I’m Jonathon Colman: a content strategist at Facebook, keynote speaker, Webby Award winner, and Returned Peace Corps Volunteer. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area with my wife, Marja Huhta, and our dog, Prim (a.k.a. #bestdogever).
For nearly 20 years, I’ve helped people and organizations build, find, and use the best stuff on the Web.
As a member of the Content Strategy team at Facebook, I work with product designers, UX researchers, engineers, and product managers to make Facebook better, easier to use, and more delightful for over 1 billion people around the world, including people like you.
I’ve spoken at international conferences about content strategy, user experience, information architecture, and Internet marketing. I’ve presented at over 50 events including Confab, the IA Summit, MozCon, ad:Tech, eTail, and many more.
Over the course of my career, I’ve:
- Led a team to win two Webby Awards for The Nature Conservancy
- Pioneered nonprofit social media marketing, raising over $500,000 online
- Popularized the discipline of agile marketing while at REI
- Educated over 250,000 people about content strategy via my public speaking
In 2013, I earned a master’s degree from the University of Washington’s Information Management program. Previously, I graduated from Michigan Technological University with a degree in Scientific and Technical Communication and earned certification in Human-Computer Interfaces (HCI) from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
I’m also a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV). I served in Burkina Faso, West Africa from 1999-2000, living in a small, rural village and working on public health infrastructure and education.
Photos of Jonathon Colman
Jenn took this photo on what ended up being a very bad day for me; I think you can see some of that sadness in my eyes here, even though I’m smiling. I use this photo in all my profiles across the Web now. It’s a way to remind myself that it’s OK to be open and vulnerable. It’s OK to be sad, too. When you let people in, good folks (like Jenn!) will be there to help you out.
Photo © Erika Nortemann/The Nature Conservancy
Erika Nortemann took this photo for a feature that the Chronicle of Philanthropy was doing about online fundraising. They contacted us at 4pm on a Friday afternoon asking for a high-res photo. I tried so hard to look like I knew something about the Internet, about fundraising, about anything. Not sure I succeeded, but I still like this photo all the same.
Photo © Forum One
My friend Chris Wolz runs Forum One, a company I deeply respect. He invited me to speak at an executive seminar they hosted at the National Press Club. I gave this talk two days before leaving for a three-month fellowship in Australia and then relocating to Seattle… and was even able to sneak in a Battlestar Galactica reference on stage.
Photo © Paul Gilowey
How am I even staying upright here?! Kerry-Anne Gilowey took a big risk in asking me to speak at the 2012 Content Strategy Forum in South Africa. At the time, I was still (much) more of an SEO than a content strategist; I’d only been practicing the discipline for a couple of months. But the talk went great and helped link the two communities together—it’s one of my most-viewed presentations.
Also: if you’ve never been this honest and transparent on stage about something you don’t know, then I suggest you try it sometime. It got a big laugh and helped set everyone at ease.
Here, I’m listening to Marja read her wedding vows to me. We hand-wrote them while traveling in New Zealand and I had no idea what she was going to say. But about 10 seconds after this photo was taken, she said something that made me burst into tears. I love my wife.
Photo © Thomas Holzworth
Here Marja and I are creating a sort of human yin-yang (阴阳). Even when we’re apart, we’re still together because we’ve taken from each other’s souls and left something new behind. And yes — that’s a koru earring I’m wearing.
Photo © Jonathon Colman
Marja accompanied me on a three-month fellowship I did in Australia for The Nature Conservancy. We loved it so much that we came back for vacation just a couple of years later!
#bestdogever joined our family in December of 2011 when we found her at the Seattle Humane Society. She likes food, snorgles, sunbaths, and walks to the park. She dislikes cats, squirrels, soap and water, home invaders, and anytime when her humans aren’t giving her enough attention. Speaking of which… BRB!