As someone campaigning under the banner of bringing a fresh perspective and new voice to Richmond's City Council, it feels important to acknowledge one key way in which I would not be bringing anything voters haven't seen before: I'd be yet another privileged white male in a position of influence.
Continue reading Put another white man in office?
As a fun project a few weekends ago, I created the website 47374.info. It automatically pulls together news and headlines from a variety of different news sources in the Richmond/Wayne County Indiana area.
The site has a simple display of those headlines that's automatically updated as they're made available throughout the day, and you can click on them to go read the original content on the source site - that's about it. There's a mobile-friendly version at http://m.47374.info/ and you can also easily see some recent local tweets from Twitter. The site's still officially in beta but I've gotten some great feedback from test users so far.
I created 47374.info because I was tired of looking in a lot of different places to see what's making news in my community, or wondering if I'd missed something that was only announced on the very transient Twitter. Some news sources have lots of content but make getting to it hard or leave certain key things out. Other sources have a few juicy nuggets of relevant content once in a while but don't make updates available via RSS feeds, so you never quite know how often to check back.
So with the magic of WordPress plus some custom Perl scripts, I've restored some sanity to my news-reading time. For the first time in a long time, I've set a website (instead of a blank page) as the default "Home" page that opens when I launch my browser. Over the last few weeks, it's meant I'm more aware of community news, and I spend less time per day getting there.
Thanks to all of the local news/headline/event publishers that work to keep our community informed!
If you try out 47374.info and have feedback, drop me a line.
Last night we had a great experience with some friends at the Quarter Barrel Brewery & Pub down the road in Oxford, OH.
The place has apparently been open only a few months after some Miami University alums decided to pursue their vision for a local brewpub, and it already seems to be one of the most popular dining destinations in town.
Continue reading Quarter Barrel Brewery & Pub in Oxford Ohio
As a part of preparing to train and orient some new folks joining us at Summersault in the coming weeks, I've thought a lot about the different phases of engagement that I expect staff members to experience as a part of their integration into the life of the company. The path looks something like this:
- Understand: learn about what we do and why we do it
- Observe: encounter what we do and how we do it in a hands on way
- Contribute: join in to what we do and become a part of the process
- Facilitate/Lead: take ownership of what we do and help make it happen well
- Change/Improve: challenge the way we do things and try to make them better, or look for entirely new things to do
(It isn't always a linear progression; challenging and improving something often leads to resetting our engagement with it, returning to stages of trying to understand and observe.)
Another way to look at this journey is as one from being a passive participant to an active participant in the life of the company. Businesses and organizations thrive when the people feel they are empowered, active agents of success. Businesses and organizations stagnate or fail when the people are just passively waiting for things to happen, or don't know how to contribute.
I realized that movement from passive to active is not just something we do as a part of learning a new job.
Continue reading Moving from Passive to Active
I haven't been reading at the pace I want to but I've still be able to squeeze in some books here and there. Here are some mini-reviews of a few of them:
Sex at Dawn
by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá
Sex at Dawn is an honest and thorough exploration of the history of human sexuality, and what that means for how we understand our sexuality today. Written by some folks who have clearly done their research, it's part anthropological study and part cultural critique, and it's got plenty of witty humor sprinkled throughout.
Let's be honest, it's easy to take the history and meaning of sexuality for granted in a society that throws images and talk of it in our faces left and right - "surely things have just always been done this way, right?" And there's so much pressure to understand, have and be good at sex while also maintaining an extremely nonchalant approach to being a sexual being. But whatever you think you know about why and how people have sex, why monogamy is held up as a moral imperative in modern culture, and how other cultures and species around the world treat sex and sexuality, you should be prepared to be challenged and entertained by this journey through human behavior. I certainly was! Continue reading Mini-Book Reviews: Sex, Genius, Spying and Cyberwar