Last week I had the opportunity to co-present with Tara King a talk about diversity and inclusion in the Drupal community. After each time we do this presentation we’ve learned from the audience and made improvements to make the session more helpful. This was my fourth time giving this talk (although other Drupal Diversity and …Continue reading "“But I’m Not Privileged”"
Last week I was proud to represent Drupal Diversity and Inclusion at DrupalGovCon. Along with Dori Kelner, I co-presented a session to help people understand the challenges we face as a community and what DDI is doing about it.Continue reading "Diverse communities are strong communities"
Last week I attended the Nonprofit Technology Conference for the first time since 2011. I was very impressed with the organization and the the content of the conference, it was great to see how the community has evolved over the years. Along with Tim Nafziger, I co-facilitated a discussion session for members of the NTEN/Nonprofit …Continue reading "Getting started with Drupal"
Last month, a wedge was driven into our community when a long-time contributor was asked to step down from his leadership position, and it is shining a harsh spotlight into problems that have been lingering unaddressed for years. (And we landed on the radar of alt-right trolls including Breitbart!) I hope that one good thing that can come out of this mess is that we are able to look at what didn’t work here and figure out structures that serve both the software and community better. If we have to shut down a few entitled bros along the way, so be it.Continue reading "This beautiful mess we’ve made – the Drupal situation"
Following up on the very basic intro to Drupal class I created and taught for Girl Develop It RDU in the spring, I am now offering a half-day workshop for beginners who actually want to start getting their hands dirty using Drupal. The class is this weekend and we still have a lot of spaces …Continue reading "Let’s do Drupal!"
Last week I taught a class for Girl Develop It RDU to introduce Drupal to people who have never used it before. It might not make sense without my brilliant explanations, but you can see my presentation here.Continue reading "Drupal from 30,000 Feet"
The culmination of two months of very hard work, HASTAC Collections is a beta feature of hastac.org that brings together content from across the site in a hand-curated list of posts which can be viewed in a large tiled display, or in a multifunction list view. Collections are not limited to highlighting hastac.org content, links to other sites are highlighted with yellow buttons. When viewing as a list, users can sort and filter the collection by type of content, topics and tags, and keywords in the title or body.Continue reading "HASTAC Features"
This week I have been in geek heaven. Along with the rest of the Duke-based HASTAC staff, I have been testing the alpha version of our new site, and we’re thrilled with how it’s coming along. We expect the new site to launch by early July.Continue reading "The new HASTAC.org is taking shape"
I just read a great piece by author/activist Cory Doctorow on what he calls “Techno-Optimism” in Locus Magazine. He addresses a question that is often confronted by those of us who aspire to somehow use technology as a tool for social change: does the tool matter, or just the results? For example, if it’s easier to reach your target audience of young people who care about software freedom via Facebook, does the end justify the means? Or should we hold ourselves to a more idealistic standard and use an open source tool that lacks the critical mass of users?
In other words:
As a techno-optimist, I was heartened to see the role that networked technologies played in aiding activists in Iran, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain and other middle-eastern autocracies to coordinate with one another. But as a techno-pessimist, I was horrified to see activists making use of unsecured unfit systems like Facebook, which make it trivial for authorities to snoop on and unpick the structure of activist organizations.
The trick for technology activists is to help activists who use technology to appreciate the hidden risks and help them find or make better tools. That is, to be pessimists and optimists: without expert collaboration, activists might put themselves at risk with poor technology choices; with collaboration, activists can use technology to outmaneuver autocrats, totalitarians, and thugs.
As I like to say: the path IS the destination. How you get there is every bit as important as where you go. I already use a lot of open source software such as Drupal (this site’s platform), Firefox and Thunderbird (which I couldn’t work without), and Ubuntu (on my personal computers at home). I’m going to redouble my efforts to support software and systems that themselves support my own (and HASTAC’s) values of freedom, democracy, and security.Continue reading "Doctorow on the politics of technology choices"