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About Me

I'm an information + content strategist. Whether it's analog or digital, social, technical or business-related—I help connect people to the information they want and need.

Driven and detail-oriented, I thrive in situations requiring strategic organization of information. My professional strengths include an exceptional work ethic, an analytical mind and a creative spirit. I never shy away from a challenge. In fact, I relish opportunities to expand my knowledge, technical skills and professional expertise in enterprise content management, digital asset management, web content management, records management or information governance.

In my free time I enjoy reading good books, writing, and doing genealogy research. I also create poetry and art on occasion. Check out my blog to explore some of my favorite books, learn about a few of my interesting family history discoveries, and more!

Keisha Laneé BrownContent Strategist

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My expertise includes web content management, search engine optimization, editing and graphic design. I was a marketing and communications professional for nearly ten years before amplifying my skills with a Master of Science degree in Information Studies.

At the University of Texas at Austin School of Information (iSchool), I study the tools and best practices for managing information throughout its life cycle, including metadata, information architecture, information security, records management and digital asset management.

  • Digital Content Management
  • Information Architecture & Design
  • HTML / CSS, MySQL, Python, PHP
  • Project Management

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I am curious + creative. This blog is the product of my creative exploration and endless pursuit of knowledge. Here, I challenge myself to push the boundaries of my understanding and skills, to confront my inhibitions, and to reflect on lessons learned along the way.


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Summer Reading Challenge: Book #2 - The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae
The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5

The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl is a hilarious collection of essays about author Issa Rae's coming-of-age as a halfrican black girl in the 1990's and early 2000's. Each chapter is full of self-deprecating humor and honest reflection on experiences that feel instantly relatable to this awkward (half) black girl--from having a bad fashion sense, no dance skills, an overly enthusiastic relationship with food, discomfort with PDA, etc. Rae doesn't shy away from delving into more personal discussions about her family, including describing her parents painful divorce, or confronting racial and cultural differences (often with a hefty dose of sarcasm and wit appropriately thrown in). Additionally, the book includes "The Awkward Black Girl Guide" which covers topics such as how an awkward person should deal with different types of co-workers, different types of blacks, hair questions, and more.

Overall, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl is a short, lighthearted and funny book that's perfect for a summer afternoon quick read. Also, I highly recommend the audio book version narrated by the author; it takes the comedy to another level.

FINISHED BOOKS:
#1 - Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow
#2 - The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae

NEXT BOOK: #3 - The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury
Summer Reading Challenge: Book #1 - Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow
Trent McCauley is a 16-year-old obsessed with creating remix films using scenes from his favorite movies, particularly those starring film icon Scot Colford. The only problem is that Trent needs a huge catalog of film clips--downloaded illegally from the internet--to do this work. When he gets caught illegally downloading from his home network, the government cuts off his family's access to the internet for an entire year as punishment. Horrified that his actions have led to his mother no longer being able to sign online for health benefits, his father unable to work at his telecommuting position anymore, and his sister struggling to complete her homework without internet access, Trent runs away from home. He heads to London where he takes on a new identity as "Cecil B. DeVil, pirate filmmaker", finds community with a gang of creative and resourceful squatters, and falls in love with an anarchist who shows him how the rich and powerful are the ones who really control the government. Together, Trent and his ragtag group of artists and political activists set out to dismantle the oppressive copyright laws that have ruined the lives of so many of their fellow citizens.
Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow
My Rating: 2 out of 5  


While Pirate Cinema makes many good points about how out of date our laws are for the digital age, how media corporations want to keep them that way to support their antiquated business models, and discusses why planned obsolescence of consumer technologies exists, I ultimately found the plot too far-fetched and the storytelling was really bad. The characters lacked complexity and realistic development, resulting in a revolving cast of caricatures anchored around the rather unremarkable protagonist, Trent. Most of the dialogue came across as overly preachy and entitled--and there was so much monologuing, which I hate! For all their talk of changing the world, taking down "the man", etc., at no point in the book did I actually believe that Trent et al. were ever in any real danger of serious retaliation from the faceless, unnamed corporate entities supposedly threatening to ruin their lives, which made the endless paragraphs of rhetoric all the more unbearably hyperbolic. Sure there were some "close calls" along the way, but they felt superficial and forced, as though the author realized quite late in the book that the protagonist should endure some pseudo-conflict in order to create drama at the end to prove that the stakes were really as high as everyone exclaimed they were all along.

One of the things I did appreciate about this young adult novel is how uncharacteristically normal romantic relationships were portrayed. Docotrow spared readers from the typical fairy-tale love story so common of YA literature, instead choosing to write the romance very matter-of-factly into the periphery of the story. I also found it interesting how the characters gave new life to the abandoned and discarded. Living in the disposable culture that we do, I'm always fascinated by the way some people see possibilities where most others see junk. I felt particularly inspired when Trent assembles a custom computer using parts from machines found in the trash because building a computer from scratch is something I've wanted to try. The book also reminded me of just how wasteful our culture is; so much food, clothing, electronics and other still usable items end up in the garbage when they could go to people in need or easily be repaired/repurposed. However, the book's plot tread into ridiculous territory early on when Trent and the gang set up their squat in an abandoned building with free (stolen) internet and electricity, and basically lack for nothing as garbage cans supply all their needs (including gourmet cuisine and medicine). Honestly, Doctorow made the homeless life seem utopic for our teenage high school dropout protagonist, which is absurd. < < SPOILER!!! > >  The reader is expected to believe that somehow Trent wins an "insurmountable" battle with an enormous amount of luck, near universal support, and basically no personal sacrifices or hardships. Trent spent the entire book taking whatever he wanted because he felt entitled to do so, having everyone fawn over the brilliance of his "art", living a relatively cushy life off the generous donations of train commuters and a suspicious abundance of free stuff from garbage bins, and in the end literally the worst that happens to him is he has to pay $150 fine and his girlfriend breaks up with him. Oh, and he has to go two weeks without the internet which he whines is the hardest thing he's ever done. Bor-ring.

Apparently I was the sole member of my book club with these criticisms though. The rest of book club expressed very positive opinions of Pirate Cinema. I can see their points...to some extent. On the whole, the book is thought-provoking if you don't choke on all the propaganda being shoved down your throat along the way. I've mentioned in previous reviews that I particularly dislike fiction books where the author spends more time proselytizing than storytelling, even if I happen to agree with the arguments presented. My view is that copyright, creative license, fair use and similar ideas/regulations are too complex to really delve into as a novel. An essay or article would have been a more appropriate format to really drill into the concepts instead of beating unsuspecting fiction readers over the head every other page. Honestly, if this novel had not been a book club selection, I would have quit 1/5th of the way through.

I'm hopeful that I will find our next book club selection, a collection of short stories entitled The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury, a much more enjoyable read than Pirate Cinema. Concurrently, I'll be reading a short memoir called The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by the hilarious writer/director/actress Issa Rae.

FINISHED BOOKS:
#1 - Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow

NEXT BOOK: #2 - The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae 
Summer Reading Challenge: Introduction
Summer's here, which means it's time for another Summer Reading Challenge! It's been a busy past few months as I completed my penultimate semester in grad school. The finish line is so close now; come December, I will be an iSchool graduate! In the meantime, I'm eager to finally dive into the list of books on my to-read list. So far I have read two books that a friend recommended to me: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline and The Case of the Missing Marquess (An Enola Holmes Mystery) by Nancy Springer. Also, this past weekend I traveled to Missouri for a family reunion and finished the first two Harry Potter audiobooks which made the long drive (9-10 hours each way) much more enjoyable. I've also started up a book club with a few of my grad school friends/work buddies so you may see some guest authors pop up on my blog in the coming weeks. I've decided to begin this reading challenge with my book club's first selection, Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow. I plan on finishing the book by this Friday so stay tuned for another book review coming soon! Until then, here's my review of The Case of the Missing Marquess to tide you over.
The Case of the Missing Marquess (An Enola Holmes Mystery) by Nancy Springer
My Rating: 4.7 out of 5  


The first Holmes story I ever read was The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle; it was a present my father gave me for Christmas in 2012. Since then, I've read most of the original Sherlock Holmes stories (and am obsessed with the television shows Elementary and BBC's Sherlock). Holmes superfan that I am, I was somewhat apprehensive about Miss Enola Holmes, the much younger sister of Mycroft and Sherlock Holmes. I needn't have worried. I found Enola to be a delightful character whose talents are indeed worthy of the Holmes name.

The Case of the Missing Marquess is the first in a series of mysteries starring Enola Homes. The story begins on Enola's fourteenth birthday, when her mother inexplicably goes missing. Concerned, Enola contacts her older brothers to help her locate their mother but upon their arrival at the Holmes family estate Enola discovers that Mycroft and Sherlock, who have not been in contact with their sister or mother for over a decade, disapprove of the way Enola was raised and intend to send her to boarding school to become a proper Victorian lady. The spirited and headstrong Enola resolves that this will not be her fate. She cleverly foils her bothers' plans and secretly heads to London, alone, to find her mother. There she learns of a recent kidnapping case headlining the papers and decides to become a perditorian, a finder of lost things, all the while outrunning her famous detective brother!

Although the Enola Holmes series is marketed to children as middle grade novels, I think any reader can enjoy these short mystery stories. Like Sherlock, Enola is quite adept in creating effective disguises, is resourceful and highly observant, and knows how to create and decipher codes. But unlike her brother, Enola understands the customs and practices of, as Sherlock and Mycroft put it, "the more feeble-minded sex", allowing her to enter spaces or interact with those which Victorian propriety would not permit of the Holmes men. The youngest Holmes is bright and eager to prove herself as a capable detective in a society where scientific investigation is no activity for a respectable young lady. Indeed, Springer's vivid and engrossing writing really brings Enola's world to life (including the restrictive rules of behavior imposed on Victorian women and the sexist laws that oppressed their autonomy) in great detail, as did the outstanding voice acting of narrator Katherine Kellgren in the audiobook recording I listened to. I look forward to reading the rest of the books in the series and highly recommend!

CHALLENGE: Read 6 books in 3 months (June, July, August)
DEADLINE: August 31, 2017
BOOK #1: Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow

As always, you can check out my previous Reading Challenges here.

Random Reads: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Wade Watts spends most of his day plugged into the virtual utopia called the OASIS, a giant immersive online environment which provides a welcomed escape for the poor yet clever and resourceful teenager living in the dystopian landscape of Oklahoma City in the year 2044. Wade has devoted years studying the life and obsessions of the OASIS's deceased creator (an eccentric recluse) in order to find clues to the location of the first of three keys hidden within the virtual universe, keys which lead to a life-changing Easter egg: a multi-billion dollar fortune and complete control of the OASIS! It's been five years since the OASIS creator passed away and the worldwide hunt for the ultimate video game prize began, but no one has retrieved the first key...until Wade's low level OASIS avatar named Parzival shocks the world by completing the seemingly impossible task! Now an instant virtual celebrity, Wade is racing against the best players in the game--and the powerful corporate entities with deep pockets and devious plans of their own--to control the fate of the OASIS!
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5


Ready Player One is page after page of nerdgasm for 1980s video game and pop culture fans. For us average folk who trekked through the endless 1980s references without a lot of background knowledge, Cline shared enough expository information to help us along but ultimately left us with a mediocre story. Indeed, my main complaint about the book was how often (and excessively) the protagonist monologued about his 1980s obsession. Wade had a cocky showoff-ness about him that didn't particularly endear me to the character, true to life though he may be to any average teenaged boy. He also had what appeared to me to be an unhealthy obsession with a girl online which scarily rivaled his all-encompassing obsession with the 1980s. Despite these criticisms, I found myself rooting for Wade even though he's a character I don't really like or relate to because while his initial motivations are clearly selfish, he ultimately chooses to fight to preserve something greater than himself.

What I found most interesting about the book was the world that Cline envisioned in which more and more of the human lifespan will be spent working and socializing in a virtual existence, in which culture and commerce integrate seamlessly with the digital world (for better and worse), and the ways in which human connection crosses the boundaries between the online word and the physical one. With increasingly advanced virtual reality technology being produced every year, it's not too difficult to imagine how close the realization of some form of an immersive online environment as conceived in Ready Player One really is. One of the main considerations I've been grappling with post-read is the "realness" of experiences "lived" in a digital space; when relationships are forged or a person expends time, resources, and mental energy creating or existing in the virtual world, how might the perceived truthfulness of an individual's representation of their real selves impact their perception of life? Ready Player One also prompted me to consider how social constructs, such as racism and sexism, might (un)intentionally be carried over into virtual spaces and contemplate the means by which an individual might find freedom in the digital realm while another might find an outlet of oppression.

Overall, I think the book provides an interesting glimpse into one version of a future society where life is lived in the digital realm because humans haven't figured out a better way to remedy or escape the destruction of the real world. Such a technology could foster unparalleled connection and access to information, but at what cost and who gets to decide what is acceptable to sacrifice? These questions certainly aren't the core of the book but they are the concepts I was most drawn to since my ignorance of 1980s games and media preclude me from otherwise nerding out along with the intended audience. I think that Ready Player One is a story that has a little something for everyone to enjoy--action, romance, teen angst, social and political commentary, and, of course, nerd fandom--but like most debut novels there is plenty of room for improvement.

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