The story goes like this: In the autumn of 2004, a former motion picture lighting technician, film school veteran, and bartender Googled the words “media ethics,” discovered Poynter, found Romenesko, and quickly stumbled across links to a nascent media blogosphere, where people were saying what he had been thinking.
That was me discovering that I wanted to work in the media.
Immediately. I wanted to help.
I dropped everything and started graduate school at San Jose State University. Long before I was finished with my degree, I had my first full-time jobs in the news business.
It’s now 2015, more than ten years after someone first handed me a paycheck for doing anything related to online news.
A Brief History
Automattic // November 2017 – Present
Director, Platform Services, WordPress VIP
Chalkbeat // December 2015 – October 2017
Director, Product and Growth
Gannett // September 2010 – December 2015
Director, Product Management 2015
Director, Portfolio Management 2014-2015
Director, UGC & Site Solutions 2012-2013
Product Manager, Local Sites 2010-2012
Overseeing digital product management for content and community features on Gannett’s 100 local news sites, including comments, social media integration, topic pages, and personalization products. Working across architecture, development, design, product, project, and advertising teams to build new products and enhancements to existing elements. End-to-end product management from ideation to deployment to post-launch measurement and iteration. Worked closely with project management and product development teams to roll out a redesign to 100 sites in Q1 2011.
Publish2 // April 2009 – August 2010
Director, News Innovation
Represented the interests of 10,000 journalist users of Publish2 during product development cycles, gathering information, feedback, and advice from newspaper editors, web producers, newsroom and corporate IT staff, page designers, freelance journalists, and news application developers.
AUGUST 2009: Publish2 acquired Wired Journalists
JULY 2009: Launched version 2.0 of ReportingOn.
MAY 2009: M.S. in Mass Communications conferred.
GateHouse Media // October 2007 – April 2009
Director of Community Site Publishing
Responsible for Web strategy, support, and online news training for hundreds of reporters and editors at medium, small, and weekly newspapers. I worked closely with our news, development, and support teams to provide journalists with the tools and training they need to take a giant leap forward.
OCTOBER 2008: Launched ReportingOn version 1.0.
MAY 2008: Won Knight News Challenge grant for ReportingOn.
JANUARY 2008: Launched Wired Journalists with co-founders Howard Owens & Zac Echola.
Santa Cruz Sentinel // October 2006 – October 2007
Breaking news reporting, editing, and content management. Community management. Web development and design. Massive newsroom evangelism for online news production. Video production and editing on a daily basis.
JULY 2007: Covered “Wharf to Wharf” 5K run live online, using early technology to send audio and photos to Twitter.
JUNE 2007: “10 obvious things about the future of newspapers you need to get through your head.” #
Oakland Tribune // July 2006 – September 2006
Reporter, ANG Regional Desk
Regional desk internship. Investigative reporting on labor conditions at the new Oakland Bay Bridge construction site. Enterprise reporting on organic certification, wind power, and new media. Thoughtful reporting on immigration, California demographics, and Mexico. Designed the Oakland Tribune’s first WordPress theme.
The Spartan Daily // July 2005 – May 2006
Webmaster, Staff Writer
Redesigned the student newspaper site twice, leading a transition between hosting and content management system providers. Set up the first RSS feeds for the site and trained student editors to manage content and comments.