The Kölnisch Wasser project

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26 August 2009.

I have train tickets to Cologne - paid-for, and non-refundable.

I have booked a hotel, not paid, but the cancellation costs are the full price if I cancel now.

But the conference, MBC09 (the MicroBlogging Summer Camp 2009), that I got those train tickets and hotel reservation for has just been cancelled; I'll get the price of my ticket back, but not the other costs.

So, what to do? Go to Cologne, of course — it will only cost something for food, drink and transportation above what I've spent or pledged already. And what shall I do there? When I ponder this, before falling asleep, suddenly the term "Kölnisch Wasser" pops into my head. And thus an idea is born.

The next day

"Kölnisch Wasser." Water. Cologne is on the Rhine, of course — I like cities that somehow have a relationship with water, and though I have been to Cologne, that ws very long ago, and all I remember is sitting on the square in front of the cathedral.

I like discovering a city by not simply visiting all the tourist sites, but rather go on a specific errand, walk through residential streets. There must be more water in Cologne than the Rhine! So that's what I'll do: find water — let locals help me find water, any water — and take pictures of the water.

I let it simmer a bit. Later, I realise I could let people use the identi.ca microblogging service to specify locations for me! So it will still be a microblogging project as well.

And a site

Of course, I need a little site to coordinate it all and I quickly had to find a light-weight CMS. I'm now building this site with compactCMS which is rather nice and easy to set up, although it's rather fiddly to build a multilingual site with it.

Are you in Cologne?

If you live in Cologne, or know the city well (well enough to send me to a specific location), you can help! Here's how!

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