Whew! It’s a been a hectic few months since I blogged last!
Faith, Brighton and I bought a house and moved to greater Pittsburgh in late May (Glenshaw, to be precise). I have to call Faith “Dr. Honey”, instead of just honey; she has her M.D. now and is serving an anesthesiology residency at UPMC. Pittsburgh is awesome. The people are quite friendly (if rather more sexist and religiously conservative than New Englanders, on average). The “Pittsburgh Left” is both charming and dangerous. And I started a vegetable garden!
I’m not yet finished with my dissertation, but with the necessary move to Pittsburgh and the need to pull in at least some income, my options seemed limited. Academic positions were basically a non-starter. I was looking into jobs as a lab tech or a photographer or an in-home child-care provider, and there are actually some jobs in the Pittsburgh area (moreso than in much of the country). None looked too appealing. But the perfect opportunity opened up for me at perfect time.
In June I took a position with the Wikimedia Foundation: “online facilitator” for their 17 month “Public Policy Initiative“. In short, I’m part of a team focused on creating a Wikipedia Ambassadors program and developing good ways to get professors and their classes involved with improving Wikipedia content. (As a pilot, we’re starting with public policy professors in the U.S., but we hope to expand the scope of the programs we’re starting after the basics are in place.) I tell people I’m the head of the Pittsburgh Office of the Wikimedia Foundation. If you’re a Wikimedian in the Pittsburgh area, let’s get together some time; I’m going to try to start having regular Pittsburgh wiki and free culture meetups, which have never really happened before.
Finally, Wikimania. It deserves a post of its own…