Featured on Mar 29, 2011
Arikia is the Community Manager of Wired.com. Her current projects include Wired Science Blogs, Haiti Rewired, and the Wired.com How-To Wiki. Arikia has volunteered as an ambassador with the HackNY program, was an organizer of the Hackers (the movie) 15th Anniversary Party, and frequents various events in the NY tech scene. She really likes parrots.
- Title: Community Manager, Wired.com
- Age: 24
- Location: Williamsburg, Brooklyn
- Contact: @arikia
You frequent various events here in the NY tech scene. Which events or programs in particular do you recommend for someone who is new to the community and trying to get involved?
I've found a lot of the tech events I frequent through twitter. By following interesting techy people and keeping an eye out for events they promote, I've gotten to experience so much and meet so many awesome people. Another way I've been turned onto cool events in the city is through New York Tech Week and New York Internet Week. The people who put together those programs have pretty awesome websites, and if you're into tech, you'll definitely find something there. If you don't want to wait for the next Week to dive into events, check out the websites for the past events and see what groups participated. I also really enjoy the Hacks/Hackers mailing list, being both a Hack and a Hacker :)
What aspect of your job as Community Manager at Wired.com do you find the most rewarding?
The most rewarding part for me is being able to circulate and popularize content that I value (mostly about science and tech). I work with extremely talented journalists and programmers, most all of them older than myself, who I greatly admire and would like to be able to write like someday (articles and code). By doing the best I can at my job, I'd like to think I'm playing a major part in easing the transition from print to online media, and contributing to these under-reported topics having a larger presence in the public sphere of knowledge.
You mention in a recent blog post that Lara Logan is a role model of yours. Who else do you consider to be a role model and why?
Lara Logan is a huge role model of mine, as are all the crisis reporters who risk their lives to illuminate dark places for the world. I'm currently in Haiti right now reporting on technology, and there's really no one else doing that here. It's really hard and dangerous, but if I didn't do it, nobody would. I really appreciate people who have a similar sense of duty to journalism, because the result is what inspires humanitarianism. Maybe the journalism itself is humanitarian too.
Another major role model of mine is Rachel Sterne, who, after founding and developing Ground Report, was appointed Chief Digital Officer of NYC. While the role has never existed before, the need clearly does, much like the role of a community manager. She's figuring it out as she goes along, just like me, and she is absolutely owning. She's been a great inspiration to me in my career.
I also really admire my editors at Wired.com, Betsy Mason and Evan Hansen. Growing up with a passion for science and technology, I was always in the gender minority throughout my education, and I have encountered a lot of people, specifically women, who have tried to make the climb more difficult. Perhaps because they enjoy being Queen Bee and are worried about being displaced by younger women with similar aspirations, I don't really know. But Betsy has never been one of those women, and has done nothing but help me. She'll call me out when I'm wrong, every time, but it's always helpful and never malicious. I'll argue my point, and she'll listen, but I've come to accept and appreciate that she is always right, and I learn so much from her every day. What I really admire about Evan, other than his ability to juggle a million things at once and keep everything running like a well-oiled machine, is the way he nurtures creativity and innovation. I have a lot of crazy ideas, and managers at other publications I've worked at have recoiled in fear to anything that disrupt the status quo. It was stiffling. But Evan will usually let me run with the ideas I pitch, as he told me once he'd rather give the OK and pull back if it's not working, than stop something before it starts. We've created some amazing new things because of it, and it makes my working life incredibly rewarding and fun.