Open Thinkering


Weeknote 05/2022

Signal box, Bedlington Station, Northumberland

Everyone’s heard of ‘long Covid’ but I reckon what I’ve got may be best classed as ‘medium Covid’. It’s in no way a scientific definition, but rather just a feeling that while my lingering tiredness won’t last forever it’s certainly taking it’s time to dissipate.

This week was one full of context-switching. We try to keep this to a minimum in our WAO work by blocking out half-days for client projects at a time and this usually works well. This week’s been a little different, though, in that it included our participation in a new workshop from Outlandish around ‘reframing conflict’. It’s good to do things as a co-op that serve to strengthen our communication and give us tools should we need them.

In addition to our client work with Greenpeace (two projects), Julie’s Bicycle (two projects hopefully merging into one), and Participate, I’ve been diving into work on the Zappa project with the Bonfire team. I’m doing this work through Dynamic Skillset and helping them with user research as they figure out ways to help with anti-disinformation efforts with federated social networks.

So lots of interesting work on at the moment. I also had a chance to catch up with Ian O’Byrne, which was nice, and I’m figuring out re-arranged in-person dates with Jeroen de Boer to help his team with ‘Open Bibliotheek Badges’ and contribute to the Dutch National Libraries conference. Oh, and I’m still trying to rearrange a Climate Café in my home town with one of our neighbours.

One of the meetings I attended this week was the Open Recognition working group for the Open Skills Network. The main focus of the session was a demo of the Open Skills Management Tool (OSMT). I’ve written up my (enthusiastic!) thoughts about it in a blog post.

I published a few posts over at Thought Shrapnel:

Next week, I’m returning the laptop (an Asus UX325) as it keeps weirdly crashing in a way that I have to reinstall the operating system. After much (more) research and deliberation, I’ve bought a Mac Mini M1 which my wife and son will use in regular macOS mode, whereas I’ll virtualise an ARM-based Linux distribution. As for a laptop, I’ll just use my trust ThinkPad X220 🙂

Work-wise, I’m just continuing with the six projects outlined above, and taking the second session of the Outlandish workshop with my co-op colleagues.

Photo of train signal box taken by me on Wednesday night in Bedlington Station, Northumberland

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