I discovered computers by accident in the 1970s when I was lucky enough to leave school (escape!) at 15 and fall into a job that led to double entry bookkeeping, computer operating and programming. It was the days before screens and disc drives. We had tapes and punch cards. All museum stuff now.
I rediscovered a love of words and writing in the late 1980s (that's another story) and returned to formal education to study language and communication.
In 1995, I combined the technology and the writing and have been working in web development, online publishing, online community building, and performance marketing ever since.
I'm the face behind BCL.com.au and in that role I've worked with clients ranging from multi-national corporations to home-based micro-businesses. Along the way, I've held positions on various committees and boards.
This added a third subject to the mix - the joys and challenges of small business and enterprises.
I write in various formats about education, child development, learning difficulties and difference, social politics, language and communication. My interests in gardening, conservation, and good food often infiltrate my writing.
These are my current obsessions:
- An accessible internet - The promise of the internet was that it offered low barriers to entry for individuals, small businesses and small organisations. In recent years, the small players have been frozen out by the dominance of a few global internet companies and the increasing complexity of creating websites. The articles on this website help support those small players.
- Communication, Language and Meaning - Language and the way that it creates meaning, builds and maintains power, and shapes our lives, has always been a passion of mine. As a mature-age university student, I was fortunate to study these fields and develop my interest and understanding. Some reflections on that are in the Language and Meaning category.
- Education - To watch a child learn is a delight. To see their love of learning and their confidence in their own ability to learn undermined is tragic. Hence my interest in the politics of education, and the conflict between the idea of education as a development of the mind and the reality of the requirements and practices within educational institutions.
- My Garden - A few years ago, we moved into a house with a neat and barren garden. My garden project will take years to complete. It is now an organic garden with a mix of habitat and native trees, shrubs and groundcovers, fruit and veg growing, ponds and quiet places to sit, all squeezed into a suburban block. I've put this on one of our oldest domains brisbanecitylife.com.au (which later grew into BCL.com.au)
- Environment and Climate Change - there is no debate over climate change. It's happening and if we get our act together, we might have a chance of having a habitable planet for generations to come. This is where naturestrips.com.au and The Shady Lanes Project come in.
- Politics - This is last, but never least, because you can't talk about anything important without straying into the stuff of politics: priorities; social justice; privilege and disadvantage; accountability and ethics; and building the sort of society we want for ourselves and our children. Note: Politics and party politics are not the same thing.