Oct 18

Meet the Staff: Joel Falconer

Mon, 10/18/2010 - 10:10 — julie

Every week we’ll introduce you to an Envato staff member or team. This week we meet the Joel Falconer, and catch up with what’s happening with the business blogs.

What is it like working for Envato, and what are some of the jobs you’ve had with us?

I started working with Envato a few years ago when I was a freelance writer. I was hired to write about 30 or 40 articles as seed content for the Psdtuts+ Wiki (which I believe is no longer active), essentially covering the basics of Photoshop. Soon after, Collis asked me to handle the AudioJungle blog, and I became a staff writer at Audiotuts+ from its launch. The beginning of the end of my writing career and transition into editing and management started around this time when I was asked to prototype a new Site Manager role on AudioJungle—at the time Vahid was managing the two marketplaces on his own—and now we have one for each marketplace. A few months after Audiotuts+ launched, I took up the editorship there from the talented Skellie.

After running AudioJungle and Audiotuts+ for something like a year I was brought on as editor at FreelanceSwitch. After running those three sites for about six months I was taken off the audio sites to focus on FreelanceSwitch and start a new site called WorkAwesome. I also ran the Netsetter for about six months until we decided to fold that site into WorkAwesome last week.

You now manage the business blogs. What are they, and what’s new?

Business blogs is a colloquial term we use to conveniently refer to FreelanceSwitch and WorkAwesome (and formerly the Netsetter). FreelanceSwitch is the web’s biggest blog for freelancers, particularly people who want to make the switch, and we offer a job board that’s designed to work the way freelancers work. We also sell one of the leading books on freelancing in conjunction with Rockable Press. WorkAwesome is a blog about being productive and creative. We publish resources to help people get things done and create meaningful things.

We’re currently working on WorkAwesome Guides and FreelanceSwitch Guides, which will be premium offerings on the Tuts+ Marketplace—somewhere between a Tuts+ Premium tutorial and a mini-book in scope—that get in-depth on topics that our readers are interested in. I’m currently writing the first WorkAwesome Guide on managing email. We also have an even bigger, very exciting Secret Project in the works at FreelanceSwitch taking up a lot of our time, but that’s quite a way off so I won’t reveal anything about it yet!

Describe your workspace.

I’ve got a home office with a big corner desk, a lounge in the corner for when it’s time to pull a Don Draper, and a bookshelf full of books, most of which I never read. My desk is home to a 27″ iMac, studio monitors, an audio interface and a few microphones, a space for brainstorming on paper or rummaging through books, and a hermit crab tank (everyone needs friends). I also keep my guitar collection nearby—when I’m stuck on an idea or a problem I find it helps to grab one and head for the couch to mull it over!

In the Envato office I had a white desk with an iMac on it for the couple of days each week that I’d come in, but I’m going to be coming in less frequently now so I’ll just be bringing my Macbook Pro in and finding an empty desk somewhere. This will free up my iMac for the first disgruntled PC-using vulture who can sneak it onto their desk! My guess is that his name will be Oz.

What does your average day look like?

It involves a lot of email for starters! My job involves finding advertisers for the sites and finding other ways to keep them profitable, increasing traffic to the sites, and I work with my amazing editing team, Amanda Hackwith and Mike Vardy, to ensure the quality of the content we publish is at a high standard and experiment with new types of content to keep our readers engaged. On a much less exciting note it also involves quite a bit of looking at and creating spreadsheets and budgets.

What do you do when you’re not working?

Often I continue working on my own projects, such as my website or the WordPress project that’s taking up most of my spare time right now. When I’m really not working, I can be found playing an MMO such as EVE Online or World of Warcraft, playing and recording music, or writing fiction. As someone who has a great deal of difficulty turning off my brain and getting to sleep I also manage to watch a fair bit of television at night thanks to my Apple TV and an extensive collection of shows—I love sci-fi (I don’t get sick of Battlestar Galactica no matter how many times I watch the series), Mad Men, Castle, Dexter and Burn Notice to name just a few of my favorite sleeping aids. I also have a wife and three kids who require just about all of the time not accounted for by the above.

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