Author: cataspanglish

A return to pre-industrial communities?

During his talk yesterday at the Jornada Euroecom, Joost van Nispen mentioned that somebody (sorry, I don’t remember who) has said that what is happening on Internet is a return to a pre-industrial community in the sense that your reputation has become your “brand”. The net is also creating bespoke products which had previously been lost in the process of moving to mass-production. Any opinions???

Ricard Espelt has now posted an English language version of his rundown of the event.


Writing this on the iPhone on the way back to Lleida from the Jornada Euroecom organized by ACC1Ó, a new initiative by the Generalitat to promote innovation in business.
The event was aptly summed up by a question after one of the speeches when somebody asked for advice about a start-up instead of all the examples given about big companies. As usual the structure of the event was old school while talking about innovation and web 2.0. ACC1Ó should realize that events have to be 2.0 as well. The speakers had a wealth of experience, but the format was that of “experts” dispensing knowledge instead of getting down & dirty…

See The Plate is Hot for a rundown on the event by Ricard Espelt (in Catalan).

See L’Anella on Twitter

Open Politics?


Ahir es va celebrar la VIII Jornada Parlamentària sobre Mitjans de Comunicació Audiovisual, el tema va ser Societat, Mitjans i Política: Drets i Deures i segons la pròpia pàgina web del Parlament de Catalunya 

“Participació dels ciutadans: informació i finalitat del registre 
La Jornada serà oberta a tots els ciutadans, que hi podran participar virtualment i fer-hi arribar en temps real les seves preguntes, els seus suggeriments i les seves aportacions”

Els organizadors de PodCamp Barcelona vam ser convidats a participar-hi i vam seguir el protocol de registre rebent les claus per accedir-hi. Va ser impossible seguir l’esdeveniment a través de Safari. Disgustats vam canviar a Firefox però cada cop que intentávem obrir el visor, Firefox patia un “crash”. 

Vam escriure sobre el que estava passant a Twitter, on si podiem seguir el que passava a través dels twitts i els organitzadors de la jornada van repondre que estaven investigant que passava. 

Mentre rebíem altres twitts de gent que podia veure la jornada a través de Firefox. 

Vam preguntar si estaven utilitzant MAC o PC i tots els que van respondre estaven utilitzant PC. Vam posar en marxa un vell portàtil que té Windows dins d’Ubuntu i a Internet Explorer podíem seguir la jornada. L’únic problema és que aquest portàtil no té so, llavors el podíem veure però no escoltar. 

Vam rebre un altre twitt dels organitzadors dient que havien comprovat que no funcionava a Safari però si a Firefox. 

Vam intentar amb Firefox a Ubuntu però tampoc funcionava. 

Expliquem aquesta situació amb detall perquè creiem que demostra molt bé que el concepte “open” encara no està entès. 

No és suficient posar un esdeveniment “a Internet”. 

“Open” vol dir utilitzar tecnología que funciona a qualsevol sistema operatiu i qualsevol cercador. Si el Parlament de Catalunya vol que els ciutadans participem ha d’aqssegurar que s’estan utilitzant mitjans realment “open”. És vergonyós que serveis comercials com Renfe té un sistema de compra de bitllets que només funciona a Internet Explorer però és totalment incapceptable que el Govern utilitzi aplicaciones que només funcionin en certes plataformes i cercadors. Estem d’acord que qualsevol iniciativa per aconseguir que les autoritats públiques siguin més “open” és positiva, però el que ens ha passat posar en evidència la distància entre l’aparador i la realitat. 

És irònic però de l’única manera que vam poder seguir la jornada va ser a través de Twitter una aplicació web Open Source, cross-platform i cross-browser. 


Ayer se celebró VIII Jornada Parlamentaria sobre Medios de Comunicación Audiovisual, el tema fue Sociedad, Medios y Política: Derechos y Obligaciones y según la propia página web del Parlament de Catalunya la jornada estaba abierta a cualquier ciudadano que quisiera participar virtualmente. 

Los organizadores de PodCamp Barcelona fuimos invitados a participar y seguimos el protocolo de registro recibiendo las claves para acceder. Fue imposible seguir el evento a través de Safari. Un poco molestos cambiamos a Firefox pero cada vez que intentábamos abrir el visor, Firefox sufría un “crash”. 

Escribimos sobre lo que estaba pasando en Twitter, donde si podíamos seguir lo que ocurría a través de los twitts y los organizadores de la jornada respondieron que estaban investigando que pasaba. 

Mientras tanto recibimos otros twitts de gente que podía ver la jornada a través de Firefox. 

Preguntamos si estaban utilizando MAC o PC y todos los que respondían estaban utilizando PC. Pusimos en marcha un viejo portátil que tiene Windows dentro de Ubuntu y en Internet Explorer podíamos seguir la jornada. El único problema es que este portátil no tiene sonido entonces lo podíamos ver pero no escuchar. 

Recibimos otro twitt de los organizadores diciendo que habían comprobado que no funcionaba en Safari pero si en Firefox. 

Intentábamos con Firefox en Ubuntu pero tampoco funcionaba. 

Explicamos esta situación con detalle porque creemos que demuestra muy bien que el concepto “open” todavía no está entendido. 

No es suficiente poner un evento “en Internet”. 

“Open” quiere decir utilizar tecnología que funciona en cualquier sistema operativo y cualquier buscador. Si el Parlament de Catalunya quiere que los ciudadanos participemos tiene que asegurar que se están utilizando medios realmente “open”. Es vergonzoso que servicios comerciales como Renfe tiene un sistema de compra de billetes que solo funciona en Internet Explorer pero es totalmente inaceptable que el Gobierno utilice aplicaciones que solo funcionen en ciertas plataformas y buscadores. Estamos de acuerdo que cualquier iniciativa para conseguir que las autoridades públicas sean más “open” es positiva, pero lo que nos ha pasado pone en evidencia la distancia entre el escaparate y la realidad. 

Es irónico pero la única manera que pudimos seguir la jornada fue a través de Twitter una aplicación web Open Source, cross-platform y cross-browser. 


The 8th Parliamentary Day of Audio-Visual Communication Media of the Parliament of Catalonia took place yesterday. The theme was “Society, Media and Politics: Rights and Obligations” and according to the Parliament’s own webpage, was “open to any citizen who wanted to participate virtually”. After registering and receiving a password, the participant could watch the events online and send comments which would appear in the Parliament itself. 

PodCamp Barcelona had been invited to participate and we duly registered. However it was impossible to see the event in Safari. So, a little annoyed, we changed to FireFox which was crashed by attempting to watch the proceedings. We tried again and again and each time FF crashed. 

We tweeted this on Twitter, where we could follow events, and the organisers tweeted back that they were investigating the situation. Meanwhile we received other tweets from people who were watching via FF. So we asked them if they were using Mac or PC, and they were all using PC’s. Meanwhile we fired up an old laptop which has Windows operating inside Ubuntu and lo and behold, in Internet Explorer we could see the event. The only problem is that the laptop has no sound, so we could watch but not listen. 

We received another tweet from the organisers to say that they had checked and although the event page didn’t work in Safari, it was working in FireFox. We then tried FF in Ubuntu and it didn’t work there either. 

We are explaining the situation in detail because we think that it illustrates very well that the concept of “Open” is still not understood. It is not enough to put an event on “the Internet”. Open means using technology that will function on any operating system and any browser. If the Parliament calls upon citizens to participate they must make sure that they are using Open media – it is bad enough that commercial services such as RENFE have ticketing systems that only function in Internet Explorer, but it is completely unacceptable that the Government uses applications that only function on certain platforms/browsers. While we welcome any initiative to make public authorities more Open, events such as this only demonstrate the gap between the hype and the reality. 

Ironically the only way we were able to follow The 8th Parliamentary Day of Audio-Visual Communication Media of the Parliament of Catalonia was via Twitter, an Open Source, cross-platform, cross-browser, web application.

Adam Greenfield, Handheld Learning, Urban Labs & more…


This morning I finished reading Everyware: The Dawning Age of Ubiquitous Computing – a remarkable, beautifully written explanation and call to participation of a new world on our doorsteps byAdam Greenfield. I’ve just read on Adam’s blog that he will be in Madrid at VISUALIZAR’08: DATABASE CITY Go and see him if you can. 

The Handheld Learning conference took place in London this week and although we weren’t able to go, I discovered via their Twitter tweets that it was possible to follow a lot of the presentations through a “live” blog hosted at Cover It Live. As it was a blog format, “readers” could ask questions and add comments. It was the next best thing to being there. 

The UrbanLabs page is being continuously updated with media from the event and links for future collaboration – keep up to date here

First thoughts on UrbanLabs



photos by Enric Senabre

UrbanLabs has been a very ambitious project which has brought people together from all over Spain and beyond at Citilab-Cornellà to discuss and possibly construct a common vision of where we are going digitally and the crossover to an increasingly blurred “real” life. Unfortunately due to Ana being ill I had to return to Lleida after the first day and a morning spent poking around the magnificant space that is Citilab-Cornellà, thanks to the invitation of a very busy Enric Senabre who made me more than welcome. Since returning home, I’ve followed the rest of the event on the web and although I haven’t been able to participate directly, have been able to watch the streaming of the thought-provoking talk given by Michel Bauwens of the P2P Foundation as well the interesting presentation of David Cierco, the General Director of the Plan Avanza of the Spanish government. It also means that I was able to see this morning’s discussion of the future and organisation of UrbanLabs, and I want to say here that I would love to be involved.

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to speak with Michel Bauwens yesterday and he couldn’t praise Citilab-Cornellà highly enough. I certainly got the impression that the place is not the typical council-funded project filled with bureaucrats and powered by enchufes, but a genuine place full of imagination, ideas and the willingness and creativity to put them into action – as an old cynic I’m bloody shocked. If you have the opportunity, go and check the place out for yourself, I’m hoping to be able to go back and spend more time there soon.

As I had to leave early, I could ony participate in one session about Digital Education which was facilitated by Boris Mir. There were so many ideas and projects talked about that it would have taken weeks to discuss every pertinent point and it was hard to find a structure to encompass everything in the allotted time. As we found out at PodCamp Barcelona, it showed that there are many, many people out in the digital world trying to find the way to explore new avenues of communication and co-opereration and UrbanLabs has gone a long way towards finding a way to have that dialogue in both the “real” and digital worlds and demonstrates that for many of us, that separation is disappearing.

Minerva magazine just publised an interview with and an essay by Michel Bauwens (in Spanish).
Juan Freire blogged Urbanismo emergente: ideas para el grupo de trabajo de Urban Labs 08