updates @ m.blog

infrequent updates from a social technologist.

The Year in (Mostly Stupid) Side Projects

2012 was a very busy year for me, as things really ramped up at Bitly, getting settled in on a different coast of the country, etc. However, I managed to find some time in the margins for side projects, and I thought it would be useful to reflect on the things I built and what I learned.

Like many geeks, side projects are often more about having a task (it doesn’t really matter what) to explore learning a new technology, rather than building something out of a fervent desire it must exist in the world. Thus, my side projects tend to veer towards single-serving jokes, but hopefully there is something in the underlying tech that could be useful to others.

Note: While 2012 is the first time I feel like my code is approaching the point where it might actually be useful to other people to learn from, I’m by no means an actual software developer – so I’m probably a bad source for “the right way to do things” and possibly a better source for “what it looks like when a part-time hacker screws around making something.”

Anyhow, enjoy?! On to the projects (in chronological order)…

What Comes Next


Well, looks like this just went public, so might as well announce it here as well.

After completing my tour of duty at Flickr, I’ll be joining Bitly as Head of Product this spring. Bitly has a fantastic small team of really smart folks, and I’m excited to go help build some new and exciting things there. Plus, I knew that for my next thing I needed to go somewhere with a wicked cool animal mascot (and the only thing that could beat a pufferfish in the department might be Octocat).

And yes, this means I’ll be moving back to NYC. On a personal note, seven years ago I swore I would soon return to New York when “temporarily” moving to the SF Bay Area. So it’s advantageous that my significant other decided that moving to the East Coast would be the best way for us to get a fresh start on a new life together. We’re currently alternating between looking forward to our coming adventure and being somewhat terrified! Thanks everyone for your kind words in the past 48 hours, it’s meant a lot to me. Onward!