Keisha Laneé Brown

Communications + Content Strategist | Web Content Manager*

* See also: 1. A bookworm who periodically goes on genealogy research benders. 2. A shamefully inconsistent blogger (but I try).

About Me

About Me

User Experience (UX) and Digital Content Marketing: I bring the best of both worlds.

I'm a content strategist and communications specialist.

What does that mean? Well, I'm an expert in how users access, consume, and interact with digital content. I design and implement strategic solutions that are scalable and balance the needs of users and project stakeholders. With a Master of Science degree in Information Studies, I have advanced training in user experience design, information architecture, metadata and taxonomies as well as digital information management.

I was a marketing and communications professional for seven years before amplifying my skills with a master's degree. I've helped dozens of businesses as well as educational institutions and nonprofits improve their digital users’ engagement through metric analysis, data-driven content creation, and refined visual branding.

What I Do:
From websites and newsletters to advertising and social media, I craft messaging that tells an organization's story and increases revenue.

Keisha Laneé Brown
Communications + Content Strategist

My Work

My Skills

Through my education and nearly a decade of professional experience, I've developed subject matter expertise in copywriting and editing, graphic/web design, search engine optimization (SEO), and web content management.

  • Copywriting & Editing
  • Content Strategy
  • Information Architecture & Design
  • Web Content Management
  • Project Management



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.

Some posts may contain Amazon affiliate links.

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Summer Reading Challenge: Book #3 - The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury
My third summer book pick, The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury, is a bit of a departure from previous selections in this reading challenge. The book is actually a collection of eighteen science fiction tales which were written in the late 1940s/early 1950s. There's certainly a dated feeling in reading the stories as all the excitement and curiosity about space (as well as the mid-century cultural norms) that were prevalent of the time seem to jump off the page. Yet, in the masterfully crafted stories modern readers might also find that there is a timelessness and sense of familiarity to plots that grapple with great unknowns and ask of us, "What if?" I think this is a particular strength of science fiction as a genre which I've gradually come to appreciate as I've gotten older.
The Illustrated Man
My Rating: 4 out of 5

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Most of the stories deal with themes of mortality, the individual vs. society, family, cultural norms and historical consequences, human/machine interaction and more. Many of the stories occurred over a short time span (taking place over a few hours or a single day) and often had no explicit resolution. The narrative would end abruptly and sometimes unsatisfactory, leaving the reader to ponder a continuation beyond the page. I think I liked these best stories best because they forced me as a reader to confront difficult topics or question a belief system or cultural norm. What would I do if I knew it was the last night of the world? What would I say or think if my crew of astronauts and I were fated to float into the endless space with no hope of recovery? How long and hard would I push myself to survive on a planet I knew I don't belong, one that was physically and mentally destroying me?

My favorite stories were "The Veldt", "The Other Foot", "The Highway", "Marionette, Inc.", and "Zero Hour", but really there were very few in the entire collection that I did not like. I felt like the stories started to get repetitive near the end and there was one or two that I found boring, which is why I did not give a 5 star rating. Overall, I liked the collection of stories and the book is a quick read so I recommend it. I think that even readers who aren't typical sci-fi fans can enjoy this collection of classic short stories.

#1 - Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow
#2 - The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae
#3 - The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury

NEXT BOOK: #4 - The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz
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

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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.

#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  

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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 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.

#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  

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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.

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