Engage. Entertain. Educate.


Web sample features


"Kids Test Sleds"

Although I'm "a word guy," I'm a strong conceptual thinker with a good visual sensibility. (I work well with art directors, illustrators, and photographers, too.) For this web feature adapted from a Zillions magazine article, I came up with the idea of the title "Let it Slide" dropping in over a snowy background three times, as if the tune "Let it Snow" was playing in the background. (Sleigh bells jingling would have been a nice addition.) The Art Director animated the image of the boy riding down the slope.



"Food-ad Tricks"

Creating a website feature from "repurposed" materials is like whipping up a tasty meal out of leftovers. I took artwork from a Zillions magazine article and TV special, then made it "interactive" by having kids construct a fast-food commercial burger. Kids deconstructed additional food-ad tricks by playing a kind of game where they went behind-the-scenes matching "after" and "before" photos.



"Earth Day Challenge"

Long before "interactive" became an online buzzword, kids' magazines frequently employed techniques to actively involve readers. In this feature adapted from my original magazine piece, kids are asked to spot the daily, earth-unfriendly gaffes committed by the Wastelotz family. Click on an eco-error and a pop-up window with a tip for making the Wastlotz's more earth-friendly appears. Funny art and humor gets kids to participate. Having kids point out someone else's mistakes is an empowering and effective way to get a point across. Plus, the web's ability to deliver information with a mouse-click meant kids did not have to flip to the back of the magazine to find the correct answers.



"New Board Games"

This is an example of a typical product test, like the dozens (make that hundreds) I conducted during my long tenure as a Zillions staff writer-editor. But publishing the results online opened possibilities beyond a basic review. No longer limited to one static image of each game, I could go "deep" -- offering a detailed, visual tour of how each game is played.



"Wacky Photo"

My editor kept harping, "Let's make the web site interactive in a community way!" So I came up with this weekly feature where kids submitted captions to funny photos from Consumer Reports' archive (going back to the 1930s). I picked out the kids' better lines and posted these winners the following week. Some of them are a hoot!



"Wacky Cards"

Kids sent in ideas and sketches for over-the-top or just plain silly products. I picked a few that had potential then worked with illustrator-writer David Boelke who developed them into overblown spoofs of commercial hard-sell techniques.


Other sample features that show the range of my writing and conceptual skills:




"Store Wars"



"Ad Patrol"