Bruce of all trades

I’ve just applied for some digital democracy work. (Yes, that is a hint!) My covering email (slightly adapted below) says I can do some stuff.

I’m passionate about democracy and IT, especially in hyperlocal democracy (community councils, parish councils, and similar).

Professionally, I’m a part-time social informatics researcher at Edinburgh Napier University, concentrating on use of the internet by, and information literacy in, hyperlocal democracy. See more at

I’m also web-weaver, minutes secretary and general IT supporter for Leith CentralLeith Harbour & Newhaven and New Town & Broughton Community Councils in Edinburgh.

I’m also a member of the £eithChooses participatory budgeting process steering group, concentrating on written communications.

Prior to returning to academia in 2010, I was production manager at a Scottish educational publisher, running a fair proportion of the IT as well as delivering finished projects on time and in budget.

In response to your specific questions:

  • Your name: Bruce Martin Ryan
  • Where you live (council area is fine – just to try get some geographic variance): Edinburgh
  • If you are a member or supporter of any particular party (again, this is to help with diversity): not an SNP member, but a supporter of practical versions of independence and federalism
  • Any other basic info that might be useful (diversity): white male, 50 < age <55, of Austrian and Australian parents; not conventionally heterosexual but in a great hetero marriage; long-standing vegan. Contribution to some diversity work redacted for this post.
  • What tasks you’re able to help with
    • Publishing, particularly using Adobe Creative Suite (page layout and illustration) and MS Office
    • Proofreading
    • Web-publishing: I mostly use WordPress (via and hosted instances) but can turn my hand to HTML/CSS and JavaScript.
    • Map production, using the Leaflet library, OpenStreetMap and JavaScript. Examples:
    • Quantitative data analysis, using Excel. (I also have a tiny bit of experience with SPSS.)
    • Qualitative data analysis, using NVivo (and Excel for quick work)
    • Hardware: I’ve used to doing my own and other people’s hardware upgrades, and have built a hackintosh.
    • OS-related work: I’m content with Windows 7, and can use Windows 10 but vastly prefer Macs.
    • Cycle-courier: I’m not fast but I love using my bike, so could distribute things within Edinburgh.

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