NetSquared Spotlights are a series of interviews focused on the work of our amazing NetSquared Local Organizers around the world. Our local organizers are volunteers dedicated to helping create local opportunities for learning, sharing and using technology to make a difference. Each spotlight we will ask questions that profile our Net2 organizers' approach to community organizing so that others can learn from their experience.
I retired from IT Services UNC-Chapel Hill in 1999, and have worked with Public Information Network, Inc./RTPnet providing services for nonprofit organizations since 1989.
Why did you become a NetSquared Local organizer? (What inspired you to organize local NetSquared events in your community?)
A couple of Americorps VISTAs I worked with started an NTEN 501 Tech Club and I inherited it. It was inactive for a couple of years. Chris Limerick was looking for an active local group and started the NetSquared group just as I reactivated the Tech Club. We met and joined forces.
Do you have co-organizers? What are their roles? How did you find them?
There are 7 of us. Paula Jones is our program chair. I am the coordinator (make sure we have a meeting place, bring pizza and drinks, etc.). We all back each other up. We also have an annual conference, splitting up the work.
What’s your local social-web-tech scene like?
We meet at UNC-TV and have Teaming 4 Technology facilities as backup. They both are roughly midway between Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill, NC. We start with pizza and socializing at 6:30 with program 7-8:30 and are out by 9. Discussion/interaction/learning is our strength. When we have presenters, there are contributions by others and questions as we go along.
What do your local participants really want to know? What are the most popular topics?
Sharing information and building relationships are our strengths. Sharing favorite tools Ignite style is one of our most popular topics. Socials once or twice a year are growing.
What’s the hardest part of the job?
Finding a person who will host our meetings on a regular basis in a facility that is big enough and midway between Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill.
Tell us about the best NetSquared Local event. What did you learn from that experience?
One of the best presentations was on website redesign. I think our socials are growing -- that people like an opportunity to actually sit down and talk with others.
What’s the coolest thing that’s happened at one of your events?
Backup person filling in to get pizza and drinks and run a meeting with about 2 hours notice.
How do you measure the success of your events? (What do you consider a successful event? what does success look like?)
Everyone at the meeting has something to say.
How do you envision your NetSquared Local events evolving over time?
Growing our team of organizers so that we are not dependent on just a few people.
How do you spend your time when you’re not organizing NetSquared Local events?
I work some with the nonprofit that is our fiscal agent (Public Information Network, Inc.). I like being outdoors -- walking, working in the yard.
I'm interested in information services and helping people improve their lives using computers, and I'm somewhat interested in Drupal. I learned programming in 1960 on a vacuum-tube computer during a summer job and worked in Information Technology 1961-1999. When I retired, I was UNC-Chapel Hill Campus Webmaster and a Tier 2 Analyst in the IT Response Center (Help Desk). I was paid well to play on the Internet all day!
What’s your change-the-world philosophy?
Do what you say you'll do.
Thanks to Judy for letting us interview her for this NetSquared Spotlight! Stay tuned for future posts in the NetSqiared Spotlight series.