52 Books in 52 Weeks, Year 4

BACK ON MY BULLSHIT aka I read 52 books in 52 weeks for the fourth year in a row! (See blog posts from 2015, 2016, and 2017.)

52books2017

What I did differently this year

Last year, I made a conscious effort to document and diversify my reading with the help of a very intense book-tracking spreadsheet — and it worked! So I continued that trend this year, and read mostly books by women/people of color again. The final count ended up being 33 books by women, 23 of those written by women of color, and 21 books by men, 15 of those written by men of color (plus 2 books that were each coauthored by a man and a woman).

In response to a NYT tweet crowdsourcing “books by women...

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Year in Review 2017

An incomplete series of lists detailing what I built, wrote, talked about, and read in 2017.

Projects:

Writing

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52 Books in 52 Weeks, Year 3

What started as a dumb challenge to myself to read 52 books in 52 weeks is now in its THIRD YEAR. Also I somehow turned this into a lightning talk I gave at a conference last year. (See blog posts from 2016 and 2015).

52books2016

What I did differently this year

For the last two years, the percentage of female authors I read has hovered stubbornly around 30% and last year, I realized that if I’m not conscientious about the books and authors I’m reading, I tend to read mostly books by (white) men. So this year, I made the active choice for at least half the books I read this year to be by women/people of color. The final count ended up being 42 books by women, 20 of those written...

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Year in Review 2016

An incomplete series of lists detailing what I built, wrote, talked about, and read in 2016.

Projects:

Things Written

52 Books in 52 Weeks, Year 2

BACK AT IT AGAIN WITH THE 52 BOOKS (I’m probably going to regret making this February 2016 meme reference very soon). I read 52 books in 52 weeks for the second year in a row!

52books2015

What I did differently this year

Unfortunately, I did not stick to as strict a schedule of reading a book a week. There ended up being waves of not reading anything at all and waves of intense reading, like when I read eight books in the last two weeks of December in an effort to finish my first Goodreads Challenge of 52 books in a single calendar year. Because I was taking so many liberal arts and humanities classes to finish out my English minor and distribution requirements for graduation, I decided to include books I read...

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On casual racism

I’m studying in the student center with two people for a plant quiz (I’m referring to my biology class called Plant-People Interactions which I tweet about a lot). One of the topics for this quiz is alcohol - beverages made from fungi to be specific - and that means we cover the plants and processes that result in wine, beer, distilled liquors, etc. When we start reviewing the section on sake, this guy turns to me and says “this is all you!”

Neither me nor my friend initially says anything. I’m honestly just trying to process what I just heard. This guy assumes I’m Japanese and he just assumes that means I know all about sake. A thousand options run through my head. Ignore it, sweep it under the rug, laugh it off, take the higher...

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Connecting gamemakers and playtesters at SNDMakesChi

At SNDMakesChi, Team Printer’s Row designed and prototyped I Want In, a platform that connects gamemakers and playtesters. We tested our initial hypothesis - that playtesters are important but hard to find - by talking to some game developers who responded to our teammate Charlie’s Bat Signal.

team printer's row

Team Printers Row (left to right): Chris Coyier, me, Charlie Hall, Allyson Wakeman

We learned that game developers often test with friends and family or find testers from the same sites and online communities, have a low budget for QA (and in some cases a random volunteer may be better than a hired person for QA), and find it challenging to get quality feedback from testers. We developed two personas: a gamemaker and a playtester.

Gamemaker:

  • Need specialists...
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All the think pieces I've read about Beyoncé's "Formation" (so far)

I’ve been listening to Beyoncé’s “Formation” on repeat since it dropped last Saturday (if you haven’t listened to it/seen the video 390192 times by now who are you), so naturally I’ve also been devouring every think piece out there about the sheer amazingness of this song (and Beyoncé in general). Then my friend texted me today asking “omg the new beyonce send me all the best essays plz” so here they are:

How we built (and iterated) North by Northwestern’s Year in Media 2015

North by Northwestern’s Year in Media is an annual collaborative and interactive project in which writers reflect on developments in news, tech, sports, politics, entertainment, and pop culture. Since we’ve never really stuck to a single design or workflow, this year was an opportunity to iterate and experiment. Here is how we built NBN’s Year in Media 2015 across timezones and behind firewalls.

Both the 2014 and 2015 Year in Media projects are built using Middleman, which is a static site generator that makes web development really easy (plus it’s the static site generator I’m most familiar with). Last year, I used the Middleman Google Drive gem to make our backend a shared Google spreadsheet, and while it allowed for easier collaboration, it also introduced a lot of confusion in terms of data entry. This...

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Year in Review 2015

An incomplete series of lists detailing what I wrote, built, read, and watched in 2015. I also wrote a more ~real~ reflection of my year on Medium.

Projects Completed:

Things Written:

Medium posts

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