Is this alt concepts the same one that created a bunch of websites a number of years ago?
Officially no, but sort of yes-ish. In 2002, Joe founded a California corporation called alt concepts, inc., which went on to publish Interesting Thing of the Day, SenseList, the Geeky Gourmet, and a few other sites. In 2007, as Joe and Morgen were preparing to move to Paris, that corporation was dissolved. After moving back to California, Joe and Morgen together formed a new corporation called alt concepts inc. in 2013. Although the name is the same and the same people are involved, the new-and-improved alt concepts inc. focuses more on writing and less on internet publishing. (And, for those reading carefully, we’ve streamlined the company name, too—no more comma!)
Why the name alt concepts?
The company name was suggested by our domain name, alt.cc—not the other way around. We were looking for a domain name that was short, easy to pronounce, and easy to spell—and “alt.cc” fit the bill nicely. (In case you were wondering, “.cc” comes from the Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Like several other small nations with little use for their own top-level domains, the Cocos Islands sold rights to the domain as a way of boosting their economy.)
The other thing we found attractive about “alt” was that it evoked the alt.* hierarchy of Usenet newsgroups—that is, a catch-all for miscellaneous topics that didn’t fit into well-defined categories such as comp.* (computers), rec.* (recreation), or sci.* (science). Strictly speaking, “alt” isn’t short for anything, and since it is never capitalized in its newsgroup sense, we don’t capitalize it either. (For the record, “concepts” and “inc.” are lowercase too just because we thought they looked better that way next to the lowercase “alt.” Our Shift keys are fully functional, thanks!)
Who runs this outfit?
Wordsmiths-in-Chief Joe Kissell and Morgen Jahnke serve as head honchos. Joe holds a B.A. in Philosophy and an M.A. in Linguistics, and worked for ten years in the software industry before moving into writing as a full-time profession. He is a highly regarded author: besides having written numerous print and electronic books, Joe is a contributing editor of TidBITS and a senior contributor to Macworld. Morgen has many years of experience working in the nonprofit world as a grant writer and event planner, and holds a B.F.A. in Creative Writing. They lived in Paris for five and a half years, and now live in San Diego with their two children and their cat.
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