• 2022 Reflections on Bias
    Human perspective is impossibly biased. Yet we often believe our ideal state should somehow be neutral. That on either side of neutral, there are immutable states of existence or perspective, naturally oppositional to each other. I’ve spent an inordinate amount of my life pushing against one idea or another in an attempt to find that state of perfect neutrality. But this struggle to reach perfect neutral frames interactions between people with differing experiences as inherently oppositional: differing forces pushing against each other...
  • 2022 Getting Out Of My Own Way
    It has been a very long time since I’ve published with any regular cadence. As another birthday approaches and I’m reminded of the passage of time and of times past, I find myself occasionally nostalgic for the early web. I’ve become nostalgic for the giddy days when my ongoing discovery of new pockets of this new world set my brain off like pop rocks...
  • 2020 Making Meaning Through Community Mapping
    I did not expect to get emotional over maps on a wall. But there I was in the Oakland Museum right before the pandemic, face hot and eyes damp, overwhelmed by maps. I’d been working with the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project to provide narrative strategy and interpretive text for the museum’s "You Are Here: California Stories On the Map" exhibit and now here we were. And I kept thinking about my father.
  • 2020 Digital Lessons From a Caucus App Debacle
    Regardless of party affiliation (none for me, thanks), no one should have been surprised by the recent Democratic debacle in Iowa. Media has been hard at work digging into the root causes of the caucus reporting breakdown. Turns out, there's an app for that. And where there's an app, there's going to be Kool-aid. In this case, the Kool-aid was served up by Democratic Party officials who insisted the caucus app was going to be a-okay. Given that it ended up resoundingly not okay, perhaps it's worth taking note of a few lessons we can apply in our own digital day-to-day.
  • 2020 Surviving the Greyhound Bus: Content Due Diligence for 2020
    Most of us keep our eyes pinned to the road immediately in front of us. Or we focus on the rear-view mirror, spinning our wheels over past experiences. But this tendency means we’re tuning out our peripheral vision. Peripheral vision, though, is what gives us context. It’s how we notice the unexpected sneaking up on us, the Greyhound bus drifting over the yellow line into our path. Spend too much time focusing only on what’s in front of you, and you lose sight of that stuff. The next thing you know, you’re running into a bus on a Vespa scooter while your best friend basks in the LA sunshine. So if it prevents us from crashing and burning one, two, or three years out, why is it so difficult for us to expand our peripheral vision?
  • 2019 Don’t Fear the AI (Yet)
    When Chase announced it would be rolling out AI-powered copy across their marketing departments recently, a chill went down the spine of human copywriters everywhere. The global bank is using machine learning and natural language processing to generate ad copy aimed at highly-targeted market segments. But while UX and marketing writers have every reason to feel insecure in their corporate jobs, it shouldn’t be because of AI taking over.