E L S U A ~ A KM Blog Thinking Outside The Inbox by Luis Suarez

In the News

2014, The Year That Was

View of Campo Internacional from Playa del Inglés on my way to #running Gotta love the eternal spring, don't you think?  #grancanaria #playadelingles #campointernacional# #running  #exercise  #lifeisgood #landscapes #winter #eternalspring #sunshine #sunAnd nearly four months later… I am back to blogging. Again. And for how long this time around? I just don’t know. We will have to wait and see, but, I tell you, if I were to describe what 2014 has been like so far for yours truly, as we are coming close to its end, I would probably be able to describe it with just a couple of words: “in transition”. Frankly, I never thought it would be that way, or that it would take this long for it to be completed, specially, on a personal level, but you know how it goes, you make lots of exciting plans ahead of you in terms of what you would want to do and focus on and then life does its own thing and makes sure none of them eventually work out the way you intended them to in the first place. Well, at least, one thing did work out in the end though: at long last, and after a massively long hiatus (that is now over, by the way) I am back to blogging. Why? Plain and simple. Because I needed it.

2014 is one of those years that I will be remembering for a good number of different reasons (good and bad, in equal terms), but, mainly, because, if anything, it has been a year of change for myself, both on a professional and personal levels. And, as we are in the process of wrapping things up for another year (Goodness! Does time fly when you are having plenty of good fun or what?!), I thought what a better way to resume my blogging mojo than perhaps put together this article where I can reflect on a rather personal account of what has happened month by month sharing some of the highlights (and lowlights!) as an opportunity to not only go through a rather needed cathartic and reflective moment of sorts for myself, but also as a chance to consider that “in transition” period, finally, over, done and dealt with. Time to move on …

Oh, talking about moving on, I am sensing this entry is going to be rather long, so I am thinking that if you aren’t really interested in following up with the different thoughts and reflections of what 2014 has been for me so far, I would suggest you stop reading now, and come back to the next post I will be putting together shortly as well now that I am, finally, back to writing. No worries, no offence taken if you move on. I totally understand it. What’s about to come up shortly is perhaps a bit too personal any way; an exercise of self-introspection to help me understand better what’s happened this year and venture into what 2015 may bring forward. It’s an exercise I have been looking forward to engaging with for a good couple of months, since the last post I shared over here.

So I better get on with it then, don’t you think? Again, no offence if you would stop reading from here onwards. or if you decide to unsubscribe from the blog altogether after all of this time of silence. There is a new spirit, a massive transformation in the making, a rebirth of sorts, coming along to this blog as well that I will be writing plenty more about over the next few entries and it may well not be what you may be interested in reading, after all. It’s going to be good fun though as I will be rediscovering the true spirit from this blog from way back when it was first born in October 2005 as I get to celebrate its 10th year anniversary next October. Who knows… You’ll tell me, I’m sure. So let’s go! Let’s do it!

January

Christmas holidays. As usual, the time of the year where I take extended holidays (have been doing that for the last 15 years and counting…). However, this time around a little bit of a special one, since upon my return, on January 20th, I announced, after 17 years of (big) corporate life, I would be leaving IBM, my former employer, and embark on to whatever my next adventure may be like. Not knowing exactly how things would work out eventually, whether I’d be landing safe and sound, whether I’ll be able to justify what’s been my working life for the last of those 14 years as a social computing evangelist or whether I may be able to stay right where I am without having to migrate elsewhere, given the current poor state of things in this country. Lots of uncertainty, indeed, but at the same time plenty of excitement about the new adventures, whatever those may well be. About the change itself, about the new bits of fresh air coming along about figuring out whether I still have got a chance to do something else for the next few years outside of the well established comfort zone I have grown into over the last decade or so. But then … life kicked in, as home care of a rather close family member continued throughout the whole month. Not much of a holiday, after all, as I got to experience, in full force, the initial shift of priorities kicking in and, officially, beginning the “in transition” period…

February

Reflection month. Spent vast majority of the time reflecting on what I wanted to do next, whether it was working for another vendor in the Social Business & Enterprise Social Networking space, or work for an international business, or work at a startup or, eventually, set up my own business. In the end, and after much thought put into it, I decided to go from one extreme to the other and from having worked 17 years in one of the largest and most complex IT environments out there (through 6 different Lines of Business and dozens of project teams) I decided to set up my own advisory firm around Social Business & Digital Transformation, Knowledge Management, Learning, and Online Community Building. Was that the right choice? I don’t know. Nearly a year later, it looks like I may have made it, after all. But can I sustain it for the next few years? Or was it just the beginner’s luck of someone starting up hoping for the best? I still haven’t been able to answer those questions and I suppose it may need to wait way into 2015 to confirm it. What I knew for sure back then was that I needed something different than whatever I was involved with over the last 17 years. Shifting work environments of similar traits was not going to do it. At the same time, I knew I also needed to have a Plan B and may be a Plan C as well, both of which I haven’t resorted to just yet, which may confirm that initial decision as the potential correct one, if there ever was one. Home care, after nearly three months, finished up on a high note and everything was back in order, although too close for comfort! Phew!

March

The start of my next adventure. Going solo, as they call it, although I have never been, nor felt, alone, as some people say when you are just getting stated with a new career. Having cultivated and nurtured social networks over the course of the years (As an opportunity to build further up on the collective digital footprint of those friends who you care about and who, in return, would care back), I spent lot of time catching up with folks, whether face to face, or virtually. A very much worth while doing exercise, since it helped me rekindle plenty of those personal business relationships as well as come to terms with the fact and comprehend how plenty of people move on from you, once you stop being enterprisey with no corporate tag attached at the back of your neck, and, how, instead, you meet up other new, but equally interesting and fascinating people you feel you would have never met working in a corporate environment. The “in transition” period fully kicks in by then, as I started working on the pipeline of my own business; trying to figure things out, as I go along, as an independent freelancer, realising the massive learning curve I had just embarked on. Things will never be the same anymore. Excitement is peaking up by the minute as the first potential client prospects help me build that so-called pipeline. No income yet though. Uncertainty makes an entrance. Again. Do I need a Web site to describe my services and myself and hope for the best or will just my Social Web presence (including this blog) be good enough? I still don’t have my site up and I keep wondering whether it’s necessary, or not, in the age of the Social Web, specially, for the kind of work I do.

[Oh, don’t worry, there *is* a Web site in the making, right as we speak, so I guess I may have answered for myself that question… Yes!, you do need a Web site for those people who do not know you just yet to get to know you eventually before they will engage through other digital channels!]

April

Resumed travelling for business (to a couple of conferences, mainly), but this time around, and for the first time since I can remember, as an independent advisor. The business world changes around you. Or you change. Or both for that matter. I don’t know. Things are no longer the same, that’s for sure! You start seeing things through a different lens and all of a sudden you notice how your opinions, thoughts and reflections run free, unbiased, uncensored. Liberating to no end. Hugely refreshing and soul rewarding at the same time. The pipeline for potential work keeps growing, but still no income. Excitement still high though, mainly through the rekindling of those personal business relationships, while forming new ones, as my close social networks morph along to meet, connect and share (with) the new me. Uncertainty starts crippling in, but it doesn’t bother me. Still doesn’t today. A new world to discover and enjoy opens up every single day. Opportunity takes a new meaning. Self-discovery regains strength on everything I do as I try to figure out the what next and, most importantly, the whom with. 

May

Travelling for business to present at conference events continues to take place, although starting to appreciate, and quite a lot, how the frenzy of biz travelling from back in the day (i.e. almost always on the road) is no longer there, so I can start enjoying travelling again with a pace that just feels right! Yes! The every other week on the road mindset, all of a sudden, drops almost dead and, instead, I get to appreciate how wonderful it is to travel the world, still today in 2014, to meet up some rather beautiful and amazingly talented people. Still one of the things I appreciate the most from my past corporate life, even though it’s no longer happening with the maddening frenzy as it used to be, which means that every time I travel nowadays I enjoy it even so much more. Pace is everything. Pause is the killer. Time is all we got left as the new currency, so making the most out of it, day in day out, takes a whole new meaning altogether. Apparently, I have become a nowist. And I am enjoying it quite a bit, because who knows what will happen tomorrow or the day after? That’s just too far into a future we can never grasp, nor comprehend accordingly, so why bother? Why not enjoy the now as much as we possibly can? And let the worrying about the future for a later time…

Pipeline work continues to build up helping me realise, finally, how important it is to constantly keep moving, regardless. Multiple touch points, follow-ups, conversations, social networks and other groupings or associations, etc. No waiting times. If it comes, it comes, if not, we’ll just keep moving along. It will come back at some point, eventually, if it needs my attention, help and support or further involvement. Still no income. Uncertainty grows on the third month in a row without revenue starting to make me wonder whether I made the right decision back in January about moving on. The excitement of the new adventure, the unknown, and what may potentially lay ahead, day in day out, still keeps trumping it all though. Life moves on and so do we. No turning point back. That’s what decisions do for you. You just keep moving on. The constant learning never stops. Regardless.

June

Surprise, surprise! Huge month ahead! Finally, I got to discover and fully experience what, till today, have been my two main sources of income as an independent advisor: 1) Client work and 2) Hosting face to face workshops around Social Business Adoption & Digital Transformation. Yay! We are back in business! Phew! Was starting to get worried to see how some work streams I initially thought were perhaps going to help me generate some earnings didn’t produce a single dime. Nothing. Zip. Nada. And, yet, on the other hand, and all of a sudden, BANG! first round of revenue kicks in from a work activity I never thought I would be able to pull it through, but there it was … Extremely happy AND hugely relieved. The adrenaline rush of your first client kicks in confirming what you initially felt may have been the right move from the start.

[What were those other work streams I thought were going to generate $revenue$ but didn’t? Well, I will blog about them on a separate entry, as I think they deserve their own attention and perhaps additional discussion. You will see what I mean when I share that post across. It will be a bit surprising and very much thought provoking, at least, in what’s meant for me ever since I went independent]

July

Client work continues. Incredibly exciting and enjoying it tremendously, realising how lucky and privileged I have been to have worked with such a group of rather smart and talented group of clients, and very excited at the same time about helping them accelerate their own collective digital journeys starting it off as a personal transformation. Business travelling for client work picks up a notch or two as well, summer holidays kick in and that feeling that August will be a slow month starts to settle in. Unfortunately, life, once again, had other plans in the making…

August

Home care for a loved one. Again. Seriously, 2014 has been one of those years that will be rather tough to forget and for a good number of reasons! I couldn’t wait for it to be over, done and dealt with and off we go into 2015. Being stranded at your own home place takes a whole new meaning for the following three months of daily home care for the rest of the family and yours truly. Priorities get reshuffled big time: home nursing, looking after the household, Boira (our Belgian sheep dog), shopping, day to day work (to keep paying bills) and that strange feeling of a much more profound change in the making, building up more and more by the day, once you realise the village you once loved and moved into, because of how much you enjoyed the atmosphere and sense of closeness and proximity, is no longer as charming as it used to be. Quite the opposite.

I lost 6 kgs that month. Running every day for an hour kept me going as that was the space where I could get back my sanity from the frenetic day to day craziness of life taking over. It felt great, as it helped me go back to my expected weight that I lost during the course of the Christmas period just a few months back.

September

Still heavily involved in home care, although the worst was already over (Thank goodness!). Business travelling, after the summer break, resumes itself and additional client work comes along at a nice pace. The reshuffling of priorities and focusing on other more mundane work streams / aspirations, essentially, coming back down to earth, so I could keep paying the bills, results in me having to move on from Change Agents Worldwide. I will miss them, I still do every day, but, you know how it goes, life goes on and has got other plans for you that most of the times you just can’t control, nor manage, but embrace them and hope for the best of potential outcomes. This was one of them that I needed to prepare myself for. Time is the new currency, remember, and massive disruption starts lingering around in the horizon, right as we speak: after 10 years, we are, at long last, moving! Oh, the adrenaline rush of a much needed change kicking in again! Gotta love it. Yes, house hunting begins… A new home beckons a much needed change. A new light. A new life. Eventually, together.

October

Revenue keeps coming along nicely, helping me not having to worry too much about how we’re going to keep paying the bills. Grateful to no end. Eternally. Work is pretty much focused on helping clients achieve their goals in their own digital transformation journey(s) as well as face to face workshops (as already mentioned above). Things are starting to become more steady and pipeline continues to consolidate with 2015 already in the horizon and looking very good. Or so it seems…

For the first time in over 10 years though, it’s time to move on again. Change happens in many ways and this one of finding a new home was no different. It was the end point of the period I have been calling in this blog post as “in transition”. By the end of the month, after two to three weeks of heavy search all over the place, we, finally, had a new home. Boy, do I love this place! We were born to live in it right from the start for real! Just brilliant! Just what we needed to conclude that phase of our lives and move into the next one, whatever it may well be.

November

Within just a few days since we found the bungalow, i.e. our new home, we finally moved in! I still can’t believe how lucky we were in finding such a gorgeous place! Of course, I will be sharing some pictures both in my Flickr and Instagram accounts. Perhaps it was our lucky shot at that point in time, but so very much needed altogether, after such an interesting year gone by so far!

Conference month kicks in in full force so it looks like moving in needs to slow down a bit while I get to do a bit of business travelling around Europe. After Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, Barcelona, Zaragoza, Madrid, London, Prague, Zurich (twice!) it is now time to check out Stockholm, Madrid (again) and Zurich (for the third time!). Not sure why there seems to be this obsession by conference organisers to put together all of their tech events either in March or November. It must be the winter! Do them in March to get people out of their homes right as spring kicks in or by November before everyone hides for the remaining of the year as winter approaches fast and furious. It’s crazy! Either way, loved the travelling to all of those cities and even more when the prospect of coming to a new home made it all really worth it.

But then another nightmare came through. As if I didn’t have enough with the rather tumultuous personal life throughout the year, my daily work was just about to be hugely disrupted. To the point where I haven’t recovered just yet from it and it may still take a while. Apparently, I have been forced, to put it mildly (by my telco / ISP) to go through this excruciating and horrifying experience of not having a landline, nor ADSL connection, at the new place, meaning that every single day that has gone by since November 7th (When I requested a landline / ADSL transfer) I have been losing revenue for not having worked with clients while collaborating remotely through the Social Web.

Yes!, 45 days and counting… Apparently, this is what you get in exchange of 10 years of customer loyalty spending about 175€ to 200€ per month steady for all the services I have contracted with them. And the worst part of it all? Well, that it is not over yet. 45 days later, I am still waiting for someone at that ISP to fully understand and comprehend the kind of damage they have done to this independent freelancer who happens to live off the Internet (as a remote knowledge Web worker) for his day to day work. Apparently, as a customer, that’s not important. After all, it’s not their revenue (they still get paid for not providing any kind of service!). It’s my own. Yes, you are guessing it right. There is a blog post coming up where I’ll be detailing what it is like living without access to the Internet when it’s your primary means of income while a Queen Between stands in the way not wanting to address and fix the issues sooner rather than later.

December

Phew! 2014! The Year That Was, indeed! Still without connectivity at our new home and surviving on a hugely expensive data plan for my mobile which runs out incredibly fast given the demands of my Web work and where my telco / ISP has decided that, as a token of generosity, they have extended my monthly quota of 4GB at a lovely price increase I just can’t resist paying for it. Yes, I guess gratitude from their side is taking a new meaning I should fondly remember over time. Anyway, that separate blog post will detail plenty more what’s been happening so far, or better said, what’s not been happening…

For now I bet I will be spending the remaining of the year musing about the new exciting adventure(s) at work. The amazing people I have been meeting throughout the year and who have made it a rather special one (Yes, you know who you all are!). The excitement of doing what I love doing, finally, has kicked off the uncertainty into no-man’s land. And although current pipeline work for 2015 has been abruptly halted to a standstill by my local ISP blocking me from accessing the Internet to do my job, I am hopeful the issues will be sorted out soon enough to be able to enjoy a Christmas break I will be treasuring to bits after everything that has happened this year: 2104. The Year of Change. Massive change.

Finally, the most important thing, at least, to me, that clearly helps me understand what we are all up to in our personal lives with the odd distraction here and there: caring for one another. Indeed, home care, at long last!, is also now over! A thing of the past and, thank goodness!, everything worked out all right in the end, despite the initial hurdles and health scares! Our new wonderful home has done the rest in the healing process making up for a superb end of a rather interesting and challenging year, both on the professional and personal levels, and where I have learned perhaps the most important lesson to date: life has its own plans and ways of developing things further and only thing we can all do is to adjust and adapt accordingly, and make the most out of it all, while having plenty of really good fun!

Life is just too short not to enjoy it the fullest. Today. Don’t leave it for tomorrow. And if that means I am a nowist, be it. After all, it’s Christmas and a good time to get back plenty of the social life we just didn’t get a chance to invest in this year with all that’s happened. It’s never too late, I know. Life keeps moving on and with it all of us, whether we like it or not.

I guess it’s now time for you folks and me to move on, too! I suppose it’s good enough for today as a yearly catchup update of sorts, where I can share with you all what’s been happening so far this year and why there has been, at times, extensive periods of silence from yours truly while I was focusing and spending my time fiddling with other priorities. For those of you who have stuck around thus far into this blog entry, please do allow me to share with you all a sincere token of gratitude for sticking around. It’s hugely appreciated and I’m certainly looking forward to resuming plenty of the online interactions we used to have in between those periods of quietness. 

I’m now back business as usual (At least, for as long as I can without blowing away the monthly mobile data plan) and while I get to put together the next blog posts over here, as an opportunity to resume my blogging mojo, I thought I would share with you all one other major highlight that I went through earlier on this year that I think you might find interesting as well. It’s a podcasting recording. Perhaps one of the most thorough and intimate interviews I have recorded in a good few years.

The interview was hosted by the wonderful and incredibly smart Michael Hicks from the My Way Podcast show. During the course of an hour we got to discuss plenty of the key experiences that throughout the years, starting off at a rather early age!, have shaped and nurtured who I am today: Luis Suarez. It’s that kind of a rather personal podcasting episode where plenty of the nuggets I talked about may not well be known, if only, but a few rather close friends. My Way Podcast is “committed to telling people’s stories” and I guess that’s just what we did: narrate my story.

So, if after reading this rather long post you still feel like going for a good listen of what I have been up to in the last two decades, with lots of personal touch points, and hilarious anecdotes, feel free to head over to the podcasting episode and have a listen. I can guarantee you would have a good laugh or two in between some pretty interesting insights we talked about and shared across around “confidence, working in a team, why it’s important to work in customer service, how and why he no longer uses email at work, working remotely, pursuing multiple interests to find what you are really passionate about, how he uses his blog as his external brain, his recent switch to freelancing, and so much more”.

Hope you enjoy it and from here just a special thanks to both Michael Hicks and Amber Robbin for making it possible! What a wonderful finishing touch to quite an exhilarating year and here’s to plenty more for 2015 and beyond!


Written by Luis Suarez

Chief Emergineer and People Enabler. A well seasoned Social / Open Business evangelist and 2.0 practitioner with over 15 years of experience on knowledge management, collaboration, learning, online communities and social networking for business; and has been living, since February 2008, a (work) life without email challenging the status quo of how knowledge workers collaborate and share their knowledge by promoting openness, transparency, trust, sustainable growth, engagement, connectedness and overall smart work. He can also be contacted over in Twitter at @elsua or Google Plus.

1 vote
Read More »

Moments of Happiness They Can’t Take Away from You

A very good friend of mine once told me that life is all about treasuring, cultivating, nurturing and enjoying the various moments of happiness we get exposed to over the course of our lifetimes. You know how it goes, they are very brief moments, rather fulfilling, sharp, intense, transient and hardly noticeable, unless you pay rather close, good attention to them by always staying alert!, since, before you realise about it, they are just gone. For good! Pretty much like when they came your way.

They keep saying that it is those moments of true happiness that make everything worth while, even going through the most painful of experiences; those ones we are supposedly learning the most from time and time again. The ones that shape us into becoming who we are eventually, the ones that help us provoke those moments of happiness themselves over the course of time, making us realise why they are so much worth while anticipating and waiting for all along and why that wait is always worth it. Even if it takes 92 years. Well, I think I may have just experienced one of those true moments of happiness for which it’s going to become rather tough to wake up from. Not that I would ever want to do that, but I know, at some point, I will have to. We will all have to.

As most folks out there would know by now, this blog post doesn’t have much to do with the usual topics I get to cover over here, but yesterday evening the Spanish national football (= soccer) team did it again! Once again, and it’s something that we are becoming too much used to, and perhaps we shouldn’t!, they won the title from a major competition, that one of the Euro Cup 2012 and entered the books of history, managing to win three major titles over the last 4 years (Euro Cup in 2008, World Cup in 2010 and Euro Cup in 2012, once more!), that no other national team has ever matched anywhere! How can’t you not enjoy such a moment of true happiness and pure bliss, right?!?! It’s exhilarating altogether on its own to no end! A once in a lifetime experience! Literally!!

Yes, I know and I do fully realise that Spain, my home country, is not going through one of its best moments as a nation, with the well known mantra “Made in Spain”, and part of the European Union, due, perhaps, in part, to the rampant unemployment rate, a rather weakened economy by ruthless, unpunished financial speculators (Amongst others), plenty of natural catastrophes that have happened lately and to be governed, politically and economically, throughout the last few years, by corruption, fraud, greed and power struggles. Yes, the usual thing that a bunch of other European, and worldwide, countries are going through at the moment as well, but perhaps with a much more dramatic flavour added to it altogether. 

The thing is though that we are still standing. 4 years have gone by and we are still standing. Perhaps that’s one of the last few things that will always be with us, that we can fall down, break a bone or two in the process, but stand up again. And again, and again. It’s what shapes nations over the course of centuries. It’s what makes them, and their people, tougher. You know how it goes, what doesn’t kill you, it will make you stronger. And that cannot be more real in today’s financial turmoil and econoclypse. But then again, just like Spain has done with its national football team, there has got to be a time when that has got to stop, when power, greed and money no longer rule, where we can ponder about what things were wrong, how we could address them and try to fix each and everyone of them. More than anything else, because the alternative continues to be just too ugly to face and, also, because deep inside our hearts, we know where the main issues are and how we could tackle them eventually. 

I mean, taking further on the analogy from football, I remember the days, the decades, actually, when the national Spanish football team was rather mediocre, not having the right mentality, the right team spirit, the ability and eagerness to improve things, the sacrifice of one self for the others helping them become better at what they normally do, the innate talent willing to be shared across without asking much in return to achieve a common purpose, that little bit of luck you always need to achieve your goals, etc. etc., and eventually, with a touch of bad luck to add further up, we kept getting kicked out of major tournament after major tournament making it all almost far too embarrassing to notice.

Too painful to watch and experience. Even too frustrating to bear. But then again, we stood up. You could probably say that Spaniards, in general, are rather stubborn and resilient on their ways. But back in the day, by the late 80s, there was this brilliant, committed, modest, truly gifted generation of young players who gathered together thanks to the efforts from a superb initiative on working things out right from the base, starting when they were all young, and grow that over the course of time through lots of hard work, effort, energy, sacrifice, talent, education, team spirit, modesty, and a strong sense of achievement never seen before, along with a very well defined style, i.e. the tiqui taka, which has proved to be unbeatable over the last few years, and which confirms, once again, the power of groups & networks in helping achieve a common goal. The goal.

And there you have it, after a couple of decades gone by already, collecting the harvest of all of that hard work, good education and training, and true team spirit has paid off, once again. And it all started with small steps, right when that bunch of very talented players were really young. That’s perhaps the secret of the success for a national soccer team, but may be also for an entire country to start looking for ways of abandoning that catastrophic state of making ends meet barely through the econoclypse just because we have been looking at the wrong end of the equation from day one. It’s through that education, hard work, motivation and inspiration that young modest players have kept turning an entire country upside down over the last 4 years providing us all with that huge rush of delightful happy moments of pride of what one can achieve if it is given the right values on what really matters. The small things. As usual. 

Yes, I do realise that this new achievement from our Spanish national football team is going to last probably too little, specially, looking back into today’s financial turmoil and appalling government policies (From past and present), but if there is anything that should help us all remember, and treasure, quite a bit!, is the fact that those moments of happiness we enjoyed last night, and probably today, are now ours. Forever. For good. They just can’t take them away from us. It’s part of our common psyche, as a nation, and if we have been able to raise over and over again over the course of decades from bad results after bad results, yesterday evening’s victory should remind us all, as we treasure and seize the moment, where the key of success really is: go out and seek desperately, work your b*tt off like you have never seen nor done before, provoke that moment of happiness and don’t let anyone take it away from you. Enjoy it!

They have continued to make us feel proud for what they keep achieving time and time again. They have shown us the way of what’s possible, of the potential we all have when we want to strike for those happy moments, so whenever someone reminds you of where you are today, as a nation, kindly educate them on what we know, and have been educated, best over the course of decades: stand up and fight for your happiness, because no-one else will. Now, it’s up to you, me, and everyone else, to up the game and show how well we are all playing this football match called “life”.

So far, those young, talented boys, have shown us the way. They have shown us how the impossible does no longer exist. How if you would want to achieve it, because that’s what you would want to do, there is a great chance that you will, so you better be prepared to act accordingly. That’s what moments of happiness are all about and, again, remember, that no-one can take those away from you. They are all your own to be nurtured and treasured right from the beginning! For as long as you would want to!

My dear national Spanish football team, thanks ever so much for allowing us to experience one of the most unforgettable evenings *ever* that will surely occupy a dear place in each and everyone of our hearts for many years to come. Thank you sincerely for showing an entire nation, and probably the rest of the world, how, with a good dose of talent, hard work, effort, motivation, team spirit, and unselfish collaborative effort, the impossible is our new reality . What we live and strive for. Our motivation to move forward. Our way to show everyone that power and greed are never the way. They never have. That sustainable growth, as a group with a core mission, will probably pay off much better eventually. At least, the teams will be happy, content, with what they have delivered. I bet that’s how you are feeling right now, watching us from the short distance, and that’s exactly how we are sensing it from the other side. Admiration does not even come close to describe how we feel. So thanks much for that! 

We will never forget!

0 votes
Read More »

Are You Using BlogLines? You May Need to Read This Post…

Now that my blog is up and running again, after the recent debacle I have described in this other blog post, and that regular blogging, once again, has resumed, I thought it would be a good chance as well to remind folks about an important change that will be happening very soon and which may affect some of you as well: BlogLines will shut down its doors on October 1st. Are you ready for the move? You probably should! Specially, if you are one of the 200+ folks who are subscribed to this blog’s feed. After that date you won’t be able to get updates from it anymore. Time to prepare…

That’s right! According to the statistics coming from Feedburner, it looks like there are a couple of hundred folks out there who are subscribed to http://elsua.net through BlogLines and it may be a good time to prepare the transition into other RSS Feed Readers, if you would want to continue syndicating the content from this blog. My good friend, Jack Vinson, has put together a rather helpful and insightful blog post, where he has shared some of the alternatives that folks may want to consider, whether you would be interested in online or offline feed reading. It’s a good read and I highly recommend it.

You may be wondering what my RSS feed reader recommendation may well be, right? Well, I actually use a combination of several RSS aggregators, since I decided, a long while ago, to load balance the amount of feeds I’m subscribed to, so that it wouldn’t be that overwhelming time and time again. So under Windows (I still have a T400) I am using RSS Owl, which is nicely integrated into my flow with Lotus Notes (You see? *So* much more than just email! hehe).

On my Mac, where I spent most of my days nowadays anyway, I use a variety of them: Opera, Cyndicate and Vienna for my offline feed reading and specially for those RSS feeds behind the firewall. I use Opera and Cyndicate for the immediate daily internal reads and Vienna for the good-to-read-at-some-point, but-not-really-in-a-rush-at-the-moment. Also use Vienna for researching articles published by others that I know I may need to reference at some point in time.

For my external RSS feed reading habits I am currently using NetNewsWire (Offline) and Google Reader (For which I use a couple of user interfaces through iPad apps I have described already on several blog posts). I use the latter as well with two accounts: one with the essential newsfeeds I go through every day, and another one with the general feeds I have been following over the course of the years. Both accounts serve the purpose as well of having an online backup of the feeds, which allows me then to bring them with me wherever I may well go, which is when the iPad becomes indispensable as a powerful content aggregator. Not to mention as well how often I search for relevant content within either account, which I then include as part of my blog posts over here.

So, as you can see, perhaps a little bit too complex, but it works for me. It’s the feed reading habit that I have learned to grow and treasure over the last 8 years, when I subscribed to my first blog and the rest is history. It’s a system that works for me, and don’t expect anyone else to take it up for themselves. However, one thing I have learned throughout the years is to let go with that obsession of wanting to read each and everyone of them all and reach “inbox zero” on my feed readers day in day out. Well, that’s no longer happening. Somehow, by immersing rather heavily inside my social networks I have learned to trust them over time quite a bit and a good chunk of my feed reading habits is already pre-filtered by them. They keep finding the really good stuff I am interested in, and, most importantly, they keep sharing it across! Probably just as much as I do with them (I would hope). So instead of focusing on striking another “inbox zero”, I just focus on the content that matters to me and the rest I just let it go. Yes, once again, that river of news and the continuous flow of the Social Web…

Ok, hope you may find all of that information useful and helpful, but enough with that diversion, don’t you think? hehe … Like I was saying at the beginning, BlogLines is about to shut down in the next few days and you may need to start looking for another strategy to get your RSS feeds elsewhere, if you are still using it. The one for this blog is over here, so if you would want to move it across to your new RSS feed reader that would be the URL address you would need to use…

Hope to see you on the other side, after BlogLines is there no more!, to keep up with the conversations… Oh, and a good bunch of folks out there are also subscribed to the blog via email with the wonderful service of FeedBlitz. That is, indeed, another option; remember email going back to its roots? A messaging and notification system of sorts? Exactly! So here you have got the URL address you can use to subscribe to the blog through email.

Thanks again for sticking around and hope the transition on October 1st, or sooner!, goes smooth for those of you who are still using BlogLines. Good luck!

 

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

0 votes
Read More »

Treasuring the Moment That Changed Our Lives for Good

Today has been one of those days where my social periscope has been down for most of the day. Meetings galore at work, on the one hand, and an intense heat wave hitting the Canary Islands at the moment, on the other hand, haven’t made things too easy for me so far in the external social networking spaces, so I decided that, for today’s blog post, I’m actually going to do a little bit of light blogging and reflect about something that doesn’t have much to do with the usual topics that I get to talk about over here and, instead, I am just going to spend a few minutes remembering and rejoicing around one of those magical moments in someone’s lifetime that one gets to enjoy from something, an unforgettable event, that took place a month and a day ago, exactly, and which still lingers around in our collective memory. At least, that one from a whole bunch of us. Witnessing the historical moment of Spain winning the World Cup Final for the first time!

Yes, that’s right! Today is exactly one month and one day since Spain beat The Netherlands in the World Cup Final 1-0 and, when one comes to think about it, it sounds like it all happened a few years back already! And yet, it’s just 4 weeks ago since it happened! So, still we have got another 4 years to enjoy, and savour, these moments of a unique experience that I am sure is going to be quite difficult to repeat. But, still, what an experience, don’t you think?

I am not much of a football fan myself (Have always been a basketball guy! hehe), but one cannot deny the tremendous sense of pride, and happiness, that one gets just remembering that evening on July 11th 2010 when my home country decided to surprise the world and become the world champion far far away from their homeland, doing what they do best: play football! I still get the shivers whenever I bump into an online video that shows and describes the tragedy and drama of scoring the winning goal in the last few minutes of the overtime (Thanks again, Iniesta!) when you knew that we were just this close from going into penalties to decide who was going to be the next champion. That surely would have been unbearable and rather difficult to watch!

As if we didn’t have enough suspense already, right? I mean, I have been waiting for nearly 40 years for something like this to happen. And when you just experience it, you just basically can’t believe that it is happening altogether! Do you know what I mean? It all still looks like it was all just a wonderful dream! One that you get to play on the playstation or something! And yet, it’s true. It happened. Spain eventually became the world champions of something that we have been pursuing for decades already! Well, not anymore. That’s it! We are now done! We finally got that wonderfully delightful little star on our camiseta roja (red shirt) showing all of that furia we have been accumulating over the course of the years. Now it’s our turn to remember and treasure the moment and enjoy that sense of pride every so often. Nothing wrong with that, right?

Which is why I would like to ask you folks to bear with me on this blog post I’m putting together today, since I realise that it doesn’t have anything to do with the usual topics I have been blogging about all along. But I guess you would have to excuse for this one time to just go, select one of the many many video clips on this topic, watch it, get immersed on that sense of pride, content and happiness once more and share it across with you folks, so that you can have a taster of the kind of emotions that we went through on that evening and which lasted for a few days more! For some of us, it’s still there; rather intense and profound, specially experiencing how such tremendous outcome can definitely influence and change the way a country comes together as a single voice celebrating what promises to be something that we would be sharing with happy smiley faces with our great-great-grandchildren as one of those littles moments in life where we sit back and ponder: Yes, I saw it. I was there. In spirit. But I was there. From across the globe, realising that such wonderful victory will always remain deep in our hearts with that warm and fuzzy feeling one cannot neglect, but embrace and enjoy!

Yes, we are still world champions! It’s hard to believe, for sure. But yes, we are still remembering as it was just yesterday. And that will be like that for many many moons to come. Whether that team manages to win more matches and the odd championship here and there or lose some altogether, there is nothing that will take away what they have already given us a month and a day ago: Yes, The Spaniards Finally Did It!


La Selección Española, Campeona del Mundo Sudáfrica 2010 (Resumen) from J. R. Ferrero on Vimeo.

 

Thanks for that! You shall not be forgotten … Ever.

 

(Don’t worry, folks; I am not going anywhere; regular blogging will resume tomorrow, once again!  I just needed this nice and lovely break on a rather intense day :-D)


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

0 votes
Read More »

A Partir de Hoy, Red y Libertad

Consideramos imprescindible la retirada de la disposición final primera de la Ley de Economía Sostenible por los siguientes motivos:

1 -Viola los derechos constitucionales en los que se ha de basar un estado democrático, en especial la presunción de inocencia, libertad de expresión, privacidad, inviolabilidad domiciliaria, tutela judicial efectiva, libertad de mercado, protección de consumidoras y consumidores, entre otros.

2 – Genera para Internet un estado de excepción en el cual la ciudadanía será tratada mediante procedimientos administrativos sumarísimos reservados por la Audiencia Nacional a narcotraficantes y terroristas.

3 – Establece un procedimiento punitivo ‘a la carta’ para casos en los que los tribunales ya han manifestado que no constituían delito, implicando incluso la necesidad de modificar al menos 4 leyes, una de ellas orgánica. Esto conlleva un cambio radical en el sistema jurídico y una fuente de inseguridad para el sector de las TIC (tecnologías de la información y la comunicación). Recordamos, en este sentido, que el intercambio de conocimiento y cultura en la Red es un motor económico importante para salir de la crisis como se ha demostrado ampliamente.

4 – Los mecanismos preventivos urgentes de los que dispone la ley y la judicatura son para proteger a toda la ciudadanía frente a riesgos tan graves como los que afectan a la salud pública. El Gobierno pretende utilizar estos mismos mecanismos de protección global para beneficiar intereses particulares frente a la ciudadanía.

Además la normativa introducirá el concepto de ‘lucro indirecto’, es decir: a mí me pueden cerrrar el blog porque ‘promociono’ a uno que ‘promociona’ a otro que linka a un tercero que hace negocios presuntamente ilícitos.

5 – Recordamos que la propiedad intelectual no es un derecho fundamental contrariamente a las declaraciones del ministro de Justicia, Francisco Caamaño. Lo que es un derecho fundamental es el derecho a la producción literaria y artística.

6 – De acuerdo con las declaraciones de la ministra de Cultura, esta disposición se utilizará exclusivamente para cerrar 200 webs que presuntamente están atentando contra los derechos de autor. Entendemos que si éste es el objetivo de la disposición, no es necesaria, ya que con la legislación actual existen procedimientos que permiten actuar contra webs, incluso con medidas cautelares, cuando presuntamente se esté incumpliendo la legalidad. Por lo que no queda sino recelar de las verdaderas intenciones que la motivan, ya que lo único que añade a la legislación actual es el hecho de dejar a la ciudadanía en una situación de grave indefensión jurídica en el entorno digital.

7 – Finalmente consideramos que la propuesta del Gobierno no sólo es un despilfarro de recursos, sino que será absolutamente ineficaz en sus presuntos propósitos y deja patente la absoluta incapacidad por parte del Ejecutivo de entender los tiempos y motores de la era digital.

La disposición es una concesión más a la vieja industria del entretenimiento en detrimento de los derechos fundamentales de la ciudadanía en la era digital.

La ciudadanía no puede permitir de ninguna manera que sigan los intentos de vulnerar derechos fundamentales de las personas, sin la debida tutela judicial efectiva, para proteger derechos de menor rango como la propiedad intelectual. Dicha circunstancia ya fue aclarada con el dictado de inconstitucionalidad de la ‘ley Corcuera’ (o ‘ley de patada en la puerta’).

El Manifiesto en defensa de los derechos fundamentales en Internet, respaldado por más de 200 000 personas, ya avanzó la reacción y demandas de la ciudadanía antes la perspectiva inaceptable del Gobierno.

Para impulsar un definitivo cambio de rumbo y coordinar una respuesta conjunta, el 9 de enero se ha constituido Red SOStenible, una plataforma representativa de todos los sectores de la sociedad civil afectados. El objetivo es iniciar una ofensiva para garantizar una regulación del entorno digital que permita expresar todo el potencial de la Red y de la creación cultural respetando las libertades fundamentales.

En este sentido, reconocemos como referencia para el desarrollo de la era digital la Carta para la innovación, la creatividad y el acceso al conocimiento, un documento de síntesis elaborado por más de 100 expertos de 20 países que recoge los principios legales fundamentales que deben inspirar este nuevo horizonte.

sosred1

En particular, consideramos que en estos momentos es especialmente urgente la implementación por parte de gobiernos e instituciones competentes de los siguientes aspectos recogidos en la Carta:

1 – Las/os artistas como todos los trabajadores tienen que poder vivir de su trabajo (referencia punto 2 ‘Demandas legales‘, párrafo B. ‘Estímulo de la creatividad y la innovación’, de la Carta);

2 – La sociedad necesita para su desarrollo de una Red abierta y libre (referencia punto 2 ‘Demandas legales‘, párrafo D ‘Acceso a las infraestructuras tecnológicas’, de la Carta);

3 – El derecho a cita y el derecho a compartir tienen que ser potenciados y no limitados como fundamento de toda posibilidad de información y constitutivo de todo conocimiento (referencia punto 2 ‘Demandas legales‘, párrafo A ‘Derechos en un contexto digital, de la Carta);

4 – La ciudadanía debe poder disfrutar libremente de los derechos exclusivos de los bienes públicos que se pagan con su dinero, con el dinero publico (referencia punto 2 ‘Demandas legales‘, párrafo C ‘Conocimiento común y dominio público’, de la Carta);

5 -Consideramos necesaria una reforma en profundidad del sistema de las entidades de gestión y la abolición del canon digital (referencia punto 2 ‘Demandas legales‘, párrafo B. ‘Estímulo de la creatividad y la innovación’, de la Carta).

Por todo ello, hoy se inicia la campaña INTERNET NO SERA OTRA TELE y se llevarán a cabo diversas acciones ciudadanas durante todo el periodo de la presidencia española de la UE.

Consideramos particularmente importantes en el calendario de la presidencia de turno española el II Congreso de Economía de la Cultura (29 y 30 de marzo en Barcelona), Reunión Informal de ministros de Cultura (30 y 31 de marzo en Barcelona) y la reunión de ministros de Telecomunicaciones (18 a 20 de abril en Granada).

La Red tiene previsto reunirse con representantes nacionales e internacionales de partidos políticos, representantes de la cultura y legaciones diplomáticas.

Firmado
Red SOStenible

http://Red-SOStenible.net

La Red Sostenible somos todos. Si quieres adherirte a este texto, cópialo, bloguéalo, difúndelo.

Hashtags: #RedSOS #manifiesto // Tags: ,

0 votes
Read More »

Manifiesto “En Defensa de los Derechos Fundamentales en Internet”

Ante la inclusión en el Anteproyecto de Ley de Economía sostenible de modificaciones legislativas que afectan al libre ejercicio de las libertades de expresión, información y el derecho de acceso a la cultura a través de Internet, los periodistas, bloggers, usuarios, profesionales y creadores de Internet manifestamos nuestra firme oposición al proyecto, y declaramos que:

  1. Los derechos de autor no pueden situarse por encima de los derechos fundamentales de los ciudadanos, como el derecho a la privacidad, a la seguridad, a la presunción de inocencia, a la tutela judicial efectiva y a la libertad de expresión.
  2. La suspensión de derechos fundamentales es y debe seguir siendo competencia exclusiva del poder judicial. Ni un cierre sin sentencia. Este anteproyecto, en contra de lo establecido en el artículo 20.5 de la Constitución, pone en manos de un órgano no judicial -un organismo dependiente del ministerio de Cultura-, la potestad de impedir a los ciudadanos españoles el acceso a cualquier página web.
  3. La nueva legislación creará inseguridad jurídica en todo el sector tecnológico español, perjudicando uno de los pocos campos de desarrollo y futuro de nuestra economía, entorpeciendo la creación de empresas, introduciendo trabas a la libre competencia y ralentizando su proyección internacional.
  4. La nueva legislación propuesta amenaza a los nuevos creadores y entorpece la creación cultural. Con Internet y los sucesivos avances tecnológicos se ha democratizado extraordinariamente la creación y emisión de contenidos de todo tipo, que ya no provienen prevalentemente de las industrias culturales tradicionales, sino de multitud de fuentes diferentes.
  5. Los autores, como todos los trabajadores, tienen derecho a vivir de su trabajo con nuevas ideas creativas, modelos de negocio y actividades asociadas a sus creaciones. Intentar sostener con cambios legislativos a una industria obsoleta que no sabe adaptarse a este nuevo entorno no es ni justo ni realista. Si su modelo de negocio se basaba en el control de las copias de las obras y en Internet no es posible sin vulnerar derechos fundamentales, deberían buscar otro modelo.
  6. Consideramos que las industrias culturales necesitan para sobrevivir alternativas modernas, eficaces, creíbles y asequibles y que se adecuen a los nuevos usos sociales, en lugar de limitaciones tan desproporcionadas como ineficaces para el fin que dicen perseguir.
  7. Internet debe funcionar de forma libre y sin interferencias políticas auspiciadas por sectores que pretenden perpetuar obsoletos modelos de negocio e imposibilitar que el saber humano siga siendo libre.
  8. Exigimos que el Gobierno garantice por ley la neutralidad de la Red en España, ante cualquier presión que pueda producirse, como marco para el desarrollo de una economía sostenible y realista de cara al futuro.
  9. Proponemos una verdadera reforma del derecho de propiedad intelectual orientada a su fin: devolver a la sociedad el conocimiento, promover el dominio público y limitar los abusos de las entidades gestoras.
  10. En democracia las leyes y sus modificaciones deben aprobarse tras el oportuno debate público y habiendo consultado previamente a todas las partes implicadas. No es de recibo que se realicen cambios legislativos que afectan a derechos fundamentales en una ley no orgánica y que versa sobre otra materia.

If you would want to read the English version, head over to Boing Boing and read it over here. And for a much more extensive coverage of the Manifesto click on this link.

(NOTA: Este manifiesto fue redactado conjuntamente por periodistas, bloggers e internautas, en una maratoniana sesión durante la tarde-noche de ayer. Si estás de acuerdo, difúndelo por todas las vías que puedas)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

0 votes
Read More »