Hello! I'm Mel.
I'm a deep and fierce advocate for the open web, sharing what I learn publicly, and building communities on and off-line. I came to WMF from a term appointment at 18F, where I led product teams, including one that reinvisioned how we onboarded people to projects, teams, or organizations. Before that, I spent a decade working in public media, working as a strategist, editor, and humor writer for NPR, Fresh Air, and Wait Wait Don't Tell Me.
Recent projects include an onboarding bot, a news website for senior citizens, a design exercise with the Cards Against Humanity team to rethink a news homepage, and a tool that helped increase social sharing at NPR by upwards of 30 percent. I spent part of last year at Harvard on a Visiting Nieman Fellowship, where I examined ways to think about ways people could help non-profit news brands beyond monetary donations.
Outside of work, I enjoy volunteering, hiking, doing crossword puzzles, and finding new dog parks for my dog Sadie. I'm originally from Philadelphia but now live with my family in Carrboro, NC, which is right next to Chapel Hill and Durham.
I help the Wikimedia Foundation learn more about existing and potential audiences, and then I help figure out strategies to help more people access and use our stuff. That means I'll spend most of my time collaborating with people across the movement to conduct research, test our hypotheses, and then measure the results to see what works and what doesn't. I'll also be working closely with our Product and Technology teams to help them share their stories. And I might help with ways to share and remix existing Wikipedia content, or some experimental projects to attract new audiences.
Please let me know if any of this interests you. I work better when I collaborate, and enjoy sharing everything I learn along the way. (I may use this page to do some of that...)