About

I’m a technology writer and editor. For the past three years, I was the Washington Correspondent at O’Reilly Media, where I covered the voices, technologies and issues that matter in the intersection of government, technology and society.

Along with my correspondence for the O’Reilly Radar, I have contributed to the National Journal, Forbes, Slate, the Huffington Post, Govfresh, ReadWriteWeb, Mashable, CBS News’ What’s Trending, Govloop, Governing People, the Association for Computer Manufacturing and the Atlantic, amongst others. I have appeared multiple times as an on-air analyst for Al Jazeera English and a guest on the Kojo Nnamdi show.

You can find me in many places online, including, my open government blog, “E Pluribus Unum,”   Twitter, Facebook, TumblrLinkedIn, Flickr, YouTube and Google+.

I am a frequent speaker and moderator at conferences in Washington and beyond, including the Web 2.0 Summit and Expo, Gov 2.0 Summit and Expo, The U.S. National Archives, Social Media Week, DC Week, SXSWi, Strata, GOSCON, AMP Summit, Tech@State, CAR/IRE, and the State of the Net, the Open Government Partnership Annual Conference,

I’ve also delivered remarks at Harvard University, Stanford University, Columbia University, Alfred University, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), NIST, Club de Madrid, Cato Institute, the New America Foundation, the World Bank,and the Social Security Agency. In 2011, I was Visiting Faculty at the Poynter Institute.

Prior to joining O’Reilly, I was the associate editor of SearchCompliance.com and WhatIs.com at TechTarget, where I wrote about how the laws and regulations that affect information technology are changing, spanning the issues of online identity, data protection, risk management, electronic privacy and cybersecurity.

My previous work experience includes working in operations for an e-business consultancy, as a knowledge broker for a management consulting firm and (very briefly) as a garde manger at an outstanding Italian restaurant. I  taught middle schoolers about technology, coached high school tennis, was apprenticed to master builders and maintained the websites of various nonprofits, restaurants and small businesses in New England. I designed marketing and sales presentations, edited energy research articles and reconciled accounts receivable for an environmental remediation firm.

I’m native to upstate New York, where I was born on a farm. I attended Germantown Friends School from 1984-1994 in Philadelphia. I graduated from Colby College in 1998, earning of Bachelor of Arts in Biology (with a minor in Sociology). I now live in Capitol Hill in the District of Columbia with my wife, daughter, greyhound and a growing number of pots, pans and houseplants. I’d describe myself as a geeky outdoorsman, foodie, frugal bibliophile, avid cyclist, bumbling angler and amateur photographer.

11 responses to “About

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  7. An anecdote: I can (and have) gotten totally amazing jobs by talking with people in the trenches (usually engineers) who were either facing a cliff or had fallen off one. What Johnson said about execution focussing the mind? Well, principled practitioners respond that way to calamity. My point: I get around HR.

    HR don’t like me. I didn’t like them in the 60s (high-school … I had long hair, was playing bass and building stereos, doing lights for theatre &tc) or the 70s (maximally hi-tech, NORAD/SAC and such) and on and on. The next generation? I didn’t like their parents (reciprocated) and I don’t like them (reciprocated).

    Principled practioners … as close as we can get to bushido. (The samurai is hard on the outside, soft on the inside. Zen master? Other way ’round.) When you compromise enough to get power (dominant paradigm, n’est-ce pas?) … well, ask Obama. So far as I can tell the politician’s brand of authentic integrity is keeping relatively honest count of how many scalps he’s taken.

    You, sir … I think the litmus test is approachability. “Even the fool has his story”, says the Desiderata. You … the absence of arrogance … speaks volumes, that does.

    ^5
    ben

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  9. I love your header picture. Wish I could have been the one who knew how to take it!

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  11. I agree, that header looks great. How did you take it?

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