Sharon Machlis

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I've been an online content pioneer since before the World Wide Web, setting up a news BBS as early as 1987 -- and I've been learning, experimenting, and sharing my knowledge ever since.

Work History

Director, Editorial Data & Analytics, Foundry (an IDG company). Report on and analyze data for 10 US Web sites, advising management on effectiveness of various content strategies. Develop interactive tools to make analytics more accessible to writers, editors, and executives using R, Python, and generative AI. Also code tools making it easier for editors to prepare complex data for interactive viewing on the Web, saving hours of editor time. Fanatic about automating drudge work, freeing up staff time for more high-value work -- and boosting team morale. Work with colleagues who need help analyzing and visualizing data. Write how-to and news articles on subjects such as generative AI and R. Previously hosted the Do More With R video screencast series.

Author of "Practical R for Mass Communication," part of the CRC Press R Series, published December 2018.

Winner of the 2023 Jesse H. Neal journalism award for best instructional content, Digital Analytics Association's 2021 Top (Data) Practitioner. 2014 Azbee national gold award for investigative reporting, and 2017 Azbee gold for how-to article, among others.

Use the R statistical programming language for investigative journalism projects as well as analyzing Web data. Have taught data skills at workshops hosted by Investigative Reporters & Editors, Boston University, ProPublica, and the American Society of Business Press Editors (ASBPE).


Executive Editor, Online & Data Analytics at Computerworld. Led innovation and editorial productivity efforts, including data projects, editorial tools, and analytics.

Supported colleagues on data journalism projects, helping with data cleaning, analysis, and presentation as well as writing and editing. Wrote and edited general news and features, such as how-to pieces on learning R.

Developed analytics strategies for the editorial department, worked with design and development teams on major site projects, developed interactive databases and maps for the site, and coded staff tools that improved communication and boost efficiencies. Developed story planner with customized views and e-mail alerts used by more than 90 writers and editors on three continents.

Co-winner of the 2014 ASBPE National Gold Award for Impact/Investigative Online Excellence (see story) and the 2014 and 2017 ASBPE national golds for best how-to article (see 2017 winner).

Helped lead Computerworld's transition from a print-centric to Web-focused editorial team, providing skills training and implementing key cultural and process changes. I've been a full-time online editor since 1999.

Joined Computerworld as a senior writer covering computer security and federal technology issues. Promoted to senior editor and online news editor before becoming online managing editor in 2000. During that time, won almost every major editorial online award in business-to-business journalism, including ASBPE best Web site, MIN best of the Web, and the Jesse H. Neal Award for best Web site.

Senior Editor/News, Design News. Edited news section for 175,000-circulation twice-monthly engineering magazine. Wrote news and feature articles about technologies of interest to design engineers. Served on corporate committee that developed the division's first serious entry on the Web.

Won Jesse H. Neal Certificate of Merit for best feature article, "Engineering, Soviet Style," as well as a Cahners Publishing Company Gold Medal of Excellence for best technical article, "How to Measure Computer Performance."

High-Technology Columnist, The Middlesex News (now the MetroWest Daily News). Covered computer, biotechnology, and other high-tech news for 45,000-circulation daily newspaper in the Boston suburbs, bringing technology news to a general newspaper audience. Developed and operated a computer bulletin-board service where anyone with a PC and modem could leave message and read highlights from the paper. Also served as one of three newsroom network managers, assisting colleagues with technical problems and training reporters to use new technology.

Business Editor, The Middlesex News. One of 22 business journalists from around the nation chosen for a Davenport Fellowship four-week intensive program at the University of Missouri-Columbia in accounting, banking, economics, financial analysis, and writing. Joined the newspaper as a local reporter and later served as business/consumer writer.


B.A. in political science with communications concentration from the State University of New York at Binghamton (now Binghamton University). Completed the usual four-year program in three years. Graduated with honors and elected to Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honor society.

Graduate-level computer programming course at Framingham State College.

Several continuing education online programming courses via the University of Illinois in Perl, PHP, and MySQL.

Additional Technical Skills

Strong in R data wrangling, analysis, visualization, and Web apps. Basic SQL, shell scripting. Learning generative AI, Python. Previous: PHP, MySQL, Ruby, Perl.

Interests and Hobbies

Amateur radio -- Hold an extra-class license (call sign KC1YR). Have operated on the air from ex-Yugoslavia (Slovenia and Bosnia-Herzegovina) and Iceland as well as the U.S. and Canada. Published several feature articles in QST, the magazine of the U.S. national amateur radio organization, as well as CQ-ZRS (Slovenia's national ham-radio magazine) and Bosnia's Radio T9.

Honored by the Radio Association of Bosnia & Herzegovina for "extraordinary contribution to transmitting of humanitarian messages" during the 1992-95 war; profiled in the Sarajevo daily newspaper Oslobodjenje for that work.

Photography (see my photos accepted to the 2011 Greater Lynn International exhibition).

Learning American Sign Language.