A recipe for combatting hate

844b02dc47fe1035d49de63f75270e1c51019_mediumA couple of Aprils ago, a group of Nazis came to Chattanooga. They were part of a group called the National Socialist Movement (NSM), and a few days before they arrived, I penned an open letter to the organization, asking them to reconsider. (You can read that letter here.)

I had no illusions that my letter would change their minds. And it didn’t.

(In all fairness, I never actually sent them a copy. I figured the surprisingly tech-savvy separatists probably had a Google Alert set up that would let them know about pieces like mine, but I have no idea if they actually read my letter or not. If they did read it, they disregarded it, much like they disregard the dignity of anyone not exactly like them. But I digress…)

A few days after my letter was published, roughly two dozen members of the group gathered in front of the Hamilton County Courthouse, struggled to be heard over a bigger and louder crowd of protesters, and then left town. And that was that.

As the Nazis’ visit faded from the headlines, I couldn’t shake one of the half-serious questions I had asked the group in my letter: Did their hatred of other cultures also apply to other cultures’ food?

Read the rest of this article at Nooga.com.

Making Sense of “Making a Murderer”

cbb182423d1fe183a6e52ddfc43a79e067914_largeWarning: This article contains spoilers. If you are planning to watch the Netflix series “Making a Murderer,” you might not want to read this article.

Remember this time last year when millions of people were talking about “Serial”? Well, many still are, as the second season of the true crime documentary podcast series—this time focusing on the case of soldier-turned-Taliban prisoner, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl—premiered on Dec. 10. As popular as the “Serial” series is, however, buzz regarding the 10-part Netflix crime documentary series “Making a Murderer” appears to have eclipsed it.

Read the rest of this article at Nooga.com.

My (Very Busy) Year in Review

mirror_picI didn’t think I could ever have a busier year than I did in 2014.

But I was wrong.

I spent the first half of 2014 juggling both a full-time gig at UpTik Media and a growing number of freelance projects. By the end of the year, I had left my position at UpTik (very amicably), had turned down a very tempting job offer in Florida, and had seen my freelance workload grow so quickly that I occasionally had to recruit some of my digital marketing friends to help keep everything on schedule.

That frantic pace continued in 2015.

My full plate in 2015 was due, in large part, to fantastic partnerships with two fantastic agencies: Level 2 Design and Amaranth Designs.

Level 2D launched in 2007 as a web and graphic design firm, and has since evolved into a full-scale interactive design and strategy company. I have worked with Level 2D going back to 2013, collaborating on web and content projects for Envision Conference Center, the Creative Discovery Museum, Church of God, Maclellan Foundation, and TechTown, among others. In 2015, we partnered on website rebuilds for Hollywog and Lee University.

Nashville-based Amaranth Designs rightly bills itself as a “design boutique that can handle the big stuff,” and I’ve had the pleasure of working with Amaranth on some pretty big projects since 2014. We spent the last part of 2014 collaborating on a social media-based teacher recruitment campaign for Metro Nashville Public Schools, and 2015 saw us partnering on a digital brand awareness and fundraising campaign for Mid-Cumberland Meals-On-Wheels, as well as a print and digital marketing initiative for the Harpeth River Watershed Association.

I also had the privilege of working with a major PR firm in Washington, D.C., as well as producing client content for Movable Media, and working on a variety of other client projects, including a content marketing initiative for Diet Direct and a social media campaign for Graphic Solutions.

On the editorial side, 2015 saw me contribute more than 50 editorials on national politics and policy to the Las-Vegas Review Journal. My increased workload caused my contributions to Nooga.com to drop off considerably in 2015, but I was able to share one of my Nooga pieces on an episode of FOX 61’s “Sunday Brunch,” and I plan to ramp up my work with Nooga in 2016.

In addition to growing my current professional relationships and partnerships in 2016, I plan to post more on this site and elsewhere, and am close to finalizing a concept for a new podcast to be launched later this year. I had the honor of sharing some of my professional experiences and advice with some media students at Chattanooga State Community College in September, and would cherish the opportunity to do more of the same this year, as well.

Variety is the spice of (the freelancer’s) life, and I am always looking for new collaborators and opportunities. If you are looking for help with an upcoming project, give me a shout.

Thank you for reading.

Happy New Year!