I was a freelance journalist in the UK for 5 years, starting with a monthly two page technical help column for Your Sinclair magazine (a part of my work for Future Publishing also involved occasionally writing short fiction, reviews of applications and reviews of games).
While concentrating more on my degree course which I was just starting as Your Sinclair magazine closed, I produced a number of fanzines including acting as writer, graphic designer and artistic editor (managing DTP layout) for SAM Prime fanzine, and producing the highly technical, developer-oriented "Based On An Idea..." fanzine, which covered both software and hardware development; I edited, laid-out, graphic designed, acted as photographer, wrote and published the magazine (finding the local university to be the cheapest and best resource for black & white printing). Also while in my first year at University, I provided an article for the Student Newspaper, GRIP, for free to keep my hand in.
Following this (and a year's rest), I was commissioned to write a piece on how Internet Service Providers work for Online World magazine.
Soon after, I wrote the cover story for the 3rd issue of .net magazine (http://www.netmag.co.uk/), in a 4 page feature entitled "Love over the Wires" about long-distance relationships over the (then very new to the public) Internet. The article was also republished in other countries, including translations into Portuguese. Moving on, I wrote two cover stories for Internet & Comms Today magazine (which later became Internet Today); "Enforcing The Net" -- a story about vigilante hackers on the net, and "Full of Holes", a warning about the problems of censorship that the Communications Decency Act would bring. (This article was, according to one email I received, used in Congress as source material in gathering opposition to the bill; it was also used by the Labor Government's Internet Task Force to help define their policy). Another cover story was "DeathNET" -- regarding hysteria about online pro-euthanasia sites which was rife in the UK media. I even interviewed Scott Adams (of Dilbert fame) for one piece.
I worked as a regular columnist for Internet Today, providing features on a monthly basis as well as for a while writing a two page technical help column, and a two page news roundup for the Usenet-like FIDONET bulletin board message network. Near the end of the magazine's life, I wrote a series of technical book reviews, requisitioning titles to review from publishers directly.
Writing for Internet Today's sister magazine, I produced an entire 8 page section of space-related web site reviews, and worked on an 800-review booklet for the cover of the magazine (which, unfortunately was cancelled after the work had been edited for publication due to the cost of including it with the magazine). In Issue 5, I wrote The Student Survival Kit; a 6 page article on the ins and outs of the Internet for the new user, targeting University Students who (by the time the article was in print) were just starting their new term. A computer science lecturer at Queens University Australia wrote to me after publication, asking if they could use the material as a handout for all of their new students.
Three of my articles were used as course material in a series of classes on Sociology at Queens University, Belfast.
As a result of all this, I appeared on BBC Radio 4 in an interview for an Open University program on "The Mathematics of Love", for their program on the Internet and its role in dating. I was also asked to appear on local Manchester radio and BBC Radio 5's late night talk show as a result of the publicity regarding my cover story for .net (which two, highly inaccurate newspaper reports were written about; because the reports were so off-base, I turned down the subsequent radio appearances -- in retrospect this was a mistake).
My definition of the Internet is used throughout the UK as the official definition by the UK Education and Technology Council; (I had the winning entry in a competition held by them and the BBC).
I also worked as a photo-journalist on a piece for Arcane magazine about live action roleplaying, spending a weekend living in a tent in a soggy field in Derby to cover the action.
In total, in a little over five years I published over 120 different articles in national and international news-stand magazines. I left the business in 1996, turning to a fulltime career in software engineering because of the sporadic nature in which publishers pay their freelance writers; 3 months between paychecks was too long to wait.
For netFUSION Ltd., I acted as unofficial "Artistic Director" of the company, designing the corporate logo, business cards, stationery, and managing product branding and logos. I was also webmaster, building the site from scratch, and producing all of the graphics for the sites. I was also in charge of Public Relations, reporting directly to the Director of Marketing and the CEO.
For netFUSION Inc., I continued the role of graphic designer, producing company brochures, handling product branding, designing user interfaces, and creating designs for trade-show displays and stands.
I once designed a new protocol for documents to allow users to easily discover information about websites, newsgroups and topics. Known as the FAQ protocol, it would have allowed a user to -- say -- go to a site such as faq://microsoft.com and retrieve an FAQ document regarding the site. The protocol idea was championed by MSNBC, who published two articles about it. Unfortunately, the IANA weren't interested, claiming that LDAP would provide the same kind of thing. Now, 4 years later, there is still nothing to fill that particular gap for users, and LDAP is only used by network administrators.