Writing about the eradication of our civil liberties is exhilarating, but also exhausting. I am so thankful that I can write about other random things as well. Here are my top twelve picks of posts I wrote in 2015 that are as off-topic as I could find.
I loved writing this piece because I know how awful shin splints are, and how preventable. As a journalist, I find that it’s difficult to gauge the impact of my work, but this piece is a bit of an exception. If one person prevents shin splints…well, that just makes me insanely happy. Special thanks to my friend Melanie for the intro to Francesca Conte. Before her, many running coaches told me that preventative movements/stretches/exercises didn’t exist, so I was thrilled to learn otherwise (both for Experience Life readers’ benefit and for my own.)
I saw Mike Olbinski speak at Creative Mornings in Phoenix, and saw some of his amazing photographs and timelapse videos of clouds and dust storms and lightning, and I knew that Made Man readers had to get a glimpse, too. Thus this OMG amazingly gorgeous slideshow was born.
My friend Will Bradley, who taught me how to use PGP, tweeted something about a non-profit that helped people find loved ones who they believe had died at the border, and I knew I had to write about them. Luckily, TakePart World was also interested. I plan to research this issue a little more in-depth, so look for more on this in 2016.
This Q+A for Men’s Journal stemmed from a meteorology conference I signed up to attend specifically because I knew Harris Corp. was tabling, and I wanted to pepper them with questions about cell site simulators (aka stingrays). Of course, none of them knew what I was talking about. Big company. Much technology. And the weather toys don’t have much to do with illegal surveillance. However, the EPA approached me about this interview…. and then a flak got extremely annoyed with the tone of my questions, which I thought were actually incredibly mild. This whole situation always makes me scratch my head a bit.
In my past life as a teacher, I was once bullied by the union rep. (I know; wrap your head around that one.) I felt like a lot of the conventional wisdom for how to respond didn’t take into account a lot of workplace politics. Luckily, I got to speak with Michele Woodward and Elysia Lock about this issue for Dice.
I don’t write about MMA a whole lot anymore, but when I started freelancing, it was a big chunk of what I did. In fact, I started covering fights so I could get free cageside seats back when I was still a teacher. In any case, I was thrilled to be the first to cover a months-old street fight. This wasn’t the first time I broke MMA news–I covered the Ultimate Women Challenge disaster, where the filming was plagued by a lack of foods, funds, and training, back in 2011 (about two and a half years before MMA Junkie picked it up). But I was pleased that Shayna and Jessamyn trusted me to tell their story for The Sports Post after someone alerted me about what had happened. Bleacher Report and many other sites linked to this piece.
When I heard that journalist Scott Carney was launching a Kickstarter campaign that was like Yelp for editors, I knew I had to get the inside scoop on it, so I did a Q+A for the Freelancer (which was reprinted on the Content Strategist and Media Shift as well). I’ll admit that I’m still scratching my head about this story and why it did as well as it did. Perhaps it was buzz from the project, or maybe readers had the same questions I did.
This post for the Freelancer didn’t get a ton of shares, and I don’t have access to traffic numbers, but I’m putting it on here solely because Mathew Ingram tweeted out the link. As for me, I used to read comments religiously and even engaged in discussion with commenters, but have since decided the benefits may not outweigh the cost. I like looking at this post because the perspectives of the star writers I interviewed are so diverse.
Sometimes the contracts you sign for work, whether as an employer or as a contractor, will bite you in the ass. Consider this post for Dice fair warning.
Another Dice post. Possibly useful.