Ken Starks on A1 and ‘Camp events

1 Aug

Ken Starks

Ken Starks of The HeliOS Project. Photo by James Brosher, Austin American-Statesman.

On the front page of Sunday’s newspaper, a lengthy profile I wrote about Ken Starks of The HeliOS Project ran. It was the second front-page story I’ve had in about a month (after many many months of no front-page stories), and the two articles tie together a bit and have a lot in common.

For one thing, each story took several months to report and write, and were such large projects that I went through the thing many reporters do where you have so many pages of notes and memories and observances that you forget what it is you wanted to write and begin to panic and get stress headaches.

Luckily, I have a very understanding editor and was given the time to sort it all out. I’m really proud of this story in particular because it’s one I’ve wanted to write for a long time, ever since I first learned what Ken and his organization does (they raise, rebuild and distribute donated computers to Austin’s poorest kids and community groups). It literally got me teary-eyed the first time I grasped the work they do and one thought just kept pounding in my head for almost two years after: I want to help. In some way, I want to help these guys. So I wrote a story. I hope it will help. I put a lot of work into it.

On Monday, a different story I wrote, for Tech Monday, runs. It’s a column about how there aren’t as many BarCamp-style events in Austin as their used to be and about an upcoming “ProductCamp” event that’s bucking the trend. Nothing earth-shattering, but the ever-helpful Whurley helped offer some perspective on the subject and it’s always fun to chat with him.

No NPR segment this week, but I’ve got some other things I’m working on, including a new Trailers Without Pity that was just posted and a separate blog post about a rash I had. Yes, for real.

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