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Nick Chapman
Works at cafes
Attended University Of California Berkeley
Lives in San Francisco, CA
2,164 followers|77,568 views


I won candy on the #googlebirthday doodle! Score: 116
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I won candy on the #googlebirthday doodle! Score: 93
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The Kite patch is a new way to combat mosquitos - and mosquito borne illnesses such as malaria.  It looks like this Indiegogo campaign is for a commercial venture - I'd have been much happier with a non-profit, but they do have giving the patches to families in Uganda as a key component of their crowd-funding pitch.

#malaria #crowdfunding #africa  
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Here's an awesomely excellent sounding crowdfunding campaign:

Black Girls CODE - Summer of CODE 2013 - The Remix
Help fund the next generation of tech and expose 2,000+ girls to coding during our expanded CODE summer program.

The reasons this is an awesome idea are many. Development studies show that across a whole range of metrics for social wellbeing, the education and uplifting of women is just about the best thing you can do to improve social conditions. Everyone is going on about how important coding skills are, but we know that these skills are not being evenly distributed.  Time and again we are hearing about problems of sexism and racism in the tech industry.  And most generally, every kid should have the opportunity to pursue and learn things that interest them, and we need to do better about making sure all kids in this country have opportunities to learn coding... and music, and writing (826 Valencia), and art, and farming, and physics, and...

#coding   #womenintech   #stemeducation   #stemwomen  
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App Camp for Girls was launched 3 days ago at the Apple WWDC. It's already raised more than its initial goal, $58,000, but we should fund it to the moon. It's an incredibly worthwhile idea. 

Here's some of their blurb:

"App Camp for Girls wants to address the gender imbalance among software developers by giving girls the chance to learn how to build apps, to be inspired by women instructors, and to get exposure to software development as a career. Our goal is to grow our non-profit organization into a national force, with programs in multiple cities, helping thousands of girls.

We are launching this summer in Portland, Oregon. This summer, we'll be holding two sessions with girls 12-14 so that we can build and refine our curriculum. With experience and an established program, we'll move forward over the coming year with plans to expand the camp for Summer 2014 to accommodate more girls and a bigger age group, and to build the organization to reach beyond Portland to other cities."

After the recent charts showing the persistence of sexism in Silicon Valley, and all the crazy stories of the past year around gender issues in the tech community there can be little doubt of the need for correctives.

But... there are many other reasons as well. Time and again, studies have shown that the education of women is the single best thing that one can do to lift all sorts of social metrics around poverty, disease, illiteracy, etc. What lifts women up, lifts whole countries up. These studies are of development activities in the underdeveloped world, but I think there issues apply here just as well. And the USA has been drifting toward a sort of weird uneven development that is unfortunate.

As long as this camp has a positive attitude toward other things in general, and is not some billionaire bootcamp, where girls go to learn how to be the next/female Zuckerberg or Gates, then I am strongly supportive.

#stem   #stemwomen   #womeninstem   #crowdfund  
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I won candy on the #googlebirthday doodle! Score: 106
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Nick Chapman

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I could have wished for something a bit less pink, but anything that breaks down the gender divide is welcome

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Nick Chapman

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"On the dock Yarrow stood and watched them go, as sailor’s wives and sisters stand on all the shores of all Earthsea watching their men go out on the sea, and they do not wave or call aloud, but stand still in hooded cloak of grey or brown, there on the shore that dwindles smaller and smaller from the boat while the water grows wide between."
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Nick Chapman

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Travis' approach is more stringent than mine, but read this for pointers on how to do better time management during your working life...
GTD Best Practices

This is my own collection of best practices that I have developed and adapted from the GTD (Getting Things Done) methodology. For background on GTD, see

The thing I have found most important about using GTD is to be flexible. I have created my own implementation of GTD, and I'm not afraid to bend the rules when necessary. I also try not to get bogged down in process, because GTD should make things easier, not more difficult.

Information Management

I used to carry a pen and paper to all of my meetings. I would take notes, and then file those papers in a folder for the relevant project. But I had a hard time locating those notes months or years later when I needed them. This, and working at Google, taught me that if data is not searchable, it's not very useful.

Now, I always attend meetings with my laptop. I have instant access to all of my information that way. I take meeting notes directly into an e-mail which I send to myself. Its searchable, permanent, universally accessible (anywhere, any device), and minimizes clutter. Hard copy documents get scanned and attached to e-mail with relevant (searchable) subject lines.

All of the documents that I used to have in my hardcopy reference files are now in soft copy, in a handful of folders on Google Drive (folders organized by project). They're searchable, and I don't have to spend extensive time categorizing them by topic.

My workflow is in a web browser (Chrome) where I have Gmail and Google Calendar open at all times.

E-mail Management

Inbox rules:
1. My inbox should generally be empty.
2. No e-mail should go to or remain in my inbox unless I need to take action on it.

Incoming e-mail is either:
1. Automatically filtered to a "mailing list" folder for later reading (once a day or less);
2. Read and archived immediately;
3. Deleted (spam, announcements, etc.);
4. Acted upon (responded to or forwarded to someone who can address the issue).

If an e-mail needs more attention than I can give it at that time, I create a calendar entry or a task list entry to act on it later.

I only use a few e-mail folders (labels): Inbox, Starred (for follow-up), Drafts, Sent, Read/All, and Mailing Lists. I do not have individual folders for projects. The sorting took too much time, and I can put my fingers on whatever e-mail I need using search queries.

Automate e-mail using filters and Priority Inbox to filter out as much junk as possible. Unsubscribe to mailing lists that are not read.

Read the Mailing Lists folder as infrequently as possible. Choose “select all”, scan through the subject lines, and uncheck anything that looks interesting, then press delete (or archive) to remove the non-interesting messages.

Put Data Where It Is Best Accessed

My computer (a MacBook Pro 13") has no data on it. Only a web browser. I don't have to worry about back-ups. This also makes using a chromebook or tablet much easier, although I'm by far most comfortable using a laptop.

Move everything to the cloud (use Google Docs, online photo storage like Picasa, SmugMug, or Flickr, etc.).

Minimize junk: Do a clean-out and donate all the clutter to charity (there are a number of really good websites on minimalism that discuss this).

Go paperless: All paper records should be scanned and shredded.

Task Management

I have a calendar for recurring events, meetings, and when I need to block off time to work on a project.

I keep a task list in Google ( and I use Android Tasks ( to sync task lists with my Android phone. I have two main lists: Personal and Work. Additional lists can be added for special projects, etc.

Task syntax:
Each task item starts with a "(1)", "(2)", or "(3)" to indicate priority.
Urgent tasks are preceded by an asterisk: "(*1)" to promote the priority.
I add a "w" before the number if I am waiting on someone else to take action ["(w1)", "(w2)", or "(w3)"] to demote the priority.
I add an "r" after the number ["(1r)" or "(w2r)", etc.] if it is a recurring task, to remind me to reset the task for the next iteration.

Because Google Tasks sorts alphabetically in the Google Calendar view, this filters the highest priority tasks that I need to take action on to the top of the task list.

#gtd #inboxzero #taskmanagement
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Nerd/Geek, Consultant, Editor/Writer, Culture Vulture, Cook
  • cafes
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
San Francisco, CA
Canberra, Australia - Ann Arbor, Michigan - Castelmuzio, Italy - Bolinas, CA - Berkeley, CA - Philadelphia, PA - Madison, Wisconsin - Hamilton, Ontario, Canada - Amsterdam
There's no kill switch on my sweet, sweet style.
Nick is an over-caffeinated and under-employed grad school dropout, aspiring leftwing intellectual and cultural studies academic, film buff and occasional reviewer, and former private detective. Raised in San Francisco on classic films, radical politics, burritos and soul music, then set loose upon the world. He spends his time in cafés with a laptop and headphones, caffeinating and trying to construct a post-whatever life.

Occasionally, he does Macintosh tech support, editing, and social media consulting to pay for his coffee. 

He would like a job in nonprofit arts administration, or teaching film/critical media literacy.
Bragging rights
I once rode in an elevator with George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola. I've flown around the world - both east to west and west to east - and been on six of the seven continents (no prizes for guessing which one I haven't been on yet).
  • University Of California Berkeley
  • University Of Michigan
  • Australian National University
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