You won’t have too many people for the event you’re hosting. Make a bet on it.
Many of us will host events at some point in our lives — choosing a date, creating some programming and inviting people to come. I do quite a bit of this, some 50 events a year for work, a dozen or more a year for social groups I’m a member of and maybe that many among friends or one-off special get-to-gethers.
Often you might hear someone express frustration with the delicate balance, that you don’t want too few people there but you also can’t have too many. I’m here to help you: in very nearly every case, it’s better to have too many people than too few so that’s exactly how you should optimize. Don’t waste energy worrying whether you have too many people coming.
Continue reading Stop worrying about having too many people at your event
To an audience of 100, I gave the keynote at FOSSCON, a one-day, open source conference held in Philadelphia for attendees from around the country this Saturday. (I also covered the event for Technical.ly here).
It was easily the most technical event at which I had a prominent speaker role — usually, I’m a side show to offer reporting background on a related issue. This time, I was closing out the event, which featured prominent open source leaders. But I wasn’t there to offer technical insight — which I don’t have — but instead meant to take reporting perspective and put it through the open source lens.
My title was “How Open Source is Changing the World,” and the argument was that open source software culture has shaped so many other changes happening in local tech communities — how technical recruiting gets done, why governments are pursuing open data, where tech businesses are locating.
I did an OK job at this.
Continue reading How Open Source is Changing the World: my keynote speech at FOSSCON
I moderated a panel in April on diversity in technology at the Emerging Technologies for the Enterprise conference.
Below listen to the audio.
Ahead of the fifth annual Philly Tech Week back in April, consultant and Drexel University chairman Stan Silverman, who writes a regular column for the Philadelphia Business Journal, decided to write about Technical.ly and my work there.
Unfortunately the Business Journal’s leadership flexed its editorial discretion and spiked the story. It wasn’t the first time we heard something about us was dropped by the publication — Silverman told me he never had a column idea killed like that before by his editor.
One can’t know exactly why but one might come to assume it’s a rather petty swipe at us, as they see us as a kind of competition. I hope we can all appreciate the irony that during this very same Philly Tech Week, we happily included and helped to promote a Business Journal event, their IT awards. Oh it’s too perfect.
I guess it’s just the difference between the open web and ugly legacy tendancies.
Read Silverman’s column, which he published on his personal site, here.
Sometimes when a word is really powerful, it gets over-used enough that its power dwindles. This happens in cycles, like how “collaboration” was sorely stretched in recent years as institutions got hip to open source culture, and now as “innovation” is being slid into the name of any new effort from any organization aiming to look forward-thinking.
That over-use doesn’t mean the word isn’t effective. It is. But it should mean it requires defense. So when I was asked to submit to business marketing magazine SmartCEO my own definition of the word and my process for employing it, I tried to do just that.
Continue reading Innovation is taking a risk on a new approach for an old challenge
Temple University Magazine, my alma mater’s alumni magazine, called @technicallyPHL one of 25 Twitter accounts with Temple ties worth following [PDF]. They used an old photo of me looking a little dumpy from this profile
There’s a feeling that persists that at some point in your career, you’re successful enough that you get to the stage.
You’re handed a microphone and you begin to share what you have learned, all that you have accomplished. You move from the crowd to the curated. And once you get there, the goal is to never go back.
Continue reading Great leaders sit in the audience
I’m proud to say that the Fox Business School of my alma mater Temple University honored me with their third annual ‘Self-Made and Making Others’ award during the Be Your Own Boss Bowl.
The honor is a recognition for entrepreneurial work that helps others do the same. I gave a keynote address to students and other alumni, which I wrote out and shared below but mostly just used as notes.
Continue reading Temple University’s Fox School honored me with the ‘Self Made and Making Others’ award
Journalists have to approach issues they care about differently than others. There’s a fine line between influence and bias. I’ve joined the board of Coded by Kids, a program of coding classes for youth, and I’d like to share why.
Continue reading I’ve joined the board of Coded by Kids