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new york - mark mc clusky

McClusky, that was the name that kept bouncing around the office. Everyone who knew him had a different story, though everyone's story left a lot to the imagination. From what I could gather, there were two sides to this McClusky. One was a hard party guy, known to disappear into the New York night for days at a time. The other was a loyal friend, always there to lend an ear and to pick up the tab on a hot meal. Amphibious, ambidextrous they said; a writer with old school passions, and new edge sensibilities. Dissolve him into electrons, they said, and he'd still make his deadlines. That was the kind of guy we needed. I'm glad he's on board.

- mark petrakis

Growing up in a small town in rural Western Pennsylvania, I suffered the fate of an aspiring writer landlocked in middle America: I wanted out. I wanted to be where the action was, where being smart and funny was a gift, and not a reason for terrorism in the locker room.

When I would visit my relatives in Ohio, I drove home on Interstate 80. Right before the exit to my hometown, a sign noted that New York City was just a few hundred miles down that same road. I never drove past that sign without feeling an intense longing to keep driving.

After four years in as pleasant a collegiate limbo as one could imagine, a funny thing happened. I got a job at Sports Illustrated, packed up my car and pointed it east on I-80, finally rolling past that sign. Crossing the George Washington Bridge oddly didn't intimidate me; instead, I felt like I had finally come home.

After a couple of years as a reporter at SI, I moved into the new media division there, where I am currently the Associate Editor for SI Online. Having been hooked on computers since my first Apple II+, it was a natural fit for me. My writing has appeared on SI Online, as well as Stim, Salon, and in Sports Illustrated, Muckraker and other regional publications.

The Net is inseparable from my life, not only professionally but personally. I fell into virtual communities on the Rheingoldian WELL, and I'll never be the same. Some of my dearest friends first entered my life only as ASCII, and I hope this conference will capture the sense of community I've found online, combining it with the feel of my favorite city in the world.

Also in New York: Jessica Safran

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