Blog

  • When Facebook comes to work

    The chapter I wrote over a year and a half ago, "When Facebook Comes to Work," has finally been published in a new CyberAge book by Information Today: Dancing with Digital Natives. (View the Table of Contents.)

    "This remarkable group of editors and authors presents a range of opinions about the challenges and opportunities of business life in a digital era. Taken together, these essays help us to debunk many of the myths that we too commonly rely upon when we talk of digital natives, in the context of business, marketing, learning, career development, and otherwise. ... No matter what, this book will make you think."

    —John Palfrey, co-author, Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives

    The book is a compilation of chapters by different authors who speak to the characteristics of "digital natives" — folks who have been immersed in digital technology from birth — and how digital natives are transforming the way business is done. My chapter is on the work style of young technophiles. It just so happens to be the first chapter and the sample chapter that you can download to get a preview of the rest of the book!

    I am quoted in a book review by PR Newswire, talking about the impact of digital natives in the workplace:

    "It's not just their hip iPhones and contemporary slang ('Facebook me!') that marks this as a new era. Their work practice is fundamentally changing as they live and breathe this culture of distributed networking and social technologies.. ... It may never be a practice that managers and previous generations wish to embrace personally—and that's fine. They will, however, need to recognize and understand this emerging work practice if they wish to maximize the digital native workforce."
    —Brynn Evans, Ch 1 – When Facebook Comes to Work

    ---------
    Dancing with Digital Natives was edited by Michelle Manafy and Heidi Gautschi. The contributors include Mary Ann Bell, Shashi Bellamkonda, Sarah Bryans Bongey, Jami L. Carlacio, Albert M. Erisman, Brynn Evans, Susan Evans, Lance Heidig, David Hubbard, Richard Hull, Marshall Lager, Christa M. Miller, Emilie Moreau, Carolina M. Reid, Michael Russell, Peggy Anne Salz, Arana Shapiro, Dan Schawbel, Rebecca Rufo-Tepper, and Robert J. Torres.

    It can be purchased on Amazon or directly from the publisher.

    2011/408 pp/hardbound
    ISBN 978-0-910965-87-3
    Regular Price $27.95

  • What I brought home from SXSW

    I just returned from an amazing 5 days in sunny Austin, TX. This was my 3rd year at SxSWi and it was as jam packed, exhausting, and energizing as any I've been to in the past! I decided not to do the panel-hopping thing this year and instead spend quality time with people I rarely get to see.

    (I was also spotted singing karaoke on the RVIP bus, which I never do either!)

    But when I came home yesterday, I realized that I brought home a ton of stuff, despite making my best attempt to stay away from the conference hall and the oodles of swag handed out every year.

    Here's what I brought home with me:

    • 3 Gowalla shirts (2 t-shirts and 1 adorable 3/4 length hoodie)
    • 2.5 pairs of YouTube knee-high socks (now I just need a kickball game to play in!)
    • A ditto shirt
    • An Urban Airship shirt
    • A professional photo for my about.me page!
    • 2 sample BankSimple credit cards (cannot wait for this one to launch!)
    • AllThingsD temporary tattoo
    • Alfred "butler" (this thing doubles as a screen & keyboard cleaning tool)
    • Signed copy of Cadence & Slang (thanks Nick!)
    • Pack of AOL matches
    • 2 LEGO keychains
    • 2 months free of TripIt Pro
    • About 50 business cards
    • Slides from my panel on Games for Change
    • 100 trees planted in the Mahabana Estuary in Madagascar (thanks to The Play Mob and Mike Robert tweeting up my panel!)

    Oh, and I walked a total of 79,551 steps (or 34.8 miles) across 5 days.

    What did you bring home?

  • Time for something new — but what?

    It’s with mixed emotions that I’m announcing my departure from the startup I’ve been working at since last August. I’m going to keep this post brief and follow up with a longer, more thoughtful post on why I left after the SxSW craze dies down.

    In short, my startup was no longer a place where I could do the kind of creative work I want to do (and that I’m good at). The people on the team and the history we’d built up as a company made it a difficult place to do UX and design. Part of this is because we were larger (7 people) than we should have been given the certainty of the product direction. This led to every decision being made by committee — leading to premature compromises and resulting in bad product design. I was also the sole designer and I’ve come to realize that I’m more effective when I work on a collaborative team that understands and appreciates the role of UX.

    So, what's next? I’m not sure yet! I will be taking March off to consider a variety of options, using SxSW as a bookend to this chapter in my professional development.

    Come find me at SXSW and let's chat — I'd love to get pointers to new opportunities that excite you!

    Oh, and of course: thanks to all my friends who've helped me through this decision and transition. It hasn't been easy for me, and I'm grateful for all your support!

  • Overlap 2011 - sneak peak

    This weekend Krista and I scoped out the venue for the Overlap conference that we're planning for June 2011. It's a lot of work to plan and prepare everything, but the people in the Overlap community, alone, make the undertaking worth it! Plus, we got pretty jazzed when we saw the venue for the first time this weekend! 

  • #1UP: Games for Change

    It's exciting that South by Southwest is just around the corner! When I submitted my panel proposal back in, what, June? July?...I had an inkling that games would be an interesting topic, and I was particularly interested in social change. Hence a panel proposal which is now called: 1UP! Games for Change. (hashtag will be #1UP)!

    Yesterday, James Renovitch published an article in the Austin Chronicle based on an interview with me, Thor Muller, and Dave Gray about our respective game panels: "Gaming the System: Applying the mechanics of play to the everyday". It got me even more excited about picking the brains of my two awesome panelists, Zao Yang (of MyMiniLife/Farmville) and Jude Ower (of theplaymob.com), about their perspective on "gamification" and how games can be used to motivate people to change their behavior – for personal or social change.

    The short version of the panel is this:

    This panel will explore ways that games can be used to motivate personal change and increase productivity. We'll start by talking about the theory behind games and gamification for behavior change — in contrast to games for social networking (e.g., Foursquare) — and how game-like activities have been used for a long time to encourage people to change their own behavior. Then the discussion will revolve around applications of game theory in practical, everyday situations (e.g., in the workplace, for dieting, parenting, reducing our carbon footprint, etc). Our panelists will talk about their experience in these situations — what games they chose, how the games helped change people's behavior, and any take-aways they have for using games in your own life or building them into your next enterprise.

    For the long version, come attend the panel in Austin!

    1UP! Games for Change: Tuesday March 15, at 5:00pm in Room 6AB of the Austin Convention Center.