Hi I'm Jason, a software developer, historian, and educator at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. I collaborate with faculty and graduate students on the innovative application of technology in teaching and research, largely across interactive data visualization, design, and public and digital history.
I am the co-founder of Endangered Data Week, an annual event to promote a culture of data consciousness by creating training materials, guidelines, and resources to advocate for open data and promote awareness around threats to publicly available data. I'm active in communities advancing open research including the Mozilla Foundation.
I started this website while in graduate school in 2008 to share my writings, ideas, and passions for technology, design, and history. Everything here is designed by myself, generated through the static site generator Hugo. I don't publish too often here—typically, I write here when I want to share a deep dive into a topic that interests me.
Can we meet for coffee?
I'll make an effort to meet with anyone who reaches out, but in advance: I won't tweet about your project, you can't use me in your marketing, and I'm not investing in anything. All I have on offer is to listen to your story and offer advice if I have any to give.
You can write great emails by following this advice from Jason Freedman:
If you want a meeting, ask for a meeting. Provide some time options and ask for a specified length. If you want an introduction, ask for an introduction. If you're looking for funding, tell him you're currently fundraising and ask to meet to show him your pitch. Don't be sly. Don't hint. Make the process ridiculously easy by just asking for what you want.
Please feel free to contact me:
Subscribe to Breve, my occasional newsletter on design, creativity, and human knowledge.
I take your privacy seriously. I have installed a local analytics package called Matomo, which interprets information your browser already sends (like IP address, screen resolution, browser, and operating system.) This information is regularly flushed, kept anonymous, and password-protected. I take precautions to ensure no one else sees this information, either. If you're running Do Not Track on your browser, Matomo won't track you.
If you email me something I keep that anonymous, especially when sent encrypted. If I decide I would like to quote something from your email, I will ask you first. If you've emailed me about something I got wrong, I may use your name to credit the correction but I won't if it's not public information. Here's my public key. I'm also
jaheppler on Keybase.
This website is built with Hugo. This site is ad-free and doesn't use trackers. If you'd like to support my writing, I'd love it if you could buy me a coffee.
Organizations I work with
Environmental Data and Governance Initiative
American Historical Association
Western History Association
Humanities+Design, Stanford University
Spatial History Project, Stanford University
Mode Shift Omaha
Endangered Data Week
Data Visualization Society
Center for Digital Research in the Humanities
University of Nebraska Consortium of Libraries