Aug 7-11, 2024 ✵ Camp Navarro, CA

Meet the Real Social Media "Influencers" by by Kegan Dougal, Rabble, Bryan Newbold, Christine Lemmer-Webber, Danny O'Brien, and Randy Farmer

Presented by Kegan Dougal, Rabble, Bryan Newbold, Christine Lemmer-Webber, Danny O'Brien, and Randy Farmer

Builders working on the future of social media answer your questions about what a better social media world looks like and what they're doing to get there.

WE ALL AGREED THE TITLE IS NOT THE BEST, BUT OUR FRIEND WHO WROTE IT HAS COVID NOW AND COULDN'T COME SO IT IS A MEMORIAL TITLE NOW.  PLUS I CAN'T EDIT IT IN THE CMS SO WE ARE STUCK WITH IT. - IMAGINE IT IS CALLED "SOCIAL MEDIA ENGINEERS, LIKE 'RINGWORLD ENGINEERS'" SIGNED DANNY "ALL CAPS" O'B

Rabble .
nos.social

Rabble, aka Evan Henshaw-Plath, the visionary technologist and entrepreneur, is widely recognized for his groundbreaking contributions to the field of social media and online activism. As the founder of the secure Scuttlebutt app, planetary.social, and the innovative Nostr app, nos.social, Evan has demonstrated his exceptional ability to harness technology to empower individuals and promote digital privacy. With an unwavering commitment to open-source software, decentralized networks, and civic engagement, he continues to shape the digital landscape, earning him a well-deserved reputation as a respected leader in the realm of digital activism.

 

Videos from the summit:

Christine Lemmer-Webber
Creative Commons

Christine Lemmer-Webber is a long-time user freedom advocate. She is mostly known for their work co-authoring and co-editing the ActivityPub distributed social network protocol.

In previous times of her life she worked as tech lead at Creative Commons, co-founded MediaGoblin, started and ran the Liberated Pixel Cup, and kicked off the work on CC BY-SA 4.0 and GPL compatibility.

These days her primary work is on Spritely, a project to improve the security of federated social networks and bridge them with virtual worlds.

When she isn't programming, she enjoys cooking, sketching, and making ascii art.

 

Videos from the summit:

Randy Farmer
Spritely Networked Communities Institute

Randy Farmer has been creating technical standards and community platforms for more than 40 years - learning the power of collaboration and overcoming the challenges of connecting people to each other online.

Along the way, it was necessary for him to co-invent many of the foundational patterns and technologies we see deployed today, such as the JSON message protocol, social newsfeeds, virtual worlds, and avatars (see his more than two dozen now expired patents). He has founded several startups, in senior executive roles, for the last two decades - most recently as the CEO of a multiplayer mobile gaming company.

In 1995 Randy co-founded Electric Communities, which prototyped and proved the design of smart contracts, capabilities, and distributed objects. Much of Spritely's architecture is inspired by publications about Electric Communities Habitat; this lead Christine Lemmer Webber and Randy to begin talking, leading to the decision to co-found the Spritely Networked Communities Institute together.

 

Videos from the summit:

Danny O'Brien
International Director, Electronic Frontier Foundation

Danny O'Brien has been an activist for online free speech and privacy for over 20 years. In his home country of the UK, he fought against repressive anti-encryption law, and helped make the UK Parliament more transparent with FaxYourMP.  He was EFF's activist from 2005 to 2007, and its international outreach coordinator from 2007-2009. After three years working to protect at-risk online reporters with the Committee to Protect Journalists, he returned to EFF in 2013 to supervise EFF's global strategy. He is also the co-founder of the Open Rights Group, Britain's own digital civil liberties organization.

In a previous life, Danny wrote and performed the only one-man show about Usenet to have a successful run in London's West End. His geek gossip zine, Need To Know, won a special commendation for services to newsgathering at the first Interactive BAFTAs. He also coined the term "life hack."

It has been over a decade since he was first commissioned to write a book on combating procrastination.

 

Videos from the summit:

Bryan Newbold
Engineer, Bluesky

Bryan works at Bluesky, a startup company building a federated social media protocol called "atproto". Until a few months ago he worked at the Internet Archive collecting scientific research datasets and publications, and created scholar.archive.org. And before that he worked on infrastructure at Stripe, attended the Recurse Center in New York City, and built Atomic Magnetometers for a small New Jersey company called Twinleaf.

Over that same time period he climbed up and down the ladder of abstraction, obtaining an undergraduate degree in physics (at MIT), operating under-ice robots in Antarctica, developing open hardware lab instrumentation for large-scale brain probing (at LeafLabs), cataloging hundreds of millions of electronics components (at Octopart), and improved production service reliability at Stripe (a financial infrastructure start-up).

Bryan is a transplant from the East Coast and enjoys the road biking, large trees, generous salads, used book stores, and world-class tech non-profits found all around the Bay Area.

 

Videos from the summit:

Kegan Dougal
Staff Software Engineer, Element

Kegan is one of the core developers behind Matrix, having worked on the protocol since the beginning. He enjoys deeply technical problems and the liberation of communication which Matrix provides to the wider world. In recent times he has focused on what the protocol will look like in the future including account portability, P2P, faster client syncing and low bandwidth protocols to name a few.

 

Videos from the summit:

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