Writing for USA Today: #Help is on the way

One problem with writing weekly Q&A and tip-of-the-week pieces is that once you stop doing them, readers keep asking questions. I’ve tried to reply to those queries in e-mail and on Twitter and Facebook–but, being a good capitalist, I’ve often had to set that aside for paying work.

Fortunately, now I have somebody willing to pay me to answer readers’ tech questions. USA Today has been planning to expand its tech site for a while, and as part of that effort the Gannett newspaper signed me up to contribute a weekly tech Q&A and tips column on a freelance basis. The first piece appeared yesterday; it suggests a better way to sort Facebook friends and discusses a few options for syncing music to an Android phone.

My editors over in USA Today’s McLean, Va., newsroom have christened the column “#Help,” which I think is a pretty good name.  You don’t see that title over this week’s post because they’re still building out a destination page for this and other new tech features–but since (for once) I’d written a backlog of columns in advance, they elected to go ahead and start the column in a soft-launch state. So as you see at the end of the piece, my tech-support inbox is once again open for business.

(Edited 12/24, 7:40 p.m. to clarify that I’m writing this on a freelance contract.)


9 thoughts on “Writing for USA Today: #Help is on the way

  1. Rob, How I’ve missed you and your amazing smarts! Thanks to USA Today for bringing you back to a place where the not-so-tech-savvy can find you and ask you questions! So — Here’s mine:
    When I’m reading my Yahoo mail, after I open two or three, no text appears for any subsequent messages and instead, I see either blank space or the text of one of the previously-opened messages. If I click on “forward” or “reply,” I can see the correct text. This happens in Firefox, Safari and Opera. No such problems with GMail or AOL or any other site.
    What’s your guess?
    Should I check on a different computer to see if the problem persists? I’m using Mac OSX 10.4, the furthest I can upgrade on my G4.
    And in case it matters, most of the messages I get on Yahoo are from listservs — some individual, some digest.
    Thanks so much for your insight, and thanks so much for reappearing (without making me hit “forward” or “reply”)! Best Christmas gift this year!

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