01 August, 2017

Privacy, self-hosting, surveillance, security and open source in Berlin


August 22-29 we're organizing a conference to discuss and work on privacy, self-hosting, security and open source in Berlin: the Nextcloud Conference. We expect some 150-200 people to participate during a week of discussing and coding and, especially on the weekend, presenting and workshopping. So I thought I should blog about why should you be there and what can you expect?

If you care about protecting people from the all-pervasive surveillance, re-gain privacy and security of data and believe in self hosting and open source as solution for these issues, this is the place to be. Our event is special for two reasons:
The team that started ownCloud

We're doing it. And most of us have been, for a decade or more, in KDE, GNOME, SUSE, Ubuntu, phpBB and other earlier projects. The code we wrote has influenced millions of users already and we will go further and wider! Expect to meet people with a can-do attitude.

Second, Nextcloud has got a huge momentum, name recognition and has become one of the largest ecosystems in the open source privacy/self hosting area. It isn't just about us! Large companies, small startups and innovative individuals and small communities all over are building on and around Nextcloud. A few examples:

We are doers


So the Nextcloud conference is where you can find a wide range of individuals with interest, skills and ideas in the area of privacy and freedom activism, and they are doers! There is a reason we say "bring your laptop" on our conference page, though with that we don't mean we only want coders there!

Designers, activists and advocates are just as welcome. That is because Nextcloud is about more than technology. Frank is somebody who sometimes asks the hard questions and obviously it his vision is a strong diver, but we're all long time open source and/or privacy activists and deeply and personally motivated. Our entire community is built on drive, passion and a will to take on the challenges our society offers in the area of privacy, self determination, freedom.

That is the why you should be there. To help make a difference.

Now the what.

Getting Stuff Done

Our goal is to get work done; and facilitate communication and collaboration in our community. During the week, we simply provide space to talk and code (with wired and wireless network, Club Mate & other drinks, and free lunch). In the weekend, we have a program with talks & workshops. The setup is simple:

In the morning, everybody is in one room. First, we all hear from long time privacy activist and former Mozilla president Tristan Nitot. After that, community members working on a wide variety of interesting things around privacy/self hosting/open source and of course Nextcloud talk, shortly, about what they do. Just 3-8 minutes to give the audience an idea of their project, their plan, their idea, how to get involved, a call for action. Now again, everybody is in the room, so in the break, everybody has heard the same talks and has the same things to discuss! If you have something to add, be it about TOR, protests, encryption or anything else that is related: SUBMIT A TALK!

Collaboration & sharing ideas

Last year we announced the Nextcloud Box.
This year - be there and find out!
People can look up the speakers, join the meetings proposed and so on, in the afternoon. Because after lunch we have 2 (or more, not sure yet) tracks of workshops as well as hacking, coding and meetings in the coding rooms. Unconference style, so to say.

We now have several dozen talks and workshops already submitted and well over 100 people have registered but we are looking for more input in all areas so consider to be a part of this event!

It is free and open, supported by the TU Berlin which offers us a free location; and Nextcloud GmbH which sponsors drinks & practical stuff; and SUSE Linux which sponsors the Saturday evening party!

Learn more and register!

17 January, 2017

Happy Birthday ownCloud

Seven years ago at Camp KDE in San Diego, Frank announced a project to help people protect their privacy, building an alternative to Dropbox: ownCloud.

I was there, sharing a room with Frank at the infamous Banana Bungalow. Epic times, I can tell you that - there was lots of rum, lots of rain and loads of good conversations and making new friends.





Since then, a lot has changed. But the people who started building a self-hosted, privacy protecting alternative in 2010 and 2011 are still on it! In 2011, a first meetup was held, and the 5 participants at that meetup recently got on stage at the Nextcloud conference to recall some good memories:



Of course, today we continue the work at Nextcloud, that just yesterday published its latest bugfix- and security update. It is great to see so many people have stuck with us for all these years - just this month, the KDE sysadmins migrated their ownCloud instance to Nextcloud!

We'll keep up the good work and you're welcome to join, either if you're looking for a job or just want to code. In both cases I can promise you: working with such a motivated, dedicated, professional team is just plain amazing.

I also published a blog on our Nextcloud blog about this milestone.

EDIT: By the way - there's a meetup tonight in C-Base, B'lin, 19:00 - would be fun to drink a beer on ownCloud's birthday and talk about the future! Join! It will be at least until 10 or so, so if you can't be there before then - still come! ;-)