About

Writing at the intersection of technological innovation and daily life. I'm interested in learning how technology can encourage better health, sustainability, and facilitate knowledge exchange.

My friends call me The Hampsonian. I don't know why, but I kind of like it. You can call me Holly. Follow along, or get in touch, especially if you need a creative thinker that's fast on their feet. I'm a hard worker.

I'm passionate about using new and evolving mediums to create, connect and do things differently. I'm a confident teacher and mentor, and enjoy coaching others in integrating technology to facilitate and streamline work and life. Personally, I'm an avid tweet chat participant (#hcsmca for the win!).

You can find me at hollyhampson.com

Liked Posts

See More Liked Posts

the hampsonian

Names as social currency
When you think about it, our given name is at once intensely personal, and immensely public. Nicknames, titles, proper or mis-pronunciation… all of these are keys that unlock different aspects of who we are - a friend, a colleague, a stranger. It can even be a form of currency, something that keynote speakers and bankable box office stars rely on.
As an outgoing and sociable person, it may sound like a contradiction to say that I am selective about who I share my personal details with. Recently, the Starbucks in Montreal started asking for your name when you order. While the thought of someone yelling out my name in public does not appeal to me in general, I don’t necessarily feel like having an extended discussion about it with the barista. 
Enter the ‘Starbucks Name’. 

An unusual fake name you provide to a worker at a restaurant, coffee shop, etc. in order to uniquely identify you among the other patrons.

Yes. I am that person.  With a dose of whimsy and imagination, I enjoy coming up a new name each time. My given name is hard for Francophones to pronounce, and often ends up morphing from ‘Holly’ to ‘Oly’, with questions about the religious inclinations of my parents. So instead I try to shake it up a little and choose something a bit different. I’ve been known as everything from ‘JessecA’ to ‘Marla’ to ‘Marie-Josée’. 
As it turns out, I’m not the only one with this predilection - author Svati Kirsten Narula engages in the same creative predilection for a similar reason, as she describes in the article ‘What’s your Starbucks name?

A back-and-forth about the spelling, pronunciation, origin, and meaning of “Svati” can be fun, even necessary—at a cocktail party, during an interview, on a date. While ordering coffee? Not so much.

The Urban Dictionary entry details a variety of reasons one would latch on to a new moniker in public spaces, and Ms. Narula (AKA Kristen) finds that some of her colleagues are also in on the secret. There are even entire Tumblrs dedicated to the topic.
So - what’s your Starbucks name?

Names as social currency

When you think about it, our given name is at once intensely personal, and immensely public. Nicknames, titles, proper or mis-pronunciation… all of these are keys that unlock different aspects of who we are - a friend, a colleague, a stranger. It can even be a form of currency, something that keynote speakers and bankable box office stars rely on.

As an outgoing and sociable person, it may sound like a contradiction to say that I am selective about who I share my personal details with. Recently, the Starbucks in Montreal started asking for your name when you order. While the thought of someone yelling out my name in public does not appeal to me in general, I don’t necessarily feel like having an extended discussion about it with the barista. 

Enter the ‘Starbucks Name’. 

An unusual fake name you provide to a worker at a restaurant, coffee shop, etc. in order to uniquely identify you among the other patrons.

Yes. I am that person.  With a dose of whimsy and imagination, I enjoy coming up a new name each time. My given name is hard for Francophones to pronounce, and often ends up morphing from ‘Holly’ to ‘Oly’, with questions about the religious inclinations of my parents. So instead I try to shake it up a little and choose something a bit different. I’ve been known as everything from ‘JessecA’ to ‘Marla’ to ‘Marie-Josée’. 

As it turns out, I’m not the only one with this predilection - author Svati Kirsten Narula engages in the same creative predilection for a similar reason, as she describes in the article ‘What’s your Starbucks name?

A back-and-forth about the spelling, pronunciation, origin, and meaning of “Svati” can be fun, even necessary—at a cocktail party, during an interview, on a date. While ordering coffee? Not so much.

The Urban Dictionary entry details a variety of reasons one would latch on to a new moniker in public spaces, and Ms. Narula (AKA Kristen) finds that some of her colleagues are also in on the secret. There are even entire Tumblrs dedicated to the topic.

So - what’s your Starbucks name?

An avid blog reader, sometime in the early aughts I came across the term ‘citizen journalism’ and scribbled it down furtively in my diary. The face of media and news reporting was certainly changing. The thought of big publishers relying on material and contributions from Joe Citizen was at once inconceivable and… completely logical.

The term caught on and picked up steam, and now the thought of non-professional individuals providing insight, photos or even video footage is not at all unthinkable. Tools for documenting, editing, sharing and publishing have grown like mushrooms, and result in interesting collaborations between established authors and unexpected subject matter experts. After reading and enjoying his Steve Jobs bio, I was curious about what author Walter Isaacson was working on next. It turns out, he’s turned to the public at large via online publishing platforms to allow for critique and feedback on his upcoming portrait of digital age innovators.

Medium is a next-generation platform that allows people to post their writing, and encourages collaboration, linking, and sharing of work with a larger audience. It represents an evolution in what online sharing can be from the creators of Twitter, and it’s sibling is the relatively recently acquired long-form news site Matter. Isaacson has also posted his work in progress to Scribd, an on and off-line cross-platform digital library, which also allows users to upload their own original content as well as subscribing to paid content.

I find it fascinating to see how professionals are dipping their toes into the same pools as average citizens, easing us into thinking differently about what publishing and collaboration between ‘citizens’ and professionals looks like. While there are lots of questions yet to be solved vis à vis citing contributions and remuneration, at this point I’m just enjoying seeing how people engage with work in progress.

laughingsquid:

Microsoft Founder Bill Gates Answers the Internet’s Questions in a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything)

I’ve been reading the Walter Isaacson biography of Steve Jobs, and thinking about how much technology has changed over my lifetime. I found the book to be an in-depth portrait of the individual, and an interesting interweaving of various key players in the tech industry over time. Of course, that includes Bill Gates, a peer of Steve Jobs. While the two are sometimes pitted against each other, or set up as easy oppositional figures in the tech industry, the biography detailed a long relationship between the two. 
As Bill Gates has moved on from Microsoft and further into philanthropy, it’s been fascinating to watch where his foundation invests - from better education to better condoms. It’s also interesting to see the person behind the persona emerge via Reddit’s AMA session. It’s worth a read, if you can handle the messiness of the threaded conversation!

laughingsquid:

Microsoft Founder Bill Gates Answers the Internet’s Questions in a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything)

I’ve been reading the Walter Isaacson biography of Steve Jobs, and thinking about how much technology has changed over my lifetime. I found the book to be an in-depth portrait of the individual, and an interesting interweaving of various key players in the tech industry over time. Of course, that includes Bill Gates, a peer of Steve Jobs. While the two are sometimes pitted against each other, or set up as easy oppositional figures in the tech industry, the biography detailed a long relationship between the two. 

As Bill Gates has moved on from Microsoft and further into philanthropy, it’s been fascinating to watch where his foundation invests - from better education to better condoms. It’s also interesting to see the person behind the persona emerge via Reddit’s AMA session. It’s worth a read, if you can handle the messiness of the threaded conversation!

Weekend reads:

The Critical Role of the Environment in Your Child’s Future

  • Nature Deficit Disorder according to Education.com 

Children’s Geographies, Sarah Holloway and Gill Valentine 

  • Children’s experiences of playing, living and learning

Children’s Geographies

Why yes! There *is* an academic journal on the topic. Published by Routledge.

Waldkindergarten

  • Articles from the Telegraph and the Wall Street Journal

Ils ont fondé leur école

  • Et pour les Francos, or the Google Translate adept. Via Châtelaine.

What does our future hold when today’s youth are exposed to more screens than time outdoors? The film ‘Play Again’ seeks to examine that question. More posts on nature and education can be found here.

What they will not value, they will not protect. And what they will not protect, they will lose.

Charles Jordan, parks advocate featured in the film

Via playagainfilm