I’m very pleased to announce that ReadWrite has brought back Jolie O’Dell, one of our most distinctive voices, in a new role of special projects editor.
We don’t often gaze at our navel here at ReadWrite, but when we do, all the lint comes out.
As you know, I’ve been thinking a lot about ReadWrite’s future. We just turned 12, which is a long time for a digital publisher. Our industry always faces forward, yet those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it. I’ve always believed that we need to draw on the heritage of deep thinking and analysis we owe to our founder, Richard MacManus. At the same time, we must keep embracing the very technologies we write about to transform ourselves.
I’ve relied on ReadWrite’s alumni network for advice and counsel as I’ve led this site for the past two years. Now Jolie is going to help us plan our next steps. Enough from me—here’s Jolie herself:
TL;DR: The bitch is back.
When I left ReadWrite in 2010, it felt more like a traumatic breakup than a giving of notice.
ReadWrite had become my spiritual home. I came of age here, got my first gray hairs here, built a family here, both within the readership community and with my fellow writers and editors. I’m not ashamed to say that in my final conversation with ReadWrite founder Richard MacManus, I cried like a baby.
Today, we’re announcing that I’m coming back home to my beloved ReadWrite family, and I want to explain why.
I won’t immediately be contributing to ReadWrite’s daily editorial—at least not in a way that will be evident to those outside the newsroom. What I will be doing is bringing back a little of the old ReadWrite magic, that blend of thoughtful analysis, careful reporting, and a deep love of technology and its creators.
Editor-in-Chief Owen Thomas is a wonderful friend, and his vision for what ReadWrite will become is beautifully aligned with Richard’s original mission, and with mine. Ultimately, we all want to make the Internet in all its forms accessible—readable and writable—for our community.
Back in the day, we were obsessed with teaching our readers how to code, how to manage newly social communities, and how to best participate in a Web that was transforming from static to real-time.
Today, we’re forging a future where you all can be participants, not just consumers, in the new Internet of Things and wearable (or even implantable!) technologies and devices.
Want to build a robot? You can learn how on ReadWrite! Want to program a drone? ReadWrite. Want to master responsive design for the mobile Web? Want to figure out how to maintain your humanity in a machine-dominated world? We’re here for you.
Want to know why you should care, why any of this matters? We will work through these issues alongside you.
As at the old ReadWriteWeb, we understand deeply that we’re all in this together, as users and as creators. We all have a responsibility to understand and help build the Internet we want to exist.
My job is managing special projects for Owen and for Wearable World CEO Redg Snodgrass, also a good friend of mine. The first of these special projects is already underway, and it’s a hot-damn doozy.
I can’t wait to tell you more very soon, and I hope to talk more with each of you as we work together to make today’s ReadWrite the best blog and the best community it can be.
I’m also curious: What special projects do you think I should be tackling next? I’d love to hear your thoughts. After all, you’re the “write” half of this whole endeavor. It doesn’t work without you.
With much love and deepest gratitude, I remain your humble correspondent and faithful servant, Jolie O’Dell.