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Chris Higgins: The Blogger Abides

Chris Higgins is Still Typing

Website: Chris Higgins

Chris's talk will focus on a series of stories -- from how he hacked a Coke machine during college and proceeded to help himself to free Diet Coke for two years of college; to the stories behind his most popular print and radio pieces. How do you spot a story, and get it onto the radio or into print?  How do you write a daily blog for four years and avoid losing your mind?  How do you combine seemingly incompatible passions (the printed page and computers) without losing the essential qualities of each?  These questions will be discussed, and some jokes will be told.

Chris has been writing professionally since he was a kid.  His first national cover story was written at age 12 and published at age 13 -- and his editor didn't know Chris's age until after the article come out, because they had met online and signed contracts through the mail.  Chris's experience in technology has informed his writing ever since, with a focus on how technology affects storytelling, and how technology affects all our daily lives.

Chris has been writing for Mental Floss Magazine for years, and is currently past the four-year mark writing daily blogs for the Mental Floss website.  His most popular post was about a Polaroid-a-day project; published in 2008, Chris broke the story of Jamie Livingston, a man who took 6,697 Polaroids.  The article was entitled "He Took a Polaroid Every Day, Until the Day He Died."  Although it was about photography, it was also a story of technology -- photographer Jamie Livingston started using a Polaroid SX-70 camera (a high-quality Polaroid that was roughly pocket-sized) for nearly twenty years.  Livingston's story has since been read by millions, and an online exhibition of his photography has become a popular destination for visitors from around the world.

Chris's recent work has extended to radio, including the story of a man whose neurological condition causes him to collapse (but remain conscious) whenever he experiences joy or happiness.  This story was featured on This American Life; a movie is in the works