Science, Science and Society, Technology

Open Culture: The (internet) keys to the city, and beyond

I wrote this post for the Retake the Net site, where it first appeared. See the RtN website for more details about our work/projects, and how you can get involved!


It’s a brand new year, and now that everyone’s back and refreshed, it’s time once again to work on the Open Culture project.

Late last year, we got wonderful news.  CityLink, one of the premier providers of internet services in Wellington, would like to contribute to Wellington’s development, and is offering the use of its infrastructure to that end. It was originally part of Wellington City Council, and so understands civic commitment!

For those of you wondering why the name sounds so familiar, CityLink are the providers of cbdfree (free WiFi access around Wellington CBD) and cafenet (paid WiFi around Wellington CDB). And what they’re offering is, basically, the keys to the city internet-wise.  For projects they think are worthwhile, they are willing to ensure that anyone in Wellington can upload and download as much content as they want, free.  And they’re willing to help pay for the development of software and apps to do so, too!

So, yeah, this is brilliant news for Retake the Net and Open Culture!  And we’ve been putting our heads together to think of ways to use this offer to the best of our abilities. It seems we’re bounded only by our imaginations :)

Hence the next Retake the Net meeting on February 18th.  Unlike the barcamp last year, this will be focussed on this project specifically, and over a 2-hour period we want to gather ideas for what we can do, as well as get an idea of who wants to get involved, and in what capacity.  It’s like we’ll be talking around a couple of ideas, we’ve had, too!

The first isn’t so much one idea as it’s a number of ideas for smaller projects which are very strongly Wellington-focussed, and aimed at putting Wellingtonians more easily in touch with each other, and also with the city in which they live.

The second idea is around a global competition to encourage content creation. We’re keen to explore this further with you at the meetup.

We hope to see you there!  And, given that it’s Webstock week, perhaps we can entice a number of Webstockers to come and give their feedback, too :P

Please do RSVP if you’re going to come, as knowing numbers of people is important :) ANd should you have ideas in the meantime, please do give us a shout!

Retake the Net team