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About Dave Seah

Live from New Hampshire, just 40 miles north of Boston.

My Educational Background

My educational history is a mix of technology and art.

Most recently: Rochester Institute of Technology, where I got my Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree in Computer Graphics Design in 1995. I also have two degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Rochester and Worcester Polytechnic Institute respectively, a Master of Science (MS) in 1992 and a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in 1990. I specialized primarily in computer software, digital systems, and graphical user interface design.

A lot of what I know, however, is from my Apple II hacking experience from 1981 through 1986, learning to understand machine language and BASIC. I learned to tell stories through programming primitive graphics with words, and have always had a deep love of the low-level details of microprocessors, computer architecture, and operating systems.

Some Things I've Done

I was an Apple II Graphics Forum Consultant on America Online from 1989 to 1994, and a PC Graphics Forum Consultant from 1994 to 1999, back when the Internet was mostly based on modems. My duties were library management and online chat hosting, in addition to providing general graphics help to anyone who wandered into our forums.

My main goal, however, was to break into the brand-new computer game industry, where my deep love of both code and graphics could be fulfilled. From 1986 onward, I worked as an artist on a number of shareware projects, then in 1992 started as a freelance GUI designer for Interplay's Star Reach computer game. I worked at a startup game company, Qualia Inc., on Crixa (unpublished) for Blizzard Entertainment as project lead. Market conditions led to the cancellation of the project and our team was invited to join Blizzard, but I moved on to Electronic Arts Florida (then called Tiburon) instead to work as Art Manager for the Playstation game NCAA Football 99. After shipping, I realized that the video game industry was not where I wanted to be, and I needed to get back to my roots...whatever they were.

In 1999, I moved back to Boston and started working as an interactive designer/developer, working part time as a Digital Media Designer for Interactive Factory and as a Principal Creative Technical Director for Active Edge New Media. I developed an interest in project management and client relations, and handled some key projects as both my own project manager and developer for clients like the Boston Museum of Science to develop several of interactive kiosks. It was then that I realized that I liked working directly with clients to understand the nature of their challenges.

In 2004, I started working as a freelance Interactive Developer, specializing in education-oriented Actionscript programming and web seminars. I created bullet-proof interactive products; one Intel Education product manager called Showing Evidence, "the most stable piece of code" he had ever deployed. It's been running bug-free since 2006 (as far as I know). Many of these collaborations were done with the learning sciences company Inquirium; in 2009 we delivered an state-of-the-art educational 3D experience called Take a Stand for the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center. Using modern video game console technologies from Microsoft, this is one of the most interesting and personally meaningful projects I've worked on. Ironically, it also taught me that I wanted to work on a smaller scale with people, interacting one-on-one.

What I'm Doing Now

Not bad, though I'm looking for projects to pay the bills :-) Here's the scoop.

In July 2005, my then-new blog was accepted into the 9rules Network, a blog network that emphasized excellent writing through the phrase "content is king". This was the first time I found myself recognized for writing about my eclectic interests since elementary school, and this was a revelation: writing and storytelling had been the entire point of getting into the computer game and interactive industry in the first place! I love storytelling and anything that helps tell a story well. And even more: I love making connections between people's dreams, ideas, and tools.

I started publishing free productivity planning forms under The Printable CEO and The Compact Calendar, and these have steadily grown to a set of several dozen forms that are used all over the world. This work has been cited by organizations such as The Wall Street Journal Online and Newsweek Online. The work has led to a recognition of my interest in information graphics, which has lead to contracts from organizations like the United Nations Development Programme (worked on an internal budgeting process) and frequent attention from popular "life productivity" websites like LifeHacker.

I continue to write about my personal experiences in understanding the nature of productivity and procrastination, and now DavidSeah.Com is recognized as one of the top blogs in the productivity space. In 2009 alone, over 800,000 unique visitors read 1.8 million pages from my site's 1000+ pages of content. Since 2004, there have been over 5.7 million page views logged. And as of January 1 2010, there are over 12,500 readers subscribed to my blog through RSS. While I'm not the biggest site within the Productivity arena, I'm comfortably visible to a significant audience of my peers and that's the way I like it.

I also focus on local groups to help foster a positive shared creative atmosphere. I actively seek out and bring people with "similar or complementary interests" together as part of the ad-hoc group The Collective 03060. My media-making skills are put to use to create materials for our Creative Podcast and promotion of local co-working spaces like The Nashua Jelly @ Studio 99 and the Archimedes Space @ Float Left Labs. I maintain a "transparent agency" called Agenceum that shares my methods for creating low-cost starting-out products; this design services website is a direct outgrowth of that earlier work.

And, of course, I am freelancing full time and developing products, such as the Emergent Task Planner Pads I sell on Amazon.com.

Your Turn

I'm always interested in hearing about other people's projects and dreams. Contact me now :-)