Photo courtesy of wocintechchat/Flickr

Last year, our teams at WhereBy.Us went fully remote. Our team was already distributed across the U.S., and we chose to formalize this as an operational way to ensure that “solo” employees working alone in various cities had the same habits and access as those who gathered IRL. It also saved us cash, the lifeblood of any startup.

Building a truly remote culture takes time. We haven’t mastered it yet, and we probably never will. Every change in personnel and every change in operations is also a culture change. …


Yesterday I went over to help my friend and neighbor Charles secure his house for the storm. Charles lives with his wife, Michelle, their 2-and-a-half year old, Hannah, and Michelle’s mom. And, there’s a new baby on the way. Michelle’s due date was yesterday.

When Charles started setting up his shutters Wednesday, he noticed that some of their panels had been stolen. This happened to us too, but Andrea replaced the missing panels before storm season. These panels are metal, so they’re an easy thing for people to snatch and sell. …


Hurricane Irma is bearing down on Miami, and I’m restless. I’m doing a bunch of work to help coordinate and support our journalism team and our community over at The New Tropic. I’m volunteering some with the Irma Response civic hacking team. I’m also talking with a lot of really inspiring friends who are doing a lot of good in our city right now. I can’t sleep. I can’t focus on novels or Netflix, and I’m already sick of tracking the slow unfurling of the “cone of uncertainty.” …


Hack for Change 2016. Photo courtesy of Code for Miami, by Sari Kulthm.

It’s been a wild year, huh? With the rise of fake news, election hacking concerns, filter bubbles and more, many are questioning technology’s impact on our society, particularly as it relates to democracy and government.

The Atlantic recently asked me to contribute an essay to a series on the question “Can technology rescue democracy?” Like most any complex issue, there are no great, singular answers here. And, like most any other complex issue, I’m mostly a pragmatist. Technology, like all man-made things, is about people, perspective, and purpose.

Technology can be powerful, but it isn’t inherently good or bad. Just…


The New Tropic held a watch party for the final presidential debate at a popular local bar in Wynwood. A few hundred people came to listen, cheer, boo, drink and discuss together. It was pretty great.

We spend a lot of effort on building trust, authentic local engagement, and ultimately a strong community through stories and experiences at WhereBy.Us. After a rough election season in which media were battered and “fake news” became a buzzword, I think what we’re working on matters now more than ever. So I wrote a little thing for Nieman Lab’s annual predictions on it. Here’s a meaty bit:

These decisions have resulted in a proliferation of content from journalism brands that many people could easily confuse with or purposefully substitute with “fake news.” …


Hack for Change, 2015

Developers, designers, government staff, community organizers and civic-minded volunteers in Miami will join Code for Miami and thousands of volunteers throughout the United States on Saturday, June 4 for National Day of Civic Hacking, or Hack for Change, an annual event that asks volunteers to hack their communities.

Miami’s fourth annual Hack for Change event, held at the Idea Center at Miami-Dade College will include national and local challenges, with projects about housing affordability, climate change, social services referrals, and open data from Miami-Dade County. …


Making new connections at JusticeHack

We’ve read a couple of interesting stories in recent months about how hard it can be to make friends as an adult. At WhereBy.Us, we think about community and friendship a lot, and working to solve this specific problem is embedded our work in both content and event design.

Everything we build starts from our understanding of the community we’re trying to serve —people we call “curious locals.” These are people eager for engagement in their city. They’re looking for interesting ways to work, play, and contribute to their community, and they’re trying to find like-minded people with whom to…


I voted. It wasn’t always easy. And I look like a goof ball.

When I was 7, my mama took me into the voting booth for the first time. My class was following the Bush-Dukakis race through the Weekly Reader, the premiere elementary school news source of the ’80s. Our class held a mock election, and I got really into it. My mom, ever the American history teacher, seized the opportunity to show me firsthand how democracy worked. My grandparents volunteered at our polling place, and I remember the whole event as a family affair — as something we do with our neighbors and friends and families, even when we don’t agree on…


Flickr/ torbakhopper

In which LGBTQ people enjoy equal treatment under the awkward questioning of married people …

10. As soon as we can book Sleater-Kinney to play our wedding.

9. When drunk straight guys stop asking us about scissoring.

8. *Glare while slowly sharpening the dowel of a mini pride flag with your pocket knife and revving your truck engine.*

7. We need to learn how to not break up every time we go to IKEA before we make any real commitments.

6. We’re holding out on a wedding to leverage a spot on Ilene Chaiken’s next reality show.

5. We would, but we just can’t find a honeymoon location that allows all 47 of our special-needs…


our spider

Our spider arrived two weeks ago, her abdomen as fat as my finger and her spindly legs extending to the width of a quarter. She’s an orb-weaver, I think, and when the light strikes her she glows ghost white. The hairs on her legs and abdomen look like thorns in silhouette, and I haven’t touched her for fear of spider stabbings. (Also, I think spiders don’t like to be petted.)

Her web stretches between the branches of the little Black Olive—maybe two or three feet — spiraling out from a center almost aligned with the beam of the spotlight on…

Rebekah Monson

Journalist, designer, dork …

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