My Favorite Twitter Bot

Nearly a year ago I tweeted the following.

It was always funny and frustrating to me when folks shared screenshots from their mobile phones with such low battery. For some reason the low battery bugged me. It’s like living on the edge, man!

So then today I get this reply.

Rahat actually coded up the damn thing! And it works really well. Even better, the source code is up on Github under an MIT license.

I was curious if I was the first to think of it. I wasn’t, which is cool. It looks from my sleuthing that the first mention was back in 2013.

I love the Internet – and the people on it.




Liaison, Community Liaison

I’m in my second week of joining the Wikimedia Foundation. So far, so good. I’m still in shock. 1 The first week was a whirlwind of introductions and meetings. The biggest thing I got out of the last week is that folks are at the foundation motivated by the movement, know things need to get better (culture and technology), and are there to make an impact – and I get to be part of that. Hot damn.

When joining a new organization my brain always tries to organize information. Mostly by comparing and contrasting to previous experiences. I’m really excited to have more peers in a similar role as mine. At my last employer I was a bit of an odd-man-out in relation to what I did on a daily basis. 2 At the foundation I have a near gluttony of folks with years of experience working with communities. They’re a pretty diverse group and I love every one of them.

They are all different in their approach to work and have been patient in sharing with me what works best for them in hopes of making my own time at the foundation a success. That’s a really great thing. I’ve been at other organizations where sharing information with peers was minimal – you shared what made your job easier, not job of the person you were sharing with.

This got me thinking about the different folks I work with and their approach to the work before us.

The role of community liaisons are like James Bond. Not 3 the debonaire, suave hero of over 24 films, but the character. Bond is played by a different actors across different generations, each a little different, each with their own take on the character. If you’re a Bond fan, some are your favorites, some never struck your fancy, some you might even dislike. Depending on when and how you were introduced to the character you have parts of each you like – and parts you miss when new Bonds come on-screen.

Like Bond, liaisons all have the same title (007). But each is a little different in their approach to the job. Some use stealth and subterfuge to take down wait, where was I going with this analogy? :)

True to form, some folks don’t like Bond. That’s ok.  Hollywood is still making movies! Still trying out new things. Trying to improve. That’s what all us liaisons have in common – all of us are trying to improve. Ourselves, and more importantly the communities we serve.

  1. In a good way. I suffer from imposter syndrome, so seeing that this exists is surreal.

  2. To say nothing of my educational and technical background!

  3. just

My Presentation from WordCamp KC is now Online

I had a great time at WordCamp KC last year1 and thought my presentation wasn’t too bad. Secret behind-the-scene info: I started getting really sick minutes after my talked ended. I even had to leave KC early and asked my wife to drive I felt so yucky. It was as though my body knew it had to keep itself together until I was done presenting, then – PARTY TIME IN SICK TOWN.

If you run a site managed by WordPress you’ll do yourself a lot of good if you keep it up-to-date. So, I hope my video helps a few people learn to stop worrying and love the update button.

  1. 2015 is now last year!?

The Hallowed Glow of Digital Distraction

The brain’s craving for novelty, constant stimulation and immediate gratification creates something called a “compulsion loop.” Like lab rats and drug addicts, we need more and more to get the same effect.

Endless access to new information also easily overloads our working memory. When we reach cognitive overload, our ability to transfer learning to long-term memory significantly deteriorates. It’s as if our brain has become a full cup of water and anything more poured into it starts to spill out.

I’ve known all of this for a long time. I started writing about it 20 years ago. I teach it to clients every day. I just never really believed it could become so true of me.

The first step in progress is acceptance. From Addicted to Distraction from the NY Times. 1

  1. Yes, I posted this in the middle of the day, at work, where I should be doing other things.

A New Adventure

I’m taking a position with the Wikimedia Foundation as a Community Liaison starting in late January. This is a big opportunity that will be both challenging and exciting.

I’m leaving Mercy after 4.5 years and have enjoyed my time working as an Enterprise Architect, Solution Architect, Business Architect, and Business Analyst.1 The people there have been nothing short of supportive and wonderful and I hope to stay in contact with many people who I call friends.

I’ve been involved in a tiny corner of the Wikimedia movement for a few years now and I’m excited to be able to spend more time on wiki stuff – especially when it comes to empowering people to share their experience and knowledge with nothing short of the whole world.

I also hope to work (on my own time) with the local community here in St. Louis and bring awareness to Wikimedia and the various projects we support. 2

As a liaison I’m assigned to a product team within the foundation. For me it’s the Discovery team – search, maps, and all the things that help contributors find things!

A big thanks to the folks in the MediaWiki Stakeholders’ Group for proving opportunities to learn more about the community. Thanks to the WMF for trusting and hiring me and for the individuals I interviewed with. They were honest in the details of the position and challenges in the work before us.

Thanks to those who offered to be a reference, you must have said something nice. :)

Most importantly, thank you to my wife Jackie and my family for making this decision with me. I’m glad we’re in this adventure together – wherever it may lead.

  1. I got around

  2. educators, data folks, developers, users, editors, consumers, researchers – get in touch!