The KAREN project has started a wiki. This is a great first step to community engagement and genuine consultation. Trouble is, with 67% of NZ not connected to usable Internet, most people probably are not aware of the wiki, or how they might go about contributing to it, not to mention that the development of a participatory online culture in NZ is going to take a few years AFTER we have 80% connected. So the KAREN wiki risks becoming an echo chamber that simply reinforces the direction KAREN has been heading with its handlers. Those in NZ who are connected, participatory and interested in NZ cultural development, please join that wiki.

I’m in there with a lobby page to use KAREN to deliver free broadband access to regional NZ via optics to nodes as far as we can reach, and then wireless mesh from there.

This past month I have been following a friend’s tour of Vietnam. He took with him the highly portable and wireless enabled Asus Eee. Almost everywhere his partner and he went in that famous little country, they had FREE ACCESS TO BROADBAND WIRELESS! What is it that Vietnam has that NZ doesn’t? Community minded government by chance?

If you are in NZ, I hope you will at least add your name to the lobby, or even better – help pad the proposal out. With a good lobby, I think we might be able to steer KAREN in the direction of sharing some of that pipe to offer connectivity to everyone in NZ. I know that will do more for NZ learning than any other project I have seen happening with KAREN.