The first time it was Chinese hackers impersonating a corporate bank. I woke up one day in 2012 to find a branded personal banking login on every page of my website. The perpetrator's goal was for unsuspecting browsers to check their financial status after accidentally tripping onto my site. It didn't make much sense. The chances of anyone finding a website about American journalism, photography, and marketing and then submitting their banking login information seemed like a long, long shot. The Chinese bank the hackers were impersonating contacted me, asking if I could share snippets of the invasive code so they could diagnose and prevent future occurrences. For anyone in China who thought they were logging into their bank account on top of a portrait of Ryan Gosling, well... I'm sorry to have unwillingly contributed to your deception.
The second time occurred three months ago, when I received an email alerting me that a strange name had accessed my Google Search Console account. I was able to revoke access, but the intruder had already hacked my site and wedged uncountable new pages throughout it. I told Chris Ross, the Director of Digital Sales at Image Comics, and he found that the hacking had been listed on a site devoted to hackers singing their triumphs. These specific hackers were from Indonesia, they had counted coup, and sure as hell wanted the world to know. Congratulations Indonesian hackers.
The previous site was hosted by a friend—who, may I add, didn't charge me a cent because he was an angel—and I don't understand hacking. So I've decided to bring my URL to Square Space, where I can outsource all of that worry to a New York-based software bastion that pays tons of podcasters to flaunt their wares. My friend had deleted all the hacker code from the old site, leaving an inaccessible HTML corpse post surgery. I'm starting from scratch, save some pictures and other hard media. All the words and blogging—including a line of Editorial Detox entries for my former writing team at Paste—are zeros and ones adrift in digital ether.
So if you're reading this and don't know me personally, A) I'm surprised you found me, and B) thank you for stopping in. Frankly, I'm an SEO clusterfuck. My professional life has mostly been spent toiling in editorial and writing, so you may know me from Paste and, less frequently, The Atlantic, Playboy, or NPR. Or you may know that I co-wrote an art book on Over the Garden Wall, an amazing cartoon miniseries and evocative masterwork, with the show's creator, Pat McHale. But, I also have an MBA and was briefly the marketing director at a payments startup. I also take a lot of pictures and was a photo editor, too. There's a lot of weird stuff here, so hopefully something resonates despite the admitted lack of focus.
I'm also Image Comics' Brand Manager, but I'm still in delightful disbelief of this reality, so it feels odd to discuss. I'll get there.
I treat this site like a time capsule and lab. You'll see all the things I've done in the past that I semi-enjoyed, and all of the things I'm working on, both professionally and personally. Right now: a novel, studio photography, and video, the latter two straddling fashion and comics. I'll also blog about marketing, writing, and photography technique.
By all means, stick around, and reach out (seanmedgar [at] gmail [dotte] com) if you want to say hello or have a question. Unless you're a hacker. Then, please: have mercy.