How we formed our Mesh Network Community ?¶
Ha ha ha, good question isn’t it ? The intrigue to form Wireless Mesh Network locally stems from variety of reasons for every individual.
Like what ?
- For some it is the interest to explore how Science behind it works.
- For some they want to disperse their application developed to local community and possibly spread to a wider public that would really solve a social problem.
- For some the frustration towards draconian paid communication access.
- For some its an act of democracy to protest against State subjugation and Establishment biasing in Information, Communication & Networking
- For some it is a hobby to build Antennas, Routers, Embedded systems, build Operating Systems, create Distributed Applications
- For some it is a way to Direct Democracy
So, harnessing the Interest and Frustration potential from the people in general is very important for building a community and creation of a Core team from the preamble group is really important to Plan, & Act for the aspirations that everybody desires for and attaining a common intersected goal as a community.
We used present day – conventional communication mediums, even they are centralized compromising our common principles, philosophies & practices to gather strength by gathering really interested people into the building community. We regret using centralized social network mediums like, facebook, twitter, telegram, whatsapp for example. But that is where most of the potential individuals were wandering and searching for like minded peoples, spaces & communities to learn and share. This situation always happens whenever people change the systems and travel in a transitional journey. And forming a Wireless Mesh Network is no different phenomenon. Until a critical mass is gathered we have to use such platforms.
Which communication tools we use to Organizing Meetings, Discussions, Assigning Tasks & Polls ?¶
For Community Organization, Planning, Meeting, Discussions, Development, Polls, Shouting, Deliberation, Fighting… :), we heavily rely on :
- Collaborative platforms like Crabgrass, Discuss
- Decentralized application like Retroshare
- Chat application like IRC
- We also use Telegram for instant messaging for now and currently moving towards completely distributed platforms TOX
- We have a website running
Where do we learn from ?¶
We also constantly look out for other communities with similar goals and aspirations like :
- Amateur Radio hobbyist websites and clubs
- Wireless Networking for Developing World
- Commotion Wireless
- Battle Mesh
- Open Technology Institute/
- Wireless for Communities
- Patras Community Wireless
We try to learn a lot from them, and from our previous experienced members and friends guiding our community on how they have built their community, how they communicate and built their network infrastructure, tools & services, governance, credit management, etc…
The Research Laboratories & Individuals we follow around the globe are :
- Electrostatics & Surface Physics Laboratory
- Centre for Computational Electromagnetics & Electromagnetics Laboratory
- Antennas, Microwave & Wave Propagation
- Antenna Research, Analysis & Measurement Laboratory
- W.M. Keck centre EM Lab
- Clemson University Vehicular Electronics Lab - Electromagnetics Modeling
- Applied Computational Electromagnetics society
- High performance Wireless research & Education
- Distributed Systems Group
- Berkeley Wireless Research
- Networks & Mobile Systems
- Distributed Sensor N/W Localization & Tracking
- Software Radio Prototyping
- Radio Path Modeling
How to contribute to the Collective effort from Leading, to Designing to Coding to Donating Resources ?¶
Everybody interested in forming a Wireless Mesh Network need not be good at technical skills. The community needs lot of diverse interests from
- designing logos; posters
- meeting organization
- hardware development
- software development
- drawing comics, block diagrams etc, etc, etc.,.
We have a collaborative software development platform through which most of our abstract works are exchanged, reviewed and executed.
What’s our Strategy and How we Act ?¶
Wireless Networking enables a individual to empower and also empowers a community or local social group.
One Step at a Time :¶
As a community we have goals and objectives that would satisfy individual and the community. Constant encouragement and action within the community is required to brew the community growth by inspiring more people into it (philosophy alone is not enough) to make it more transparent. Based on that, we need :
- Individual assessment
Known Knowns & Known Unknowns
Quality & Quantity analysis of Skill set
- Collective assessment
Group Knowledge, Wisdom, Action
With a initial core community in place, & a strategy similar to the above in plan, the following steps can be taken in Tech. side of things for Action.
- Compile a Custom Community ISO
- Write Shell Scripts to install Services & Applications
- Calculate all possible theoretical parameters from the mapping
- Take as much as time to construct well finished antennas from prototyping stage
- Priori information like Location, Distance, EIRP, Path loss will help in Radio planning and budgeting
When to go Public ?¶
After gaining enough basic and fundamental understanding of What a Mesh Network is ?, How Wireless communication works ?, What & Why ’s of Distributed System ?, and after understanding the technical verticals required for forming a wireless mesh network, it would be apt to go and propagate it to people, which would further increase the concentration/density of the mesh network spread by proper demonstration and capabilities of Wireless Mesh Network and Distributed systems by emphasizing their real use to the individual and social uses like social audits in governance, volunteer based problem solving, etc…
The following drawing shows the stages as a community we have to understand completely to reach the public with as much as wisdom the community can learn and share.
How to ease the Commons to Contribute to the Mesh Network ?¶
We as a set of geeks can do anything crazy we like to do, but we also agree that everybody is ignorant of something, and thus those who are not into Radio, Mesh, or Networking can also contribute – but the guiding stones must be made in such a way to act as steps and not as hurdles. With such motive, we have created a set of illustrations that help understand what the common can see while exploring the community and starting to contribute, while at the same time, what the community peers has to do in order to understand and park the operations, mechanisms, responsibilities to ease the flow of contribution.
Public Facing :¶
Facing public during presentations, demonstrations, meetups, is all about knowing them by understanding the audience from a common perspective. What is the major group in the crowd ? What is the special/critical group in the crowd ?, Which group is bigger ? Improvise the conversation to suit the group instead of bailing out the presentation. That is what facing is all about. Acquire what are all the basic questions they ask, and take a note for the questions which cannot be answered easily/quickly. They are the parameters that informs for quality assessment.
Demonstration is the ultimate impression. So do try to demonstrate something physical during every presentation too. Physical interaction is powerful than virtual and voice interaction. Interact with materials that you have for demonstration. Let there be lot of empty space in the presentation slides rather than lists and lists of text. Use Visual images, animations with ample free space in it for better audience attraction and journeying with them.
Make sure to point to Reasoning.
Reasons & Ways :¶
Why do we need a Radio – Community mesh network ?
It can be answered in many ways:
- S ocial
- T echnological
- E conomical
- P hilosophical
Always choose a way that suits the majority group of the audience. Else they would feel offtrack. Try to provide answers that has some value(socio-economic). The following is a social example to illustrate where a RMNC will be reliable and resilient than the conventional approach.
What are the verticals involved ??¶
As said earlier, diverse skills meet, remix (interdisciplinary engineering & art) to form the Distributed Wireless Mesh Network at least among the communities interest for which the end result can be enjoyed equally. The following vertical fields are involved with forming the WMN :
- Documentation, Making videos, podcasts, illustrations, presentations for learning and sharing
- Understanding ElectroMagnetic Theory
- Ethics, Licensing, Understanding Spectrum allocation, Laws involved with Spectrum adjudication
- RF & Antenna Building
- Making Router + Hacking Router
- Building gnu/linux OS for Router
- Building gnu/linux kernel drivers & sub-systems
- Discovering new Routing & Management Protocols for Mesh Network
- Understanding – Distributed Systems
- Using and Creating Distributed applications & services
- Licensing & Propagation of solutions and applications
- Surveying & Understanding problems directly from local people
- Monitoring policies and laws related to Spectrum, Information, Internet, Civil societies
- Innovating how to use it for better Education with scalability
- Innovating new Business models based on Distributed & Mesh Network platforms
What are the horizontals involved ??¶
Horizontals are the common ideological aspirations that drive the individual and the community to accomplish goals one at a time, in a slow and steady pace.
- Philosophy, Ideas, Principles
- Harnessing Frustration & Interest Potential and channeling them
- Solving Individual Communication problems
- Solving social issues with Mesh as Infrastructure
- Distributed Systems – commons based – Generation, Propagation, Usage & Enjoying it to the fullest
- Collaborative Peer Production Systems – commons based
- Infrastructure Inversion
- Penetration & Propagation of Communication systems to Marginal/Rural areas of the country
- Bringing paradigm change in Education, Governance
- Localized social problem solving & Sharing it Globally
- Citizen/Commons Independent research, journalism
thanks, for the compliments :),
what can we add ?? any ideas/suggestions……..