So this year we will be doing the FLISOL again in Cancun being is our 5th FLISOL (Latin American Free Software Installfest). The event is now heavily backed up by PriceTravel and other companies that have jumped on the boat. Hopefully their support will raise the notoriety of the event in Cancun. Hopefully Dolphin Discovery and others will be enthusiastic about getting free and open source software the focal point of that it deserves.
The wheels have started turning and having aids from the people of TQV as well as other ideas on how to get other software packages like OpenOffice, Mozilla, KDE and more.
So what is FLISOL about?
FLISOL is about installing applications on people’s laptop, from Office suites, to Browsers, Operating systems and even some more specialized applications like Learning Management systems, Games, and others.
How long has FLISOL been running?
FLISOL has been running since 2004 which makes this the 11th edition, which has been a very impressive run for this event.
How did the other FLISOL events turned out?
Just going to Youtube and typing FLISOL, you can see a whole lot of videos of the event all over the media. Even in this blog you should check out our posts from 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011.
The event would be again handled by the Tequila Valley Cancun people and we hope to have a great turnout since we are giving the publicity from an early stage.
Yesterday was the Latin-american free software intallfest, nearly 300 locations experience a lot of installations on new distributions, desktops, applications and such. I had the task of taking care of my local event. I did received a lot of help from the other members of my tech group. This group really strive making everything looked professional enough and have enough activities.
The event took some partnership, including the venue, the people around, and other things like coffee break and cake.
The event got their target market when a family came to the event and was able to learn about open source software, how it works and how to interact with the online communities around it. In a very sci-fi fashion, a talk that mimic the popular “The hitchhicker’s guide to the galaxy”. The talk focus on loosing the fear of people of interacting with a global and technical communities that work around these open source software.
It goes into making an analogy to traveling through space and visiting colonies in far away lands and how we need to be brave enough to make an effort into interacting with them. That said, I also point out the benefits such as – the applications will forever be available to you, and your workflow and productivity will increase by magnitudes.
The second talk was full of geekiness, teaching how open hardware works and what kind of things you can do with Arduino. One of the flagship projects of the open hardware movement. By making projects such as an alarm for embedded devices, Android is able to compete on what programming for embedded applications and portable devices.
The third conference was about Blender, and what this college been working on several animation projects. They go from the basics of 3D modeling, to dividing projects into departments like lightning, coloring, modeling, animating and coming into a full motion production.
The event was more than conferences, it was about socializing, and getting close to understanding open source. We installed portable applications, education applications, enterprise systems and of course games.
But more than that, it was about checking out how can you be part of the free software movement. How can you contribute to it, and why you should know is a good idea for your personal and professional development. How the world is changing and technology is innovating thanks to free software, and the impact in the personal life of its users is undeniable.
The best part was the non scheduled discussions that took place about education, politics, government and how technology could easily change that. How students should learn with technology as opposed to digitize their old ways of learning. In true TQVCancun fashion, we jump from topic to topic and enhancing the dialog on different parts of the event, from the auditorium to the workshop.
After the event, there was a lot of positive response from the people that attended the event as well as people that want to do more with this. Including launching programs on teaching free software, creating new project and expanding the vision of innovation.
Hopefully our little tech group will get the chance to grow and become more popular and drive more initiatives.
So just a few weeks from the Latin American installfest called FLISOL.
The event happens across all Latin American countries including Spain and Brazil. Is primarily in Spanish although most of the maintaining crew of the servers are Brazilians.
Originally the event happens on the same day however due to many schools having breaks they decided to push/advance the event from the target day.
In Cancun we are in charge of the local FLISOL. We will do it on the designed date and we are gearing up to have a great audience. Thanks to many of the contacts that have been giving us support we were able to promote it on many different ways from school to business, media types and word of mouth.
A funny picture of the GNU horns and beard as I pose after the interview from the local TV station.
This post is dedicated more toward the actual event, having a great location in La Gran Plaza was a great way to start. Adding the wittiness of Sandy was a great help to organize the decoration of the venue. With many high quality flyers and also great ammount of projectors we were able to make a very lively and hip place.
Many people came to the event and was good to be able to chat with them and also see them gather around to learn about different areas of software and areas of discovery. The topics went from games to enterprise to educational involvements.
Some of the talks we had included:
How to make money as a programmer
Education in technology with free software
The installfest area,was the main area, which means that a lot of Free software was installed, from USB, to CDs. Many people was able to experience different distros and applications on education and such.
Finally we had some social media with tweets from across the globe, on different events across latin america.
I think the event acomplish it’s goal, we would have hope to see more students and such, but I think it was a great experience for everybody.
Finally after 2 years of constant development, the event that I was hoping to carry across came to a reality. After a big push by some sponsors including Universidad del Sur and members of Tequila Valley we were able to gather the right spot, with enough tables, chairs, baloons and volunteers.
Organizing the event gave me a different perspectives and lessons learned from the previous ones. To start, I was able to focus more on the variety of the event. Different activities and also more focus on the amenities and decorations.
I also got some bad assumptions like trying to asume that the technique with the mic will work on the conferences and we wont be able to suffer from last minute delays.
Other issues were the way promotion was held, some schools are too bureacratic and are just not very easy to get a hold of the channels you need to go through many motions and most people don’t know how to handle your request.
Usually when u have 1 sponsor that cover most of th things, there is little to no problem, but trying to do this without any single big sponsor is a bit hectic.
Having documentation, does help, however there is alwaya a juggle between flyers, banners, digital promos and multimedia promos. The development is not as hard as the promotion but is definetly something you want to go about with enough time.
Money is probably the hardest thing to come by. Many people promise to give money but very few do, so is always good to plan for scarcity.
Besides all these lessons, we can also review some more specific goals. Things like, how much money you want to charge, and how much u think you will make back. If you charge is important to know who will handle it, and if this will be something you will be able to afford moving forward.
Events, specially free one, are sometimes hard to manage since resource are scarse, but having good footage of the event is something we want to consider for the future. If we want to get more and more partners we would need to have a better image and documentation of it.
A good blog, column, and gallery can be enough. Even better if ther is some video footage. In the end a sales pitch for next year and marketing kit should be gathered and developed.
FLISOL event is happening in late April but we are already at full speed recruting, looking for sponsors and promoters and setting up an even better event from last year. 2011 was great for the FLISOL movement in Mexico, and this year I hope it gets even better.
First of, we did a decent job documenting the event, making database of visitors and getting contacts from newspapers and shows. We also got some visibility online and also some recognition, so is a good time to build on a next level of recognition closer to the mainstream.
This year we have a stronger relationship with a few more companies and we are growing. We hope to have even more partners than last year. And I hope we are able to acomplish more on less time. We also have more time with some universities from the locality and potentially a better fit team to create events.
So we are looking for this edition to be bigger, greater and more to the point of what people really are looking for. We are compiling a CD full of Videos that users can take home and maybe even a software packages that explain the creation and use of open source software.
However this is not enough, we are looking for next year also as an opportunity to kick start new developments with budgets and more strong relationship with the different locations across the country. We want to launch an initiative to get federal funds for innovation and put it into next year event across the country, giving it more visibility and a relationship with innovation that can start getting some legs.
I hope we can do this with the help of some of the open source activist that I know through the years. Happy FLISOL and keep hacking and moving.
So this is a new year and I hope that we can get the wheels rolling about FLISOL. This year FLISOL will be happening on the 28 of April which give us room to perform. I hope that FLISOL this year can help me get even more exposure and make it able for everyone to participate.
The event consist on having many more people involved and have a good place to share the knowledge on the topics. But also to have a more long term vision about the project.
Looking forward to 2013 from now is something that I would love to do, and being able to perform a national event with stronger presence will make it much better not just for the event but for open source in the country as a whole.
I think that the communication channels need to get off the internet a bit and more into the mainstream so that more people are able to contribute for real.
This means that more talks about how to contribute would be a good start to get things on a higher level of deployment and awareness.
I’ll quote and translate this post from Lesthack on his blog. Giving a roundup of what this last months raising awareness of the event and how it evolved up to the day of launch.
On 2011 is the 7th year that the Latinamerican Festival of Free Software installations takes place in Latin America and Spain, and we are proud that the number of locations this year came to a wooping 260. Althought there were some locations that for some reason they couldn’t come through, or locations that did had an event but didn’t register on the website.
Mexico this year had a great 53 locations documented on the official wiki of FLISOL, surpasing this year to the ones before and waiting on the next years to increment even more.
This year new people were involved in the national chapter for Mexico including Jorge Luis Hernandez (Lesthack), Alexandro Colorado (JZA), Joshua Laister (Nierox) and Enrique Rodriguez (TheKiken), and sometimes it wasn’t enough, we started to take action by inviting people to participate more interactively on the mailing list  and on the IRC .
Between meetings in IRC and Skype, and between some glitches, we could put together a plan with action items like improving the way the coordination was currently running.
We improved the website mainly the one for the Mexican chapter, within the constrain of the MoinMoin wiki and carrying an old version, we were able to improve it giving it more dynamic and graphical interfaces, we classify the information on a better way, to make it more readable and easy to go through.
With the goal to rescue some of the chapter from previous years, we had a direct contact with the local organizers to verify their current situation, sometimes we made a difference.
At the end the range of action could have been expanded however there were other things to consider. The work was made from the National Chapter is mainly a work of love, and with other matters like school and work, there needs to be able to find a hole in a schedule so we can fit in this issues.
We are doing a good job, the 2012 Flisol is still ahead of us, is the time to bring some action, forget the discussions that separate one place from the next and work togethers are embassadors of Free Software.
We still don’t know if next year the number of locations will increase not only in Latin america but around the world, we don’t know if is possible retake and rebuild the name of FLISOL, what we do know is that we want to let people know about alternatives that are open as well as new proposals and interaction between us.
Thanks to everyone that made FLISOL 2011 possible, also, we welcome the invitation to organize next year event, at FLISOL 2012.
Nice post and I agree with everything he said, we do have some challenges that has to do with the long period of time between events. Here is where some real work needs to be talked about to mantain these locations for next year and also convince them to produce other events beyond FLISOL like the SoftwareFreedomDay.
We also want to handle the network to come up with ideas of building local tours around the city giving talks to audiences that otherwise would be hard to get like, high schools and Jr High from different parts of the city.
Even if FLISOL 2011 already past, it really hasn’t, there still a lot of work that we need to evaluate and see if there is things that we are still missing or that we are just simply underperfoming.
Let’s try to bring the network more in touch with each other and help build the relationships we need to make this FLOSS community prosper.
I am a geek, techie, hax0r, hipster, otaku, gamer, freaker, lurker, coder? When I talk with my family usually they never know what I am talking about. They can’t care less if there was a major fork between OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice or that Nokia had dump the Meego project. Facebook and even Google dont really mean much and the youtube new sensation is as alien to them as some thing that exist but can’t be that important.
However this time I am doing an event that is not target to me or the people from my target. The challenge is to get people like me to build an event for people like my parents, all over the country and the rest of the continent.
So one thing is how can we entice the regular non-geeks to a tech event. One thing that we need to understand is that even thought everyone uses technology, most people are bored by it.
They see it as the future, but really they believe themselves about belonging to the past. This feeling is commonly seen on adults but is odd when it comes from kids.
However thsis cause the opposite effect, most kids don’t really think about technology as something that require a lot of thought. So they take the technology for granted and feeling a bit old school when thinking about generating such technology.
Sure we all use technology, technology for our phones, our computers, our ATM, at school and even to pay our taxes. However the more you see people embrace technology they are also more turned off by the idea of developing such technology. At the same time, there is a more social context to technology that are making more people trying to get into e-business. Creating your iphone app, your iphone app and your web 2.0. However, where does free software enters into this. A contrarian driver such as freedom and sharing knowledge become less popular as they dont really catch the idea of sharing is good.