How can technology be useful?

We started writing down key words and keyquestions on the whiteboard and started debating stuff as soon as we had found a common topic that we wanted to talk about.

First we started talking about how much we actually rely on the internet and technology for the lifes we live. Downsides of this are for example GPS usage and stopping to rely on "trusting strangers", for example not asking people on the streets for directions. yet another example was spending hours on the internet if you're in a new place and need to look for a host on hospitality networks, instead of going around town and asking people for a place to stay. When does technology make you become anti-social?

The question was directed towards a nomadbase network. How would this network look like if we would not rely on the internet? Example we mentioned was refugees houses, in the mountains for example where houses are literally open for people to stay for a night, or a some time longer. As a solution a catalogue was mentioned, a catalogue with contact details of people. The euro-network of ecovillages work like that. They have a listing of over 600 eco-villages that you can buy for 5 euro. They also have a listing on the internet but that one is less usable than the offline book.

Going from there we also spoke about people who simply don't rely on the internet so much or who don't want to have internet profiles etc. Could they still be "part of the network". A hybrid system could be a solution. In each nomadbase there could be a listing of places/ people/ etc. You can access this once you are in a base. Another solution could be a telephone number one could call, dial a number and you get help for places. This concept of a helpline could also be extended to other forms of help.

Also same question applies to the spread of nomadbase idea. Do we want to use the internet so much to spread the word, or do we want to go from peer to peer? Through lightfoot for example. See also the problem associated with CS and how it became so popular, undermining its own capacity.

Then on to nomadbase/places. What if a house doesn't have internet access or is against using it. We have different levels of online participation here. For example, just a profile but no blogging/ online presence for example. Should it be part of a network? First of all, if your place is open for other people to stay and you are connected then you are already within the network, but not per se online. But if you want to online presence, do we want to rule them out of our online nomadbase network. We agreed that for this the minimum requirements is a contact person or a way of reaching the base. This could be a telephone number or an address or a description or instructions on how you can reach the base (go to bar x in town y and ask for me).

Next question was what kind of technology we can offer nomads and bases. Through we can offer bases their own space on the website where they can have their own group for blog/ wiki/ forum/ etc. User can have their own profile/ blog, etc. On the website we can also give certain roles. For example, you can be a contact person for a city or a zone. We can extend on the idea of the helpcenter here, some people can be contact person for help on how to use the website/ how to find certain people, etc.

The other thing we do is creating more drupal-websites (or other platforms) for houses. We can quickly build websites such as casarobino for example. We need to have a working group for that though, with people who can commit themselves in making those. For this though we also need to resolve the issue of profiles that can be exported/ integrated from one website to another. Also needed for people who host their own profile elsewhere/ openauth/ openid, etc.

How can you personally avoid being relient so much on internet/ high tech? You can carry pidgeons while hitchhiking and send them back home once you have arrived in your place, with a little message so you don't have to use internet/ e-mail. Also, having the address in a notebook as well as in ur phone or computer.

Lastly it was mentioned that should have a listing of all sort of recommended software, where to get them, where to find people who can help you with this software. Also counts for open hardware and (hackable) nomadgear.

The meeting ended with people showing off how crap their technology is.