About Jonathon Colman

Hi! I’m Jonathon Colman. I’m not ignoring you, I’m just introverted. Despite this, I’m a Webby Award-winning UX content strategist at Facebook, the social network. Yeah, I’m surprised by that, too.

Previously, I was the principle user experience architect at REI and managed global digital marketing for The Nature Conservancy. I also served overseas in the Peace Corps (Burkina Faso, West Africa: 1999-2000) and worked in conservation nonprofits for almost a decade.

I’ve spoken at over 70 tech events on five continents and earned a master’s degree in Information Management from the University of Washington in 2013. I also studied Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and technical communication at Michigan Technological University.

All of that makes me a nerd, but don’t worry—I’m one of the good ones.

You can find me on Facebook, Google+, or Twitter @jcolman. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area with my wife, Marja Huhta and our dog, Prim (a.k.a. #bestdogever).

Photos of Jonathon Colman

Jonathon Colman at 2014 IA Summit in San Diego, California. Photo © Jennifer Jefferson (@uxjenn on Twitter).
Jonathon Colman at 2014 IA Summit in San Diego, California.
Photo © Jennifer Jefferson (@uxjenn)

Jennifer Jefferson took this photo at the 2014 IA Summit. I met her at my first IA Summit waaaaay back in the heady days of 2011—we were both n00bs then, so it was great to meet up again.

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. That’s why I use this photo in all my profiles now—it’s a way to remind myself that it’s OK to be open and vulnerable. When you let people in, good folks (like Jenn!) will be there to help you out.

Jonathon Colman at The Nature Conservancy's Worldwide Office in Arlington, Virginia. Photo © Erika Nortemann/The Nature Conservancy.
Jonathon Colman at The Nature Conservancy’s Worldwide Office in Arlington, Virginia
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.

Jonathon Colman speaking about social media at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. Photo © Forum One.
Jonathon Colman speaking about social media at the National Press Club in Washington, DC
Photo © Forum One

My friend Chris Wolz runs Forum One. He invited me to speak at an executive seminar they hosted at the National Press Club. So 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.

Jonathon Colman speaking at the Content Strategy Forum in Cape Town, South Africa. Photo © Paul Gilowey.
Jonathon Colman speaking at the Content Strategy Forum in Cape Town, South Africa
Photo © Paul Gilowey

How am I even staying upright here?! Kerry-Anne Gilowey took a big risk in asking me to speak about SEO and content strategy at the 2012 Content Strategy Forum in South Africa. 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. It got a big laugh and set everyone at ease.

Jonathon Colman at his wedding to Marja Huhta at Piha, New Zealand. Photo © Thomas Holzworth.
Jonathon Colman at his wedding to Marja Huhta at Piha, New Zealand
Photo © Thomas Holzworth

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.

Jonathon Colman and Marja Huhta at their wedding in Piha, New Zealand. Photo © Thomas Holzworth.
Jonathon Colman and Marja Huhta at their wedding in Piha, New Zealand
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.

Jonathon Colman and Marja Huhta at Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island in Australia. Photo © Jonathon Colman.
Jonathon Colman and Marja Huhta at Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island in Australia
Photo © Jonathon Colman

Marja accompanied me on a three-month fellowship I did in Australia for The Nature Conservancy. We loved Oz so much that we came back for vacation just a couple of years later to explore the Great Barrier Reef.

#bestdogever
#bestdogever

#bestdogever joined our family in December of 2011 when we found her at the Seattle Humane Society. She likes food, snorgles, and walks to the park. She dislikes squirrels, baths, and home invaders, not to mention anytime when her people aren’t giving her enough attention. Speaking of which… gotta go!

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