Wordcamp Boston

Today I’m geeking out with my fellow WordPress fans here at Wordcamp Boston, host by Microsoft’s NERD Center (New England Research and Development) on the MIT campus. Now that I’ve moved my blog to WordPress and have used it for several other projects, I’m glad to have a chance to get more acquainted with this great open source community.

Here’s the view of Boston and the Charles River from our 14th floor room:

iPhone App for Municipal Complaints

The city has released an iPhone app that enables residents to report problems as they encounter them on the ground:

“The Citizens Connect iPhone App that provides a lightweight interface into the City of Boston’s Constituent Relationship Management System (CRM). The intention is to help constituents easily report a variety of different service requests including

  • Removing Graffiti
  • Filling Potholes
  • Fixing Traffic lights”


All you have to do is take a picture, describe the issues, and send it off and the city will have a geocoded record of your request.

On a recommendation from neighbors, I went out this morning and reported the sidewalk that connects our neighborhood to Forest Hills cemetery, which is basically just gravel and garbage at this point. It’s so bad that people with strollers usually have to walk in the road.

This clearly won’t be enough in itself to get this problem fixed, but it sends a signal to residents that the City is trying to listen and is willing to invest in tools that make it easier to voice our concerns.

Boston Globe:  Municipal complaint? There’s an app for that

First Hand: Civil War Era Drawings from the Becker Collection

This weekend we attended the opening of the First Hand exhibit, a remarkable collection of Civil War Era sketches never seen by the public before. This exhibit is special for me because I’ve been managing the website development for both the Becker Collection and the First Hand exhibit site over that last three years.

Though I’ve been looking at the digital versions of these pieces for quite some time, I was a revelation to see the physical items in person.


If you live in the Boston area, it would be well worth your while to stop by to check it out (and please get in touch with me if you do–I’ll try to meet up with you).

McMullen Museum of Art
Boston College. Chestnut Hill, MA
September 5-December 13, 2009

If you aren’t in the area, at least check out the web versions of the drawings: Becker Collection and First Hand

More on the exhibit: “Picturing America: How artists reported the news—or tried to—in the years before photography