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Passionate user peeps (open mic)

No, not those peeps.

I'm talking about y'all. I'd love to hear about YOU guys, and I've enabled basic HTML in the comments this time so you can post a real link using href.

So, consider this another open mic, but this time I'm asking that you introduce yourself in some way. If you want to put anything else in, that's great, but if it's longer than a paragraph or two, it's better if you link to it so the comments don't get too long here.

I'd especially love to see your picture (pet pictures always welcome too), so if you've got one out there, please link to it! (Typepad doesn't support the tag, or I'd let you put the pictures in the comments.)

Here's my request (but feel free to do whatever you like):

Name (real or handle, up to you)

What you do (could include profession, employer, business, etc.)

One thing you're passionate about (qualifier: must be something you are always trying to improve on in some way--through learning, or practice, or trying new things, etc.)

Something most people wouldn't know about you (strange, unusual, etc.)

In less than 10 words, how your closest friends or family members would describe you in, say, a personal ad

If you could give a teenager only ONE piece of advice... (in one sentence)

And then any other links or comments you think our readers here might be interested in, with NO need to stay "on topic." (Since the topic is--technically--YOU)

There's only one rule: no judging or criticizing anything another commenter says.

(trolls will be trebucheted from the bridge)

Posted by Kathy on March 26, 2006 | Permalink


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» Information Age? Post-Information Age -- I don't think so... from The Working Network
It's maybe a small thing. Semantics. Nitpicking really. But I believe it's worth revisiting Negroponte's so-called information age and post-information age thinking. [Read More]

Tracked on Mar 27, 2006 6:46:24 PM

» Information Age? Post-Information Age -- I don't think so... from The Working Network
It's maybe a small thing. Semantics. Nitpicking really. But I believe it's worth revisiting Negroponte's so-called information age and post-information age thinking. [Read More]

Tracked on Mar 27, 2006 6:51:12 PM

» My answer to Kathy Sierra's open mic from Tiago Silveira and the world
Hello, Kathy ! I was unsure whether trackback or comment, I went for the trackback. My name is Tiago Minchillo da Silveira, but I mostly use Tiago Silveira. I'm brazillian, currently living in Aachen, Germany. My picture is above, but I have ma [Read More]

Tracked on Mar 29, 2006 7:34:42 AM


Am I the first up on the mic? :)

Hi Kathy! I'm a regular reader of your blog and I hail all the way from sunny Singapore (it's a little cloudy right now). That's how far your reach's extending!

I'm currently a 3D artist (day job), aspiring writer & life coach (night job, which is what my blog's all about).

What I really love is coaching, finding out more about the human mind, how people tick tock, and the many fun ways we use language to influence ourselves.

You can check out a photo of me on our 'about us' page here:


(Our site's just gone through a major re-design so it's still ironing out some kinks)

Keep up the good work, I love your stuff!


P.S. What most people probably don't know about me and I keep from first dates is that I'm a closet Trekkie...the USS Enterprise is sitting on my shelf just right in front of me now :P

Posted by: Alvin | Mar 26, 2006 8:18:45 PM

Hi Kathy,
I read your blog via RSS and appreciate all the info and perspective you bring towards being passionate about relationships, customer experiences and integrity of work.

For a day job, I'm in info technology - databases and such. A side project of mine is working with middle and high school students within the context of a church youth group sort of thing.

I'm passionate about enabling and empowering leadership within students - leadership that is based on the realities of our world as well as their specific makeup and DNA ['the worlds needs and their desires meet'] as well as growing other leaders within our student context to assist in the movement.

My one piece of advice (since there is a limit) - remember that your parents are on your side.

Thanks for the blog - it's filled with great information , but even better - it inspires.

Posted by: tony sheng | Mar 26, 2006 8:29:21 PM

Chad Fowler here. I'm a Software Developer and author of two books.

Among (way too many) other things, I'm passionate about languages and culture. I love learning languages, traveling, and trying to really understand different cultures. My wife and I both speak Hindi fluently, but I've dabbled in Tibetan, Hungarian, Spanish, German, Japanese, Kannada, and the list goes on.

Most people wouldn't know that I played guitar in a punk band as a teenager and still, even after years of "serious" training, have a soft spot for hardcore punk, death metal, and offensive rap music.

My one-sentence piece of advice to teenagers would be: Happiness is both a right and a skill that gets better with practice.

As you know, I love the CPU and wanted to express my appreciation by participating in your super cool eat-your-own-dog-food open mic post. Can't WAIT for the book!

Posted by: Chad Fowler | Mar 26, 2006 8:30:44 PM

Howdy, I'm Dave Jung, Marketing Manager and author of B2Blog.com. 39 years old, if it matters.

I am passionate about cooking. Cooking is nearly the perfect hobby. I've been moving up the kick-ass chart by following Alton Brown. Any AB fans out there? My fav recipe of his is Chicken in Shallots and Garlic because it is easy and is open to creativity (and tastes so damn good).

Advise to teenagers? I've been pondering a special message for my kids (not teens yet), and what I keep coming around to is that they should find something that they really enjoy/desire and work for it. Right now they are exploring and trying things, but not getting too far. Is that too obvious?

Recommendation of the day: See Napoleon Dynamite. Cuz its a great flick, and its, geez I can't believe I'm doing this, a great story about being passionate and applying yourself and kicking ass. Am I really that much of a CPU geek?

Posted by: Dave J. | Mar 26, 2006 8:58:37 PM

I'm Mike and I do web stuff but really have no idea what my job title should be.

Right now, I'm most passionate about Webstock.

I once cycled across America. From Tacoma, Washington to Williamsburg, Virginia.

Someone once called me tolerant. That's a good description.

For teenagers - just ask that girl/boy out. Really. In 20 years time, you'll either wish you did, or it won't be important. Either way says do it.

Posted by: Mike Brown | Mar 26, 2006 9:04:24 PM

Hey Kathy!

My name's Adam Herscher [pic]. I'm a Program Manager at Microsoft.

I build mobile, social, location-aware software. If Smartphones are so smart, then why haven't we seen any truly killer apps for them? I think it's because most mobile user experiences lack. We don't quite "get it" yet. That's something I'm passionate about changing.

Most people wouldn't know that I cracked my head open as a young kid. I was standing on a hose, and my friend pulled it out from under me (then laughed at me all the way to the ER). A decade later, the same friend and I brought AP Computer Science classes to our high school. Now he works for Apple, and I for Microsoft. We rival each other in every way, and have the most interesting debates.

I'm gonna skip the 10 word personal ad, but as for the teenage advice.. school's important, but don't let it get in the way of pursuing your own passions. Take some time to explore your interests before heading straight to college. Dream big, follow your dreams, challenge authority and the status quo, and before you know it, you'll end up in a place that's right for you.

P.S. Brian Fugere (of "Why Business People Speak Like Idiots") sent me the link to your blog a few months back after I saw a presentation of his. I love your writing and your insights. Keep up the great work!

Posted by: Adam Herscher | Mar 26, 2006 9:06:07 PM

Hey there! Phil Gerbyshak from Make It Great! here. My job: I currently manage the world's greatest IT Help Desk at a financial services company in Milwaukee, WI, and I am writing as much as I can at my blog listed above.
The one thing I am passionate about is serving others. Yeah, as an IT Help Desk Manager, I get plenty of opportunities to do that, and as a board member for various organizations including one Help Desk one, and I love every minute I have of helping people out.

Something people wouldn't know about me that might consider me "strange" is I was in the Navy for 4 years right out of high school, and I lived in the SF Bay Area for 2 of those years, and in Seoul, Korea for 1.

10 Words or less about Phil: Passionate, insightful guy, who loves others deeply, makes me think.

ONE piece of advice for a teenager: "Don't worry too much about how you get to where you're going, enjoy the journey because it's the real treat in life, not your final destination, at least not on this world; in other words, life's not a straight line, enjoy it for what it is!"

Other things of note: I will be self-publishing my first book later this year called "10 Ways to Make It Great!", I have a marvelous wife, a great team, a fantastic community of friends, and if I can ever be of any service to anyone, I hope they would take the time to ask me for help.

Thanks for the open mic. Very kind of you!

Posted by: Phil Gerbyshak | Mar 26, 2006 9:08:57 PM

Hi Kathy,
My name is Jason, Stanford student athlete (gymnastics) studying Biology. I'm passionate about writing: I want to write popular science, and also I'm writing a book about the Stanford gymnastics team. I love reading your blog because it's all about kick-ass experiences- I want my future readers to have that kind of feeling through my writing.
In 10 words - a large, loud eccentric asian who loves science and art.
Advice for a teenager - although I'm only 19, I'd say that learning how you learn is probably the most important thing you can do in your teen years.
People who know me now would be surprised to know that I was really shy as a kid.

Posted by: Jason Shen | Mar 26, 2006 9:23:51 PM

Name: Shaded (for the most trivial reasons)
What I do: I'm the computer guy
Passionate about: thinking machines
Something people would not know about me: I'd take a bullet for you, even though I don't even know you.
Less than 10: He is weird. Have fun. Don't try to change this.

Advise for teenager: Question authority.

Posted by: Shaded | Mar 26, 2006 9:24:44 PM

Adrian Blake, from Omaha, NE (The Paris of the Plains)

I'm head of content at DTN, a B2B information services company for the agriculture industry

I'm passionate about unlocking performance-- most people operate miles below what they're capable of, and die the quiet death of mailing it in. Farmers are fascinating people-- completely overlooked and shunned by people on the coasts. Helping farmers get access to the tools that the rest of us are used to is fantastic. Meaning a go-go. Specifically, helping them kick ass.

I've worked at Comedy Central and McKinsey before getting into the ag world. I like punk rock and Broadway standards.

My friends and family would describe me as random, funny, curious, worldly, creative, Anglophile, and with a lovely tenor voice...

If you could give a teenager only ONE piece of advice... 4 words-- You ARE your habits.

Posted by: Adrian | Mar 26, 2006 9:35:22 PM

Name: Richard Lawrence
What I do: Sr. Solution Developer and Agile Solution Champion for Avanade. Organizer of the Front Range Code Camp. Grad student in International Politics and Political Philosophy at the University of Denver.
Passionate about: Helping developers and teams become more productive than they ever imagined they could be.
Something people wouldn't know about me: I'm a competitive ballroom dancer.

Thanks for the awesome blog! It's one of my favorite reads. I can't wait to see the book.

Posted by: Richard Lawrence | Mar 26, 2006 9:41:40 PM

Name: Jimmy [Pic|Pet Pic]

What you do: I'm a technical producer at Disney Internet Group. I also own FuelEmpire, LLC.

One thing you're passionate about: Web development

Something most people wouldn't know about you: I love pop music!

In less than 10 words, how your closest friends or family members would describe you in, say, a personal ad: Works too much. Works too hard. Way too ambitious for his own ego.

If you could give a teenager only ONE piece of advice... Don't do something because they tell you it's the right way. Explore the possibilities and go your own route.

Posted by: Jimmy | Mar 26, 2006 9:44:42 PM

Hello, I'm Emile!

I'm a french student in AI/Computational Linguistics in Beijing - that means, I'm mostly programming, or reading and writing papers (and learning Chinese! And teaching a bit of French and Maths and Physics!). I look like this :)

One thing I'm passionate about is drawing - there have been doodles in the margins of my textbooks since I was in school, and I'm regularly trying new techniques, learning how to use various graphics software, studying the styles of various artists (borrowing from one person is theft, borrowing from a thousand people is creation). I have blank cards in my Hipster PDA (tm) that I use to sketch various things - people's faces in the subway, the way clothes fold, ads I like , buildings ...

What most people wouldn't know about me: I like to go out and climb on rooftops, explore sewers and subway stations, etc. Crawling in a muddy tunnel about a meter in diameter isn't most people's idea of a good time :) (Spelelunking is also nice when possible).

How people would describe me? Err, I don't know, maybe as "someone who is always coming up with weird ideas" ?

One piece of advice for teanagers: Travel abroad, go in places where people are different (that is, outside of North America and Western Europe) - and not just as a tourist!

Oh, and Kathy, your blog rocks! Keep on the good work!

Other things that rock: Jennifer Diane Reitz, Lion Kimbro, Elfwood ...

(Hmm, bloglines showed more than two thousand people subscribing to this blog, how many comments will that make?)

Posted by: Emile | Mar 26, 2006 9:45:11 PM

Name: kr8tr

What I do: Think. Start things. Never finish, but that's ok - everyone needs a starter.

What I am passionate about: Making shit dirt simple.

What people wouldn't know about me: I never went to college.

Family/friends would describe me as: "Never the center of the party, but the guy that arranged the party. The guy that brought so many different kinds of weird people together at one time that things stay interesting." - and yes, I know that was more than ten words!

My advice to a teenager: "There are mistakes you can make and recover from. Some mistakes are VERY difficult to recover from: DUI, teenage pregnancy, AIDS, any felony, any addiction, etc. - make simple mistakes that are easy to correct."

Nope, ain't sending any links, 'cause I ain't sellin' ya nuthin' Not selling anything to your readers either...

Posted by: kr8tr | Mar 26, 2006 9:49:24 PM

Chad wrote "I love the CPU"

I can't believe I've been reading this so long and never realized the acronym.

I'm Scott Reynen. I do web development at an advertising agency, mostly intranet applications. Then I come home and work on (I think) more interesting projects. I think what I'm passionate about is called semiotics, which I gather is how meaning is carried -- by words, markup, programming languages, images, music, etc. I haven't actually read much about semiotics as such, but it seems to be the intersection of most of what interests me.

I'm an introvert, so there's a lot people don't know about me, but my old standby is that I hit myself with a boomerang as a child and still have the scar on my forehead.

I'd advise teenagers to not let their friends describe them in personal ads.

Posted by: Scott Reynen | Mar 26, 2006 10:01:04 PM

Name: Joe McCarthy

What I do: Connector-in-Chief of Interrelativity, Inc.: I/we design, develop and deploy technology to help people relate to one another in shared physical spaces.

One thing I'm passionate about: Aside from my professional passion (which aligns with a personal passion), I'm passionate about wine ... especially Amarone.

Something most people wouldn't know about me: I was the lead guitarist, and leader, of a rock band called Freeway Jam, in the mid 70s.

How my closest friends or family members would describe you in, say, a personal ad: At the risk of being morbid, I prefer to think about how I might be described in an obituary: Joe lived and loved well, among his family, friends, and business associates.

If I could give a teenager only ONE piece of advice... (in one sentence): Trust in yourself and your instincts, no matter what anyone else says.

Kathy: you have revealed a great deal about yourself through this blog, and in fact, have been a tremendous inspiration to me in being more open and vulnerable on my blog and in all my affairs. I invite you to to respond to your own invitation in a comment.

Posted by: Joe McCarthy | Mar 26, 2006 10:16:38 PM

Ahoy! I'm Russell, and I write software for HP in the beautiful, if somewhat remote, town of Corvallis, OR.

I'm passionate about learning. Kind of vague, yes, but there's something about learning to do and make new things that really does it for me. At the moment it's Kanji and electric guitar, but I hope to start making bread and cheese when I have a bit more time. It's not so much about the ends as the process of getting there.

10 words: Tall, quiet, cooks a decent curry.

Advice for a teenager: Don't give up!

Posted by: Russell Mull | Mar 26, 2006 10:23:22 PM

Name: J. Patrick Greer - I go by Patrick

What I do: I am self-employed. My wife and I co-own a business currently run out of our home called SpinningSilk Mulitimedia. We currently offer web design, graphic design, print layout projects, music performance, piano and voice lessons, etc. We plan on rounding off our services in the future with audio and video production.

One thing I passionate about: I'm passionate about helping others overcome their fears so that they may learn and become more productive

Something most people wouldn't know about me: I was one of the first 5 beta testers for Uru: Ages Beyond Myst.

In less than 10 words, how my closest friends or family members would describe me: Sincere, compassionate, creative, deep, funny and helpful.

If I could give a teenager only ONE piece of advice: I would tell them to develop or pursue their gifts no matter if conventional wisdom says to pursue another past in life.

I recently set up a site as a sister site of our business site. It's a blog addressing the subject for fears and how they impede learning and suggestions to turn that around. The address is;


My business web site is SpinningSilk Multimedia

Posted by: J. Patrick Greer | Mar 26, 2006 10:42:11 PM

Hi Kathy,

My name is Tobias Lehtipalo and I'm a Project Manager for Spotfire.

First, thanks for a great blog. I've forwarded many of your posts to friends and colleagues since I became a regular reader.

I'm passionate about data and about real information democracy. I like to help create tools that allow people to see for themselves what's going on so that they can make informed decisions as citizens and employees.

Most people don't know that I play classical guitar which also thankfully means that they don't know that I'm not very good at it.

My friends and family might describe me as someone who reads a lot and like to think about stuff.

My advice to a teenager is: Think about who you want to be.

Posted by: Tobias Lehtipalo | Mar 26, 2006 10:57:07 PM

Name: M. Edward (Ed) Borasky

What you do: applied mathematician/computer scientist/performance engineer (day job), aspiring Neuro-Semantics sales coach

One thing you're passionate about:

Only one thing? No way!

Sorry ... Applied mathematics, computer science, Linux, classical music, Neuro-Semantics, algorithmic composition and synthesis of music, computational finance, sales and marketing, Shakespeare, Japanese food, cats ...

Something most people wouldn't know about you: I'm trained as a hypnotherapist and Neuro-Semantics Master Practitioner, Trainer and Coach

In less than 10 words, how your closest friends or family members would describe you in, say, a personal ad: somewhere between a boy genius and a wise old man

If you could give a teenager only ONE piece of advice: For crying out loud, stay away from drugs!

Posted by: Ed Borasky | Mar 26, 2006 11:26:19 PM

My name is Kendall.
I'm a project manager/web developer. I'm passionate about solving problems (not in a tell me all of your problems and i'll give you some lame advice I don't really believe sort of way but rather, how can this be done better). I'm also passionate about a project that i'm working on called overrated-underrated.com

Most people don't know that I love to dance. My friends would probably say that i'm caring, passionate, and fun.

Advice for teenagers: Don't be afraid to make (and learn from) mistakes.

Posted by: Kendall | Mar 26, 2006 11:37:32 PM

Name : Madhavan

What I do : I program, mostly in Java, and work for a large software services company in India

Passionate about : How human mind works, Science and Spirituality, linguistics, AI and robotics, and literature.

Something that no one (almost) knows : I get very jealous!!

Most people say that I am mild, accommodating.

Advice for teenagers : DREAM!!

Posted by: Madhavan | Mar 27, 2006 12:25:05 AM

Name: Broch

Photo: http://static.flickr.com/35/64032371_4bc308551b.jpg

What you do: Photographer

One thing you're passionate about: I'm passionate about my photography, improving on my Photoshop skills, and about being a great husband.

Something most people wouldn't know about you: My friends would all know this, but most people are shocked to find out that I can't eat meat. It isn't that I'm a strict vegetarian, I just physically can't eat it.

In less than 10 words, how your closest friends or family members would describe you in, say, a personal ad: Michael Chicklis twin, photographs everything. One good joke per year.

If you could give a teenager only ONE piece of advice... Pursue what you love, and don't let others dictate your dreams.

Posted by: Broch | Mar 27, 2006 12:27:00 AM

Hello Kathy, my name is Anthony.

I'm a project manager/software developer living in Honolulu at the moment. I'm passionate about surfing - I am constantly trying to get into the water to improve my skills and to try larger and more challenging waves (I've surfed in waves with 15-foot faces so far).

Something most people don't know about me is that I graduated from the University of Miami with a degree in Music Composition. I have no formal computer science degree or training and yet I've succeeded and excelled in the industry. Oh, and I once wore a dress on stage during a show with the rock band I played with (and I'm a guy...and the dress didn't fit!)

Advice for teenagers (and generally everyone): wisdom is more valuable than you realize - listen to and learn from your elders, they are a wealth of information and are almost always full of passion about life and everything that comes with it.

Posted by: Anthony Eden | Mar 27, 2006 12:27:59 AM

I'm Ian Muir, a programmer/new media developer in New Hampshire. I'm passionate about the pursuit of knowledge, especially physics and programming.

It's difficult to point out something most people don't about me; I'm pretty open and pretty strange. I do have a strange desire to get into politics.

For all the kids, don't be afraid to pursue your dreams, sometimes they're alot easier to attain than you think if you just try.

PS: Jinx rocks and read my blog

Posted by: Ian Muir | Mar 27, 2006 12:39:09 AM

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