Posted on November 14th, 2014 by Craig Newmark
Folks, it seems I've won the Bay Area's Most Influential Biz-Tech Figure… (clerical error?)
(you can see a bigger version of the image here…)
And, on that note…
I thought this photo seemed appropriate. Though, it's a bit of a joke, I'm in a pedi-cab modeled after the Iron Throne in the Game of Thrones. In the Game of Thrones, you win, or, well, you don't win. On the other hand, Mrs Newmark suggests that in the Turkey chair I look like a Turducken… Yes, the Throne kinda looks like Turkey wings, and I guess that makes it a TurNerden, the tech Turducken. Anyway, Winter is Coming.
Everyone, thanks for the very kind words you've sent my way, and please remember my reference to "clerical error."
Posted on November 7th, 2014 by Craig Newmark
Hey, women entrepreneurs run more than 8.6 million businesses in the US, generating more than $1.3 trillion in total revenues (according to nerdwallet).
Breaking down silos is a great way to get stuff done. It's critical to take a look at what's already being done in an effort to create real change. Too often orgs try to do their own thing without checking if it's already being done.
My team and I have researched 5 women-run startups that are being done right now, and these are some startups that might inspire you to collaborate or come up with your own startup idea.
We think that they're the real deal. You can also follow them, or their founder, on Twitter for some insight into their work.
4 Creative Startups That Are Getting Stuff Done:
1. Soceana is working to generate social good by creating a vibrant community of volunteers, nonprofits, philanthropists and corporations. Soceana aims to create a central hub for key data analytics, personalized skills-based matching, and an engagement platform. They say, "it’s almost like a Facebook with its employee-led event planning and photo-upload features meets LinkedIn with its messaging and professional development all tied together with data analytics to create a unique product in a thriving space."
Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Tess Michaels:
2. Tock is an antisocial social app. It's both an app and game that rewards users for being away from their device. It encourages more people to talk face to face, not phone to phone. Compete against friends to see who can stay away from their phones the longest and discover what exists beyond the screen. Speaking of collaboration…
Rachel Samples is the one walking the walk behind Tock:
3. TaskRabbit was inspired by a yellow lab. TaskRabbit allows you to live smarter by connecting you with safe and reliable help in your neighborhood. You're able to outsource your household errands and skilled tasks to trusted folks in your community. They say it’s an old school concept – neighbors helping neighbors – reimagined for today.
Founder & Engineer turned Entrepreneur, Leah Busque:
4. YouNoodle helps startup founders get advice, prizes, and opportunities. Having run over 400 different contests and challenges, they try to learn more about their entrepreneurs and introduce them to opportunities unavailable to most. YouNoodle connects entrepreneurs with advisors and investors, and they fast-track startups into accelerators and other programs.
Co-Founder Rebeca Hwang's philosophy is that it's powerful to link people and ideas, and help them connect and cultivate ideas.
Folks, who would you like to see on this list?
Posted on October 21st, 2014 by Craig Newmark
Just like a lot of people, I've been playing with photography, some using a serious camera, some using my phone camera, then applying filtering.
Here's some stuff the Mrs and I did, hope you like it!
A tower, with reminder:
Rooftops of New York:
New York dawn:
Birds of the Lower East Side:
Gum trees of Cole Valley:
A view of Aspen:
New York in the rain:
Sunrise in Cole Valley Heights:
Another view of San Francisco:
[super] moon over Cole Valley, recently…
Any of these places look familiar to you? And more over on my Pinterest board…
Posted on October 17th, 2014 by craigconnects
Let’s Fix It: Why Is It So Hard to Find Ethics and Trust in the Media?
Coupla years ago, I blurted out that "the press is the immune system of democracy." That's what I learned from my high school history teacher, Anton Schulzki.
That's not working so well. We've had major press scandals recently, including some obvious failures to follow through with widely known information. A few, really egregious failures: WMD, the economic crash around 2008, ObamaCare, VA scandals starting in 2002 and the current badly misreported scandals, and the IRS failing to pursue fake political nonprofits.
With a track record like this, should anyone want to buy news?
I'm a news consumer, and I just want news I can trust. For around a decade, publishers, editors, journalist and ethicists have given me quite the education. I've never suggested how to fix the news — I just want to fix the trust and ethics part.
I see how tough the job is; people have to fill the "news hole" every day, with something sensational that might sell some soap or something.
That's a lot of pressure, lots of job insecurity, and I always want to give people a break.
Let's do something constructive, maybe starting with an allusion to an article by danah boyd, "Rule #1, Do No Harm." In that article, she wonders: "When did it become acceptable to make shit up?"
So, first, a generous and constructive approach starts with "do no harm." Beyond that, I'm looking for serious good faith in conducting serious fact-checking, and serious correction of the errors that get through anyway.
Since bad info spreads fast, sometimes virally, honest correction might be challenging. It would require repeating the truth, asking other news outlets to correct the disinfo, and even some SEO work. Corrections should not reinforce the error, a common problem given human perception.
How will news orgs start to self-enforce in tough situations?
For example, how do you catch a reporter who is skilled in making up plausible but false stories, or who relies on other unchecked reports?
How can that happen if a heavily burdened editor says, "Just don't get caught"?
That is, news orgs should be held accountable for damage they cause, just like other professionals are held responsible for malpractice.
There's hope; both the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and the Online News Association (ONA) are doing good work.
With this renewal of trustworthiness via ethics, we could reestablish the immune system of democracy.
No one has the answers for the hardest challenges, but the next step is to adopt a serious ethics/trustworthiness code, and then start working on accountability.
I'm a news consumer. I won't tell anyone how to do their job — I just want news I can trust. Through this ethics/trustworthiness effort, maybe we all can help the pros fix this huge problem.
Specifically, how can we all work together to make this happen?
Photo: Author's Own and Juan García / Flickr
Posted on October 10th, 2014 by Craig Newmark
Folks, my teams and I have been following your comments about women in the tech sector that you really admire.
We've researched many of the women you've shared, and appreciate the time you took to mention 'em. The following is a list of women who really have their boots on the ground, all suggestions from comments. Please keep 'em coming. And maybe follow these women who are doing a lot of work for social good in the tech arena.
1. Selena Deckelmann, A major contributor to PostgreSQL and a Data Architect at Mozilla. She’s been involved with free and open source software since 1995 and began running conferences for PostgreSQL in 2007. In 2012, she founded PyLadiesPDX, a Portland chapter of PyLadies. Selena also founded Open Source Bridge and Postgres Open, and speaks internationally about open source, databases, and community when she's not keeping chickens and giving technical talks.
2. Leslie Hawthorn, Community Manager at Elasticsearch, where she leads community relations efforts. Leslie's spent the past decade creating, cultivating, and enabling open source communities. She created the world’s first initiative to involve pre-university students in open source software development, launched Google’s #2 Developer Blog, received an O’Reilly Open Source Award in 2010, and gave a few great talks on many things open source.
3. Deb Nicholson, Director of Community Outreach for the Open Invention Network, works at the intersection of technology and social justice. She's been a free speech advocate, economic justice organizer and civil liberties defender. After working in Massachusetts politics for fifteen years, Deb became involved in the free software movement.
She's the Community Outreach Director at the Open Invention Network and the Community Manager at Media Goblin. She also serves on the board at Open Hatch, a non-profit dedicated to matching prospective free software contributors with communities, tools and education.
(We could not find a Twitter account for Deb Nicholson…)
4. Elizabeth Krumbach Joseph, Automation and Tools Engineer at Hewlett-Packard on the OpenStack Infra team. Elizabeth's also a Community Council member for Ubuntu and a Board Member for Partimus, an organization that puts Linux hardware in schools.
5. Keila Banks, A web designer, programmer, videographer, and publisher of content making use of mostly open source software. She speaks to audiences of adults and youth alike on being raised in a family filled with technology and how she uses Linux and open source software in ways that will challenge you to ask yourself, are you smarter than a 5th grade open source user?
(We could not find a Twitter account for Keila Banks…)
6. Val Aurora, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Ada Initiative, a nonprofit that seeks to increase women's participation in the free culture movement, open source technology, and open source culture. Val's a writer, programmer, and feminist activist, and speaks about women in open technology and culture, feminism, and harassment. She also co-founded Double Union, a feminist hackerspace in San Francisco