Since the last time I dropped some HTML here (2008!), quite a bit has changed for the Purdman. Here’s the traffic-friendly listicle version:
- Moved to Rochester: I started at the University at Buffalo in 1999, and have lived in Buffalo—minus a 1.3-year hiatus in Sandusky, OH—ever since. Rochester’s only an hour and a half by car from my old town, and, to the vast majority of those who even acknowledge its existence, upstate New York is all one big exurb of NYC anyways. But it’s no small thing to leave a place where you’ve got a really good handle on the local media happenings and gossip, the menus of approximately 70% of the regional eateries, the non-abridged lexicon of local legend and lore, and all the other stuff of small-city life behind.
How to adapt to Rochester, then? Reverse every future-of-news-business article at once and get the actual print newspaper delivered every day. Sign up for things you’d normally shrug off (BarCamp Rochester, anyone?). Be randomly friendly to people. Working from home makes it tough to find a clear path to local enlightenment, but, then again, it’s the dead of winter. Sunshine, I hope, is not only the best disinfectant, but a powerful energy source for social generators (Sorry, I’m still recovering from a wind energy piece).
Senior Editor at Lifehacker: Mostly because the site’s originator, motivator, and, uh, editor gracefully said goodbye to pursue a truly freelance life. There’s an old Gawker Media trope about how one year of full service does, actually, constitute being “Senior,” but I’ll leave that to the MediaBistro/TechCrunch types to parse. It’s a bigger step up than it might seem to those on the other side of the PHP, but I’m really enjoying having an active role in asking questions, planning features, and making changes that shape the day-to-day success of my favorite site.
I turned 28: ‘Nuff said.
Canceled cable, switched to streaming: Nor have I looked back once. I’m using Boxee and Apple TV to cut the cable, so I can stream The Office, 30 Rock, and (very soon) Lost whenever I want in HD. For everything else, there’s free, over the air digital television. Seriously, it took a lot of mental re-programming to get used to the idea that there’s actually free television out there.
Reminded what real reporting is like: Nothing I did approached the completeness of the intense, strongly-felt coverage by the Buffalo News. But I covered the crash of flight 3407 in Clarence, NY for the NY Post, and it struck me, for the first time in a long time, just how intense deadline journalism involving real humans can be. It was overwhelming, terribly sad, and an experience I’ll keep with me for a long time.