Mobile Industry People on Google+

July 10th, 2011 — 9:36pm

I’m keeping a starter list of mobile people to follow on Google+. In my social strategy role at app discovery service Appolicious, I encounter amazing mobile and app people all the time, from iOS developers to Android fans and app marketers to mobile execs. This is by no means an exhaustive list, so please add more great mobile folks in the comments!

+Anish Acharya – Google+ iPhone app as well as Google+ mobile profiles

+Lorraine Akemann – founder of Moms With Apps

+Christopher Allen – co-author of “iPhone in Action: Introduction to Web and SDK Development”, co-founder of

+Android and Me – Android blog

+Daniel Appelquist – web standards guy at Vodafone

+Marco Arment – creator of Instapaper

+Lisa Bettany – Camera+ developer

+Tim Bray – Developer Advocate at Google, focusing on Android

+Kyle Bunch – Mobile/Social Platforms, R/GA

+Sebastian Celis – iPhone developer for Mobiata (maker of some of my favorite apps!)

+George Chen – UI/UX designer Churn Labs

+Jan Chipcase – Nokia, Institute for Learning and Research Technology, Frog Design (I am a serious @janchip fan! Or I’ll have dinner with him in Shanghai. Whatever.)

+Josh Clark – designer, developer, author of Tapworthy etc.

+Lars Cosh-Ishii – Director, Mobikyo K.K.

+Dennis Crowley – co-founder foursquare

+Ami Ben David – Co-Founder of DoAT

+John Ellenich – Chief Design Officer at Taptera

+Jyri Engeström – founder and CEO of Ditto, a restaurant and movie recommendation app, former Google product manager of social and mobile

+Jason Festa – Creative Director, Disney Mobile

+Brian Fling – author of “Mobile Design and Development”

+Nathan Folkman – Path engineer

+K. Freeman – mobile developer based in Oakland

+Jason Grigsby – mobile strategist, Cloud Four

+Matt Gross – founder of Mobile Monday Boston

+Tamara Gruber – marketing consultant for mobile and wireless

+Brian Fling – Founder and Creative Director of pinch/zoom—a mobile design firm based in Seattle, and author of O’Reilly Media’s Mobile Design and Development

+Hillel Fuld – marketing at @inneractive, blogs about mobile

+Marty Gabel – writer about apps for Appolicious

+Amy Gahran – CNN Mobile Technology blogger

+Matthew Gissentanna – Owner/Senior Editor of Gadget University

+Jason GrigsbyCloud Four mobile strategy, design and development

+Matt Gross – founder of Mobile Monday Boston

+Tamara Gruber – marketing consultant for mobile technology companies

+Omar Hamoui – partner at Churn Labs, former CEO AdMob

+David Harper – co-founder and CEO of PercentMobile

+Richard Hyndman – Android Developer Advocate at Google

+Kate Imbach – VP Marketing 8tracks, co-founder Mobile Monday Boston and Silicon Valley

+Brian Jeremy – managing director MIR

+Ben Kazez – founder of Mobiata

+Neal Karasic – VP Product at SavingStar, previously at JumpTap (disclaimer: my little bro. But he’s good. He’s really, really good.)

+Aaron Kasten – CEO of

+Helen Keegan – Mobile Monday UK organizer

+Ben Keighran – Chomp CEO

+Gregory Kennedy – Director, Global Marketing InMobi

+John Lagerling – Director, Android Global Partnerships

+Maria Ly – founder of Skimble mobile health and fitness startup

+Wendy McGowan – Chief Marketing Officer, Bottle Rocket Apps

+Keith Moon – iOS Developer with Mobile Roadie

+Dave Morin – Path CEO

+Ouriel Ohayon – Appsfire co-founder

+C. Enrique Ortiz Mobile Blogger / MobileMonday Austin Founder

+Sarah Perez – writes about mobile for RWW

+Peter Pham – co-founder at Color

+Cymberly Pierce – mobile product manager, Bottle Rocket Apps

+Megan Quinn – Director of Products @Square
+Kevin Rose – CEO of Milk mobile app incubator

+Mike Rowehl – Founder, Churn Labs

+Daniel Rubin – Brand Marketing and Communications at Square

+Seni Sangrujee – iOS and Android developer, Wombat Mobile

+Heather Sears – President, Mobile Synergies

+Aliza Sherman – mobile marketing and app development at Mediaegg

+Andrew Sinkov – VP Marketing Evernote

+Punit Soni – Lead Product Manager, Google+ Mobile

+Greg Sterling – Senior Analyst for Internet2Go, an advisory service from Opus Research, tracking the evolution of the mobile Internet

+Brian Swetland – Google (Android) Senior Staff Software Engineer

+Richard Ting – SVP Executive Creative Director, Mobile & Social Platforms, R/GA
+Oren Todoros – Co-Founder of @Apps_Mktg

+Erick Tseng – Head of Mobile Products, Facebook

+Katrin Verclas – founder of

+Peter Vesterbacka – Mighty Eagle at Rovio Mobile

+Alan Warms – CEO Appolicious/ (the BEST app discovery sites!)

+Rudy De Waele – mTrends founder, dotopen founder, Mobile 2.0 Advisory Board
+Darrell Whitelaw – creative director at MIR

+Clark Wimberly – Android and Me
+Rachel Youens – marketing at Mutual Mobile
+Raven Zachary – President, Small Society

+Andy Zain – Indonesia mobile industry pioneer

+Dale Zak – mobile developer for Ushahidi, Apps4Good,

+Pietro Zuco – writer and contributor to Mobile in Japan







Comment » | Google+, mobile

Black and White

July 10th, 2011 — 11:19am

When my biracial African-Caucasian son was in preschool, I picked him up one day and he said to me, “Mom, we are all beautiful.” “Yes,” I responded. “We ARE all beautiful.” Then he said, “Even if you’re brown or black or whatever color you are beautiful.”

This was the first I heard him mention color. At his mostly white bilingual French preschool in Venice, CA, kids ran around the yard, climbed a sturdy old tree, boosted themselves onto the top of a plastic house, chased around a bunny, and sampled eclairs. The fact that my son was brown and most of the kids were white hadn’t really seemed to matter until around the age of 4, when suddenly the kids reached to touch my son’s curlier hair or would state matter-of-factly that he was brown.

He was brown, not black. That is until Obama was running for election, and then perfect strangers seemed to feel it perfectly acceptable to come up to my 5-year-old son and say things like, “Hey man, we’re gonna have the first black president” and try to give him five. He was confused. Why were people talking to him about someone who was black when he was not black, he was brown? It started to sink in that in the United States, there was a category called “black” that includes people of every different color from pale white to ebony, as long as they have a drop of African blood.

When Obama was running for president, I spent some time in South Africa. There, my Zulu taxi driver said to me, “In America you call Obama black. But here we would say he is colored.”

The first time Gabriel spent a summer away from his cosmopolitan Los Angeles environment, he attended a Jewish summer camp in Central New Jersey. It was there that he received his first racial slur – not merely the matter-of-fact preschool “you’re brown” which was merely stating a fact, but the meanness of boys calling him “brownie” and “Curious George.” He was good at soccer and swimming and most of the kids were nice, so despite the mean boys, he quickly adapted as the only brown kid at a white Jewish camp. He didn’t tell me that he had been called “brownie” for 6 months, but after that incident, I did notice a difference in him. He was aware that some people would judge him because of his color.

And not just white kids. He began to attend an elementary school that was mostly black and brown. When I would pick him up on campus, many brown and black kids would ask him right in front of me: “Is that your mom?”

Barack Obama was already President.

One day Gabriel came home and said to me, “Mom, when I was three did I know that you were my Mom?”

“Why?” I asked.

“Well because I’m brown and you’re white, did I know that you were my Mom?”

Most of the people around him really don’t see him only as a color. They love him for his quick wit and tenderness with toddlers and sharp math skills and the old soul wisdom he seems to harbor. So we are able to just be us, Mom and Gabriel and Solaris and Finn and Heidi and James and all of us who have formed a community of friends and families.

It was especially painful a few days ago, when visiting his Ghanaian dad who lives in Virginia, Gabriel attended a black church whose congregation is mostly made up of West African immigrants. He called me up to tell me that two kids at the church saw him and came up to him to tell him: “This is a black church. You are white. What are you doing here?”

Now my son is 8. Some of us can avoid thinking about race every day. Many of us can’t. Called brown among white kids, and white among black kids, my son is already learning to forge an identity for Gabriel that transcends color. He is neither black nor white. He is black and white. He is brown and he is colored. He is the kid who got up early to make me toast on Mother’s Day and picked a giant yellow flower to put on the tray. He loves to study fossils. He feeds his frogs crickets. He is fascinated by magic powers. He is my son, and his father’s. He is himself, he is Gabriel. May he use his own powers to help lead the world to a more understanding place.

Comment » | biracial

Like the Earth Under Our Feet

October 30th, 2010 — 3:11pm

The bloody tooth hangs by a thread. It’s always shocking to see your child’s blood, even if it’s from a minor wound. Especially when the child looks up at you with wide eyes after he touches his finger to his mouth and sees red. It’s okay, I reassure him, wiping at the corners of his full bloody lips. Do you want me to get it out? I ask, and this time he nods. A little shove to the left and a twist back and there it is, in my hand, that right front tooth I have looked at since it first emerged from his baby gum.

Five days ago Mount Merapi erupted near Jogyakarta. Years ago, on the island of Java, I slogged through soft dust at dawn and ended up at the edge of a volcanic crater at sunrise, sulfuric smoke spewing from a hole deep within the suddenly fragile earth. When I stayed in Bali, when the island shook we’d run out of our tiny bamboo huts by the Java Sea, and scatter outside among the palms, trampling the banana leaf offerings that mollified angry gods. I started to understand the need for those offerings on an island cleft by fire. My first earthquake I felt was on the island of Taiwan, on the sixth story of an ugly but cheap tenement I shared with Taiwanese roommates who’d look askance at me if I drank a cold drink in the winter, or took a bath in morning instead of at night. I watched a newscaster on television loudly announce the news in rapid Chinese, as the building rattled in the fetid smog of Taipei, and I felt unmoored, from familiar language and from the illusion I had growing up in a flat seaside town on the Jersey Shore that the earth didn’t move.

My fear on the Jersey Shore was of waves, huge waves splashing on the shore and taking away my possessions on the beach. I imagine myself as a small child sitting on the edge of the sand when high tide rushed in, and swept away my plastic shovel or perhaps a towel, the terror it must have invoked, the fear that it could be me next. But I’d go out the next summer into the warm waves on my father’s shoulders, and feel solid and safe as I grasped him tightly. By the time I was a teenager, my friends and I would be out in the ocean for hours in our bikinis and board shorts, knowing to duck underneath a big wave when it came. Occasionally we’d get pummeled, gasping for air as the rough current pounded us down, but our confidence grew as we bobbed up time and time again.

Still, I had recurring nightmares of waves coming up, washing my possessions away. At some point it became a camera that the waves claimed. I could interpret this dream as a statement on memory and loss, or fear of letting go. I now dismissed the dream as merely symbolic, but still, when I would have the nightmare again and again,  I’d smell the sea air and feel so vividly the fear of the high tide rushing in and pulling me by the ankles into the salty darkness. Years later, the basement of my stable and solid childhood home, the one I could always go back to, flooded in a torrential rainstorm. Boxes of letters and photos from childhood friends, boxes of memory jags I was meant to go through some day when I wrote my memoirs, ruined. There was one letter I rescued, from a friend since kindergarten who asked if my mother had found out I had tried cigarettes in that sleepaway camp by the lake, and I suddenly remembered that new searing sensation in my lungs as if it were yesterday.

We Skype the grandparents when the tooth is still hanging by a thread. My son sticks his mouth close to the webcam and wiggles his baby tooth grotesquely, revealing the emergent adult one. My mother, who is still beautiful on the verge of seventy, rues that finally her teeth are starting to go, like her eyes did at a certain age. My father, who has survived ten years with thyroid cancer but stills rides his motorcycle up and down the Jersey Shore every day, beams and tells his grandson, You should get a string and tie it to the doorknob, like he said for every loose tooth that was about to come out, for years, for all of us.

Did we ever really do that? I ask him, suddenly not sure.

Comment » | Change

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