|who we are|
Damon McCormick is a coding powerhouse and PlaceSite's security specialist. Last year he graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from UC Berkeley. Damon and Sean, along with Jon Snydal, formed the original PlaceSite Masters project team.Damon is in charge of building the place-based authentication piece of the project (i.e., the software that works in conjunction with the wi-fi hotspot to communicate to the Web server the fact that people viewing the system are, indeed, in or near the café and accessing the site from that particular hotspot). He also helps to configure, adjust and maintain the backend that was created this summer to support the site (this includes the user database which contains usernames, passwords and user profile settings; the discussion forum.) He also provides valuable guidance regarding security issues and XML modeling possibilities. (Damon has expertise in these areas as well as in coding.)
Sean Savage is PlaceSite's Chief Instigator and CEO. He investigates questions of architecture, urban design and how designers might contribute to healthy communities and urban spaces. Sean invented the phrase “flash mob,” which is now listed in the Oxford English Dictionary, and his Web site cheesebikini.com was the first to cover the flash mob phenomenon. He graduated in 2005 with a Master’s degree from Berkeley, weaving these interests together with his five years of user interface design experience, to position himself as a designer of hybrid digital/real-world urban spaces and places. In addition to studying information science, computer science, and information policy and law issues through his department (the School of Information Management and Systems), Sean also took Berkeley business school, urban planning and architecture classes.
Sean's goal is to design healthy digitally-mediated urban places, and to teach others to do so effectively. His academic research addressee some of the most important challenges and questions that this new realm of innovation presents, and he hopes PlaceSite will attract key thinkers and practitioners from the fields of HCI, architecture, urban planning, computer science, information science and the social sciences, as well as owners, operators and patrons of cafes and other neighborhood establishments around the world, to shape this emerging field together.
Sean has been an avid user of wi-fi cafés for years, and he maintains a popular online map and list of free wi-fi cafés in San Francisco.
Parker Thompson is a curious technologist bent on solving human problems. He comes to PlaceSite in the hopes of making people think about the Internet and their computers differently. He is interested in public policy, intellectual property law, information sharing technologies, open source/open content business models, and pirate board games (yarr!!).
Parker's technical expertise lies in organization of information. Before coming to PlaceSite he worked ingesting, organizing, and exposing through APIs the Internet Archive's media collections. Prior to this he worked developing CRM and Knowledge Management systems for the University of Washington's department of Computing and Communications.
Parker holds degrees in Political Science (BA) and Informatics (BS) from the University of Washington, where his thesis (an ethnography) discussed methods for supporting distributed open source development project, using Livejournal as a case study. Additionally, Parker holds a Masters degree in Information Management and Systems from the University of California, Berkeley. His thesis discussed the importance of metaphor in developing good public policy with respect to intellectual property and included a prototype p2p file sharing application illustrating these concepts.
FRIENDS OF PLACESITE:
Dav Coleman provides valuable consulting and contract services to us in the realms of system administration and coding. Dav's been through the startup process and he also provides us valuable, general startup and fundraising advice and encouragement.
Andrew Hoag helped us tremendously in incorporation, financials and in honing our fundraising pitches among many other tasks required to start the business.
Special thanks to the management, staff and customers of A'Cuppa Tea in Berkeley for hosting our first cafe rollout. The owners and staff of Couleur Cafe, Axis Cafe, Cafe La Onda and Jumpin' Java Cafe in San Francisco also deserve thanks for being early PlaceSite adopters.
Eva Jettmar who provided valuable user interface and visual design advice and ideas
Arena Reed and Mabel Liang who are steering the visual design for PlaceSite's second redesign
Todd Siegel, a wi-fi cafe afficionado with business expertise, offers important assistance with cafe sales and business strategy.
Navneet Joneja and Kevin Hanley from Berkeley's Haas School of Business provide priceless help and advice to us in the realm of business strategy and financial planning.
Jacob Schwarz from Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham provides us corporate legal services and valuable advice regarding incorporation and fundraising. These concerns are important for any startup and we're thrilled to have Jacob represent us.
Richard C. Hsu from Townsend and Townsend and Crew and Tom Tobiason and Stephen Venuto from Orrick also provided us important legal services.
Professor Marti Hearst from the School of Information Management and Systems at UC Berkeley was our project advisor for the PlaceSite resarch project at Berkeley, and has worked diligently to help us refine and improve PlaceSite.
Professor Peter Lyman from UC Berkeley's School of Information Management and Systems helped tremendously via advice about the user observation side of the project, about surveys and interviews, and about the Human Subjects application process.
Joseph McCarthy, who was UBICOMP 2003 Conference Chair, supports the project and was particularly instrumental during the early ideation period when Sean worked as an intern with him at Intel Research Seattle during the summer of 2004.
Howard Rheingold, author of Smart Mobs and The Virtual Community, is one of the world’s foremost experts on the subject of digitally mediated community building. Howard has provided valuable advice about the project and plans to participate as one of our first users.
danah boyd, an expert in the realm of online social networking services, provided valuable advice already about how we might ground our research in an understanding of the people who will use the service, and she offered to advise us further as we design our next project survey.
Jeremy Tooker, owner of Ritual Roasters café, and Jerry Scheible, General Manager of The Canvas Café and Gallery, both in San Francisco provided helpful feedback and information about café owners' concerns, and about how people use wi-fi in the café.
The following people have also provided valuable advice and feedback about PlaceSite: Dean AnnaLee Saxenian, Professor Larry Downes, Professor Nancy Van House, Professor Elizabeth MacDonald (Department of City and Regional Planning), Dennis Crowley (CEO of Dodgeball), Scott Lederer, Matti Rantanen, James Landay, Schuyler Erle, Nicky Kern, Sunny Consolvo, Madhu Prabaker, as well as more than 100 Seattle and San Francisco wi-fi café patrons, and a handful of café managers and owners.
Thanks to all of our helpers!
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