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Couchsurfing the Zeitgeist
Alex Steffen, 10 Nov 07

We're big fans here of road trips, citizen journalism, and micropatronage. When you want real insight into happenings on the innovative fringe, mainstream media (whatever its other strengths) proves essentially useless: instead, go listen to the folks actually moving through it.

For instance, if you want to get a sense of what the global free/open cultural movement feels like on the ground, you could do a lot worse than spend an hour reading the blog On the Luck of Seven.

29 year-old blogger Noel Hidalgo set out from New York about four months ago for "an open-source journey around the world documenting free culture, social innovators and global change." Along the way, he's posted not only the usual sort of travel entries -- musings while staring out the train window -- but reports on a bunch of interesting-sounding people at work on all sorts of collaborative, innovative and often weird projects. As he puts it, his beat is

free culture; free and open-source software communities; couchsurfers, bloggers, fellow travelers and vloggers; agents of progressive social change; barcamp, coworking and meetups; happenstance, and climate change.

Now, I am an absolute sucker for people's nerdy obsessions. I think a good general rule, especially when young, is when you really feel a call, to just go for it, no matter how weird or inexplicable. Geek with great enthusiasm! Noel is full of that spirit, and he can be a difficult narrator, but his blog is also full of thoughtful, sensitive, intelligent citizen journalism about the moment in which we find ourselves.

It may not be your thing, but it is thing that could only be happening right now. If it is your thing, check it out and drop a few coins in his travel fund jar.

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Comments

thanks for such a lovely write up!


Posted by: noneck on 12 Nov 07



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