I recently had the pleasure of interviewing a fellow ChicagoNow blogger Gordon Dymowski. Gordon is a Freelace Marketing Consultant who lives in Chicago in the West Lawn Neighborhood. The name of Gordon's blog is One Cause At A Time. http://www.chicagonow.com/one-cause-at-a-time/
Below is my interview with Gordan and his answers are in his own words.
Explain a day in your life:
As a freelancer, my days vary, but most of a “typical” day consists of networking to get clients, working on client work, writing/editing projects for a variety of sites (including I Hear of Sherlock, Comic Related, and others as well as Chicago Now. My work consists of consulting around social media/online marketing strategy.
What did you most want to be when you were growing up?:
I wanted to be Batman. Seriously. I even sewed a cowl and made a cape out of a towel.
Did you achieve that “growing up” goal?:
In a way – yes. I may not dress in a costume and fight crime, but in my work I'm part detective, part investigator, and advocate for social justice. At the very least....it's close.
Were you named after someone? If yes who and where they a big part of your life?:
No, not named after someone....although as a kid I would tell people I was named after Commissioner Gordon on Batman. No, they didn't believe it either.
Did you grow up in a big or small family?:
I was an only child; however, I have plenty of cousins and distant relatives to count as being in a “large” family.
What is a favorite family tradition/holiday/gathering?:
An unusual family tradition – for me, at least – is that every year for Christmas, my mother buys me (along with any other gifts) a package of Mirado Black Warrior pencils.
Sounds crazy, I realize, but after reading Stephen King’s The Dark Half, I became enamored of those particular pencils. They write very smoothly, handle well, and it also means that I rarely, if ever, have to worry about buying them.
What inspired you to get into non-profit and helping people understand non-profit?:
I think it was a variety of factors – being an only child and wanting to “give back”; part of it was my own entrepreneurial spirit (wanting to assemble programs with minimal resources); I think mostly it stems from a real strong sense of social justice.
Did your religious schooling have a part in your non-profit interests?:
Most definitely – less in grammar school and more in high school and college. One of the great advantages about attending Jesuit schools is that they emphasis intellectual curiosity and social justice over mere learning. I think that willingness to take on bigger causes stems from my own experience in school....and those were definitely big influences on my professional work.
Where is your favorite place to visit?:
Although I haven't been there in awhile. I like to make a trek down to St. Louis – I lived there for seven years, and it has a great mix of small town intimacy with large urban sprawl. I'm hoping to travel more in the near future, including a trek down to Metropolis, Illinois.
What is the most important item on your bucket list?:
At some point, I would love to travel to Europe – visit London (especially 221 B Baker Street – yes, I am a Holmes fan), Wales (both Doctor Who and The Prisoner filming sites), head down to Rome (big Roman history buff), cut through Sweden (some great, progressive social programs) and possibly end in Poland, tracking down my family history.
Is there one event that occurred in your lifetime that you wish you could change?:
I don't believe in the “I wish I could go back and change...” philosophy – all of my life experiences have been enriching, even the ones I regret. I am a firm believer that the ultimate lesson in life is how to live.
What advice would you give to your younger self?:
Take some time for yourself – don't be in such a rush to accomplish great things. Get some experience behind you. Take more personal chances – trust me, you're more resilient than you realize.
What is your favorite Website or Blog (other than any of your own) And why?:
Let's see....on the comics/pop culture site, I really enjoy Pop Culture Gadabout, Mike Sterling's Progressive Ruin, TV Worth Watching and Wednesday's Haul. For social media, I really enjoy Jason Falls' Social Media Explorer and Geoff Livingston's blog – they're two writers who are willing to take on “conventional wisdom”. And in terms of Chicago Now....well, I really can't choose. :)
Which is your favorite Social Media?:
I am a huge fan of Linked In – as I've used it in my professional efforts (both researching companies and developing leads), I'm finding it to be very effective. After a period where they tried to duplicate other efforts (Linked In Answers, anyone?), Linked In is starting to realize its strengths....although I think there is still work to be done (Groups tend to generate quite a bit of spam, and some of their contributors provide some really questionable content...)
What is your favorite movie?:
In no particular order: The Third Man, His Girl Friday, Monty Python's Life of Brian, Quatermass & the Pit (aka Five Million Years to Earth), A Hard Day's Night, Zero Effect, and Stuart Saves His Family.
What is your favorite book?:
Robert B. Parker's Early Autumn, with Michael Chabon's Kavalier & Klay a very close second
What writer do you identify with the most and why?:
Hmmm....I've always been a fan of hard-boiled detective fiction (Parker, Raymond Chandler, Jim Thompson), but two writers I've always admired are Lester Dent and Norvell Page. Dent was the main writer of Doc Savage, and Dent led a very active, productive life focusing as much on treasure-seeking and adventure as he did writing. Page was the main writer of the Spider, a masked avenger, and you can really feel the tension as you read some of those pulp works. Both Dent and Page challenged themselves to do better....and that's something I strive for in my own writing.
What is your favorite comic?:
Currently, I'm enjoying DC's Earth-2 (which radically reinvents some 1940's-era characters) and Dark Horse's Serenity: Leaves on the Wind. In terms of older books: Watchmen, Sandman Mystery Theater, Milk & Cheese (anarchic, rude humor) and Crossfire (the only comic to date which features a bailbondsman who wears a mask and fights crime)
Have you been into comics your whole life:?
Yes – my parents encouraged reading, and one of my first memories is walking up to a corner store, placing a quarter in a plunger, and receiving a copy of Superman featuring the Galactic Golem.
What is your most prized possession?:
Several autographed books, including Blind in One Ear signed by Patrick MacNee; Two Doctor Who Target novelizations – one hardcover signed by two actors; the other signed by the author before he passed. And Crisis on Infinite Earths autographed by George Perez (the artist)
Tell me about the Zone 4 Podcasts?:
Zone 4 is a podcast that features panel discussions around comics, movies, pop culture-related headlines, and bacon....although not necessarily in that order. We have a very...well, it's rather irreverent, and if you're a fan of artist Rob Liefeld, you might seriously want to pass on this. I am one of several rotating co-hosts, and you can find us via Comic Related, our own web site, or visit us on Facebook.
What is your ultimate goal with writing for ChicagoNow? What do you hope will come from your blog?:
In Chicago, there are many efforts to drive digital excellence throughout various neighborhoods – many efforts that may not get media coverage. Many organizations are working to help communities and nonprofits build technological and digital capacity, and I'm hoping to shed some light. In a field crowded with consultants and with a few organizations receiving high-level attention, I'm hoping to keep my focus on grassroots-level efforts, as well as bring some resources and information to those working “in the field”.
What is your favorite saying or mantra?:
"If you're going through hell, keep going” - Winston Churchill
I like the St. Louis Cardinals. Why settle for two crappy baseball teams when you can cheer on a rather good one?
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