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In-Depth Guide: ‘Expanding Community Networks in Michigan’

Eight-month project to update and rebuild a previous 100-plus page document on how to build a municipal fiber-optic broadband network, geared towards rural and small-town areas of Michigan. The client was Merit Network, a Michigan ISP for universities and other public entities that manages a 4,000-mile fiber-optic network of its own.

This involved intensive editing, rewriting and new writing, while reorganizing and boiling the content down to a more manageable 63 pages. I wrote roughly the first half from scratch, adding new information to report on the state of the digital divide in Michigan, through interviews with subject-matter experts and community leaders as well as long hours of reviewing related materials.

I also found the graphic designer for this project and led the painstaking coordination of putting the final piece together. This occurred through about a dozen revisions, in addition to changes based on reviews from various staff members on the client side.

To be clear, I’m no broadband expert, just as I’m no IPv6 expert. I had only consumer-level knowledge of this topic before beginning this project. Using tried-and-true interviewing techniques, I’m able to go from zero to expert-level article in two days. I’ve done this for arcane legal, engineering, healthcare, financial, and technology subject matter. I have been exercising these skills since I was a teenager: first as a copywriter and proofreader, then as a business journalist, then as a broadcast news producer, and then full circle back to copywriting again.

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Copywriting: 2-Pager, Landing Page, Email for DDoS Protection Service

Example of recent copywriting work I’ve done on behalf of clients. In this project, we are marketing a service for defending against DDoS attacks, with a two-sheet PDF (sell sheet), web page, and promotional emails.

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Copywriting: Software Sales Documents

I wrote the copy for these white papers on behalf of Visual Components, a Finnish manufacturing simulation software firm, via MCCI, a PR and marketing firm in Detroit, in fall of 2021. These documents supplement standard brochure-type materials by taking a deeper look at features of the company’s software and service.

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Content Marketing and Copy Writing: Phishing Blog and Email Push

This sample represents a mix of copy editing, copy writing, and blogging/content marketing skills. A colleague wrote the piece, I edited it and added copywriting flourishes. I wrote the copy for the related email push.

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White Paper: ‘Addressing the Issue’ — In-Depth IPv6 Report

Report written for Merit Network, a nonprofit that serves as the ISP for Michigan public universities (and whose roots in “internet” technology date back to before the word existed).

This project took about seven months in 2021, calling for a deep dive into the second-generation internet protocol IPv6 and how it relates to higher education institutions. Project involved close work with networking engineers across the U.S. and the boiling of complex, arcane information into a succinct, digestible form for high-level university administrators. A very challenging but satisfying piece of work.

The full report can be accessed at Merit’s site. (Requires form request but no site registration.)

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Press Release: Vistage Indianapolis Launch

Quick press release project done for the launch of Vistage Indianapolis. Project acquired through Upwork, summer 2021.

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Content Marketing: Networking Automation Tips

Report offering tips and insights about automating network management tasks; written for Merit Network and its Michigan Moonshot broadband initiative in spring 2021, based on presentations given at a seminar on the subject.

Full report can be accessed at Merit’s site.

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Behind the scenes at China TV: soft power and state propaganda

I spoke to the Financial Times for an article on China’s Communist Party-controlled international broadcaster CGTN. The article was five months in the making. The Financial Times eventually spoke to 12 former CGTN employees like myself. I was the first person the reporter spoke to, and got the ball rolling on bringing others in as well. My decision to go on the record also encouraged others to do so (though most dared not). Here is an excerpt:

The primetime English-language news show by China’s state broadcaster was about to go on air when a copy editor in Beijing was handed a script that needed an urgent last-minute polish. Gary Anglebrandt’s job at China Global Television Network was to check for errors in grammar and spelling before passing the text to the on-duty laoshi — teacher in Mandarin — who controls all copy for political correctness before anything goes on air.

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DTE EnergySmarts Spring 2021

Work done for Michigan utility company DTE Energy’s B2B custom publication EnergySmarts, Spring 2021 issue. (Two PDFs, one for each of three articles written)

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China’s Paternalistic Attitude toward Korea

Image by BON-SIL KOO from Pixabay

The Diplomat has a piece on the backlash in South Korea against Chinese undermining of Korea’s cultural authenticity.

I noticed when I lived in Beijing a distinctly paternalistic air would come from Chinese people when the subject of Korea — North or South — came up (but especially South). There’d be a tone of incredulity in their voice and a look of skepticism would come across their face, as if to say, “You don’t really take our little Korea seriously, do you? They’re not even a real people; they’re just a wayward band of Chinese from the old days.” There’d sometimes be comments to that effect to go with it, as though Korea were a renegade province.

They waved off mentions of the accomplishments of South Korea, too. Never mind that it takes a lot more effort and responsibility of a country’s people to run a democracy, much less one of the most successful democracies in the world, one that kicked its corrupt president out of office and then had one of the most effective responses to COVID-19 in the world, despite — like Taiwan — being on the doorstep of the country where the outbreak started. It riles China to have these awkward counter-examples to its authoritarianism right next door.

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Is The Era Of Meme Stocks And NFTs Already Over?

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash.

With an excess of stimulus money and time on their hands, people’s attention landed on commission-free trading platforms, leading to an exuberant rise in prices this year.

Now, with vaccines rolling out, final stimulus checks being spent and warm weather returning, attention is returning to socializing and traveling.

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Clean Cultivation: CANNABIS PIONEER PLANNING NET-ZERO GROW WITH THE LATEST IN GREEN DESIGN

Article written for the Michigan Cannabis Industry Association’s magazine, 2021 second issue. (PDF)

Anyone who’s ever been tempted by a project to go all the way on it, expense be damned, will appreciate what Dori Edwards is doing.

She’s going “all in” on her vision of creating a net-zero grow facility. Her plan is to build a super-clean pharmaceutical-grade grow facility that demonstrates sustainability in every one of its 25,000 square feet, from the heating and cooling system to the materials that make up the building itself.

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Still in charge: Whiskey businesses directly invest in wind and solar through MIGreenPower

Article for DTE Energy’s EnergySmarts publication, winter 2021

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Content Marketing: Article for Cannabis Industry Publication

Article written for the Michigan Cannabis Industry Association’s magazine, 2021 first issue. (PDF)

It could be fairly said that without technology, the cannabis industry may never have gotten off the ground.

Inevitably tight regulations make running a cannabis business touchier than selling office supplies or even whiskey. Cannabis businesses must track every gram of the product from “seed to sale.” This includes even when cannabinoid oil is divvied into many products for many customers. Businesses and regulators must be able to identify  where the products of a given plant are at any time.

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Robinhood Shortens Its Restricted-Securities List To 8 Stocks

Robinhood has updated its list of restricted stocks, and the list has grown much shorter than the 50 stocks it was at on Friday.

What Happened: Robinhood updated the “Changes due to ongoing market volatility” page on its site, where it maintains a list of the stocks it has placed buying restrictions on.

The list now shows just eight stocks, and the restrictions on some have been loosened up. Nokia Oyj NOK 8.18%, for example, has gone from a limit of five shares to 2,000. …

Read the full story at Benzinga.com and see the full list of items written for the trading news site at my author page.

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Tesla Takes Legal Action Against Chinese News Outlet

Tesla Model Y

Tesla Inc TSLA 4.48% is taking legal action againt a Chinese tech media outlet called PingWest that earlier reported of harsh working conditions and quality control problem at Tesla’s Shanghai Gigafactory.

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DTE EnergySmarts Fall 2020

Work done for Michigan utility company DTE Energy’s B2B custom publication EnergySmarts, Fall 2020 issue. (Four PDFs, one for each of three articles written)

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Finance and Trading News at Benzinga.com

I write and edit for stock-trading news site Benzinga.com, a great team of dedicated, hard-working professionals.

My latest work can be found here.

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Competitor To Tesla’s Ultracapacitor Company Raises $48M After Hinting At IPO

Photo courtesy Skeleton Technologies

Skeleton Technologies is not a publicly traded company, but it’s one to keep an eye on as it traverses territory partly claimed by Tesla Inc TSLA 2.25%.

Next-Gen Battery Business: The Estonian maker of ultracapacitors, also called supercapacitors, completed a Series D round of funding this month, raising $48.1 million. It raised a combined $38.7 million in earlier rounds. The company was founded in 2009 and counts the European Investment Bank among its investors.

The company’s website lists as competitors: St. Louis-based EaglePicher Technologies; Pennsylvania-based C&D Technologies; Germany-based IBC Solar; and, tantalizingly, Maxwell Technologies, which was bought by Tesla in 2019. …

Read the full story at Benzinga.com.

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Content Marketing: Articles for Power Utility Publication

Work done for Michigan utility company DTE Energy’s B2B custom publication EnergySmarts, Summer 2020 issue. (Three PDFs, one for each of three articles written)