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TelecomOne un-conference day 2 and wrap-up

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 6-Oct-2008 10:01

I am back home in Wellington now, after the TelecomOne un-conference. On the second day (day 0, day 1) I attended half of a session moderated by Nat Torkington about children education and technology, and then Peter Gutman's session about cybercrime - variants, free market of information, why security forces are not doing enough, etc.

About 12pm we did a wrap-up session where we all had the opportunity to review what went right, what went wrong, how it worked for everyone and what is next.

TelecomOne was an interesting un-conference. First because it was mainly an internal event, with a few "externals" being invited. This caused a bit of friction in the wiki pages where invited atendees discussed the upcoming meetup during the weeks leading up to the actual event.

Some Telecom people were worried about an open discussion about their vision, directions, services, network in the presence of "externals". We actually even had a person from the legal department on site - but I can guarantee that everyone understood very well the implications and the rules of separation. All discussions were open and clear, with a very good deal of understanding, criticism, suggestions and discovery.

Add to this the rounds of werewolf games (on Friday and Saturday evenings), plus the late night talks and it was a very enjoyable weekend - you can see my Flickr TelecomOne set here, or search for Flickr TNZ1 tag. Also available is a series of #TNZ1 Twitters. The special touch was the "Innovation Red" wine served there...

During the wrap-up we had comments from some "externals" that were a surprise. For example one of them even said something like "... amazed to find out so many bright Telecom and Gen-i people together and certainly changed my view of the company".

Also worth noting is the presence of some high up people there - if not the whole weekend, at least attending a couple of important sessions - like Alan Gourdie (Chief Executive, Telecom Retail) who attended the session about communicating to customers and public in general where we discussed public blogging, social media, regulations and other topics.

On the way back home, all out-of-town people managed to band together again at the Air New Zealand Koru Lounge and we almost had another session there, in the corner.

Also is worth noting that Telecom provided meals and a bus from Auckland CBD to Warkworth, but "externals" (such as myself) did not receive any contribution towards the expense to attend this camp. I paid my own travel, accommodation, and car to drive to Warkworth. Actually very interesting to see a group of "externals" such as the one the organisers put together coming on their own to participate on a private camp.

Also interesting is to see the Foo Camp concept can be applied really well to private organisations.

Well done the organisers and facilitators. Well done to Telecom for being brave and accepting that people from outside your organisation can help too, by providing real criticism and constructive feedback.

Special thanks to the Mahurangi College and staff, location of Foo Camps, and now TelecomOne. On to the next one.

TelecomOne un-conference day 1

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 4-Oct-2008 15:27

Today is day 1 of the first TelecomOne unconference event and it was full of interesting - and surprisingly open sessions.

For me the day started with an interesting session led by Brenda, who guided us through discussions on open source mobile platforms. At some point an interesting idea came from the participants: why not create a non-prod enviroment for people that are interested in playing with new mobile technologies to do it safely on a sandbox?

The idea is not as crazy as it sounds - and got lots of support from the audience.

I led one of the following sessions, talking about community feedback - how does Telecom capture feedback, and how does the company respond to it. This include public and internal processes, on-line community participation.

The third session was a very interesting discussion about the missing bits on the network - what people think should be there to better serve the community, developers - and ultimately their customers. And the first thing was "love". All you need is love!... Seriously though the discussion touched on lots of technical topics, processes and ideas.

I then attended the "Listen to me" session - all about Telecom employees participating in social media: what to do, what to expect, how to behave, who does it, all things related to establishing a successful employee presence on the Internet.

TelecomOne un-conference day 0

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 3-Oct-2008 21:56

And I am in Warkworth again, for another un-conference. Warkworth is home to Kiwi Foo, the New Zealanda version of Foo Camps, organised by Nat Torkington.

It is also home to the first TelecomOne unconference event.

Today we had the introductions, long conversations, dinner and the first sessions. I decided to attend the session "What is the broadband problem?"... Very interesting getting to konw the point of view from Telecom employees and other users in general.

I am right now checking my e-mails and RSS feeds, while some people are playing werefolf, drinking single malt and talking. Next to me is Ben Kepes, who writes a blog about SaaS and is an editor at CloudAve. also here is PlanHQ's Tim Norton. Lots to learn and share...

The TelecomONE unconference

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 26-Aug-2008 18:14

After attending this year's Kiwi FOO (1, 2) a few of the Telecom folks there decided to work and put together an internal unconference event.

TelecomONE Innovation '08 is running for three days of October in Warkworth, in the same venue used for the Kiwi FOO events before. About 80 Telecom people, both technical and business types, will get together plus a number of invited external participants - including myself. Like the FOO camp attendance is by invitation only.

Invitees are all doing interesting work and are invited to network, share their works in progress, show off the latest tech toys, and tackle challenging problems together.                                     

I am told Telecom CEO Dr Paul Reynolds is directly supporting this initiative.

Also like the FOO camp discussions you will find there's a rule - what happens there stays there. You might find some reports about the topics, but won't see many direct quotes or references. This is the norm, to encourage an open debate, even when it involves proprietary or confidential information brought in by participants - some sessions have very interesting topics and the openess brings a lot of proprietary and private information to the room.

I think this is a great initiative and I am really looking forward to be present and contributing to the discussion.

I am a high volume e-mail deployer, says spammer

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 17-Jun-2008 11:00

This is just too funny... "I am a high volume e-mail deployer. What we do is not spamming. It is high volume e-mail sending. We send one hundred million e-mails a day. People look forward to receiving e-mail. People call us, e-mail us 'We didn't get an offer today, what did I miss?'..."
Thanks to Shoemoney for the video upload.

Mobile Trade Me live now

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 16-Jun-2008 14:15

Some of you asked for this and here it is... New Zealand's largest web site has now a mobile version: Trade Me Mobile is live now.

The mobile version provides users with the expected features, including watchlist, listed items, sold items.

You can view details for listings, including description, photos, the Q&A section - and you can place your bid right there too.

Just a couple of errors with the usual "We have been notified of this error" message appearing when you click the Home link though. Workload too much?

Now I can see mobile Internet taking off in New Zealand...

The next question is to the mobile operators: where is the really affordable mobile data plan for the rest of us?

IT Rockstar: I am one of the judges now

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 14-May-2008 11:54

You may remember I posted about next week's IT Rockstar competition finale before. It is a promotion where top New Zealand IT professionals compete to reach stardom - some nominated themselves, others were nominated by felow IT pros.

It just happens that one of the judges declared a conflict of interest, since one of the finalists works for the same company as him - so I was called to fill in th judging position.

Since I was planning to attend the event anyway it sounds like a good fit. I am not familiarising myself with the finalists, their work and background.

The IT Rockstar final is next week, in Wellington and is being promoted by 920 - who just happen to have sponsored some prizes in our Geekzone Pizza evening in Welington and Auckland.

Barcamp Auckland: register now...

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 19-Apr-2008 15:11

I was talking to the organisers and it seems the Barcamp Auckland (12th July) still have some space available.

If you want to participate on a great day, I recommend it. I flew to Auckland for the first Barcamp and I am planning to attend the second one too.

Register now.

Joining the Hire Things Advisory Board

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 12-Feb-2008 12:17

Just as a disclosure, I was invited - and accepted it - to join the Advisory Board of Hire Things. This is coming after years of watching a friend, Peter Torr Smith, creating the company and the service from the ground up, from concept to delivery.

The company wants to grow bigger and stronger, and for that they invited three people so far to be part of this board, with one or two other seats to be filled soon.

As an Advisory Board member I am not an employee, neither have authority within the company. The role is just what the name says - a panel of experts that advise the company management with their knowledge in different sectors.

It is a part time position with probably one or two meetings every month, but it's going to be great to be more involved in this business - an on-line business.

RIP Sir Edmund Hillary

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 11-Jan-2008 11:44

When I moved to New Zealand I was impressed with the recognition Sir Edmund Hillary received in this country.

Who, besides the Queen, would be of such a character as to figure in the national currency (the NZ$5 note)?

Today Sir Edmund Hllary is dead. Not many details yet but I am sure the story will be well known to all New Zealanders in the next few hours - if not minutes.

In my ten years here so far I've came to know more about his story, the Everest, expeditions and philantropic work.

From the Wikipedia on the Everest expedition:

The route to Everest was closed by Chinese-controlled Tibet, and Nepal only allowed one expedition per year. A Swiss expedition (in which Tenzing took part) had attempted to reach the summit in 1952, but was turned back by bad weather 800 feet (260 m) from the summit. During a 1952 trip in the Alps, Hillary discovered he and his friend George Lowe had been invited for the approved British 1953 attempt and immediately accepted.[5]

Shipton was named as leader, but was replaced by Hunt. Hillary considered pulling out, but both Hunt and Shipton talked him into remaining. Hillary was intending to climb with Lowe, but Hunt named two teams for the assault: Tom Bourdillon and Charles Evans; and Hillary and Tenzing. Hillary therefore made a concerted effort to forge a working friendship with Tenzing.[5]

The Hunt expedition, like many such expeditions, was a team effort. Lowe supervised the preparation of the Lhotse Face, a huge and steep ice face, for climbing. Hillary forged a route through the treacherous Khumbu Icefall.[5]

The expedition set up base camp in March 1953. Working slowly, it set up its final camp at the South Col, 7,900 metres (25,900 ft). On May 26, Bourdillon and Evans attempted the climb, but turned back when Evans's oxygen system failed. The pair had reached the South Summit, coming within 100 metres (300 ft) of the summit.[6] Hunt then directed Hillary and Tenzing to go for the summit.

Snow and wind held up the pair at the South Col for two days. They set out on May 28 with a support trio of Lowe, Alfred Gregory and Ang Nyima. The two pitched a tent at 8,500 metres (27,900 ft) on May 28, while their support group returned down the mountain. On the following morning, Hillary discovered his boots had frozen solid outside the tent. He spent two hours warming them before he and Tenzing attempted the final ascent, wearing 30-pound packs.[5]

The crucial move of the last part of the ascent was the 40-foot (12 m) rock face later named the "Hillary Step." Hillary saw a means to wedge his way up a crack in the face between the rock wall and ice, and Tenzing followed.[7] From there, the following effort was relatively simple. They reached the summit at 11:30 am.[1] As Hillary put it, "A few more whacks of the ice axe in the firm snow, and we stood on top."[8]

When referring to this expedition to the top of the world he said: "We knocked the bastard off."

In 2003 Time publised an interview "A visit with the world's greates living explorer". Stuff has published an obituary:

Sir Ed – as all New Zealanders knew him - never forgot that he reached the summit with Tensing and he devoted the rest of his life to fundraising to improve the health, education and the environment the Sherpa people of Nepal.

When he first started that work he personally built many of the schools and hospitals in the Himalayas with his own hands.

It is a sad day.

freitasm's profile

Mauricio Freitas
New Zealand

I live in New Zealand and my interests include mobile devices, good books, movies and food of course! 

I'm the Geekzone admin. On Geekzone we publish news, reviews and articles on technology topics. The site also has some busy forums. Also worth visiting is TravelTalk NZ, a community for travelers!

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If you want to contact me, please use this page or email me Note this email is not for technical support. I don't give technical support. You can use our Geekzone Forums for community discussions on technical issues.

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