Archive for the ‘Conference’ Category

We Make Penguins Fly

What can we say? We’re a sucker for a little penguin humor – especially being fresh off the 2010 Nonprofit Technology Conference packed with our 75 3 and 1/2-foot tall inflatable penguins that filled the grand ballroom and achieved a bit of music video star status (2:14, 2:33).

So when Paul Wessel with CT Parent Power passed along today’s comic strip from Mother Goose and Grimm by Mike Peters , we just had to share:

Mother Goose Penguins Flying

Want your organization’s website to do more than dream? Learn how we make penguins fly, enabling our non-profits’ sites to take wing and soar to meet their needs.

Thanks for keeping us smiling, Paul!  We look forward to your new site taking flight with us in the near future!


Where in the world is Ryan? Mongolia

Conference dates: September 30-October 1 Where:  Joomla!Day, Ulan Bator, Mongolia

One of the most exciting trips I’ve been able to make this year was earlier this fall when I traveled around the world to Mongolia for their Joomla!Day. There was a great mix of attendees in addition to the usual Joomla! Enthusiasts; including B. Dolgor, the head of the cabinet secretariat for the Mongolian federal government; USAID Mongolia; Mr. T. Altansukh, leader of the Mongolian translation team; and university students.

I was pleased to give one of the keynotes again at this conference and emphasized the impressive achievement of the Joomla! community in Mongolia translating the entire project into Mongolian. I also celebrated the successful adoption of Joomla! across all federal agencies with B. Dolgor. After sharing information from the Joomla! leadership team on the future of project, we highlighted the community’s  potential to make an impact on the global Joomla! community now that they had overcome their biggest obstacle: language barriers.

Next steps for Mongolian Joomla! Community users is to help small businesses through this powerful open-source software, as well as to increase transparency in the federal government. Joomla! Can be an empowering tool that leads to a new way of life – and that’s something we can all be proud to be part of.

Read more about the conference here.

Check out a video interview of me in Mongolia!


Open-source devving it up in Oakland

Non-Profit Software Developer Summit 2009A few weeks ago I previewed Dev Summit here on the blog, extending an invite for you to go west and learn from some of the best of the best.

There are few events where I get such a great opportunity to meet key individuals in the community, and learn as much hands-on information, and this year’s Dev Summit came through once again. The event was held in Oakland, Calif. from Nov. 18-20, attended by non-profit software developers, evangelists, and technology users.

I was fortunate to speak with Nate Aune from Jazkarta and share stories about building successful businesses around open-source software and the non-profit sector.  I  also had a chance to engage in discussions with Michelle Murrain of OpenIssues, who shared her thoughts on the open-source CMS landscape for the non-profit sector. Ron Severdia, a member of the Joomla! leadership team, also spoke to the group about  design principles and the upcoming Joomla 1.6 user interface.

There were so many more great folks there that I want to give shout outs to, but there is so little time to say thanks to all of them! Aside from hearing from some of these great people, I spoke on a number of key topics, including open-source CMSs, utilizing cloud services, the Joomla! project, and open-source business models that could support our sector. I was most impressed by the terrific feedback and engagement in the open-source business models session, where participants helped share lessons learned and best practices in achieving success while also building sound business models.

You can visit the event wiki to see all the great notes taken during the sessions.


Sharing lessons learned at Brazil’s Intercon 2009

The Brazilian technology community is bubbling with amazing energy, and I had a great opportunity to see it first-hand this past weekend.  On Saturday, I was asked to speak at Intercon 2009, an annual gathering of Web technologists in Brazil.  I’m excited to report back that the Brazilian community (especially those in the Joomla world) are heavily engaged in our open source technology ecology.

My presentation focused on open source content management systems (CMS) with two perspectives:  that of a company looking to invest in CMS software, and that of a business looking to build a solid business model based on providing services around open source CMS software.  I provided a little snapshot of PICnet’s history, moving from a pure consulting firm to one providing our flagship Non-Profit Soapbox product, while sharing some lessons learned and paths to success.

Ryan speaking at InterCon 2009

Many thanks go to our friends at iMasters, who put on this great conference, and who were gracious hosts during my stay in Sao Paulo.  I’m looking forward to next year’s event!


Where in the world is Ryan? … Brazil

Conference dates: September 12; 14 Where: Joomla!Day Brazil; DevinRio

In September, I had the great opportunity to attend two different conferences in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and once again, both were amazing experiences. First up, I went to Joomla!Day Brazil to meet up with Joomla! enthusiasts from a wide range of backgrounds, businesses, the government and nonprofits. I was especially excited to meet Paulino Michelazzo, the president of Fabrica Livre, an open source consulting firm in Sao Paulo.

Similar to what I said in my keynote speech for Joomla!Day South Africa, I gave an update to conference attendees on Joomla! leadership and the drive toward increased transparency in open source matters, and I shared lessons learned from outside the Brazilian community. And then I had the opportunity to learn from the experiences of NGOs in Brazil and how they use Joomla! It’s pretty cool to hear about all the various ways that this software is being utilized around the world.

A couple of days later, I attended DevinRio, a conference specifically for developers with a focus on open-source software. Among the people I had the chance to meet were Guilherme Chapiewski of, a large media conglomerate; and my buddy Rodrigo Spillere, the young developer I met earlier this year at FISL 10. At this conference, I shared lessons learned from building an open-source community around an open-source project, while keeping in mind the user and community experience when writing code – because usability and constituent feedback are key to providing the best experience possible.

Dev in Rio 2009 – Ryan Ozimek e Coding Dojo from Guilherme Chapiewski on Vimeo.

In a nutshell, I was able to explain, as one attendee said, “the secret sauce of the Joomla! community success and show how open-source projects are improving the landscape of technology and helping to change the world.”


Come to Dev Summit 09!

You read a lot of posts from me about the conferences I attend – and this time, I want to encourage you to attend one with me! Dev Summit 09 will be from November 18-20 in Oakland, California. I think it’s the 15th Aspiration run-event I’ve personally attended, and I keep attending them because of Allen Gunn, aka Gunner, is one of the best facilitators of all time. He and his team at Aspiration Tech are simply the best group of folks to run these technology events, and each one is both extremely enjoyable and engaging (less PowerPoints, more actual discussion).

Dev Summit will be terrific because it’s going to bring together software developers from the non-profit technology sector, specifically CMS, CRM, and other Web developers.

What’s really important is that this is one of the few times that people who are actually writing code for large projects that effect the non-profit community come together to share knowledge, build bridges, and support social change together. It’s really an amazing sight. I’m excited to see Michelle Murrain, Nate Aune, Ben Rigby, Courtney Miller, Jim Craner, and Ron Severdia, all of who will be leading sessions. I’ll also be sharing lessons learned on topics like leveraging the cloud, and talking about utilizing Joomla! for beginners and advanced users.

Here are the sessions I’m speaking at:

See a full listing of the sessions at Dev Summit 09 here. Hope to see you there! If you plan on going, give me a shout!


Where in the world is Ryan? … South Africa

Joomla!Day South Africa, Cape Town 2009It’s about time that I gave another update on some of my travels to spread the word about PICnet, Joomla! and technology. Over the next few weeks you’ll see installments from my trips to South Africa, Brazil, Mongolia, New York, and more. The key theme? Engaging with Joomla! communities around the world to share our experiences, lessons learned and latest innovations and vision to create a better product for the user – that may be you!

August 13-19, 2009 – Cape Town, South Africa

I’ll begin with my trip to Cape Town, South Africa for their Joomla!Day in August. Among the audience at this conference were Joomla! users and people interested in using it, NGOs, local universities and small businesses. The day before the event there was a training day where I had the opportunity to work with 20 individuals from the community (ex. Food Bank of South Africa) to give them hands on instructions and lessons about using Joomla!.

Read more »


A Very Merry Unconference: Community Leadership Summit

In my last post, I pointed out how crazy summertime can get with all the events to attend in the nonprofit technology field. To continue that chapter, I wanted to share my experiences from the Community Leadership Summit 2009, also held in San Jose, Cali., in mid-July.

The goals of this “unconference” as they call themselves on their website, are to Advance, Build and Connect. It was the first conference that brought together open source community managers to discuss the success and challenges of managing open source projects.  The audience was mostly community managers, and attendees ran the gamut from OpenID and Sun Microsystems to Gnome and Stanford University.

Leaders from most of the biggest open source projects, including Joomla, Mozilla, Linux, Drupal, and others were present.  I was there as a Open Source Matters board of directors member and leader in the Joomla community, accompanied by Elin Waring, President of Open Source Matters, whom I would work with again at OSCON a week later.

Below is a video someone captured of me speaking about the unconference, lessons learned in organizational management and leadership, and my thoughts on some of the stories and ideas participants were sharing.


Taking it all in at OSCON 2009

The summer is abound with conferences and conventions in the nonprofit technology field. There are the big names like NTEN, Netroots Nation, and South by Southwest, and then there are some of the more technical-focused ones that we PICnetters attend.

In May, I wrote about the CMS Brasil Conference, which was a great opportunity to spread the word about Joomla. This past week, I attended the Open Source Convention in San Jose, Calif., where anyone and everyone in open source software (more than 3,000 developers, designers, consultants, etc.) get together to share the latest and greatest. The sessions and discussions were designed to inspire, urge us to explore the future of open source, and to think creatively about how to use it effectively and efficiently for our clients in these tough economic times.

I had the honor to co-lead the Joomla! Birds of a Feather group on Wednesday, with the President of Open Source Matters, Elin Waring, in addition to hanging out at the Joomla! booth at the expo – which gave me a chance to talk to a lot of people from different backgrounds. It’s always neat to see so many people come together and share ideas, best practices and provide expert advice.

It’s also great to run into friends of the non-profit tech sector, including Leslie Hawthorn and Chris DiBona from Google, as well as Mark Surman from the Mozilla Foundation – both friends of PICnet that I just saw a few weeks ago in Brazil of all places.  Finally, the Joomla booth wouldn’t have been such a success if it weren’t for Bay Area Joomla User Group, including Ron Severdia, Nathan Mallamace, Deborah Susan, Steve Reichgut, and Karl!

For more on OSCON, check out their website for a full program and details on the conference. Or, you can search on Twitter for the hashtag #OSCON to see what attendees were tweeting about it.

Thanks to OSCON for the invite – we hope to be back next year!