I'm a writer and researcher who likes to understand how people work. I try to engage in both theory and practice, which means I'm always cycling between writing to understand a topic, then finding ways to test those ideas in the "real world." I'm currently exploring new ideas but have a topic on the horizon - stay tuned.
I spent the last few years trying to understand parasocial communities and reputation-based economies, which I first explored as an independent researcher at Protocol Labs. I put those ideas into practice by joining Substack, where I worked until recently.
Previously, I focused on open source software, working independently and at GitHub to improve the developer experience. I published a book about open source developers, Working in Public: The Making and Maintenance of Open Source Software (Stripe Press).
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If you'd like to get in touch, find me on Twitter @nayafia or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I had the pleasure of stumbling upon the work of Michael Crow, Arizona State University’s president, earlier this year, and I so enjoyed his thoughts on knowledge production that I immediately wondered how his philosophy would translate to ASU as an organization. Turns out, President Crow was many steps ahead of me and not only co-authored a book about it in 2015, Designing the New American University, but has been leading the charge in higher education to rethink the modern university.
Sometime at the end of last year, I wondered about what it would look like to have a mass-organized abstention campaign. My interest in this topic was mostly casual, but in a moment of enthusiasm, I shared these thoughts on a mailing list with a bunch of creative politically-minded folks, looking for ideas and inspiration.
I recently decided to wrap up my time at Protocol Labs, and along with it, my time in open source research.