I live in Toronto and read a lot. I write, edit, and make websites for fun and profit.
Likes: magazines, progressive politics, non-profit media, contemporary art, bread, typography, css, Instapaper, sustainability, colourful 19th century robber-barons, microbreweries.
Dislikes: talking on the phone, standing on escalators.
For years my Cron jobs wouldn’t run because I was misconfiguring my Crontab commands. Maybe you’re having the same problem. Read more →
Ways to find me, in descending order of usefulness:
- gfscott at gmail (PGP Key)
- 416-889-9708 (text message)
- gfscott on WhatsApp, Wire
- 416-889-9708 (phone call; please note I don’t have voicemail.)
- Username squats or fully deprecated: Facebook, Wordpress.com, Skype username: gfscott, Ello, Tumblr, Pinterest, About.me,
Flickr, Google+, Findings, Blekko, Shortmail, Posterous, App.net, Protocol.by, Glos.si, Hunch, Quora, Foursquare
As of December 2018 I work as a content strategist at Shopify, primarily focused on the app development ecosystem and developer-facing documentation.
From May 2012 to June 2018 I worked at Rogers Publishing in several editorial roles, including projects for Canadian Business, Maclean’s and MoneySense. I started in traditional print editorial but over time shifted into digital roles, including app development.
From August 2008 to December 2011, I edited This Magazine, Canada’s premier magazine of progressive politics, culture, and ideas. Named small Magazine of the Year by the Canadian Society of Magazine Editors three years running, a five-time gold winner in the small-circ category of the Canadian Newsstand Awards, and called “the best Canadian magazine you’ve never read” by the United Church Observer. I received an honourable mention from the Professional Writers' Association of Canada in their 2011 Editor of the Year Awards.
Before that, I was an associate editor at Canadian Business magazine, Assistant Editor of Precedent, News Editor and then Editor-in-Chief of The Varsity, and a freelance writer with contributions to Maclean’s, the Globe and Mail, U of T Magazine, and more.
Here are a few somewhat representative clippings from the last few years:
- Toxic Nostalgia (Aggregation Magazine)
- Europeans draining bank accounts (Canadian Business)
- Weirdos welcome (CMA Magazine)
- Profile of NDP MP Megan Leslie (This 45th Anniversary Issue)
- The myth of peak masculinity (This Blog)
- How Canada's new copyright law threatens to make culture criminals of us all (This)
- After eight years of senseless death, it's time to leave Afghanistan (This)
- The virtual search for the perfect roommate (U of T Magazine)
- House work (Precedent)
- Games get down to business (Globe and Mail)
- When stun guns go bad (Maclean’s)
I teach The Online Publishing Toolkit in the Magazine and Web Publishing program at Ryerson University's Chang School of Continuing Education. The course is new for January 2013 and is aimed at magazine professionals who want to better understand some of the technologies that underlie current trends in digital publishing.
Increasingly people want websites instead of magazine articles, and I can live with that. I specialize in built-to-order Wordpress sites.
- The SpiderWebShow — A collaboration between Toronto’s Praxis Theatre and Canada’s National Arts Centre, this site is a venue for digital theatre and experiments with performance and the Internet. I acted as designer-developer and “digital dramaturg.”
- Bull Dog Coffee — A simple, mobile-optimized site for Bull Dog Coffee, my local coffee shop. (I got paid in lattes.)
- The Wrecking Ball — Custom Wordpress theme for a national network of political theatre festivals.
- David Hayes — Custom Wordpress theme for a Toronto-based freelance writer.
- Praxis Theatre — Custom Wordpress theme for a Toronto theatre company.
- This.org — Second redesign of This Magazine’s website. Bespoke HTML5 Wordpress theme.
- Ski Canada Magazine — Redesign of Canada’s largest ski title, including bespoke Wordpress template.
- HowLongHasRobFordBeenMayor.com — A single-serving site to count the days of Toronto's current mayor. Update: It now has an open API. Seriously.
- WebEditors.org — A single-serving site/e-handout I made with Megan McChesney for our June 2010 presentation to MagNet.
- Department of Culture — A blog for a coalition of arts workers formed in response to Canada's 2008 federal election (of which I was a founding member). A bespoke Wordpress theme, made with HTML5 Boilerplate.
- Tiny Alligator Music — Website for Toronto composer Caitlin Smith.
- Alison Garwood-Jones — Wordpress-based portfolio for Toronto freelancer.
- Clo Calculator — An interactive to illustrate this Canadian Business article on office climate control. Made with jQuery, jQuery UI, jQuery UI Touch Punch, and Masonry. Illustrations by Josiah Gordon
- Provincely — A symbol font for making lightweight, responsive, and semantic maps of Canada with HTML and CSS. (Based on Stately by Ben Markowitz).
- Huge on Facebook — A jQuery plugin to display the number of Facebook Likes for a given batch of links. Featured on Unheap, DesignShack, Jquer.in and Softpedia’s Script of the Day.
I’ve made a few presentations recently on magazine-related topics.
- I sat on a panel discussion on how to pitch business and financial writing hosted by PWAC Toronto on Thursday, May 23, 2013. (Here’s the Storify archive of the event.)
- I spoke on a panel of editors on Thursday, June 9, 2011, discussing what we look for from freelance writers.
- I made a presentation on “Geeky Tools for Busy Editors” to the Canadian Society of Magazine Editors on May 5, 2011. See also CSME’s original event listing, and co-presenter Steve Prentice’s notes.
- For MagNet 2010, I made a presentation on recommended reading for web editors with Megan McChesney.
Wonderful people, in no particular order:
Maybe of interest, maybe not.
- Evan Hansen, editor of Wired.com spoke at MagNet in June 2011. I liveblogged it, because why not.
- For the last few years I’ve acted as a judge for the National Magazine Awards, for categories like Science, Technology and the Environment, and Still-Life Photography.
- I bundled together all the Nieman Lab’s predictions for 2012 into one big chunk of future-of-news reading for instapaper or e-bookage or sundry other what-have-you uses. (And again in 2013.)