what is a peterme anyway?

Why it's me, Peter Merholz.

I'm a Web design guy residing in San Francisco, running my first company, engaging in various forms of Web punditry, drinking coffee and scotch (not together) to keep going.


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Conference Speaking
Seybold, April 2001

South by Southwest, 1999, 2000, 2001

ASIS Summit, 2000, 2001


Web 2000

Web '99, June 1999
Spoke on User-Centered Design. Hosted Webpardy!

Edgewise, May 1999
Spoke on User-Centered Design.

Web '98, June 21-25, and September 22-26, 1998
Advisory Board member and speaker. At the actual conference, I'll have two roles: 1) speak on the evolution of
interface design, and 2) host Webpardy!, a Web trivia game show. (Know any good Web trivia?)

Web.Builder '98, April 14-16 1998
Advisory Board member and gad-about. Didn't have to do a whole lot.

Seybold/Wired's Web Publisher, March 16-17 1998
Moderated a panel on
Designing with DHTML. I was very pleased with how it went; three developers and two browser representatives intelligently answering questions. And it was nice to have Netscape and Microsoft on the same panel and not snipe at each other.

Web.Builder New Orleans, October 13-15 1997
My first Advisory Board and speaking engagement. I gave a talk titled "From Page to Stage: The Paradigm Shift of Dynamic HTML." Well-received, it cemented my persona as "DHTML Guy" which I've been trying to shake since.



Job History 

As one's worth is determined by one's labor, here's where I've toiled:

Adaptive Path
March 2001 - present
One of seven founding partners in a user experience consulting company.

Creative Director from October 1999 to November 2000.

Freelance Web Problem Solver
From November 1998 to October 1999 I was solo. Here's my official resume.

Phoenix-Pop Productions
Started May 26, 1998. Under the job title Problem Solver, I'm resposible for a number of things, focusing on usability and interaction design.

Studio Archetype
Hired in April of 1996 as a Web Developer to build sites, I introduced the wild notion that technologists could actually inform the design process by contributing their knowledge of how things actually work.
I'd always seen technology as a means to a design end, not an end in itself, and I grew tired of the too-rapidly-changing pace of Web technologies, so I changed roles and was an Interaction Designer, responsible for bringing the rigors and methods of user-centered design to our projects.

The dream job that wasn't. Actually, that's not fair, as for the first year and a half was an amazing learning experience. Hired as an intern in CD-ROM production, I moved up into production assistant, then Quality Assurance tester. Understanding that the Web was the future, I found myself the manager of the Voyager's web site, in charge of the marketing and sales of CD-ROMs and laserdiscs. I was webmaster before I left in February of 1996. With Voyager's implosion in 1997, I don't believe any of my efforts are up any more. C'est la Web.

UC Berkeley's School of Education
Where it all began for me. I was the Research Assistant to
Professor Bernard Gifford, former VP of Education at Apple. Professor Gifford's main interest was computers in education, and I was set up with an impressive multimedia system and paid to learn Director, Photoshop, and Illustrator so that could assist in creating programs for the department.

Whence 'peterme'?  
Applying for my first Internet account at UC Berkeley, I asked for the user ID of "peterm". Already taken, my quick mind responded, "peterme", which was available. Later, I got an AOL account, and requested the screen name "peterm". Not wanting "PeterM1634" or whatever, I asked for "peterme", which was available. The ID seemed destiny, so I've stuck with it.
The World Beyond New Media
Contrary to what many believe, there's more to my life then new media.

I'm a
cineaste (or "cine-asshole") who doesn't see enough films.

I'm a Californian without a car, which labels me as "freak". I bicycle everywhere, and even take part in Critical Mass. I was on the ride that was a supposed "riot", but, well, you could have fooled me.

I love coffee and coffeehouses, though I only drink two cups a day. Favorite coffee is
Peet's, and I'm a fan of the bumper sticker "Friends Don't Let Friends Drink Starbucks". My favoritest coffeehouse in the whole wide world is Farley's on 18th near Missouri.

I live on an often loud residential block in the Mission (East of Mission St.). It's a darn good neighborhood with great bars and restaurants, and convenient proximity to freeways and BART.