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.