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Hello, world! I'm a web developer slash marketer turned entrepreneur and community builder, fascinated with everything philosophy, psychology, and technology.

I'm also a North Bay native that wears many hats - notably, I am co-founder of Web & Interactive Media Professionals (aka, WIMP) and community manager for all things programming at O'Reilly Media.

You can learn more about me in my bio, or peruse this here feed. See you in the wild blue nowhere!

PS. Please pardon the funky redirect to the home page! It's a bad stopgap that I'm replacing ASAP :-)

What's a community manager for?

By | February 17th, 2014 | Personal Note

... is a question I get daily. For good reason, too. It is a new job and the landscape of job titles is a wild west when it comes to marketing.

It certainly doesn't help that "community manager" is very different (and fetches about half the salary) at VaynerMedia as it does at O'Reilly Media.

So what exactly do I do? I have a dual role as a promoter and researcher for O'Reilly, plus as an advocate for the community. The way that plays out in reality is, at the core, fairly simple: I run social media accounts for Fluent and OSCON and I attend meetups and conferences.

And then there's everything else. Things like sitting in on editorial discussions, advising against tactics that would ruffle feathers, reviewing speaker proposals, writing blog posts, triaging potential PR disasters, and turning trolls into fans.

It's a job that engages me on all levels - as a technologist, marketer, businessman, and community builder. And it's a vantage point I wouldn't trade for the world.

When I was on the job hunt, my #1 concern was that I'd get a job as a software engineer which would typecast me as a technician for the rest of my career. Had that happened, I would've had to specialize and make time in my personal schedule to soak up the big picture.

As programming community manager for O'Reilly, I stay apprised of technical progress without getting lost in the trees. I get to dance along the entire leading edge!

But make no mistake, I am not just a CM for O'Reilly, I am a community dude writ large. Community is my MO and always has been, but it took WIMP to make it obvious.

The overwhelming sense of joy and contentment I get from community work and social entrepreneurship make it clear - I've found the motherlode.

Getting Lost in Big Data

By | February 12th, 2014 | Personal Note

I attended O'Reilly Strata in Santa Clara today, my first O'Reilly conference and a glimpse of what's to come. I work with our data team and belong to the programming team - so this was my chance to experience one of our conferences without having a lot of responsibility

... which was a ton of fun! Sadly, I only got to experience a day but what a day it was - frolicking through the expo halls, flitting about the sessions, and brushing up against countless new (to me) ideas.

Suffice it to say, I'm uber excited for O'Reilly Fluent which is coming up in March at the Marriott Marquis in San Francisco. Fluent is the first O'Reilly conference I'll officially be on duty for, followed by OSCON in July.

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First Annual CMX Summit

By | February 9th, 2014 | Personal Note

Last week I had the great fortune of attending the first annual #CMXSummit, a gathering of community managers, community builders, product managers, founders and CEOs, on behalf of O'Reilly Media.

There is just no way for me to bottle up the wisdom I gained from folks like Dave McClure, Ligaya Tichy, and Emily Castor, but I will try in the coming months. For now, I encourage you to check out the Storify.

Visit the Storify

Working On What Matters

By | February 4th, 2014 | In the Media

Wow. Every day here at O'Reilly is more exciting than the last! Today's announcements blew me away, as an individual deeply invested in education reform:

O'Reilly and Safari Books Online is joining a public-private partnership with The White House in order to provide free educational content to every school in America.

I am so proud to be a part of this organization. You can learn more about #ConnectED in this announcement video from the POTUS himself.

Watch the Video

Eastbound and Geek

By | January 17th, 2014 | Personal Note

I just got back from my first trip to the east coast and it was excellent! I got super lucky, dodging polar vortex part one and part two and I had fabulous company - I was traveling with folks from the O'Reilly Media Sebastopol HQ to Cambridge for a week of marathon meetings with our eastern, and more editorial focused, colleagues.

Exploring new things aside, I had a great time getting to know my coworkers - they're fun folks and brilliant collaborators. I feel like a part of a team, and a fantastic one at that.

My travels weren't without troubles, though, as I failed to cope with jet lag, shattered my mobile, and struggled to physically cope with it all. I reckon my next trip will be a lot smoother and even easier after that - just learning to be a traveler!

Regardless, it's hard to be too affected by things like that when adventure is afoot!

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The Times They Are a-Changin'

By | January 1st, 2014 | Must Share

I've long been a fan of David Mitchell and Robert Webb's comedy, but this bit from series 2 episode 1 jumped out at me as relevant to the themes I cover.

One reason I believe the financial crisis has had such an enduring effect is that it was the straw on the camel's back for many employers that hadn't truly made the leap from industrial age to information/network age. A significant portion of unemployment is structural - those jobs are not coming back.

That is one reason for my advocacy of education and community. The effort it takes to re-skill an individual is immense - it takes a village.

Watch the Video

Happy Holidays

By | December 25th, 2013 | Personal Note

Seasons greetings, folks! I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season with friends, family, and festivities - and minimal Facebooking ;-)

It has been a year of transition, hard learned lessons, new successes, and none of it would have been possible without you. I've landed in a wonderful place (that is, O'Reilly) that is empowering me to do more of what I love (like WIMP).

As I reflect on the spirit of the season, WIMPgives looms large in my mind. To build quality websites for vital charities that would not have had one otherwise – to build five of them in one day – was a mind-blowingly gratifying thing. I'm thrilled to say we've got some great ideas kicking around for 2014's event and will be involving more of the community.

Thank you for 2013, and I look forward to our 2014!

Yours in service,
Joshua

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Tim O’Reilly Urges Developers and Entrepreneurs to Make Moonshots

By | December 17th, 2013 | O'Reilly Programming Blog

At OSCON 2013, Tim (@timoreilly) asked us to aim higher and work on difficult problems while highlighting the most important trends that should be guiding open source developers and entrepreneurs. To illustrate his points, he offered up great examples from companies as diverse as Google, Square, Wikipedia, and O’Reilly Media.

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Paradise Lost

By | November 21st, 2013 | Presentations

Within weeks of starting at O'Reilly, I was challenged to present at the ninth Ignite Sebastopol event. For those unfamiliar with Ignite, the idea is this: "Enlighten us, but make it quick." The format is five minutes, 20 slides auto-advancing every 15 seconds.

As the leader of WIMP, I've become passionate about reinvigorating technology north of the Golden Gate. Technology is eating the world, becoming an integral part of every industry, and locally little is being done to support the transition. I've been thinking about this a lot and Ignite gave me an opportunity to distill my thoughts and convey them to people outside the tech industry.

The best part? It totally landed. I was approached by a diversity of folks including an activist, a farmer, and an educator. I'm still refining the message and learning more about the issues, but this was definitely a milestone moment for me.

Thank you to all of the WIMPs who were there! It was great to see y'all and hear the hoots when I introduce us in the presentation :-)

Watch the Video

What sci-fi teaches us about community building

By | November 12th, 2013 | Must Share

As a futurist, I'm a huge fan of the science fiction genre, so when I saw the title of Dawn Foster's Ignite talk I knew I had to watch!

Watch the Video