Speaking frankly at GovLoop.com

Speaking frankly at GovLoop.com


UPDATE to update: interview can be found on Heather's personal blog.

Hey, Heather Krasna does a great job engaging me in conversation at GovLoop.com. That's a grassroots government tech site, where people are working together to figure out how to do increasingly better jobs.

It's a conversation-style interview, and maybe Heather got me to talk pretty openly:

The craigslist site started by using email log files as a database, and I rewrote the code using MySQL. That occurred late in 1999, which means I haven’t done anything technical for almost 10 years. You may recall I talk about growing up as a nerd, classic pocket protector and all? That’s literally true. I also wore thick black glasses in high school. They were taped together on two different periods. Seriously. And that’s just the way my life went. I’m still a nerd at heart, but in ways I think are good, in that when you grow up as a nerd, you do remember what it feels like a little to be left out. In turning that around, it reminds you that the internet includes, or potentially includes, everyone. That’s preamble. As you may have heard in the panel about five weeks ago, with some of the federal web manager’s council members, I talked about rise of the nerds. And, just to overindulge the cliché, I did the Vulcan hand thing and the “live long and prosper.” I’m not, nor have I ever been, a Trekkie, but I’m doing what I can to enlist people in technology to make things better for everyone.

In this context, I’ll just remind that one of my favorite quotes is Oscar Wilde, “if you want to tell people truth, make them laugh or they’ll kill you.” And you’ll see that in much that I say or blog. But coming back to your theme, in September I suddenly realized that my job overall, beyond craigslist–in craigslist my primary job is customer service–but what I really am, not only craigslist and beyond, is a kind of a community organizer. To be more precise, I’m a community meta-organizer.

I, for one, welcome our new nerd overlords.




Thanks for sharing! You have spurred some interesting conversation on twitter.
I do value intelligence and character more so than the superficial qualities our culture seems to endulge.
I remember those feelings in high school. The feelings of being left out. It actually compelled me to be the sort who reached out to others.
It might also explain my attraction to IT.
Beautiful sentiments. Thanks for sharing.

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