About TextoSolvo

TextoSolvo is a bit of morphed Latin. The definitions (from William Whittaker’s Words program), are:

text.o (V) weave; plait (together); construct with elaborate care.
text.o (N) woven fabric, cloth; framework, web; atomic structure; ratio atoms/void.
solv.o (V) loosen, release, unbind, untie, free; open; set sail; scatter; pay off/back.

This weblog is about open collaborative projects, with LibriVox.org as the starting point. I like texto*solvo because it works in two ways, the idea of buidling and weaving together (texto) in a loose and free network (solvo). This is what LibriVox looks like to me: a tightly-woven community, building something elaborate and important, in a loose, free network, scattered all over the world. I haven’t gotten my head around that last bit of the texto definition: “ratio atoms/void”; but I think there is something important there too.

About this Weblog

In August 2005, I started LibriVox.org, to see if I could get volunteers (including me) to record audio versions of chunks of public domain books, and put them up on the the net. I wanted to help build a big public domain library of audiobooks, and in order to do that I thought we needed a simple platform to allow anyone to help out. LibriVox was a little idea, but it was successful because of all the input and work done by people all over the world. That is, the idea is worth a little bit; the success owes itself to the efforts of thousands of people.

LibriVox is a case-study, I think, of a successful collaborative project and I wanted to write about that specifically, partly to explain what I think contributed to LibriVox success, and also to expound on some of the philosophical musings behind *my* involvement in LibriVox (which may be very different from other people’s).

Some of this will be recycled from my personal blog, hughmcguire.net; and more will be new. I hope this will be useful for anyone considering doing something constructive, and wondering whether an open structure makes sense.

See here for a rough outline.

About Me

I am the founder of LibriVox.org; a co-founder of Collectik.net.; and a writer of stuff (including one-and-a-half unpublished novels). I’m an engineer by training, and have worked in the energy sector, mainly in environmental policy/climate change. I worked for a while in New York City trying to get millions for greenhouse gas reduction projects (using the Kyoto Protocol’s financial mechanisms). It didn’t really work. I’ve done business development consulting in the alternative energy sector. And now I do some consulting on web projects, including building web communities.

I also have done a fair bit of speaking about LibriVox. I’d like to do more of that becasue I enjoy it; if you are interested, please let me know.

I have a degree in Mathematics and Engineering from Queen’s University; as well as a Philosophy degree from the same place. I play rugby for the Westmount Rugby Club. I live in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

I am also involved in a couple of other interesting projects:

  • Atwater Digital Mechanics Institute
  • CivicAccess.ca

My personal website is: hughmcguire.net
You can contact me at: hughmcguire AT gmail DOT com