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About Me



I have been writing, for pay or for fun, most of my life.

In 1986, I became the advertising copywriter for a small publishing company in Sauk Centre: Vocational Biographies. This company produces an exciting career information resource, used by schools and counselors in all fifty states, and beyond. By that time, I had collected an eclectic set of career experiences. Just a few of these were: English teacher; staff writer for an historical society; radio disk jockey; and office worker / customer service contact for a commercial refrigeration company on the West Coast.

In addition to on-the-job experience, I had studied Computer Science for two years at what is now the University of Minnesota, Moorhead. I had also studied art and design, although less systematically.

The publishing company discovered that I could handle graphic design, and got along with computers. I started designing their advertising pieces, as well as writing copy.

Years passed. My skills with software and data analysis were needed to maintain and study the company's mailing lists, so I started doing that instead of creative work. Through all of this, my wife's advice served me well: "keep learning!"

In 1997, I realized that there were very few websites which discussed small towns: at least, not favorably. Since I like living here in the center of Minnesota, I created a small website called "I Love It Here!"

That website grew. Now it is called Brendan's Island, with over fifty pages and four major sections. Early in 2003, the Marketing Manager of Vocational Biographies discovered Brendan's Island. She was impressed, and wanted to know who had designed it.


That's when I started developing Vocational Biographies. online presence. In June of 2003, the company's website was up and running. Project Special Education, a sister company of Vocational Biographies, wanted a web presence. I launched Project Special Education's site at its new URL in February of 2004.

In the spring of 2006 I was laid off. The timing was good, since carpal tunnel syndrome had long since removed my sense of touch from three digits on each hand, my hips had locked in place, and there were a few other repairs to be made.

I'd planned to use the hospitalizations and recovery times as opportunities to work on several projects. A flaw quickly became apparent in that strategy. Between pain killers and blood loss, I was doing well to exercise and stay awake.

Now, with a mobility and dexterity I haven't enjoyed in years, I'm looking forward to developing A Small World of Websites.

Minnesota for Web-Wise Travelers, a directory of destinations and diversions in Minnesota and the Red River Valley of the North, was launched this week.

Easy Griller, an efficient griller's guide to frill-free outdoor cookery, is in the process of getting a long-overdue makeover, Loonfoot Falls is paddling closer to the day when it will show Small Town America as it never was, and other as-yet-unnamed websites are making that difficult transition from being intriguing ideas to having word-counts and deadlines.

One way or another, the next few years should be exciting.

Brian H. Gill, May 31, 2007

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