Old Year, New Year

There has been a lot in 2012.  A lot of travel, a lot of working, a lot of personal changes.  Though the year didn’t start off great, it has gotten progressively better.  I discovered that I have truly amazing group of friends who are brilliant and wonderful and supportive and kind, and who are there for me despite my very poor asking-for-help skills.  I also gained a lot of personal confidence in my work this year, which is mostly thanks to my awesome colleagues and mentors at the Center for Civic Media, Comparative Media Studies, and the Berkman Center.  It’s been an honor to be a part of these research communities for the past year, and I’ll be very sad to leave them next fall.

For those who like their “This Is The Year That Was” Reviews in list form, you can find that under the cut. And for everyone reading along at home, I hope your 2012 was also filled with good discoveries and happy realizations.  I hope your new year is filled with good food and kind faces, that you find something and learn something, that you share something and make something, and that if you discover you need help, you also discover your world is filled with friends who can.

Continue reading


The Congress Center in Hamburg all dressed up for 29c3

29c3 is wrapping up. I had a really excellent time here, and had once of the best speaker experiences I’ve had at a hacker con.  As usual, the hallway track was fantastic: I got to hang out with the “friends I only see at cons” crowd, and meet some awesome new people.

My talk on the ethical analysis of activist DDOS actions in now online (and please do stay for the question session, this was a highly informed and enthusiastic audience who had great input).  The other talks I saw were all fantastic. I highly recommend watching them if you have the time. You can find all 111 (!!) hours of talks here.

This con was entirely run by a volunteer contingent of “Angels.” They did a brilliant job.  And Hamburg is a great town! I’m very glad to have gotten to visit and participate in 29c3.  Next stop, Switzerland!

OMFG NewsFoo!

EDIT: Link to my Ignite talk now included!

Sometime between the power outage Thursday night that left most of Cambridge in the dark and severely messed with my ability to construct my Ignite slide deck, and getting up at 5AM to catch a taxi to the airport, I started to have serious doubts about whether I should go to NewsFoo at all.  Reading over the guest list (NewsFoo is a by-invitation conference) was an exercise in “Oh God, everyone is so much more awesome than me.”  NewsFoo also fell on an end-of-the-semester weekend packed with PhD application deadlines and final papers I should really be working on.  I was plagued with anxiety about my Ignite talk crashing and burning, being too shy to talk to any of the  big name journalists and tech heads in attendance, and generally being the most awkward person in the room for three whole days.

You guys, it was so not like that at all.

NewsFoo attendee wall. Photo by Elise Who

Continue reading