On the Human Rights Commission de-funding

Last night, Richmond, Indiana's City Council voted 5-4 to de-fund the Human Rights Commission, a local agency that investigates and addresses complaints of discrimination based on race, religion, color, gender, physical disability or national origin.  The budget for the agency was $74,150, an amount that is already down from other cuts in recent years.

The de-funding measure was proposed by Councilman J. Clayton Miller.  Every encounter I've had with Mr. Miller has been a positive one, and he seems to be a good person doing what he believes is right, which I appreciate.  I'm sure that his fellow supporters on Council who also voted in favor are also doing what they think is right.  But I question whether they have made this decision with full consideration for the needs of the whole community in mind. Continue reading On the Human Rights Commission de-funding

Upcoming speaking events

I have a few upcoming speaking events that you might be interested in:

  1. Capitalism vs. The Environment: A small business perspective on doing well AND doing good. This coming Thursday September 24th at 4 PM at Indiana University East in Whitewater Hall Room 132 the Community Room, free and open to the public, no registration required.  I'll be talking about our experiences at Summersault as we've tried to do the "right thing" when it comes to the environment and nurturing sustainable lifestyles, and examine whether it's even possible to pursue a for-profit technology venture and not be in a harmful relationship with the land and life around us.
  2. Get Techie, Get Social! A workshop to help non-technical people learn more about technical topics, especially social media like Facebook and Twitter.  Monday September 28th from 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM at Morrisson-Reeves Library, free and open to the public, no registration required.  If you're at all intimidated by some of those "newfangled Internet trends" or the Internet in general, I hope you'll bring your questions and frustrations so we can work them out together.  There's a PDF flyer for the event.
  3. TCP/IP topics in Introduction to Computers and Computing.  I'll be speaking at this IU East class on Monday October 12th about things like DNS/Bind, network topologies and routing, e-mail technologies, and web technologies.  This particular class isn't open to the public, but if you have folks interested in discussing these topics in technical detail, let me know and I'd love to speak with your group.
  4. Communicating Through Technology. Friday October 23rd at 9 AM at a conference for women hosted by the Wayne County Foundation.  I'll be speaking along with co-worker Jane Holman about social media and general technology topics.  You can view the conference brochure in PDF, and registration is required.

I hope you can join me for one of these events!

Growing a Geek Culture in Richmond

Surveying the courseA few weeks ago I was asked to talk with some folks at the Wayne County Area Chamber of Commerce about Summersault's past, present and future, and I enjoyed the conversation and questions very much.  One really good question that came out of the meeting was "how can Richmond better encourage, nurture, cater to technology professionals like the ones working at Summersault?"  I'll simplify that question to be "How can we grow a better geek culture in Richmond?"

It's something that I think about a lot (especially when we're trying to hire someone), but I didn't have a ready answer - partly because there is no simple answer, but partly because I hadn't really ever taken the time to write one down.  Below is a list of ideas and comments, in no particular order, that came out when I put the question to the wider Summersault staff.  I hope that you'll contribute your own thoughts and suggestions, and I'll pass the list back to the Chamber and anyone else I can find who might be in a position to work on some of these things.

Continue reading Growing a Geek Culture in Richmond

Why Rep. Joe Wilson's outburst was good for you

Republican Congressman Joe Wilson has already apologized for his lack of civility in last night's joint session of Congress, after shouting "you lie!" at President Barack Obama during Obama's speech about health care reform. Wilson is unsurprisingly being raked over the coals by fellow politicians, the media, and indignant bloggers and Twitter users, but I'm not sure we don't also owe him a word of thanks.

Continue reading Why Rep. Joe Wilson's outburst was good for you

Velotraverse

Heading WestLast night I got to experience Richmond as a kind of tourist, and I really enjoyed it.  I was hosting cross-country cyclist Ben Lyon at my house through a Warmshowers.org connection, and he came into town ready to hang out and see some sights.  We ended up gathered with Aaron, Mark and Thomas on my front porch to hear about Ben's trip so far, and then set out on our bikes for dinner.  Continue reading Velotraverse

A Bit More Urban Overhead for Summersault

New Summersault office entranceBecause you come here every day looking for blogging goodness, you've probably noticed that I've been a little quiet lately on that front.  This is in no small part due to the exciting adventure that has been moving my company's main office from the location we've occupied for ~9 years at 914 East Main Street in Richmond, to our new location at 710 East Main St, Suite 200 in Richmond.

The move brings with it a great expansion into a much more flexible and usable space, a whole new outlook on the world with natural light via second story windows, and a new beginning in the life of the company.  One of the tag-lines in our marketing materials is "World Class Services Without Urban Overhead."  Well, now we have a bit more urban overhead, and I thought I'd share a few notes and reflections on the move:

Continue reading A Bit More Urban Overhead for Summersault