Github activity for 2013: 1,500+ commits, 52-day-streak

Just noticed that because of that damned Thanksgiving break, my latest Github commit streak ended at 52 days in a row. My public profile doesn’t show most of my commits as I’ve been using Github for Skift company projects, but I’ve been tentatively trying to design some open-source utilities. One of them is yearbook, yet another attempt (for me) to wrap face-recognition and mugshot-cropping into a convenient command-line interface. Another gem, which I just started on today, is spodunk, probably a futile attempt to make Google Spreadsheets more of a CMS. And of course, there’s small-data-journalism, which contains all the content for my Small Data Journalism site.

In the heat-graph of my private and public Github commits, you can see how relatively intense my commit activity has been in the past couple of weeks. The fruit of that labor is SkiftIQ, a site for better tracking how the travel industry performs and behaves on social media.

Earlier this year I made it a goal every day to contribute to someone else’s project, even if it was simple grammar and spelling fixes. I’ve fallen away from that but not for lack of interest: being able to wade through a large codebase and isolate (and sometimes fix) even just minor bugs is probably the best programming/critical-thinking exercise I’ve put myself through…and sometimes it actually helps other people.

I'm a programmer journalist, currently teaching computational journalism at Stanford University. I'm trying to do my new blogging at