Read this interview with me about leading AdaCamp Berlin and Bangalore

As I mentioned earlier today, I’m off to Europe shortly for AdaCamp Berlin, then in November I’m going to India for AdaCamp Bangalore. I’ll be leading both events, which means I get to welcome everyone and set the stage for the unconference, make sure the sessions and workshops run smoothly, and that the culture of AdaCamp meets its usual high standards. The Ada Initiative just posted this announcement and interview where I talk a bit about my experience with AdaCamp, running various community events, and Continue reading →

Travels: London and Berlin (Oct 7th-20th, ish)

I haven’t mentioned this on here yet so I thought I’d better do so before I actually, you know, board the plane. I’m heading over to Europe next week and the week after. The main reason I’m going is AdaCamp in Berlin, which I will be helping run, but before and after that I’ll also be spending some time in the UK and running this Growstuff event, to get stuck into some serious code with some of our UK-based developers, in London on Oct 18-19. Continue reading →

Why I just stopped using IM (hint: fucking Google)

tl;dr – if we usually talk on IM/GTalk you won’t see me around any more. Use IRC, email, or other mechanisms (listed at bottom of this post) to contact me. Background: Google stopped supporting open standards for IM a few years ago. Other background: when I changed my name in 2011 I grabbed a GMail account with that name, just in case it would be useful. I didn’t use it, though — instead I forwarded any mail from it to my actual email address, the Continue reading →

Open food interoperability: entities, unique IDs, and semantic equivalence

This is a post I made on Growstuff Talk to propose some initial steps towards interoperability for open food projects. If you have comments, probably best to make them on that post. I wanted to post about some concepts from my past open data work which have been very much in my mind when working on Growstuff, but which I’m not sure I’ve ever expressed in a way that helps everyone understand their importance. Just for background: from 2007-2011 I worked on Freebase, a massive Continue reading → Continue reading →

Two frogs in a bowl of cream

A story I got from someone who says she got it from an older Dutch woman. I wouldn’t mention the Dutch woman thing except that this story just seems so Dutch to me. Anyway. Two frogs fell into a bowl of cream. They swam and swam trying to get out, round and around in the cream, for hours. Eventually one frog gave up, stopped swimming, and drowned. The other frog kept swimming, refusing to give up. Finally the frog’s activity, splashing around in the cream, Continue reading →

The Pathway to Inclusion

Lately I’ve been working on how to make groups, events, and projects more inclusive. This goes beyond diversity — having a demographic mix of participants — and gets to the heart of how and why people get involved, or don’t get involved, with things. As I see it, there are six steps everyone needs to pass through, to get from never having heard of a thing to being deeply involved in it. These six steps happen in chronological order, starting from someone who knows nothing Continue reading →

Grace Hopper prints now available

I’ve been making linocuts. Meet Grace Hopper. She’s a complete badass. (click image for a larger view) She was 37 years old and working as a mathematics professor when Pearl Harbour happened. She joined the Navy and was set to work on the first ever general-purpose electro-mechanical computer, the Harvard Mark I. She invented the compiler (used to translate computer programs written by humans into ones and zeroes that the computer can understand), created one of the most widely used programming languages of the 20th Continue reading →

Queer intersectionality reading list

I recently put together this reading list on queer intersectionality for a local LGBTIQ group, as part of thinking about how we can serve a wider community of same-sex attracted and gender diverse folks. I thought it might be useful to share it more widely. For context, this is a 101 level reading list for people with a bare understanding of the concept of intersectionality. If you’re not familiar with that you might want to read Wikipedia’s article on intersectionality. Interview with KimberlĂ© Crenshaw, who Continue reading →

Meanwhile, in an alternate universe…

So this happened. I like to think that in another, better, universe, it went like this: When we launched Google+ over three years ago, we had a lot of restrictions on what name you could use on your profile. This helped create a community made up of people who matched our expectations about what a “real” person was, but excluded many other real people, with real identities and real names that we didn’t understand. We apologise unreservedly to those people, who through our actions were Continue reading →

Three realisations about community

Through May/June I was travelling in the US, to a number of feminist and tech events including WisCon, AdaCamp and Open Source Bridge. I gave talks, ran unconference sessions, and sat on panels at each event, as well as talking to lots of smart people doing good stuff. In between, I hung out with remote colleagues and met new ones in spaces like San Francisco’s feminist hackerspace Double Union. Along the way, I made three realisations, all of which are related to community in some Continue reading →