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Travis F. Smith

AIM: Nepsmith


I am an experienced blend of technology, editorial and management skills in a personable package. I have planned and built Web operations from scratch in companies that needed fast-paced but well-planned Internet development. I have managed sites with massive editorial content, and developed community around that content. I have created web-based services that users recommended to people they had just met.


PARTNER, HOP STUDIOS (April 2004 - Present)
  Hop Studios   (Web design and Internet consulting).
Los Angeles, CA
Since 1996, I have been doing freelance Web design and Internet consulting as Hop Studios. In 2002, my wife started full time with Hop Studios, and after 18 months, I joined her. I wear the hats of Web developer, information architect and new business developer. Hop Studios develops sites with the latest appropriate technologies, including cascading style sheets and Flash MX. I also handle search engine optimization.

  EDITOR, VARIETY.COM (March 2000 - April 2004)
  Variety   (Daily paper of entertainment industry).
Los Angeles, CA
Full time. Directed the editorial development and production of the Web site of Variety, the "bible of show business." During my tenure, Variety undertook intra-day news updates, developed original content (blogs), began streaming video and won awards for its interactive special projects. Paid subscriptions increased from 1,000 to 16,000 (compared to a print subscription base of 55,000), and page views grew 170% to 3,700,000+ per month. I oversaw 11 producers, copy editors, designers, web developers and other staff, managing hirings, salaries and regular performance reviews. Created new database tools for readers and more efficient administrative interfaces for the staff that allowed double the number of articles posted without requiring new editors. Shepherded site through a complete redesign, a hardware migration, and regular necessary software updates. Co-ordinated user testing that resulted in significant design improvements.

  School of Journalism
University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Part time. Taught graduate and undergraduate classes on New Media Technology and Online Journalism, to classes of 7-16 students. Discussed new technologies, online ethics, marketing, advertising, new media growth, user trends, as well as advanced web site and web page design. Top course rating given by students: 4.86 out of 5.

  VP, CLIENT RELATIONS (June 1999 - March 2000)
  Pressflex, LLC   (ASP for publishers).
Budapest, Hungary; Paris, France; and Pasadena, CA
Full time. Pressflex, an ASP, provides web publishing tools to clients in North America and Europe. Supervised and coordinated feature development, user interface design, internationalization efforts, customer support, documentation, internal and external training, and quality assurance testing. Developed marketing and intranet sites for Pressflex. Work performed in English and French.

  DEPUTY EDITORIAL DIRECTOR (Aug 1994 - Sept 1998)
  LATimes.Com   (Times Web site),
Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, CA
Full time. Supervised a staff of 12 editors for the Los Angeles Times and Calendar Live! (a local entertainment database). Project manager for major rollouts such as a newsroom workflow system (Teamsite). Coordinated redesign -- met schedule and budget goals for relaunch, which required modification of 50,000 pages and dozens of CGI applications. Negotiated partnerships with national and local information providers. Coordinated staff training. Created all site page templates using HTML and JavaScript. Planned and developed Web site features including major traffic drivers such as Business section and Times Pick, e-commerce Archives and groundbreaking personalized Custom News Service, the first web-based personal news service by a major newspaper.

  PARIS BUREAU CHIEF (Feb 1998 - June 1999)
  Online Journalism Review
Annenberg Center for Communication, Los Angeles, CA
Part time. From Paris, covered the French online media industry. Developed network of contacts and freelancers. Produced, edited and coded stories.

  CURATOR (Dec 1996 - Present)
  Daily Trojan Alumni Link
Pro bono. Founded and maintain a database-driven web site for 2,000+ alumni of the Daily Trojan. Design, write all HTML, text, graphics and coding. Created and moderate an alumni mailing list. Organize reunion events. Raise funds for the current organization.


November 2003
  Panel: "Careers in News"
JOUR 201, History of News in Modern America
USC School of Journalism, Los Angeles, CA

  August 2003
  Presentation: "Tips from Hollywood"
Demonstrate successes and misses by entertainment industry Web sites attempting to use new technologies effectively.
Western Knight Center for Specialized Journalism,
Los Angeles, CA

  March 2003
  Speech: "Variety.com - How to Mix the Ad Sales & Subscription Sales Models"
Case study of Variety's discoveries about how to sell content online while still driving traffic.
ContentBiz's 3rd Annual Summit, New York, NY

  November 2002
  Featured Speaker: "Digital Revenue Shock Tour"
Presented Variety.com's business model to a national group of online newspaper executives as part of a three-day seminar
American Press Institute, San Francisco, CA

  October 2002
  Panel Organizer / Moderator: "Beyond the Web"
Arranged for speakers to discuss new technologies that newspapers may want to investigate.
Online News Association annual conference, New York, NY

  April 2002
  Presentation: "Breaking News in the Internet Age"
Led a special discussion of how to handle breaking news with the reporters and editors of Variety and Daily Variety.
Variety, Los Angeles, CA

  March 2002
  Trainer: Web technology
Developed curriculum and taught editors in the European bureau on how to integrate Web site tasks into their print operation.
Variety (Reed Business), London, U.K.

  October 2001
  Panelist: "Paid Content: Will the Public Buy It?"
Online News Association annual conference,
San Francisco, CA.

  September 2001
  Presenter: "Web newsroom design; Wireless technologies"
Conference: Highway Africa 2001: The Digital Renaissance, Rhodes
University School of Journalism, Grahamstown, South Africa.

  August 2001
  Lecturer: Web Publishing Foundations
Discussion of web usability standards, editorial best practices,
revenue models, ethical and legal issues.
Los Angeles, CA.

  April 2001
  Moderator: Panel on Revenue Models in Online Publishing
New Media Conference presented by the UC Berkeley.

  March 2001
  Speaker: Panel on Entertainment News Sites
Panel presented by the Entertainment Publicists Professional Society, Beverly Hills, CA


  • American Society of Business Publication Editors
  • Online News Association
  • Pho
  • Society of Professional Journalists


Sept 1990 - Aug 1994
  Bachelor of Arts, University of Southern California,
Los Angeles, California
Major: Print Journalism Minor: Law and Society

  Semester Abroad: Studied at La Sorbonne and La Cité Univèrsitaire, Paris, France.
  Strathcona Tweedsmuir School, Okotoks, Alberta, Canada
Advanced High School Diploma with Honours (Sr. Matriculation)


Computer skills:
  • Programming: JavaScript, Perl (CGI), shell script (ksh), PHP, HTML, XHTML, MSSQL, MySQL, ASP, RSS, XML
  • Web tools: Dreamweaver, HomeSite, Cold Fusion, BBEdit, Textpad, Apache, IIS, search engine optimization techniques, Movable Type
  • Multimedia: Macromedia Director, Fireworks and Flash, Adobe Premiere, iMovie, Acrobat and Distiller, Sound Edit Pro
  • Mac: OS 9 and OS X, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, QuarkXpress, Adobe Photoshop, Freehand, Illustrator, FileMaker Pro, Safari, Camino
  • PC: Windows95/98/NT/2000/XP, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Eudora, Outlook, Visio, MSProject, Mozilla, Firefox
  • Unix/Linux: vi, emacs, pine, pico, ssh
  • Newspaper systems: Coyote, ATEX, ACT/APT, wire service feeds
  • Fluent in English and French (bilingual education)
  • Functional in German, also studied Latin, Spanish, Hungarian
  • Forklift and front-end loader experience
  • Working knowledge of acetylene cutter
  • Black and white photography
  • St. John Ambulance Association, Standard First Aid Certificate
  • Alberta Heart Foundation, CPR Basic Rescuer Certificate
  • PADI Open Water SCUBA Diver Certificate


  • "Premium Site," 2003 and 2004, MIN's Best of the Web Awards
  • "Uses of Interactivity," 2004, MIN's Best of the Web Awards.
  • Honorable mention, "Design" and "Email Newsletters," 2004, MIN's.
  • Finalist, "Best Overall Newspaper Site with less than 1,000,000 monthly visitors," 2003, EPpy Awards
  • Gold award for "Best Overall Web Publication," 2003, American Society of Business Publication Editors.
  • Silver award for "Best Original Web Database," 2003, ASBPE.
  • "Creative Excellence Award," 2002, International Web Page Awards.
  • "Top of The Times," Los Angeles Times Special Recognition.
    - May 1997 for the redesign of the Los Angeles Times Web site
    - Feb 1998 for the Web package of the Getty Museum opening
  • Gold Standard, The Duke of Edinburgh's Award, presented by HRH The Prince Edward, 1991.
  • Chief Scout's Award, Scouts Canada. Highest award in Scouting.
  • National Merit Scholarship, American national academic merit competition award, 1990-1994
  • William Randolph Hearst Scholarship, Univ. of So. Cal., Dept. of Journalism for academic honors, 1990-1994

  References available on request.

Thanks for reading this far. <nep-at-hopstudios-dot-com>

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