Hi! Please call me Gail. I often use my middle name, mainly for disambiguation, as they call it at Wikipedia, since there are other impressively talented and active women named Gail Williams. I’m the one interested in online community, photography, craft beer, political satire and video, and the one from San Francisco. This stuff below is adapted from a semi-stuffy bio I’ve used for speaking engagements and the like. Not very conversational, but this might be interesting to somebody, sometime:
Gail is an online community and social media pioneer who currently offers online community management consulting.
She served as Executive Director at the seminal online community, The WELL, prior to Salon’s acquisition of that acclaimed site in 1999, and as Director of Communities at Salon until they decided to sell The WELL in 2012. Originally, Williams got involved in online communities in 1990 as part of a CompuMentor volunteer project to match nonprofits with expert computer professionals. She joined the management team at The WELL — originally the Whole Earth ‘Lectronic Link — in 1991 as Conferencing Manager. Williams served as the primary official liaison with the system’s users for ten years, responsible for the human issues in the legendary discussion community. She then moved to overseeing all operations. Williams has project-managed, co-designed and QA’d a series of interactive software development upgrades and feature additions over the years. She’s was deeply involved in developing and expressing policies in the Salon communities including the late Salon Table Talk.
Over the years Williams has spoken on online community issues at such diverse gatherings as Computers Freedom and Privacy, South By Southwest, MacWorld, IEEE Community Networking, VirComm, CommunityNext, Net Squared (N2Y3), Web 2.2 and Online Community Summit. Back in 2000 she was honored one of the Top 25 Women on the Web. (That was fun!)
Prior to her work at The WELL, Williams was involved in alternative theater, in both creative and management roles. She was was a core member of the award-winning satire collective, the Plutonium Players, and a writer, performer and co-director of their long-touring hit comedy show about right-wing extremists, “Ladies Against Women.” Her years in theater were marked by her dual focus on irreverent satire and on intense audience interactions, including improv.
Her current passions include social networks, wilderness, baseball, geology, craft beers, filmmaking and digital photography. She is a frequent poster at Flickr, as fotogail. With her sweetie Steve, she maintains the BeerByBART.com San Francisco area beer travel logistics site. (How’s that for niche?) She co-authors beer articles for the Celebrator Beer News, and is a BJCP certified judge.)
OK, enough with the third-person. This blog has infrequent and overly long posts. It exists both to test drive the wordpress platform, which I like, and because I have ideas that are too convoluted to go into WELL conversational posts or Flickr captions. Thanks for reading.