Thursday was not a good day in Ecuador, in terms of political unrest. Early in the morning I took a flight from Quito to Guayaquil with Juan José Mena (DPE Lead, Microsoft Ecuador) and Javier Gómez Corio (Member of the Board at Open Source Matters and Joomla activist) and as soon as we landed (roughly 40 minutes after doors secured) I found out via Twitter that there was unrest nationwide. Being optimistic latinos, we tried to minimize the risk of the situation and kept good expectations on the Microsoft Café TV happening on Guayaquil thursday night.
After leaving the stuff back at the hotel, I had a meeting with the great people of the Club de Cultura Digital of ESPOL, and while having the meetings things seemed to get worse, from heavy traffic, to lack of public transportation and no police in the streets. These students kindly gave us a ride near the hotel in Northern Guayaquil, and I managed to get connected at the room and hold my meetings that day. However, the panorama seemed really bad to keep Microsoft Café TV, since some avenues in Guayaquil were blocked, including the road just in front of Universidad ECOTEC.
Soon we got a better insight on what was happening and got instructions regarding the security of our guests and team, and decided to cancel the participation of Luis Zúñiga from Santa Elena, and Luis Bajaña and María Paz Velarde. Classes were suspended, and ECOTEC had to close its doors. Some 300 people were scheduled to participate at the event.
As soon as Ricardo Jiménez, our DPE Marketing Lead, Daniel Aya, our producer, Javier Rón, Dean of Systems Engineering at ECOTEC, and Joaquín Bruque, Microsoft Student Partner arrived at the hotel to keep the equipment safe, we decided that we were gonna have Microsoft Café TV at the hotel, and transmit it live using hotel's Wi-Fi. After a meal, we started setting up the hotel room as the scenario. We were ready to stream around 2230 ECT (UTC-0500) and went on to 0030 of friday, two full hours of MS Café TV.
I was invited to Microsoft Café TV in order to bring a fresh light on Microsoft's commitment with Openness and Interoperability. Thus, we wanted to make the activity a celebration on free and open source software. Not only did we brought Javier Gómez Corio from Joomla, which presented the benefits and features of this popular open source CMS, but we also showed people how Microsoft is embracing open source distribution via Web Platform Installer, and how Ubuntu and Likewise provide open source solutions for interoperating Linux systems on Microsoft networks.
Should you happen to be interested on the event, here are three clips of Microsoft Café TV in Guayaquil.
My personal thanks go to Ricardo Jiménez and Daniel Aya for the invitation, to Javier Ron of ECOTEC for setting up the event (we owe you one!) and especially to Javier Gómez Corio. Not only is he always inspiring on Joomla, community developed software and open source software, but he also has a great mood and sense of humor and managed to keep everyone motivated!