When I have a staff job, I feel much more mono-directional. When I was at Yahoo! running product, edit, program etc teams for Yahoo! Personals, I maintained my blog and made time for my personal life but 98% of my spare cycles went into thinking about things related to work at Yahoo, my side little Brickhouse project and YP.
For the first 10 months post Yahoo, my focus was running the amazing Knight News Challenge with the great Knight team and the super Heidi MIller, blogging, and getting my start up off the group. Lisa Williams, my People’s Software co-founder describes the summer at TechStars as as intense as sticking your head in a washing machine, over and over, and that’s not a bad description of the sheer brute force we felt we needed in trying to make the right things happen.
But by late September, even as we went into a beta, I decided to put the company on ice; the direction we’d gone in didn’t engage me enough to spend two years living it full time, and there was no way to take money if I felt like that. Lisa was great, we kept talking back and forth, and it was a mutual decision to take that step back.
So, what am I doing now?
Consulting & Advising
Well, for one thing, I am putting the word out that I am looking for consulting work, projects and writing gigs.
- I think I’m going to be doing some business owner/product development lead work with an engineering team around a consumer-focused/nonprofit site, and I hope to also help a small but unique media property and research project take their products onto the web in a way that ultimately makes them money.
- I’m also taking the lessons learned from the Knight News Challenge’s use of social media to get the work out, engage people and build community and both craft similar strategies for some non-profits, and train others in how to use these tools in relation to one another.
- Finally, it also looks like I am going to be doing some blogging on a new and developing passion of mine for oermaculture/urban homesteading and sustainability; it would be fun to supplement that with some tech coverage/column somewhere.
- And of course there is the amazing community of people crawling out of the wreckage of old-style online news–and the super talented younger people trying to figure out the business models–as a media person/product developer/entrepreneur, this whole category gets me going.
- And a couple of start ups I am helping a little bit.
But I am looking for additional work, especially into the spring, so if you have leads or needs, and want to talk about opportunities and projects, swell.
Part of what eased the pain of deciding not to go forward with People’s Software was coming up with another idea that seems like an even better fit for my skills and passions. I’ve been working on this idea with a small team and hope to launch in March/April. My goal this time, though, is to boot strap it (see consulting, above); I am willing to trade speed for independence this time around.
Blogging & writing
- My identity as a writer somehow came back with a vengance when I more from Silicon Valley to the much more urban Oakland.I’ve been blogging more, writing for BlogHer, and will start doing occasional pieces for another blog (agreements almost done.)
- I’m also more interested i’m doing white papers and documenting what I know/have learned/observed
- And trying to figure out the best ways to write about my rampant interest in urban homesteading/permaculture/sustainability….where I have a lot to learn (which makes it fascinating)
Participating in community
- Equality Camp Oakland: who wants to help? After Equality Camp in January, I agreed to help put on one in the East Bay–it’s just about time to have the first organizing meeting–if you are interested in helping to plan, let me know. Thinking February planning meeting, April event.
- Public Media Collaborative: A new group to bring together community organizers and activists, social media experts, videographers, journalists, technologists and others to talk about how technology can be used to create positive social change online and in the real world, and to create projects and opportunities to work together on local trainings and events. Next meeting, early March, East Bay this time.
- Gardening, worm bins, composting and so on: My new newsreader folder is all about worm bins, composting, grey water and so on (No, I am not getting chickens, though I would like to barter jam for eggs).
- Women in tech things: WAM, WWTTelesummit, Shes Geeky, mentoring…
- A spiritual community where I am giving some service
- Family & friends
What are you focusing on right now?
I’d love to see other people pick up this meme and share, since with full time jobs disappearing, so many of us are reformatting ourselves.