Little River, CA 95456
Executive Director/General Manager, Mendocino County Public Broadcasting - KZYX
Independent Media Consultant
September 2007-July 2008
Director, TechSoup (www.techsoup.org). San Francisco, CA
April 2006 - August 2007
- Managed editorial, community and website development.
Community Operations Manager, Sulake Inc./Habbo Hotel, Santa Monica CA.
January 2005-January 2006
- Supervised a team of 3 Community Managers and 30 in-game Moderators for the US and Canadian versions of the "Habbo Hotel" MMOG.
- Member of the Sulake North American Business Board.
Site Producer ("Hotel Manager") Sulake Inc/Habbo Hotel, Santa Monica CA,
July 2004-December 2004
- Built the site, incubated the community, managed events in the game, edited the newsletter.
Director of Development, Electronic Frontier Foundation
(eff.org), San Francisco, CA.
July 2002 - September 2003
- Managed fundraising, grantwriting and membership for the leading group that advocates for civil liberties in the digital world.
General Manager, SF Gate (www.sfgate.com), San Francisco,
January 1995 - January 2001
- Built the organization. Started from scratch and grew the staff to 65 with very low turnover.
- Created its editorial voice and many of its most noted innovations.
- Managed an annual budget of more than $5M. Met or beat every annual budget goal. In a time of runaway spending on web projects, SF Gate was a model of fiscal responsibility.
Webmaster, Virtual Places Inc., San Francisco, CA.
July 1994 - December 1994
- Set up the website. Tested, rolled out and evangelized the product.
Content Director, San Francisco Newspaper Agency, Electronic
Information Services, San Francisco, CA.
January 1994 - June 1994
- Developed the initial model for the SF Gate project. Wrote its first web pages.
Senior Associate, CompuMentor, San Francisco, CA
February 1993 - December 1993
- Helped schools and social service agencies build online services
Community Manager, 101 Online, San Francisco, CA
December 1991 - October 1992
- Managed some of the earliest online chat services
Marketing Director /Conference Manager, The WELL (www.well.com),
Sausalito, CA January 1986 - November 1991
- Instrumental in creating the online community that Wired! magazine
its May 1997 cover story, "the world's most influential."
- Wrote the widely read essay, "Cyberspace Innkeeping" that has been included
in the curricula of dozens of university courses pertaining to cyberspace, the
Internet and online social issues.
Quotes about John Coate:
"John is the guy who made the WELL into a community"
- Howard Rheingold, author of Smart Mobs, The Virtual Community, Tools for Thought and other books.
"Tex is just an extremely effective manager, one of the best managers I've run into. I've run magazines, I know a little bit about managing publications and he's just great."
- Jon Carroll, San Francisco Chronicle columnist, from a profile about me in Editor and Publisher magazine.
"He's very thoughtful, experienced, doesn't go off on wild tangents."
- John B. Sias, former President and Chairman, Chronicle Publishing Company.
"John Coate knows how to do community. There is no more essential skill to making a teleconference system work, as his pervasive contribution to the making of the WELL shows."
- Stewart Brand, author, thinker, co-founder of the WELL, creator of the Whole Earth Catalog.
"In the late 1980s Coate brought his commune-born faith in technology and cooperative living to the online world. As the manager of an early and important computer network, the WELL, he helped transform countercultural dreams of communal intimacy into one of the key technosocial visions of the Internet era, virtual community."
- Fred Turner, Stanford professor, in an article in Technology and Culture titled "The WELL and the Origins of Virtual Community"
"His...style and his anecdotes from twelve years of trying to make intentional community work represented a core value of the WELL that has survived...a commitment to using the medium to make real human connections and more - to try to find better and better ways to live with each other in cyberspace."
- Howard Rheingold from The Virtual Community.
Work History, explained:
Community Operations Manager, Sulake Inc/Habbo Hotel, Santa Monica CA. January 2005-January 2006 Site Producer ("Hotel Manager") Sulake Inc/Habbo Hotel, Santa Monica Ca, July 2004-December 2004
Habbo Hotel is a Massive Multiplayer Online Game (MMOG). It is a virtual world used primarily as a social gathering place for teenagers. The emphasis is on self-expression, non-violence and personal creativity. It has seen explosive growth in the past 4 years.
I started as the site producer, which meant setting it up, writing the web page content and managing the activities inside the game environment. I applied my online community building experience to this virtual teen world with great success, as often expreseed by the users themselves. I then found a new site producer and moved on to supervising the community management of the site, which meant mostly enforcement of safety and security rules of conduct.
I was a member of a small group called the North American Business Board that developed marketing, sales and business development strategies for the American and Canadian operations.
Director of Development, Electronic Frontier Foundation, 2002-2003
I led all fundraising, grantwriting and membership efforts for the leading advocate of civil liberties in the digital world.
General Manager, SF Gate 1995-2001
Owned by the San Francisco Chronicle. Began as a joint project of the Chronicle and the San Francisco Examiner. Later incorporated KRON TV.
SF Gate was the first large city world wide web news site in the world, beginning in April 1994. We were the first website to combine multiple discreet electronic sources of news in one offering, the first to combine newspaper and TV news content, the first news site to combine original editorial content (writing, photos, video, live cam) with re-purposed newspaper and television material, the first to offer classifieds, the first classified search, the first to offer searchable newspaper archives, the first to send "email alerts" to users for classified ads and the first news site to offer open public forums. All of these are now standard practices for most online news sites.
SF Gate joined forces with KRON TV in 1998. We were among the first to produce daily news and information on behalf of a major TV station. We experimented with all forms of streaming and non-streaming video application types, including high-resolution live webcams. Were among the first to use live email feedback , questions and comments for a television show ("Take Issue" on Bay TV, 1998).
In 1997 we produced the world's first live audio webcast of a major league baseball game at the Oakland Coliseum.
I pioneered a unique method for filtering and searching news according to subject and location, as well as by the source.
I became General Manager in 1995 when the Chronicle and Examiner asked me to return to restart the project after all of the SF Gate employees had resigned following a long newspaper strike. There was a period of about two weeks when I was the only person on the staff. I hired, trained and supervised either directly or indirectly, every person who has worked on the SF Gate staff since 1995. There are now about 65 persons on the staff.
SF Gate had a surprisingly small budget from 1995 through 2000. Every year I managed the project we met or beat our budget targets. While the New York Times had about four times the page views, they spent about twenty times the money.
SF Gate was rated as the most popular Bay Area news website by every major rating system since 1998 (competitors included the San Jose Mercury Center, City Search, Sidewalk, Bay Insider, KPIX). Daily average when I left was more than one million page views.
I was the subject of a multi-page profile in the Feb. 2000 issue of Editor and Publisher magazine, the leading newspaper industry publication.
Webmaster, Virtual Places. 1994
Virtual places was one of the first web-based real-time chat services. The company was bought by AOL in 1996 and eventually became the "Excite Pal" product. I set up and managed their San Francisco office (they were based in Israel) and I gave the presentation that introduced the product at the Networld+Interop show in Atlanta which led to a profile on the product in the New York Times.
Content Director, San Francisco Newspaper Agency Electronic Information Services, 1994
This was the parent project that launched SF Gate. Although I was not the actual project manager for this first period, I was the only person on the staff with any online experience. As then project leader Allen Weiner has said, "it was John's vision that drove the decisions in this project." Also, it was I who coded the HTML and wrote the first headlines for the original home pages.
Senior Associate, CompuMentor 1993
CompuMentor is a nonprofit that supplies technical help and consulting to other nonprofit organizations. It is a successful and still growing organization that pioneered the field of mentor-based technical assistance to nonprofits and social service agencies. Working under a grant from the California Telecommunications Education Trust, my job was to consult with social service agencies on how they could improve their telecommunications infrastructure and outreach.
Community Manager, 101 Online 1992
101 Online was a short-lived French project that tried to introduce the "minitel" terminal into the Bay Area market. Of interest here is that it was one of the first live chat services and in my short time there I conducted numerous experiments to see how the public would take to an easy-to-use chat service. It was fun while it lasted. But they ran out of money pretty quickly.
Marketing Director/Conference Manager, The WELL 1986-1991
While never a big business, the WELL became famous for the quality of the online conversations and the relationships that were formed there. It was the subject of a cover story in the May 1997 issue of Wired! Magazine. I am one of the four people in the cover photo. The story was recently made into a book called The WELL, a Story of Love, Death and Real Life in the Seminal Online Community. I am featured prominently in that book both in text and photos. To understand the WELL story and my role in it, this is a good place to start.
The WELL is also prominent in the book The Virtual Community: Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier by Howard Rheingold. I am also featured prominently in this book. My "Innkeeping" essay is listed as a reference in the bibliography.
In my final year there I wrote an essay called "Cyberspace Innkeeping: Building Online Community" (www.cervisa.com/innkeeping), that has been used as part of the syllabus of many university courses and is the basis of numerous guidelines for various online communities around the world.
The WELL continues to this day. It is now owned by Salon (www.salon.com).
The WELL customer base grew fivefold during my time as Marketing Director. During my last 3.5 years there it was a profitable business.
Staff Member and Fundraiser, Plenty International 1978-1982
Plenty (www.plenty.org) is a village-based international development agency with United Nations NGO status. From 1978 through 1983 we had an office in Washington DC. Among other activities, we helped found the first bilingual free clinic in Washington DC., Clinica del Pueblo (www.lcdp.org/), which is still operating today. I raised the initial seed money for this project. In 1978 I was a member of a team that started a free ambulance service in the South Bronx, New York that operated for several years. We sometimes assisted the local Sister of Mercy at their South Bronx location. I had the honor of meeting with Mother Teresa at that time.
I was featured in an article in the October 2005 issue of Technology and Culture in an article titled, "The WELL and the Origins of Virtual Community" by Stanford professor Fred Turner.
° I have been a guest on NPR's "Talk of the Nation" and profiled on NPR's "Morning Edition."
° My picture has twice been in the New York Times in articles related to The WELL. I have also been featured in numerous other publications and newspaper articles related to the WELL.
° I have lectured several times at Stanford and have made presentations at the MIT Media Lab and the UC Graduate School of Journalism.
° I was profiled in a video, "Mastering the Internet," produced by Apple Computer, 1996.