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This is Me

This is me. I work on the web. I also work in libraries. And I help little libraries get on the web.


I've been working with computers since we first had a dumb terminal in my house with the acoustic coupler modem that called up my Dad's work and let us play Zork. To me command lines and computers meant games. ATDT = funfunfun. My Dad worked with computers but he didn't really bring his work home, so I sat at the breakfast table listening to him talking about MIPS and FLOPS without really knowing I was learning about computers.


I grew up one town over from Digital Equipment Corporation in Massachusetts USA so our high school had a VAX and we could take classes in BASIC and Pascal. I wrote a little program that allowed you to look at a layout of an airplane's seating plan so you could choose where you wanted to sit which was sort of nifty for the mid-eighties.


The web hit when I was in library school. I started the program before the world wide web and ended it afterwards. It was like night and day. I took a year off in between my two years and lived in Eastern Europe. I taught Internet skills to journalists back when "internet skills" meant gopher and Pine. The first web page I saw was in Romanian. I can remember looking at it thinking "oh man this is going to be BIG" I learned what a meme was in library school, a bit of cultural information.


I moved to the country because the web let me. My web job meant I could work from anywhere I wanted. I chose a small town in Central Vermont. I help run MetaFilter, I work with local libraries, and I travel around the world talking about the work that I do. I love getting to walk outside and be near the trees and the river, and then walking inside and going to work on the web.


This picture is from a movie I made about installing Ubuntu at a local library. Someone sent me a little movie showing it being shown at an Ubuntu developer's conference in Spain. I had become my own meme.


My name is Jessamyn West. I am a librarian and I work on the web.


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Uploaded on September 16, 2007