Civic Innovations

Technology, Government Innovation, and Open Data

More Writing, Less Words

Been thinking a lot lately about writing more regularly for my personal blog (yes, this one).

I write a lot for work, and I enjoy the process of writing (even more, the process of writing with partners) very much. But my personal site, which I have written for – in one form or another – since the early aughts hasn’t gotten as much attention as I would have lied in the last few years. That feels like a problem to me.

Some of the problem was attributable to the fact that for the previous 6 years I worked in the federal government and much of what I wanted to write about was related to my work. I was writing things for the agency I worked for and the process of getting approval had lots of friction – which can make it hard to do extracurricular writing. It’s easy to get tired writing about civic tech from inside government.

Another contributing factor was Twitter. Twitter was an important vector for me to share my writing and it soon became the way that I was writing. So easy to slip from writing a blog post to a Twitter thread. It was seductively easy and had the benefit of immediate feedback from my followers. That dopamine hit is real, ya’ll.

With Twitter now hitting the fan, it’s a good time to refocus on proper blogging. It feels right. It’s good for me. But writing long pieces can be challenging at times. So I’m going to try something new.

I’m going to focus – for some amount of time, I haven’t decided how long yet – on writing deliberately shorter posts. Noting more than 300-400 words or so. Something I can pound out while a thought is still burning in my head.

More posts. Shorter words. It’s time to leave the bird site and all the bad habits I picked up there behind.


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About Me

I am the former Chief Data Officer for the City of Philadelphia. I also served as Director of Government Relations at Code for America, and as Director of the State of Delaware’s Government Information Center. For about six years, I served in the General Services Administration’s Technology Transformation Services (TTS), and helped pioneer their work with state and local governments. I also led platform evangelism efforts for TTS’ cloud platform, which supports over 30 critical federal agency systems.

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