jeweled platypus



I live in San Francisco, and I grew up in Los Angeles. My email address is, and I am @brittagus.

This blog is mostly about making art and learning about architecture, infrastructure, local history, and places. I don’t update it often anymore, but my friend and I write a blog of mathematical art projects.

My work: making products better by paying careful attention to users, because advanced-level nerdery doesn’t have to be confusing or frustrating. I do a combination of support, moderation, curation, technical writing, bug reporting, and generally keeping an eye out for things going wrong and how I can help fix them. Since March 2011 I’ve been working for the tiny company that makes Cydia, the alternative to the App Store for jailbroken iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches. This includes answering lots of questions, moderating support forums (JailbreakQA and its IRC channel, the jailbreaking subreddit, and even Facebook comments), improving documentation (in the Cydia app, iPhoneDevWiki, TheiPhoneWiki, etc.), testing software, selecting featured packages, and keeping in contact with the variety of independent people who make up the jailbreaking ecosystem (jailbreak developers, repository managers, tweak and theme makers, enthusiastic users, and more). I am lucky to work on something I care about.

I volunteer my skills for OpenHatch, to help newcomers find their way into contributing to free and open source projects. I wrote about this in a blog post there, and my OpenHatch profile has some details. I answer questions from newcomers, write tweets and blog posts, file bugs, and generally help with communications.

I’m a member of Double Union, a feminist hackerspace in San Francisco. Sometimes I edit Wikipedia, collect Mac menubar items, and make Unicode faces and holiday trees. I take photos of buildings and put them on Flickr and Instagram.

Earlier work: For part of 2010 I did product and community work for Canvas. During college I was the Delicious community manager (from 2005 to 2009, part-time during the school years and full-time in the summers): I answered email and forum questions, helped problems get fixed when people complained, killed spam, wrote blog posts, and loved Delicious as one of its first users and team members.

I have a Literature BA from the College of Creative Studies at UC Santa Barbara, with an unofficial specialization in Literature and the Culture of Information. I ran the CCS Lit student club and wrote a blog about the program.

What is a jeweled platypus?

When I was 11 years old, I found this image in an issue of National Geographic Magazine and decided it looked like a jeweled platypus. I cut it out and pasted it in a binder that I soon lost, but the image stuck in my head. When I was 19, I researched the image and found out that it’s a picture of an ancient Peruvian duck earring, which confirmed its status as my favorite thing.

Tagged posts

architecture  books  community  food  geometry  infrastructure  insects  jailbreaking  losangeles  maps  memes  naturalhistory  netart  osx  plants  prettypictures  sanfrancisco  santabarbara  self  toys  transportation  typography  ucsb  webdesign  yahoo 


I’m Britta Gustafson.

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