David R. Woolley

What I Do

When people ask what I do, I usually say I’m an “Internet Consultant.” The long-winded version is that I’m President of Thinkofit,  consulting in the areas of online collaboration, online communities, and social media, and developing web sites and web apps.  I’m also Chief Software Architect for Celebrations of Life. More generally, I’m a Tool Builder, Software Designer, Conceptual Thinker, Creative Problem Solver, and Writer.

What I’ve Done

While working at the Computer-based Education Research Lab in the early 1970’s, I created PLATO Notes, the first general-purpose online forum system, which spawned the world’s first online community, and later was the inspiration for Lotus Notes. I also co-created Talkomatic, the world’s first multiuser real-time chat system, with Doug Brown.

Read more about it:
PLATO: The Emergence of Online Community

During the 1970’s and 80’s I built a lot of software tools for computer-based instruction, and co-founded a couple of small companies that no longer exist and which I’m sure you’ve never heard of.

In the 1990’s I was Executive Director of the Twin Cities Free-Net, an online community designed to support the neighborhoods of the Minneapolis – St. Paul metro area. From 1994 to 2010 I was a founding board member, and sometime board chair, of E-Democracy.org, an international nonprofit organization that uses internet technology to engage citizens in local neighborhood issues and political discussions.

Some Stuff I’ve Written

Articles about Web Conferencing, Social Media, & Online Communities

 Well Bear, Brave Bear: My Visit to the Doctor
A picture book for preschool kids

The Swan Song of the Rooster
A little story that had a big effect

A Story for the Winter Solstice

There is, of course, more.

Weird Ideas

A New Way to Structure a Corporation

The Search for Non-Human Intelligence

The Wylde Q. Chicken Spontaneous Generation Award for Coloring Outside the Lines

 Wylde Q. Chicken

Everything Else

My life partner, Cyndie, is a clinical social worker and personal coach. My son Ben is an active, sunny guy, studying graphic design and making art and hiphop beats. My stepdaughter Emery is a creative whirlwind and a maker of unique clothing and jewelry.

I have a rather useless degree in psychology (University of Illinois, 1977). At various times I’ve studied sound technology & composition, jazz piano, contact improvisation, and Aikido, produced a few radio shows for KFAI, and performed magic and Monty Python skits. I also enjoy tennis and bowling. (Not that I’m particularly good at any of those things.)

I’m on the board of Warrior Films, supporting the work of filmmaker Frederick Marx.

I’m a member of Minneapolis Friends Meeting and have held various leadership positions there, including Presiding Clerk starting in 2015. In 2012 I ended a 4-year term as treasurer and board member of Friends for a Non-Violent World.

I have done occasional voice-over work for public service purposes.

In the spring of 2011 I initiated a project to make September 11 a National Day of Reconciliation, hoping to counter rampant Islamophobia. I also served on the organizing committee for the Minnesotans Standing Together event at the state capitol.

I’m a founding member of the Noodleman Book Club.
Here’s a list of good stuff I’ve been reading lately.

CartoonsNow and then I do some art
or some photography
or cartoons.
Other interests and occupations: music, humor, theater, dance, film, photography, language, consciousness, perception, animal intelligence and communication, architecture, economics, media, education, human relationships, conflict resolution, community, history, human evolution, the origin and fate of the universe, and such like. Many of these subjects come up repeatedly in my blog.

Did I mention that I once wrote a computer game for dolphins?

David R. Woolley

If you’d like to contact me, I’m easy to find.

David Woolleys That I’m Not

I’m not this photographer from the UK.

Nor this one from Perth, Australia.

I don’t teach swordsmanship and stage combat.

And I did not write a series of novels based on the Book of Mormon.

There are quite a few other David Woolleys that I’m not, but these are some of the more prominent ones.

P.S. People often misspell my name as David Wooley, David Woolly, David Wooly, or David Wolley, which doesn’t really bother me, but since it makes it hard to find me in Google, I thought I’d mention it.