I'm available

Moving on from LexisNexis.

After five years of working on XML architecture and metadata issues on a huge scale at perhaps the world’s oldest commercial online information provider, I’ll be moving on in late March, and I’m looking for interesting new opportunities. (“A-ha!” say all the friends wondering about my recent interest in LinkedIn.)

As a wildly successful standard, XML lets us assemble tools and technologies from very different sources to create new possibilities for the creation and use of data, and these new possibilities are what excite me. While some in the XML world feel that with XML’s 2006 status as “the new ASCII” that is simply “part of the plumbing,” it’s become boring, but to me, plumbing is how you hook systems up together, and each new XML-related technology and HTTP-capable device or platform that crops up around us adds to the combination of things that we can hook up and therefore to the number of cool applications that we can create. These applications can lead to new products from your company, new features in existing products, or to new, more efficient internal systems if you’re not in the business of selling software or information products.

With my software development roots in the SGML world, information products are where I’ve had the most experience. Content is a business asset, and new technology that lets us sort, index, cross-reference, and slice and dice that content adds value to it because it lets people use that information to serve more purposes, both for content owners and for their customers. I’m particularly fascinated by the growing ability to do this with free software, because it puts so many opportunities into so many hands.

I have extensive background in learning new technology and evaluating its potential for both end-user and management audiences. I’m happy to speak to small or large audiences in person or over the phone, and while I’ve never been a journalist, my tech writing background has taught me how to do professional writing quickly. This background also gives me a classic “doc-head” background, for those who follow the document-oriented/data-oriented distinction in XML architectures, but since then, I received a Masters degree in computer science, giving me a broader system architecture perspective than that of more typical former tech writers.

My family and I want to stay in Charlottesville, but I’m not averse to travel, and we are an afternoon’s drive away from Washington D.C. I do have plenty of telecommuting experience, including the giving of presentations to people I can’t see who are spread around the world.

So send me an email (bob@snee.com) if you have any ideas, and feel free to let people know about my resume (Acrobat format; for more information see my home page under xml, sgml and work, school). I’m excited by many industry and non-industry developments I’ve been hearing about, and I look forward to hearing more.