I’m a writer and editor who loves building new things. Right now I’m a contributor to Backchannel, Steven Levy’s technology-focused publication (formerly owned by Medium, now part of Conde Nast). I also write a daily email newsletter for John Battelle’s NewCo.
Most recently (2011-2014), I worked as the executive editor of Grist, a non-profit green news site.
Before that I founded MediaBugs.org, a project funded by the Knight News Challenge that built a “bug-tracker for news” — a service people can use to report errors in news coverage in their communities and try to get them corrected.
I co-founded Salon back in 1995 and spent a decade there. I served as its first technology editor and all-around Web geek for years, then became managing editor just in time for the dot-com bubble to first over-inflate and then collapse.
In 2003 I began working on a book about software development and its discontents. I took a leave from Salon in 2005 to write it. It’s titled Dreaming in Code and was published by Crown in 2007.
When I returned to Salon after my book leave, I worked on developing and prototyping the project that became known as Open Salon — an open blogging community for Salon readers.
I left Salon in July 2007 to begin work on another book that would tell the story of blogging. Say Everything: How Blogging Began, What It’s Becoming, and Why It Matters” came out in 2009.
Before this blog was here at Wordyard it lived as part of the Salon Blogs program, a partnership between Salon.com and Userland Software that I ran for Salon. I began blogging in July 2002. Before that most of my writing online was at Salon; there’s a full listing of my pieces here.
I started making Web pages in November 1994 as an editor of the short-lived San Francisco Free Press — an early experiment in Web publishing by the striking Newspaper Guild workers in San Francisco. In early 1995 I posted a prototype of a solo Web magazine called Kludge. I quickly discovered that being a one-person publishing operation was more than I could handle at that point in my, and the Web’s, career, given that I still held down a full-time job at the SF Examiner. As the year progressed I began working with David Talbot and the team he was then pulling together to start Salon. I left the Examiner that fall and helped Salon plan and post its first issue in November 1995.
I continued to maintain my own Web site, first at www.dmz.com and later here at Wordyard. Here’s the old Wordyard home page that was supplanted by this blog. Here’s the old dmz.com home page that preceded it — first posted in 1994 — with some older links to my writing, many of which have yet to rot.