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 interested in parasocial communities and reputation-based economies. I work at Substack.
Previously, I focused on open source software, working independently and at GitHub to improve the developer experience. I recently published a book about open source developers called Working in Public: The Making and Maintenance of Open Source Software (available now).
I occasionally write on this website (RSS), and I also publish my notes every month. For future updates, you can sign up for my monthly newsletter, where I share my writing, notes, and anything interesting I've read.
If you'd like to get in touch, find me on Twitter @nayafia or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Fair warning: If I don't respond, or take a very long time to respond, it's not personal, I'm just terrible at email (although I am more responsive to short emails).
I recently decided to wrap up my time at Protocol Labs, and along with it, my time in open source research.
Silicon Valley is a coal mine for ideas. There’s something special about it: unlike a coal miner, you get to keep and sell what you extract from the ore deposits, and I feel lucky to have the setup that I do. But it is work.
I recently spent a hot July weekend visiting some friends in a lovely Southern town . We spent our mornings binging on history and our afternoons drinking beers in the river: a quiet, wide-mouthed expanse of cool, fresh water, surrounded by grassy clusters of giant flat rocks and sandy banks.