The Parable of the Prodigal Meetup Organizer and the Clued-In Community Manager

This is a parable about a local organizer failing to recover from an instance of bad judgment, and an excellent Community Manager coming to his rescue at the request of a Meetup attendee. Let it be a lesson in how to start with a fail and end with a win.

Not long ago in a dimension directly adjacent to ours, there was a popular tool for molding fresh computers into the right shape for your needs. The Good Tool had enthusiastic users across many lands, and it was common to gather and trade tips for wielding it. These were jolly events, with food, ale, and video projectors. One day, into a gathering strode a rustic stranger from the West. She wore a large yellow rucksack and appreciated the tales of the locals.

Suddenly, a speaker uttered a trope so common it felt like reading from the Book of Ages. He … Read the rest

Inclusion Is More Critical Than Uptime: Warming up the Occupy Philly Tech Tent

I support the Occupy Wall Street/Occupy Together movement.  The wealth gap is a whole ‘nother macro thing, but this post is focused on my (admittedly limited) efforts to help the Occupy Philly tech crew boost their inclusiveness.  Last night I did a little canvassing then talked to the tech crew on-site at City Hall.  Before I left, I formed and discussed the recommendations below with the people I caught up with, and they liked the ideas.  The folks I talked to at the tent were very busy but took time out of fighting fires and the General Assembly to talk about the issues.  They were interested and receptive and I thank them for taking the time to reflect on their work process with me.  The first suggestion came directly from the media working group, so I can’t take credit.  Here’s an email I sent to the tech organizing list this … Read the rest

Area Treehugger Speaks at German Hacker Conference

e-waste talk
Obrigada to Bicyclemark for snapping this shot of my snarkiest slide.

Updated with concise list of links, 10/12/2011.

I recently got home from 9 days in and around Berlin for the Chaos Communication Camp, organized by the Chaos Computer Club.  The Camp happens every 4 years and on a lark I submitted 2 talk proposals.  To my happy bewilderment, both were accepted.  I gave “There’s Gold In Them Circuit Boards:  Why E-Waste Recycling is Smart and How to Make it Smarter” based on my thesis work on e-waste, and “Data Mining Your City:  Early Lessons in Open City Data from Philadelphia, USA”.  On the train from Berlin to the airfield where the camp took place, I met Florian Stoller who helped me give the city data talk.  Besides being on the board of his local Pirate Party in Fribourg, Switzerland, he also helps run Be-Cause , a … Read the rest

Deepest appreciation for all the piscine comestibles

Just posted this at Hive76.

Dear Hive76 community,

With appreciation for the last year and a half with great people and projects, as of yesterday, I’ve resigned from Hive76’s Board of Directors. There are some amazing things in the works for the group, and I look forward to watching it grow and helping out from time to time. The organization has grown so much since I first heard about it, and there is a strong core of smart people making it run. I am confident that even more positive changes are on the way for Hive76 and the Philly science/tech community.

Recently, I’ve had a lot of demands placed on my time, and I feel that I can do more for DIY, science education, and technology for social change, from a different context. I’ve picked up some other tech/ed projects around the city (like Random Hacks of Kindness), … Read the rest

Gender, Technology and UN Pants

Photo courtesy of FatBusinessMan

It took a minute, but I found decent pants to wear to the UN. Yeah, that UN. This Thursday, March 3, 2011, I’m part of a panel about “Women in Technology: The Past, Present, and Strategies for the Future”, which will happen alongside the United Nations 55th Committee on the Status of Women Annual Conference. The topic of the big conference is access and participation of women and girls in education, training, science and technology, including for the promotion of women’s equal access to full employment and decent work. This event is organized by the Foundation for the Support of the United Nations (FSUN) and co-sponsored by United Nations Association, New York (UNA-NY); World Diversity Leadership Summit (WDLS) and Hitachi Data Systems. More info from the UN Association and the Foundation for the Support of the UN. It’s open to the public, so stop Read the rest