While the path I've taken has never been a straight one, the throughlines have always been communities, communication, and amplifying voices at the edges.
Since 2019, I've focused on bringing my skills to a variety of organizations, including for-profit, nonprofit, and academic. Helping organizations think through how to design real programs for real people, how to keep them engaged, and how to be scrappy and adaptable is something I love to do. Probably I'd love to do that with you too, so be in touch.
From 2011 until summer 2018 I was the Director of OpenNews, which helps make journalism-technologists in some of the best newsrooms in the world more awesome by facillitating community and collaboration among them. My work at OpenNews included founding the Knight-Mozilla Fellowships, which placed creative technologists into newsrooms around the world, and SRCCON, a yearly conference built around highly-participatory problem solving and skill sharing among the best technologists in journalism.
At just 19, I founded Punk Planet magazine, an independent music, politics and culture magazine that helped to document the independent music and art scenes of the 1990s and 2000s. Punk Planet is widely credited as the definitive voice of independent culture at the time as well as helping to bridge the gap between cuture and activism. Constantly blazing new paths for 13 years, we also published books in collaboration with stalwart indie publisher Akashic Books.
I continued my commitment to independent media production as the co-host of Says Who Podcast, a weekly podcast dedicated to helping people survive the current presidential administration through comedy and coping, and of The Hitch podcast, a podcast about road tripping and adventure, often recorded from the road in my trailer.
One of the things I'm most notorious for is the @MayorEmanuel Twitter account, back in 2010/11. The account, written anonymously at the time, told a fantastical story of an alternate-universe Chicago during the 2011 Mayoral Election. By the time the account wrapped up, The Economist said it "may be the first truly great piece of digital literary work."
In addition to making all this (and more), I have taught journalism as a member of the full-time faculty at Columbia College Chicago from 2008-2011 and was a JSK Fellow at Stanford University from 2007-2008 where I studied the impact of mobile technology on storytelling.
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Published by Scribner, 2011
Published by Punk Planet Books, 2007
Published by Akashic Books, 2001
A newsletter and micro-site that summarized and delivered the latest news about Donald Trump's two impeachments every day. 2019 & 2021
A single-serving site created after Impeachment.fyi readers asked for the ability to leave a tip. Connects Venmo, PayPal, and CashApp. 2019
Need an emdash but can't remember the key combo? I built a site where you can just grab one. 2019
A single-serving website tracking news around Roger Stone's gag order. Spoiler alert: he has. 2019
I will be engaging with students and experimenting with journalism as a Fellow at DePaul University's Center for Journalism Integrity & Excellence. 2019
The community support mechanism for Says Who podcast, launched to help support our move to a weekly broadcast. 2018-present
A new podcast that follows me and my wife Janice as we pick up from a year of fighting cancer, buy a trailer, and hit the road. 2018-present
Your one-stop shop (and one-page shop) for Pee Tape and Robert Mueller Prayer Candles. 2018-present
A Kickstarter to pray for an end to the Trump administration with Pee Tape and Robert Mueller III Prayer Candles. 25-day Kickstarter ended up being the most funded candle in Kickstarter history. 2018
A website to track Trump's visits to his own properties. 2017-present
A conference from OpenNews dedicated to fixing newsroom culture. December 2017
A biweekly podcast that's not a podcast, it's a coping strategy for living in Trump's America. Hosted with Maureen Johnson. 2016-present
A Chome extension I wrote that accidently caused Wired magazine to refer to Trump as "Someone with Tiny Hands." 2016
A yearly conference from OpenNews that brings together journalism-technologists for deep collaboration. 2014-present
A github repository for object-oriented, collaborative taco creation. 2013-present
A site that formatted recommendations for Illinois judicial retention elections into a mobile site. 2012-2016
A site from OpenNews that looks behind-the-scenes at the work happening in newsroom tech. 2012-present
A site that published short fiction five days a week formatted exclusively for mobile phones before that was actually a thing. 2008-2009
A quarterly magazine dedicated to the art and culture that grew out of skateboarding in the 1980s and 90s. 2004
The book publishing arm of Punk Planet magazine, a partnership with Akashic Books. 2003-2007
A music, politics, and culture magazine chronicling the fiercely independent culture of punk rock. 1994-2007
I was on the Colbert Report.