Monday, September 29, 2008

A Week in the Life of Mahalo

Working for is a kick.

One skill I have is synthesis. I can read a bunch of varied resources and synthesize a general public article on archaeology very quickly and, if I do say so, adroitly, pointing it towards an educated adult crowd. But, lately I've wondered if I didn't specialize myself into a corner, by choosing archaeology as the sole topic to write on. Archaeology is really not that marketable---I find it fascinating, and there are several hundred thousand people on the planet that find it fascinating, too. But today there are hundreds of writers and bloggers who write about archaeology, some even more specialized than I am. My archaeology synthetic skills are probably not as useful as they were a decade ago, now that there is Wikipedia in the world: but you do what you do.

Or so I thought. I was a little leery of, where you must synthesize information on everything from software to celebrity gossip to world news to the financial crisis to the latest bizarro murder case where Mrs. x is stuffed into a suitcase and left in a forest. I've never had to read and synthesize data so fast in my life. Safe to say it's really honing my skills. Here's a list of all the pages I developed in the last week:

And compared to many of my colleagues at I'm a piker!

Oh, I'm not giving up archaeology. I have too much invested in it to just abandon it, and there are still stories I want to tell. But... how good it is to know I don't have to rely on writing about just archaeology to make a living.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Mahalo, and Thanks to You, Too!

In August I started working part time for (in addition to the gig), partly because I needed a new challenge and partly in these tough economic times I needed the dough. So far, it's fabulous: I recommend it as a resource and as a job. Here's why:

Did ya notice how impossible it is to find the important bits of a story? You know, there's a news story going around and hard as you try you can only find bloggers of one slant or another ranting about the issue or the same news report published in a dozen different newspapers with slightly different titles. Drives me nuts.

Well, Mahalo has hired a bunch of us to do that research for you. So that, whether you need to know the latest poop on the mortgage bailout crisis or what David Letterman thinks about John McCain bailing on him or if David Blaine is cheating or what Bill Clinton really said on The View, or even who Clay Aiken is dating, somebody at Mahalo has already done the digging for you.

As a place to work, I'm nuts about it. The work is challenging--you have to stay neutral no matter how much of a wonk or wonkette you are--but it's also exhilarating.

So--that's what I've been up to lately. More later...