Influencer Profile: Matt Buys

November 9th, 2011 by Search Influence University

Search Influence IMA and Content Team member Matt Buys started out in journalism after graduating from Michigan State in 2003. Newspapers were kind enough to fund his restlessness for several years. He worked as a reporter/editor/page designer for the Orlando Sentinel and Rocky Mountain News before switching exclusively to freelance writing in 2008. Over the past few years he’s lived in Chicago and San Juan, Puerto Rico. He still loves to travel and discover new places, but thinks New Orleans might be a long-term home for him.

Let’s get this out of the way: if you were a punctuation mark, what punctuation mark would you be?

A parenthesis comes to mind. I am known to interrupt with conversation-halting, absurd parenthetical comments. What can I say, it’s a gift.

You’re a member of SI’s Content Team, copy-editing, re-punctuating and polishing a huge array of different written pieces to go out for our clients. Be honest: do you go homicidal at the sight of a dangling modifier or poorly-placed comma, or have you become totally inured to bad grammar?

I try to fight my snob tendencies when it comes to grammar. If you ask most chefs, they will tell you their favorite food is something greasy and messy, rather than a perfectly plated dish. Sometimes a butchered sentence is the funniest thing I read all day, so I should just learn to love it. But I still have to delete it.

Like fellow Content Team member Colette, you have a journalism background. How did you get interested in the written word? Do you incorporate any of those skills into your work at SI?

My family is always discussing books, so my interest was probably inherited. Studying journalism seemed like a good outlet for that passion. I think the skills I picked up at newspapers are helping me cope with the pace of work at SI.

In addition to being new to SI you’re new to New Orleans in general — what brought you down here? How has it been so far?

I thought about moving to New Orleans for years, but I always ended up somewhere else. Good food and music is really all I need, so I have been more than happy here so far.

Besides writing and editing, what else do you find yourself doing here?

Playing the guitar, listening to music and finding new places to eat are taking up most of my free time right now. Other than that, I’m just trying to meet new friends and have fun.