Host your own Scripting Enabled
The London Event on the 19th and 20th of September 2008 proved that it does not take much to run a Scripting Enabled event. The only money spent was on catering.
Scripting Enabled means first and foremost one thing: removing barriers. And with this we mean barriers that keep disabled users from accessing the web and the services offered by web sites and applications but it also means removing the barriers between geeks and non-geeks.
It is about information, communication and collaboration - not about fancy prizes or advertising your products.
Therefore - and because I am a great believer in the power of leaderless organizations - anyone can run a Scripting Enabled event in their location. There are only a few rules I want you to follow in order to keep things maintainable and in the original spirit.
The rules of a Scripting Enabled event
- It has to be free - there is no point in charging for information that is vital to making the web free of barriers
- It has to be a mix of information and hacking
- One part (normally the first day) is about presenting barriers and information about disability straight from the source (either results of research and user testing with differently-abled users, or from their own mouth).
- The other part (day two, eh?) should be about developers, designers, researchers and differently-abled testers working together to remove barriers or share valid and real information.
- Everything will be released - Everything created or presented at a Scripting Enabled event has to be released as Open Source or Creative Commons. This is about making solutions available and giving out the correct information.
- Start here - Scriptingenabled.org is the mothership. Here’s where people will hear about your event and I am happily promoting you and your sponsors. Use the wiki to announce your event and collect the hacks and findings. We already started some wiki collaboration ideas there, please add to them.
- Use the social web - one of the biggest issues about web accessibility information is that we use anarchic information channels. Use Flickr, Youtube, Yahoo Video, Vimeo, Blip.tv, Yahoo Live, Magnolia, delicious, blogging, twitter, Facebook, whatever is out there and can get a tag called “scriptingenabled”. It will mean people can find what you did. One of the best resources to use is SlideShare for hosting your presentations.
The nice-to-haves of a Scripting Enabled event
- It should be green and low key - we produce far too much waste with conferences and summits - use technology like mailing lists, wikis, projectors showing the schedule, non-paper whiteboards and cameras to collect and retain the information and plan the event. There is a logo, but it is not meant to be on stickers, shirts or buttons that get thrown away anyways.
- It should be diverse - web accessibility is very likely to be pigeon-holed to making things accessible for blind people. Try to get other groups to get their say, too.
- It should be non-pedantic - geeks are likely to use the wrong terminology when talking about disabilities and non-geeks are likely to muddle up technical terms. Let’s not quibble about these, but stop us from disagreeing over terms while we should think about issues to solve instead. SDK - Speling don’t count.
If you can say “yay” to these rules, I am happy to support you in any way I can to get a Scripting Enabled event off the ground in your area. Simply comment here, send an email (email in the footer of this page as a vCard), or message me on twitter (codepo8 is the name).
Thanks, let’s kick arse!