CoMo Tech: Joy Mayer


Who are you?

A mother and wife. A social, optimistic journalist. A person who’s lived in eight states and can never answer the question “where are you from?” but is thrilled to call Columbia home now.

What do you do for money?

I teach journalism at Mizzou and am the director of community outreach for the Columbia Missourian. I’ve spent the last year studying audience engagement in journalism, and how a participatory culture demands a more social, more responsive, more collaborative, more connected journalism. I’ve taught multimedia and print design in the past, and now I teach a class called Participatory Journalism.

What do you do for fun?

I read Harry Potter with my 8 year old. I solve the world’s problems with my 5 year old. I sometimes manage to have grown-up conversations and see movies at the Ragtag with my husband. I swim at the ARC and hang out in Columbia’s parks. I volunteer in my kids’ school (Ridgeway) and Sunday school (the Newman Center). I eat sushi and play board games with friends. I mess around with technology. I dream about the sailboat and kayaks we left behind when we moved here from Florida (finally replaced with a canoe last summer).

I would characterize my relationship with technology as:

Tethered. Whether that’s good or bad will depend on your perspective on life, I suppose! My tech use is both utilitarian and fanciful. I rely heavily on digital tools to keep my life organized. I’m a Remember The Milk junkie and can’t imagine what I did before online To Do lists, for example. I keep control over everything I read through bookmarks. I get ridiculous amounts of satisfaction from a well-organized digital life. (Thrilling, I know.) I also just love to play. I love messing around with technologies and services that seem merely silly, then realizing there could be more substantial uses. Or just enjoying their silliness.

Smart or dumb phone? What kind? If smart, what are the three apps you use most?

I’m an iPhone user. My three most-used apps have to be:

  1. Facebook
  2. Tweetdeck
  3. Remember The Milk

Mac or PC or Other?

I’ve been a Mac admirer since I first made a square appear on the screen of an Apple II in elementary school. Admiration turned into an actual affair with my first adult computer purchase — an original Bondi blue iMac.

I use twitter for …

Keeping up with my future-of-journalism folks, CoMo folks (for news tips and socialization) and friends. I use lists mercilessly and really listen to only a fraction of the people I follow. I also use it to get feedback on my work, share links I find interesting and make connections with people I want to meet. It’s gotten to the point where I forget who I’ve met in person and who I just know through Twitter, because I’ve built relationships that really mean something, even if we’ve never met face to face. Oh, and I use it for customer service. There’s nothing like complaining in public to get quick responses and avoid long wait time on the phone!

I use facebook for …

Keeping up with people I know in real life. My network there is large because I’ve spent seven years (Facebook showed up early on in that time) working in a newsroom that sees hundreds of students each year (no exaggeration). But they’re almost all people I’ve known in person. It’s a funny mix. Facebook is how my far-flung family (seriously — we’re in probably 20 states) keeps up with my life and my kids. But my favorite Facebook moments are where I realize I’m having a conversation with a friend from middle school, my high school English teacher, my cousin in Florida, a colleague from my first newspaper job and a current student. And then I wonder why my grandmother doesn’t understand how people connect online? It’s crazy how fast things have changed. (Grammie’s also on Facebook, by the way. She just doesn’t get it.) I also love Facebook groups — that’s the way I network and share ideas with people I DON’T actually know.

Do you read any blogs? What are three of your favorites?

Tons. I can’t keep up. I won’t bore you with all the future-of-media blogs I follow. They make up most of my “read these every day” folder on Google Reader. A few others that inspire or delight me are

  1. Pictory
  2. CoMo Homestead
  3. Quotes on Design

Go-to menu item and restaurant in CoMo?

My favorite local restaurant is Osaka. When I’d just given birth to my 5 year old, and my friend Liz asked what she could bring me in the hospital, I requested avocado rolls from Osaka. When I’m downtown or on working dinners , I love the oysters and local salads at Sycamore. When I’m with the family, our options are limited because I have a son who’s allergic to corn, which is in most processed food. So I rely on local restaurants that know what’s in their food, like Shakespeare’s, Uprise and Broadway Brewery. I’m still on the hunt for really good Mexican food here, and would welcome suggestions.

Complete this sentence: Archers of Loaf is/are ________________.

I think it would be cheating to look it up, but I sort of remember from reading your interview with Sarah Hill that it’s something I’m no longer hip enough to know about. I love band names, though. My brother’s in a band called Tea Leaf Green. I love that.

Friends are visiting from out-of-town. You’re for-sure taking them to:

The quad, Ragtag, the pool at the ARC, Twin Lakes Park, the Katy trail, Rocheport, the patio at Flat Branch.

My second-favorite city/town/hamlet/state/country/province in the world is:

Ever? Anywhere? Rome. That I’ve lived in? Either San Francisco or Juneau, AK.

Thanks, Joy!

CoMo Tech spotlights how wise, local folks use his or her tech and town powers for good (or evil). Check out the archive here. If you have someone you’d like to be featured in CoMo Tech, please let us know!

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