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OpenDNS: Tell us about yourself. What do you do for a living?
JS: I am Director of Operations and Communications for C3: Colorectal Cancer Coalition. C3 is a grassroots patient advocacy organization committed to defeating colorectal cancer through research, policy & awareness. I lost my father to colon cancer in 1999, and that’s what started me in advocacy. I was furious that he died of a disease that could have been prevented, had he known how. And that the disease was fatal because it was caught too late and research couldn’t save him. The organization was started in March 2005 by a group of us who have been working against colon cancer for a while, but we saw that there wasn’t enough attention on being the “squeaky wheels” against the disease the way the breast cancer and HIV/AIDS communities had. Our website is the top resource on the Internet for colorectal cancer-specific advocacy and research information that is patient-centered and continually updated.
I’ve also been blogging on my personal website since January 2003. Before taking a fulltime position with C3, I was a freelance graphic designer working under the name “Mom at Home Design” so that’s why I’ve had that great domain since 1998. Now it’s just a blog rather than a blog & portfolio site. I’m also a writer for Om Malik’s GigaOm site, Web Worker Daily.
OpenDNS: That’s a lot. What do you not do?
JS: Work in an office outside my home from 9-5! I do everything for C3 from my home office a few hundred miles away from everyone else. It’s challenging to stay connected, especially as the organzation grows, but I think I pull it off.
OpenDNS: How did you first get into blogging?
JS: It was late 2002 and I was bored and curious. I started reading blogs first, and I was very interested when they talked about how they did it. Most people hate those “how I blog” process posts, but I loved them. I saw that they were talking about something called Movable Type, and I liked the way those sites looked and worked. I read the instructions for installing and configuring Movable Type and it didn’t seem so hard, so on a whim one afternoon I tried it. I started by talking about what was going in my life, which at that time was major construction on my house. It took a couple of months to get my first comment, and then it just grew from there. My blog is not huge by any stretch. Not even close. But I know I have a little bit of a following, which is nice.
OpenDNS: Does OpenDNS improve the blogging experience?
JS: Yes. Anything that helps my computer react as fast as I’m thinking, which is pretty fast these days, helps my blogging experience. It also helps me when I type too fast and make a mistake in the URL. OpenDNS is smarter than I am.
OpenDNS: What’s your advice to other moms at home?
JS: Don’t sweat the small stuff. Everything I do for my kids, I ask myself, “Is this something that the 2017 version of Judi will want to come back and kick my butt for?” If the answer is no, I let it go.
It’s easy for people to think that you’re a stay-at-home Mom with lots of flexible hours, when you’re really not. I have more flexibility than most, but if anything I have less free time than people with traditional office jobs. Any hours I take away from the day have to be made up somewhere. With such a small organization, it’s not like I have a large staff to delegate to. It’s really hard to draw hard and fast lines between work and home life, so I would advise moms to be prepared for serious blending (and to be your own tech support) or don’t even try working this way.
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