditabundas.

We´ve been noticing that the number of participants per workshop is stabilizing on 6: sometimes some of them come, other times it´s other participants who show up, but so far they´ve been good at staying updated. Some have stopped coming altogether: we decided not to call them and insist for them to come since with the 6-8 participants we have we´ve been managing to give them far more personalized attention and we are taking the complete back row of computers in the library, which makes it easier for us to oversee their work and help them out. Since they are about 8 which take turns showing up, 5 of them make the core group, so we believe we are a good example of the blogging dynamic worldwide: from thousands of blogs opened each day, very few go beyond the Hello World post.

So we continue working and learning side by side with them about how to handle these workshops, the type of activities we would like to do and it is a learning process where we experiment and test hypotheses, we get to see how we´re reaching out to them, what our weaknesses are, and we´re taking all of that into account to plan future workshops. It is sad that some participants didn´t return and discarded this oportunity to learn and be a part of something greater, but as a pilot project, we see all of this as an experiment
which is giving us important insights on how to handle the teaching of new media technologies to people who up to the moment they arrived to the workshops, didn´t know what they were.

So what was the event at the library I mentioned previously? Medellin’s mayor was visiting with some of the CAFTA representatives from the USA. Management at the library had the nerve to come up to us and scold us, telling us we should mind our own business and try to ignore what was going on, overlooking the fact that just by standing up, we had a perfect view of the speakers and we could hear them perfectly through the gallery in front of us. A bit ironic that they told a group of bloggers not to notice what is going on in their faces. So, taking no notice of their warnings, I liveblogged the talk, translating it from English into Spanish in my blog.
Alcalde Fajardo en la biblioteca españa.

Day 3: our first group session.

Saturday, September 1st, 2007

Today we faced an unforeseen glitch: we planned the day´s activities without taking into account how slow the internet connection would be. Six participants showed up at the workshop: Alejandra, Yennifer, Angelo, Carolina, Miguel y Juan Manuel. Galo and Velvet accompanied Jorge and myself, assisting participants in many different ways.

According to what we had planned on our Spanish wiki, participants would create a googlereader account to read feeds, they would go out to the neighborhood and take pictures and open a flicker account with which we would work on uploading pictures from the cameras to the computers and then to the web. We were able to get mostly everything done, except the RSS reader. We fought and muddled through uploading pictures, and at least participants managed to get some things done.

We have the previously mentioned group flicker account here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/hiperbarrio/.

In spite of the slow connection, the network collapsing, 404 errors, pictures which wouldn´t show up and pages closing during uploads, participants did get their flicker accounts up and running and with some pictures. During the process, some pictures got lost between files, we are trying to locate them.

Participant´s flicker accounts:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/yennifersame-momentos/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/zanpuesart/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/platero/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/carovl90/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/imagofotos/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/parches/

salida de la bibliotecaWhat can be said is that independently of technical issues, pictures taken by participants turned out amazing, and those who could get them up on flicker felt quite proud to be able to put them on their blogs. Some even managed to get the java flickr banner on their blogs to show the latest pictures.

At the end of the session, we gave them homework: they would write up a participation contract: they will promise to write on their blogs, go to the lessons and catch up if they miss any session, as well as comply with established group goals.

They also picked a topic of the month: My experience with Hiperbarrio, of which they will have to write on their blogs.

Some of the pictures taken:
celulares iglesia