I blogged, so I guess by definition…

…I’m a blogger. I was the ghost writer (which is just like a regular writer, but with fewer autograph requests) of a couple of blog posts while at Feed the Children, both of which took a strong stand on very important issues.

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Sending America’s High Standards Around the World—”The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities won’t guarantee an easy road for the world’s one billion disabled people. But it will help organizations like Feed the Children fulfill our mission — for everyone.”

Join Us for a Day of Action—”Food bank demand has increased nearly 50% since 2006, and 34% of Americans now admit they have cut back on donations to churches and houses of worship. It’s a plain fact: federal programs play a crucial role in the fight against hunger.”

Profiles in courage—and state government accounting practices

During my time with the State Comptroller of Texas, I mostly did a lot of precise technical writing about fiscal management policies and procedures. But I was also allowed to go crazy and write some features, like this profile of a department and its manager. It ran in the quarterly newsletter.

Balancing change 

Expenditure Assistance integrates technology, human touch

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

It’s a common technique — begin a story with an old saying, then deftly weave it into the topic at hand.

But how do you do that when you’re not entirely sure what the quote means? How can something change and stay the same?

And how many rhetorical questions can one article ask?

Perhaps we can find answers in Expenditure Assistance, a section of Fiscal Communications that has seen its share of change while adhering steadily to solid standards of excellence. Continue reading

You’ve got mail. From the Comptroller. You’re welcome

While serving the State Comptroller of Texas as a Technical Writer, I wrote, assembled, and delivered email newsletters filled to the brim with useful fiscal information. They may look a little dry and prosaic, but believe me: if you were in the target audience, you practically sat by your computer eagerly awaiting their arrival. It was like Christmas, every week.

That one time I met Dave Barry

I was asked to write copy for a letter inviting the directors of Amarillo’s BSA Health Care System to its fundraising lyceum. The speaker: Dave Barry, a man whose admiration for me was palpable when I had my photo taken with him.

An award-winning staff deserves an award-winning humorist

If you know Dave Barry, you know funny.

His fans can recite their favorite Dave Barry lines like song lyrics or movie quotes. First-time readers always find a laugh in his hilarious and accurate takes on everyday topics. He’s a newspaper columnist, the author of over 25 books, a literary rock star, the subject of a sitcom, a part-time presidential candidate…oh, and he won a Pulitzer Prize. And we’re bringing him to Amarillo. Continue reading

In which I herald glorious wonderful change

In this open letter from 2003, I try to persuade our readers not to fear our major redesign of amarillo.com. Despite my pleas, there was some fear. Change is hard. Especially when you move the obits.

To our readers

In July of 1996, the Amarillo Globe-News took a step into the future when we launched our Web site, amarillonet.com.

It was a modest effort by today’s standards, but exciting: our reporters’ words, our photographers’ images, suddenly available to anyone, anywhere. Continue reading

Monkeys, websites, and email lists

Here’s an Amarillo Business Journal column from 2001 in which I warn readers not to let a monkey drive them home, demonstrating again my over-reliance on monkeys as sure-fire comedic devices. I also tell them websites worth visiting must have content—which was a bold stance in 2001—and encourage them to flex their expertise.

Make sure your Web site is worth visiting

If you’re a regular reader of this column (thanks, mom!), you know that one of my mottos, other than “Never let a monkey drive you home,” is this: If you want people to visit your Web site, make sure there’s something there worth visiting.

The best way to ensure that your site has a purpose is by providing content. Actually, considering that a picture of you and your cat visiting the Grand Tetons could strictly be considered “content”, let me revise that. You need to provide valuable, practical content. Continue reading

Me, basically being an Internet prophet

This appeared in a 2001-era edition of the Amarillo Business Journal. It showcases my ability to make fun of others and goad them into action.

Does your Web site serve a purpose? Send it in

Somewhere in the deep dusty recesses of your parents’ attic sit broken dreams, dashed hopes, and unfulfilled potential.

Woodburning sets unopened. Chemistry sets long neglected. A banjo you swore you’d master.

Just think of the well-rounded adult you’d be today if you could turn a plain piece of wood into an ornate welcome sign and create awe-inspiring pyrotechnic displays with potassium and water, all the while strumming “This Land is Your Land”.

You’d certainly be more interesting at parties. Continue reading