|Contributor since:||April 2009|
|Location:||Santa Monica, CA|
I'm a writer in Santa Monica, CA. I spent some years at Newsweek and some more writing for TV. My freelance journalism has appeared in The New Yorker, Time, Slate, The Boston Globe, Fast Company, Fortune Small Business, Washington Journalism Review, American Journalism Review, American Heritage and TV Guide, and on PBS.
I've been writing about popular culture for more than 20 years, and about technology for almost that long. I've been fascinated the last few years with the way the two have started to intertwine, so that's what I'll be looking at here: Technology, pop culture and the places where they meet. I'll also be poking around in the world of blogging, microblogging, nanoblogging, micronanoblogging and whatever comes next.
You can reach me at billbarol.com.
I'm Known For...
"I Stayed Up With Jerry," a 1987 Newsweek piece in which I traveled to Las Vegas, sat in the audience at the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon for 22 straight hours, stayed awake and wrote an (increasingly incoherent) real-time diary of the event. Today it would be called "liveblogging." In 1987 it was called "nuts."
My Current Project
A second novel
My Greatest Achievement
My first novel
My Biggest Regret
That my first book, "Mr. Irresponsible's Bad Advice," didn't sell better (Or, like, at all)
I Truly Respect
...the quiet dignity displayed by my late father in moments when nobody was looking
Moments I'd Like To Forget
See "My Most Awkward Moment"
How I Pay For This Wardrobe
It isn't as expensive as it looks. This stylish chinchilla stole, for example, was actually a stray pet chinchilla at one point. Why, there are bargains everywhere!
Blocks I've Been Around
Old Journalism; New Journalism
Things That Really Happened
I really met Jerry Lee Lewis in an elevator at 30 Rock in about 1980. He really shook my hand and said "God bless you, Killer." Fun fact: He has unexpectedly small hands. Related: I once shook Nils Lofgren's hand backstage at a Bruce Springsteen show. He also has small hands. They are, however, EXTREMELY STRONG. And surprisingly smooth and supple!
Where I'd Like To Be 10 Years From Now
Because the definitions of news and newsgathering are changing every second, and new tools are always a good idea
My Other Website
What I'm Currently Addicted To...
This Is Annoying Me...
Technology that is conceived and/or executed so carelessly that it ends up making my life more, not less, complicated
This Is Making Me Worry...
Would it be a cliche to say "suitcase nukes"? Okay, okay: The impending death of print. (But, seriously: SUITCASE NUKES.)
This Is Bringing Me Joy...
My dogs. (And, um, my wife too. Of course. Hi, honey.)
I'm Running From...
Well, hell: The Reaper. What else?
This Is Helping Me Create...
Birdhouse, a stylish and beautifully-implemented iPhone app
This Is Making Me Think - Hard...
This Makes My Teeth Itch
That "Itchy-ban" toothpaste from Japan. I know, I know, it says right on the label "CAUTION: WILL MAKE TEETH ITCH," but it was so cheap I just couldn't resist. Now I can't even use it without it making my teeth all itchy. Why, it was just no bargain at all!
Can't Do Without
My iPhone. (Yes, I am one of those guys)
Sam Cooke, my wife
My Most Awkward Moment
Oh heavens. Where do I begin?
My Secret Ambition
Well, hell, if I told you that it wouldn't be a secret. Nice try.