From O’Reilly Media to Federated Media

I wish I had been blogging when blogging first really crossed my radar. Since I wasn’t, my mental record is kind of fuzzy.

The first time I mentioned “blog” in an email was on April 27, 2002 in a note to my Dad:

some things that seem to be popping up a lot in my online surfing:

web logs (blogs)
(obviously this online journaling has been around for a while, but it was never the kind of thing that interested me. however, it seems that in the last year and a half or so, this service has become increasing [sic] popular.)

What were the other things I told him were “popping up”? Google’s web APIs and Mozilla RC1.

Two months later I started this blog, which will be four years old this month.

Stepping back

I had just graduated from UNC that May and was experiencing what felt like my first sustained break from school in 17 years (at least until I started grad school that fall). I had also just moved into my first apartment, and I was adjusting to working full time without any classes as a distraction.

In the midst of all this, my sleep schedule started slipping. I’d go to bed later, wake up later, and eventually one night I was having trouble getting to sleep at all. To entertain myself, I thought I’d see how hard it’d be to create one of these newfangled blogs (which I was still eyeing skeptically). This was before the advent of blogspot, so it took a little trial and error to get the FTP settings right. And a little longer to create a sufficiently minimalistic theme:

justinsomnia first post

Thus justinsomnia 1.0 was born.

Looking ahead

Little did I know how that moment would influence the direction of my future career. When Terrie interviewed me for a job in March 2005 at ETech, she said they wanted someone who knew about the web and RSS. I said, “I have a blog,” and they hired me. Over the past year I’ve spent most of my time at O’Reilly working on improving their syndication feeds and blogging platform.

But then a few months ago I could sense that I needed a new challenge, and I just didn’t see that happening where I was, so I started poking around to see what else in the area was available. On a whim I decided to look through the new 37signals Job Board, and I stumbled across a posting for a php developer position located in the North Bay. Fast forward one month…

Federated Media Publishing logoNext week I’ll be starting a new job in Sausalito as an Author Services Engineer at Federated Media Publishing, John Battelle‘s blog advertising company. FM Publishing provides advertising for a number of highly regarded blogs and community sites, including Boing Boing, Digg, Dooce, Fark, 43 Folders, Metafilter, PVRblog, and TechCrunch, just to name a few.

One of their core values is that a happy blogger is a lucrative one, so in addition to helping FM build out their platform, I’ll be helping support their bloggers—which happens to be one of my favorite things. I’m really looking forward to the change. Wish me luck.



Our thoughts are with you! Good luck with your new endeavors and keep up the slipping sleep schedule: Justinsomnia is too good to pass!


Cool. Good luck dude!

I wonder if there is any way FM could help nonprofits?

WoW! Congrats, Justin…I’ll be checking my mail for some FM Schwag soon! :-P

Sounds like a great opportunity. I gotta admit, I’m a little jealous of you sitting right in the middle of all the moving and shaking.


Congrats on the job, and good luck!

Nice Justin. Always got to do all the cool stuff don’t you.

Godspeed, young Watt.


Watt, rock on.


Good luck my sweet son, now go show’em what’cha got

All the best, Justin. Will look forward to your further posts and adventures.

Justin, congrats on a good move. I’m looking forward to watching your career take you places.

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