WRITING | WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT | MARKETING
THE WORD BIZ
I began my writing career as a newspaper journalist, primarily at the San Francisco Chronicle. When I discovered I had a talent for computer networking and coding, I dove into web journalism and technology writing, which in turn led to working with Silicon Valley giants as an internal communications specialist. Over the past decade I've enjoyed a career that combines all my interests — writing, marketing, technology — and allowing me to do what I like best: a bit of everything.
My web work began in 1995 as an editor/producer on the team that launched one of the first (and one of the first successful) web magazines, Macworld Online. The team pioneered many of the elements now common, like web animation and live online interviews. We won the prestigious Jesse H. Neal Award from the American Business Media for our efforts, the first website to be so honored in what was then still a print world.
I've stayed in the field, building numerous sites, helping develop scores of others and, of course, writing and managing content. I contributed a chapter titled "A Cookbook of Cool Things: Immediacy, Interactivity, Community, and Commerce" to Jim Heid's book, HTML & Web Publishing Secrets. I was a judge at the first Webbies.
The only thing electronically older than my web experience is my personal email address: it turned 25 in 2014, secured when I joined Stewart Brand's visionary Whole Earth 'Lectronic Link (the WELL) in 1989 and began surfing the globe via BBSes (bulletin board systems) — and doing so using a 1200 baud modem and an Atari.
I am not a graphic designer or programmer, but I have a strong working relationship with HTML, CSS, CMS, PhotoShop, WordPress, Adobe Muse, InDesign, Google analytics and SEO.
My writing career began at newspapers in the San Francisco Bay Area, including a decade at the San Francisco Chronicle. I've written (and edited) my way through life since. My newspaper experience covered the gamut — reporter, feature writer, editor, copy editor, weekly newspaper editor, feature editor, columnist, book critic. I even did a stint in the computer systems department at the Chronicle. specializing in remote communications and networking.
As a freelance investigative journalist, I got a tip from the Los Angeles Times and found the evidence that confirmed a local Marin County cult, Synanon, was entering county politics, stories that were included in the series that won the weekly Point Reyes Light a Pulitzer Prize for Community Service.
I've written for magazines and web publications. I've written a few books. I've written reports and analysis, brochures, advertising copy, marketing materials, grants, et cetera.
For the past eight years much of my freelance writing has revolved around issues of climate change and global warming. I founded and published TerraMarin, a magazine that addressed climate change at the community level. You can download an issue here (3.3 MB PDF). I wrote about the climate change industry — there is one and it's growing — as contributing editor for the Climate Change Business Journal.
While I'm very much at home in the electronic world, I am fortunate to have been a part of the newspaper print world. Filmmaker Darcy Cohn and I are honoring that era in a documentary on the final days of the newspaper printer (of the human, not machine, kind). See a promo clip here.
I knew from an early age that I wanted to work for newspapers, but I helped pay for my journalism degree by writing advertising copy for a local upscale department store. It was possibly the most fun I've had as a writer. No rules. What mattered was how clever — and sales-targeted —the words were.
Marketing isn't advertising; it isn't journalism. But it is a bit of both. The best marketing campaigns are clever, honest and consistently on-target in tone and direction when it comes to communicating the point of the effort: promoting what the client wants to say or sell.
Marketing is a strategic effort, and highly rewarding when the pieces come together. It means that the client and I worked together as a team, and there's nothing more satisfying than a successful collaboration.
I've created marketing strategies and led marketing projects for large corporations, small businesses and individuals. I've marketed my own projects; I've helped nonprofits market theirs. It doesn't hurt that I have a strong background in both traditional and electronic media.