[okfn-discuss] Mornflake outreach: Chat about ebooks for DVD players

Andrius Kulikauskas ms at ms.lt
Wed Sep 9 21:13:42 UTC 2009

Hi Jonathan, Rufus and all,
We've made some baby steps towards supporting your Open Knowledge 
It seemed like a good start just to translate the one-sentence summary 
"A piece of knowledge is open if you are free to use, reuse, and 
redistribute it".  We have that for Luganda, Kiswahili and Lithuanian.  
Also, Josephat Ndibalema is interested to translate the full definition 
into Kiswahili.  I don't want to pay people directly because I'm trying 
to develop and "economy of dreams" where we avoid cash and we help each 
other's projects instead, where we can.  So it will be slow going, but 
we're interested in the long run.  One idea as you can see below is to 
publish an "ebook" explaining open knowledge in a variety of local 
languages.  We could think about what's most useful. Perhaps avoiding 
legalistic language.  Also, for our culture, I want to emphasize the 
importance of the Public Domain, which is "free" in a very different 
(and often, very relevant) sense as compared to copyleft alternatives 
(like Creative Commons).  For example, it's unfortunate that Wikipedia 
is not in the Public Domain, but especially for local and regional 
languages.  These are points for learning from each other as we work 
together.  I share my letter about our chat and endeavors.   Thank you, 
  Andrius, ms at ms.lt

I invite us all to our chat room http://www.worknets.org/chat/  on 
Thursday, September 10, at 16:00 Kenya time, 14:00 London, 9:00 New 
York. We'll chat about publishing ebooks in local and regional languages 
(like Kiswahili, Hindi, Lithuanian, Luo) that can be read (as JPG 
images) with DVD players, mobile phones, digital picture frames, ebook 
readers, etc.

We'd love to work together with other communities.  Many of our 
endeavors are converging:
* Ricardo (UK) has written many helpful pages about making the most of 
marginal Internet access, as in Africa: 
* He suggested that we convert text to JPG images so they could be read 
on DVD players, mobile phones, etc. 
* I implemented this: http://www.worknets.org/software/ebook/  You can 
enter a text and it will output a zipped file with JPG images, 
typically, one per paragraph.
* Josephat Ndibalema (Tanzania) is championing the creation of learning 
materials in Kiswahili (see our wiki http://www.worknets.org/sw/ )
* Graham Knight (UK) promotes DIY Solar, small do-it-yourself solar 
panels for recharging mobile phones, and we could create related ebooks. 
* Franz Nahrada (Austria) wants us to engage the participants of 
http://www.thingiverse.com (sharing "digital designs for physical 
objects") to work together on real-life challenges and we agreed (with 
Ralf Schlatterbeck (Austria)) that this will be the first "semantic" 
project for our Worknets Interface Architecture Committee.
* Ananya Guha (India) has suggested children's books and that is also a 
focus of Masimba Biriwasha (Zimbabwe). Indeed, it would be good for us 
to collect, share and write children's stories and study them in terms 
of the values that we and they are espousing. That's a great way to 
research our own values, including our deepest values, and to create a 
new culture, growing with children.
* Janet Feldman's (USA) Rising Voices guide for Blogging Positively and 
other such materials are also great. 

As you see, we need help:
* Learning what content might be relevant to publish.
* Strategizing the publishing path (which might include converting EPUB 
and PDF files, using Public Domain resources like books 
http://www.gutenberg.org , http://www.feedbooks.com , audio books 
http://www.librivox.org ) and even interweaving (much like a slide show) 
text, photos, audio, video.
* Creating software for conversion and for making publishing easy with 
good results.
* Exploring hardware options and even hacking new ones.
* Translating materials.
* Organizing publishing and distribution networks.
* Building contacts and developing business opportunities.

We'd also like to learn about any endeavors you may have that we might 
work together on
as well as your "deepest value in life" and "questions that you don't 
know the answer to, but wish to answer"
and "what would you like to do with your life"?
and "how can we help"?

Worknets is a culture for independent thinkers, that is, for focusing on 
those who are able to work even by themselves, are willing to give and 
share in the Public Domain, and so with our help might remake all of our 
world, so that what we believe is what happens. 

In 1998, I founded Minciu Sodas http://www.ms.lt as a business (and 
haven) for serving and organizing independent thinkers.  I'm taking the 
lead to organize Worknets as a broader culture and network based on 
minimum requirements for maximum sharing

Our endeavor above is a good occassion to seek liaisons with a wide 
variety of groups such as Rising Voices, Yi-Tan, Learning Communities, 
Ugabytes, Super Happy Dev Club and many others. 
I hope we might find people who could build bridges amongst groups, 
summarize what people are working on in a group, and share endeavors 
from other groups.  Such summaries and related exchanges would be 
assumed to be in the Public Domain, for participating groups.  I am 
actively looking for liaisons and also for modest stipends for their help.

I prefaced my letter with "Mornflake outreach" because this summer such 
outreach was made possible by work we did for Leon Benjamin 
http://www.winningbysharing.net on behalf of Mornflake cereal 
http://www.mornflake.com and their online video contest 
http://www.mornflakecompetition.com   Leon paid us to engage online 
communities and agreed that we focus on reaching out to them and 
supporting their endeavors, and credit Mornflake for their support, 
rather than promote Mornflake cereal directly.  The groups that tolerate 
us are those with whom we can effectively build such a network.  Leon 
and I think that we can find more such clients to support our outreach, 
and we can share this work as well.  I thus appreciate your 
understanding and support (and Mornflake's, too).

Please share your thoughts, how might we help each other, and what 
groups would like us to reach out to them?

Thank you!


Andrius Kulikauskas
Minciu Sodas
ms at ms.lt
+370 699 30003
Dukiskes, Lithuania

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