About Joe Kissell

I’m a best-selling author and technologist, known primarily in recent years for writing about Macs, iOS devices, and other high-tech topics. Regardless of the subject matter or the medium, I enjoy taking complicated topics, researching them thoroughly, and explaining them in simple terms nearly anyone can understand. (You can see a list of pretty much everything I’ve written, plus reviews, interviews, and audio & video podcasts, on my publications page.) In May 2017 I also became the owner and publisher of Take Control Books, which has meant spending much more time doing editing and business-y things, and much less time actually writing.

Among the other hats I wear are dad, husband, editor, computer geek, cook, punster, amateur scientist, storyteller, martial artist, and dreamer. I like to think of myself as a generalist rather than a specialist. I lived in Paris from 2007 to 2012, but now reside in San Diego with my wife, Morgen Jahnke, our sons, Soren and Devin, and our cat, Zora. My 27-year-old son, Ben, lives in Idaho.

My Work

As both a publisher and a writer, I focus on books and articles that help ordinary people make sense of technology (with the occasional foray into unusual topics such as cooking Thanksgiving dinner). I’m also a contributing editor to TidBITS, though my schedule these days is such that actual contributions are quite rare. I’ve written a great many articles for Macworld, though none recently. I frequently speak at technology-focused conferences, at user group events, and on live video broadcasts.

I was also the instigator of several websites that are now, for all practical purposes, defunct: Interesting Thing of the Day, Joe On Tech, SenseList, The Geeky Gourmet, and Truffles for Breakfast.

My Blog

On my blog (“I Am Joe’s Blog”), I theoretically write about anything of interest to me that doesn’t fit better in other places (such as books or tech articles), but most years I’m doing pretty well if I manage to get one annual post in. There’s just no time for more nowadays.

The blog’s name is a pun on I Am Joe’s Body, a book based on a series of articles in Reader’s Digest that described “Joe’s” (and “Jane’s”) anatomy from the viewpoint of anthropomorphic body parts (I am Joe’s heart, etc.). Shortly after my first book was published, Tonya Engst reviewed it in TidBITS and titled her review I Am Joe’s Book.

My Background

I was born in McKeesport, a small city in western Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh, and at various times have lived in California, New York, Texas, Vancouver (British Columbia), and Paris. I have a B.A. in Philosophy and an M.A. in Linguistics, though during grad school my career took a surprising turn into the field of computers. I previously worked as software development manager at Kensington Technology Group and product manager at Nisus Software.

My Interests

It would be fair to say I’m interested in just about everything, but the non-work activities to which I devote the most time include: talking and laughing with Morgen, playing with my sons, watching movies and (good) TV, studying t’ai chi, walking, drinking appalling amounts of really good coffee, cooking, traveling, and reading.

I prefer Macs to PCs. I usually write in purple ink. When I grow up, I want to be a mad scientist. (I’m already halfway there, although which half is open to interpretation.)

My Networks

As an outspoken introvert with a perpetually full plate, I spend very little time on social networking sites, so in general they’re not the best places to keep up with me. But, for what it’s worth, I do have a Twitter account that I pay casual attention to, and a Facebook page that I almost entirely ignore. If you want to communicate with me, email is the best way.

Affiliate disclosure: Joe Kissell is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.