I'm a writer, editor and consultant to the online industry, based on the scenic northern California coast. I started out as a librarian, took time off to go to restaurant school, moved across country a couple of times, went to work for a research firm called Information on Demand, spent two years as a software designer, and somehow ended up starting my own company.
My business name, Aubergine Information Services, is a vestige of my catering days. If Apple could name a computer company after a fruit, I figured...
For 10 years or so, I used systems like Dialog, LexisNexis and Dow Jones Interactive (now Factiva) to find information on just about any subject -- from the market for flavored bottled waters to the latest treatments for Alzheimer's Disease -- that my clients were interested in and willing to pay me to research.
Photo by Terry Lorant
These days, I primarily consult to the online industry, give talks, and write and edit books and articles about online research and other aspects of life on the Net. If you'd like to hear a couple of my raps in RealAudio, check out a talk I gave at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, or the interview I did with Point and Click Radio .
I've written four books: Researching Online For Dummies (Dummies Press, 1998; 2nd edition March 2000, with Mary Ellen Bates), Secrets of the Super Net Searchers (Pemberton Press, 1996), Secrets of the Super Searchers (Pemberton Press, 1993) -- both of which are now distributed by Information Today, Inc. -- and Electronic Information Delivery: Evaluating Quality and Value (Gower, 1995). I'm the executive editor for the Super Searchers book series published by Information Today.
The folks here at the WELL were kind enough to invite me to be the first author interviewed in their Web-readable conference, Inkwell.vue. Here's another interview I did, with Jon Lebkowsky, for the Austin Chronicle.
I've also written billions and billions of articles. Here's a sample I did for Artpaper 'way back in '91, called Living on the Net.
I wrote the Compleat Searcher column for the late Online User magazine, served on the editorial board of The Information Advisor newsletter, and was the Cybernaut columnist for Computer Life magazine from mid-'95 til that column's cessation in August 1997. From 1998 through 2000, I wrote a column called Reva's (W)rap for Online magazine.
Here are my official resume and bio.
Where I Live Online
My home system is, and probably will always be, The WELL. I joined in 1988, but it didn't really take until a couple of years later, when I fell in with a good crowd.
I'm also a member of The River, a conferencing system I helped start, and active on a listserv populated by members of the rural community where I live now. I spend entirely too much time cruising the Web and justifying it for business reasons. My resolution for the last several years has been to spend less time online. So far, it hasn't exactly worked out that way.
In Real Life
Although I moved to the scenic northern California coast on the first day of spring in 1996, part of my heart remains in Berkeley. I've been married almost forever to Jerry Shifman. Our four differently-specied dependents are Abbie, Tigray, China Rose and Stella Luna.
The loves of my life, besides these critters, include: good food, bad puns, strong coffee, fine wine, the north shore of Kaua'i, and the company of friends -- not necessarily in that order, but preferably in some salubrious combination.
A Note About this Page
Sometime in the mid-'90s, my friend Eric came over and helped me put together my first web page. It looked very much like this one. A lot has happened since then -- I moved to the country, turned 50, and experienced several other perspective-shifting events, both personal and professional. The upshot is that I no longer define myself primarily in terms of my job, as I did on my original "home page" and its subsequent iterations. My personal site, hosted elsewhere, is a work in progress, which seems appropriate to me.
Eggplants courtesy of Aubergine Solutions
page built and maintained by Reva Basch
Page last updated 5 October 2005