In the 2000s, I reported on web businesses and large scale data projects for high tech trade publications. During the onset of the social media tsunami, I paddled as fast a I could. I built a few blogs using Blogger and Moveable Type.
I also pursued an affection for public broadcasting as host of an arts and culture program for several years. Later, working in production on the eclectic San Francisco talk show, KQED’s “FORUM,” I did pre-interviews on topics like deregulation of the power industry, documentary filmmaking, and education.
I specialized in writing case studies about design firms for trade publications like “The New Architect” where I learned more about how to write for several different audiences and to give factual, cogent public information. I also wrote tiny film reviews for magazines like “Wired,” motivational copy for an ed/tech company, and reported on education for a KQED blog “MindShift.”
Going back even further to my days at a rock and roll web ‘zine Addicted to Noise, I took any interview that was offered. This early practice taught me to sift for the glittering bit of truth. The gig was helpful in overcoming shyness, and it satisfied a yen for putting myself in socially challenging situations.
In a suite on the 19th floor I sat down with British 60’s troubadour Donovan. I was schooled on Russian poetry by John Doe and Exene Cervenka. I couldn’t believe my luck at meeting my musical heroes on a US tour from Twickenham, England. American filmmaker Michael Moore was the biggest mensch I’ve met so far.
One reason I’m especially fond of interviewing is that if we get off to a rough start, we can always say “Let’s begin again!”