Spring Newsletter #1
send out: 03/02/2010 - 19:12
Meteorological spring just started in Europe a few days back, which means that the spring/summer hitchhiking season 2010 just started!
For all the folks out there, a group of enthusiastic hitchhikers has started to organize on the next big event this summer: The European Hitchhiking Gathering 2010, short 6/8/10.
On August 6, 2010 we want to gather again somewhere in Europe to celebrate the freedom of the road, connect with the community and spread the word about one of the best ways of transportation there is.
A location has not been determined yet - for that we just started a voting on the official website: http://hitchgathering.org (the same as the previous website, except the name is different now).
We would love to see everybody voting for his/her favorite location. If you want your location added to the voting, give your voice at the discussion on hitchwiki: http://hitchwiki.org/en/6810
As always the gathering will be organized in an open, horizontal way, which means everybody who wants to contribute in the planning of the event is welcome to join!
The weekend of March 13/14, 2010, we are meeting in the heart of Berlin to push forward the development of the event. On http://hitchgathering.org you can find the current discussions & can sign up for the coordination meeting.
We wish you all a good start onto the roads of the world, warm highways and safe rides. Spread the word!
- The Community
- Website: http://hitchgathering.org
- Location Discussion: http://hitchwiki.org/en/6810
- Coordination Team: http://groups.google.com/group/789-coordination
This is drafted from the minutes of the organization meeting in Berlin.
On the week end of the 13th and 14th of March, a handful of hitchhikers met up in Berlin to kick off the organization of the next European Hitchhiking Gathering. This newsletter is here to tell you what happened.
Thirteen people showed up physically, all of them had hitchhiked from the 4 corners of Europe, except two that came by car and we will keep their identity secret to protect their life :) . One was very present on VoIP, from Australia, many others showed up online, by email, or even by telephone. Anja and Tau hosted the event in their home.
The meeting happened without much preparation and when we met, we were left to find what to start with... First, we went around the circle to see what everyone was expecting from the festival. The main point were:
- To promote the concept of hitchhiking in the European society
- To stimulate the community of hitchhikers.
- To have a good time doing that, travelling and meeting old and new friends.
We soon attacked the big question that was on everyone's mouth: WHERE?
There was already a vote going on on the website, and it was a bit unclear what we were supposed to do with the results. The main issue discussed was:
- Is the result of the vote representative of the wish of the community?
- Are we, as a small group, mandated to decide against the vote?
We finally decided to push the vote forward, close it on the second day of the meeting at 14:00, and follow whatever the result would be. Even if the result gives a destination where we have no contact and no hitchhiking clubs to help. And if no support can be found in one month, to go for the second or the third on the list.
Sure enough, it's one of those that won. If everything goes well, we'll meet you on the 6th of August 2010 in Portugal. The End of Europe.
One really nice scenario was suggested: Spain allegedly needs a lot of promotion for hitchhiking. And, given the shape of the land, many hitchhikers might want to go through Barcelona. That's why we thought of the following:
We invite all hitchhikers to converge in Barcelona for Sunday 01/08/10. On Monday, we stay there and reach out to the people and media. After that we'll leave the city again, possibly through different routes and all meet again on 06/08/10 "Somewhere in Portugal", where we can spend the weekend together, with all mediatic bullshit behind us. We don't even need to meet in a big city, like we did in Odessa or Paris.
Money Money Money
The previous editions of the festival were realized with almost no budget. And the "almost" was paid for by the volunteers. Which we felt wasn't really fair, as they already donate time and energy. Korn came up with a plan to get a budget for the European Union that would not only remove the financial burden from the hitchhikers that help with the organization, but would allow us to things that were out of our reach before.
After long (and painful) discussion, we reached a sort of consensus to stay away from that money. We have good hope that the various hitchhiking clubs of Europe would provide us with some financial support. Like La Sophiste or Kelia Vis that have already given support to the previous editions.
We brainstormed many ideas for promotion and you can help with new ideas on the coordination forum.
Our main coordination tool is the hitchgathering website.
We decided to dump the Google group, which so far had been out main coordination tool. Now we have a website that works good, with nice forums. Already you can receive notifications when there is new content in a discussion you are subscribed too and soon it will even be possible to send your reply by email (like in a group or e-maillist).
Hitchwiki stays our wiki tool, and all 6.8.10-relevant content will soon be pulled from the wiki into the website for visitors to see.
The content of the website is translatable in as many language as we want. Which means "as many languages we have a translator for".
We have enabled English, Français, Deutsch, Italiano, Polski, Português, Русский and Español. If you know one of these language, you can translate any content on [hitchgathering.org] by clicking the "tranlate" tab on top. You need to be logged in.
We also decided to have a monthly IRC meeting (IRC server: freenode / Channel: #hitchhiking). The next one is scheduled for Sunday 28th March at 19:00 (Berlin time). If you don't have a IRC client, you can join from your browser here
Some more features will also be added on the website soon, such as you can choose whether your profile is public or private (only for logged-in members to see - which is currently the case). We will also be adding support for photo-galleries and other fancy stuff, so that we can have all information in one place to see and read. Ah, and if you don't have a picture yet on your profile, get on it!