blogging Musings

Blog neglect — for good reasons!

… it happens. Of all the stuff that I have to do, my blog is unfortunately the thing that I put last on the priorities list. The up side of that is that I’m working on about a million really awesome projects right now. Currently in the mix:

  • I’m still working with Nate on the book project, which is coming along swimmingly and continues to provide me with the most fascinating brain food I have ever encountered. Friday we went to IBM Headquarters to interview the project manager of Deep Blue, the chess-playing computer that beat Grand Master Gary Kasparov in 1997. It was the first time Kasparov had ever been beaten, period, and by a computer.

  • I’m a community manager of Haiti Rewired,’s community-driven site to discuss technology and infrastructure solutions for Haiti. It’s an incredibly challenging and rewarding project to be working on. The site has been in existence for about 3.5 months and now hosts 1,250 members. Compared with the previous community-driven site I worked with,, which only had about 80 active contributors, it’s an entirely different animal. Though I do see many similarities in user behavior, especially with regards to the waxing and waning periods of activity. One cool thing that’s happening with that now is that a project to create a Wired computing hotspot in Port-au-Prince for Haiti Rewired journalists is launching in about two weeks! It’s really motivating to see real-world progress come from online activity.
  • I’m finally being acknowledged as a social media guru and am going to be working with a awesome author and his publishing company to create the online presence for his new book. I won’t say what it is until everything is finalized, but I will say that it’s high in saturated fact.
  • I’m working at the Internet Garage every Friday and Saturday night. I’m coming up to my 2 year anniversary! I still find it funny that the first time I went in there to scan my passport, I left it there and didn’t realize it until I’d been working there for a month and found it in the drawer. Good thing they hired me.

Arikia, Internet Garage

  • The weekend before I went to Haiti, I attended the New York Hackathon, an event put on by HackNY at NYU, as an ambassador. The purpose of the event was to put groups of bright NY computer programming students in the same room with the founders of tech start-ups for 24 hours and have them build things together. It was great to see what kind of talent is out there, and it left me wishing that I was a freshman in college again right now so I could participate in events like that. Since the event, I’ve been talking with the founders of HackNY and want to help them get the word out about their organization via various internet pathways.
  • Also at the Hackathon, I got to know Dave Winer, a software developer who just moved to NY from Silicon Valley, the author of Scripting News (one of the first blogs according to Wikipedia), and a really nice guy. He is all about collaborating to make new things online, and he is a do-er. I went to a meet-up he hosted last week and it totally satiated the need for collaboration in a university setting I’ve been feeling lately.

So, that’s what I’ve been up to lately, and why I have no time to blog. But I hope that changes soon. Dave demoed some sweet software that I think will make blogging a lot more impulsive, which is a good thing for me. And even though I’m not here on WordPress much these days, you know where to find me.




On the privilege of leaving Haiti: A conversation with my father

This conversation took place on my third day in Haiti. After staying with my family for two nights, my father drove me through PetionVille to the Hotel Oloffson where I stayed for the next three nights so I could meet other journalists and explore the city by myself.

The premise of this conversation: He just told me he wants to leave the country and live on another island.

(Note, French and Creole are his primary languages.)

Recorded April 6, 2010.

[Recorder on]

Me: Why would you want to live on another island?

Dad: Because I think another island is better, is organized, there are organizations, there are other… I can not fight anymore. I don’t want to fight anymore.