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 consulting and creates eclectic content, from art photography to freelance journalism about the craft beer brewing community.
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.com until they decided to sell The WELL to community members 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 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 a satirical theater company, in both creative and management roles. She was was a core member of the award-winning political comedy collective, the Plutonium Players, and a writer, performer and co-director of their long-touring hit show spoofing right-wing extremists, “Ladies Against Women.” Her years in theater were marked by her dual focus on irreverent satire and on intense collaborative audience interactions, including improvisation.
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 husband Steve, she maintains the BeerByBART.com and other projects site. She contributes articles for Beer Advocate and Celebrator Beer News, among other publications.
Contact her via GailAnnWilliams.com to investigate consultations or other projects.
OK, enough with the third-person. This blog has infrequent and perhaps overly long posts. It exists for ideas that are too convoluted to go into conversational posts or photo captions. Thanks for reading.