These are bios that I use for various speaking engagements or specific contracting work.
Gaming Producer and Founder
Silona has been involved in the gaming industry for the past 12 years, from project leadership to large-scale database and infrastructure design. As a consultant, she designed and implemented a workflow process for Ubisoft that coordinated content and communication between twenty programming teams in various countries. She also designed a web-based, international leaderboard and bugtracking system (1998), allowing easy communication between her internationally distributed programming team and the game’s beta testers. In 1999, she founded Red Meat Gaming, whose focus was to create a distributed server gaming architecture that allowed users to create their own servers in the game universe. Currently she is co-founder of Tunehopper, a musical game that teaches music theory.
Educational and Instructional Design
Silona was the program chair of a technical college, where she created a curriculum that exceeded the Texas Higher Education Board’s specifications during the certification process. Prior to this, she was a rescue trainer for Fortune 500 companies where she helped architect concepts for a curriculum redesign, resulting in student satisfaction going from 76% to 96% in less than a year. Recently, she consulted with and created a curriculum for a foreign nation focused on creating a learning community to support popular education about e-democracy.
Silona dreams of creating an educational social network for children called “Guilt Free
Games” that would merge her experience in social networking, curriculum development, gaming and instructional design. Stay posted here to find out more.
Silona has been designing large-scale database systems since 1989 and has trained people at Fortune 500® companies in their use off and on for over 20 years. She maintained a 99.7% approval rating and was often brought on as the “rescue trainer.” She became Dell’s preferred instructor because of sustained exemplary performance. Several of the courses she developed for Dell were so effective that they became corporate requirements.
She was one of the first large-scale e-commerce systems developers for a Fortune 100 company and founded an ISP in 1997. When she designed a new, large-scale system for a company, she always had a training component to guide the company through the change management process. Because of her Six-sigma Champion training, all change management processes were validated though metrics gathered at crucial stages.
Open Government Consultant
Silona was an early leader in Open Government, working on the Transparent Federal Budget Project and its associated think tank with Senator Bill Bradley and Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia in 2004. Several of her concepts were acknowledged by President Obama during the 2008 presidential debates.
NonProfit Founder and Technology Expert
Silona has been on the Board of Directors for EFF-Austin and the Texas Association of Non-profit Organizations (TANO.org). She helped create a certification course for non-profit executive directors in Texas that has been copied by other states. She also founded a non-profit called Assistorg.org to help guide other non-profits in the use of open-source technology to reach their goals. In a short period of time, Assistorg.org helped six non-profits design and launch their technology and community platforms.
Online Community Leader
Silona ran one of the first codeathons in 05-06, the purpose of which was to create open source software for non-profit organizations. She has since run many codeathons, barcamp.orgs, and transparency camps, including the first crisiscommons.org. She attended the second-ever barcamp.org, as well as foocamp in 2008.
She created the grid.org open source community where she developed novel concepts to
handle bugtracking issues across FOSS platforms and created a trail-blazing user agreement, both of which she presented on at OSCON and GRID computing conference. She also helped the U.S. Federal CIO define the open data standard liaison position.
As the founder of Citability.org, she was one of the first to raise the topic of authentication, sustainability and authoritative topics for the open data and open data standards community. She is currently working with Stanford’s LOCKSS program to increase adoption of a citation standard that includes aspects of authoritative and authenticated sources with data that is versioned and validated by multiple parties.
Social Media Early Adopter
Silona is a recognized early adopter of social media, earning the title of Austin’s top twitterer for two years. She was listed as one of the top 10 twitterers to follow by the Austin-American Statesman. During 2008 and 2009 she presented at over 40 conferences on social media metrics, open communities, grid computing, nonprofits and FOSS technology, open data, open source and open government.
She spent 2010 helping entrepreneurs launch five new start-up companies by designing business plans, raising funds, drafting technical specifications, and creating marketing campaigns. Integrating social media tools was a crucial part of all aspects of this agile startup process.
SXSW PARTY EVENTS
Silona’s parties at SXSW are a rite of passage. Her steampunk party in 2005 inspired Make Magazine to bring Maker Faire to Austin, TX—the first time the Maker Faire had traveled outside of San Mateo, CA. She grew the Electronic Frontier Foundation benefit party from 150 people to over 1,600 in two years. Her cupcakes and burlesque party in 2008, PastiesandPastries.com, was the most positively tweeted about event of that year. This year, over 2,700 people attended her cowboy steampunk bordello party, BigBangBordello.com. CNN and Wired magazine reviewing her party as one of the best events of SXSW interactive.
Think Tanks and Un-Conferences
Silona also organizes think tanks, un-conferences and open spaces events. In 2007, Valleywag took notice of her “We are all Actors” think tank. Several important concepts regarding social identity were developed at the event, including Brad Fitzpatrick’s Open Social Graph which was later implemented at Google. She also facilitated the first CrisisCommons.org barcamp which is now being duplicated all over the world. She designed and ran the first several code-a-thons in 2005 and 2006, bringing together non-profits and coders to create and contribute to various open source projects. The code-a-thon concept has now pervaded the world programming community.
Silona founded the first radio station at Flipside, the largest Burning Man regional event. She participates in large art projects at Burning Man itself, the most famous being the Dicky Box, where a boy named “Dicky” was kept in a 10×10 plexiglass box for the duration of the event. The Dicky Box was featured in the Burning Man newsletter and the San Francisco Chronicle.