Mark Frauenfelder Joins Cool Tools

Cool Tools began as a mail list that I started in 2000, and formalized into a website in 2003. Every weekday for the past 10 years we have posted a rave review of a useful tool. But the site has always been a secondary moonlighting job for everyone involved. While we have faithfully published daily reviews, there are dozens of other cool things we have not done. There’s no Cool Tools podcast, no Meetups about cool tools, no longer in-depth articles, no “best of” page. But there should be.

One of Cool Tools’ long-time fans is Mark Frauenfelder, a frequent contributor here of tool reviews. As a reader Mark was unsatisfied with the missing parts of Cool Tools. Now he will be joining me to renew this site and elevate its potential. We’ll be working as partners, trying new things, and optimizing what already works. Included in this upgrade will be a “Best-of” book in paper.

Mark has been editor-in-chief of MAKE magazine, and he is the founder of bOING bOING magazine, co-founder of popular Boing Boing blog, and formerly an editor at Wired, where we worked together. He will take on the title of editor-in-chief. Even though I make my living reporting on the newest of the new, Mark is constantly showing me stuff I knew nothing about. Mark was the first to tell me about this cool thing called eBay, and he was also the first to point me to blogs when there were only a dozen or so, and the first to alert me to podcasts at their birth. As readers of Boing Boing and MAKE realize, Mark has an uncanny ability to find new cool things and to detect big things while they are still small. His curiosity is immense, unwavering, and child-like. He is confident enough about the important things that he is not afraid of whimsy. He likes to keep things fun, and is serious about play. He is committed to making his own, trying stuff, and keeping everything honest and transparent. And sharing all that he learns. (Mark has his own take on this announcement on Boing Boing.)

I think we’ll make a good team for the next 10 years of Cool Tools.

I’d like to thank Oliver Hulland who has been expertly editing the Cool Tools website for the past 3 years. His love for the finest crafted and most utilitarian objects can be seen in the high quality of the reviews and tools on this site in recent years. Oliver was an avid reader of Cool Tools who stepped up to editorship out of passion for the site. He is a spelunker, EMT, and is now headed to med school. Oliver will continue editing the Best of Cool Tools book, now in progress.

As always, what should we feature that we haven’t already?

-- KK