Hello, Hello

February 26th, 2014

Last week, the Editorially team announced that they were closing up shop and began the process of an orderly shut-down. The loss has been difficult primarily because I loved the tool and the team, and I thought they deserved to succeed. I still think that, and I’m going to be sad for a long time, and I may eventually write more about why. But today I’m going to be selfish instead, because the secondary reason I took this loss hard is that Editorially had become indispensable to my work. Losing it feels like losing a cherished and necessary robot-arm.

Editorial work—reading, drafting, revising, reviewing, line-editing, copyediting, marking up, illustrating, and publishing—is what I do for a living. It’s also a good chunk of what I do for love. And like a programmer with very specific requirements for their dev environment, I care a lot about the details of my editorial tools: how they work, what they allow, how they look, how trustworthy they seem. Read more ⇒

I Am Here to Crush Your Dreams

September 12th, 2013

Let’s say you want to work in tech but you also want a civil, respectful working environment. You want to transcend professional mediocrity, but you also want family-friendly policies or sane working hours. And let’s say you yourself aren’t generally treated like an inferior simply because of who you are, but that you’d really rather not work with people who treat others that way.

But let’s be honest. Can you have all that and work at a buzzy startup or a giant agency, all the while immersing yourself in the squabbles of celebrity-style tech media? Maybe not. Read more ⇒

Advice for Outsiders

June 12th, 2013

It’s college graduation season, so there’s been a lot of advice circulating for young designers/coders etc. on how to get a first job and how to succeed at it. A lot of this advice is really good. I want to add a few things from a perspective that doesn’t get much direct attention: what it means to come to a professional world from outside, and how that outsiderness can be both difficult and helpful. Read more ⇒

Filters for Humans

April 26th, 2013

In the last week, I’ve thought a lot about what I might do as a listener and a speaker on the internet to try to preserve the good while saving my head and heart from the worst of the shouting. This is a very sketchy first draft, but it’s what I’ve come up with so far. Read more ⇒

Less Light

January 17th, 2013

I was going to post something else here, about time and travel. But all I really want to say now is that our world is less bright without Aaron Swartz in it. He helped make RSS, Markdown, Creative Commons, OpenLibrary, and Reddit. He did critical work in the open access world. He was extraordinarily generous with his time, which turned out to be heartbreakingly short. Read more ⇒

Why The Atlantic’s Scientology Advertorial Was Bad

January 15th, 2013

The Atlantic has apologized for the way they handled a “sponsored” article about Scientology on their website last night. That’s good, and necessary. (It belongs on their actual website, rather than in an email campaign, but whatever.)

The magazine would doubtless like for this to be the end of the discussion, and it probably will be. Most readers will forget it happened, except the ones who already hated the magazine. But the thing that happened last night is interesting for a couple of reasons, and I think it’s worth actually laying them out before we all agree to drop it and hope it never happens again. Specifically, there are two kinds of “bad” to talk about, here, and it’s very hard to talk about them at the same time, so I won’t. Read more ⇒

Safe From Harm

December 19th, 2012

The first time I read Liza Long’s “Thinking the Unthinkable,” all I felt was compassion for the woman who wrote it and the horrifying and dangerous situation she described. Maybe that’s what you felt, too. The second time I read it, I saw something else. I saw her son, the one she describes as a killer in waiting. Read more ⇒

Mobile Content Strategy Everywhere

December 13th, 2012

A few years ago, the number of books that taught editorial strategy and content planning for the web could be counted on one hand—and many of those focused only on writing and style, or on content-as-marketing-tactic. This winter, the full weight of our mini-industry’s labors has hit the bookshelf, and the shelf is on the verge of collapsing in happiness. Read more ⇒

How to Kill a Troll

July 7th, 2012

Anita Sarkeesian is a cultural critic who makes YouTube videos. A lot of people like her work: she tried to raise $6,000 via Kickstarter to fund a new set of videos about women in video games, and raised nearly $160,000 instead. And it’s this fact—that people like Sarkeesian’s work, that they choose to listen to her and even put their money behind her projects—that so enrages some people who play video games. Read more ⇒

Brooklyn from Orbit

June 21st, 2012

The last six months have been dizzying, in mostly good ways: invigorating conferences, really fun projects, badass new friends and collaborators. A lot of travel, too. I’m home for awhile, though, and it’s time to take stock and make a couple of announcements. Read more ⇒