I created and published Sheepless
, a national web magazine designed to galvanize the radical small business movement.
Between 2009 and 2011, I directed nearly 200 articles and editorials, five short-form documentaries, and dozens of photographs and illustrations. I managed 15 collaborators and ten guest contributors; grew the audience to 25k visitors and 700+ followers/fans during the inaugural year. The site earned Silver awards in Writing and in Documentary/Public Service Video from the 2010 W3 Awards.
or Sheepless films on Vimeo
"Compelling narratives about real businesses — just what the local economy movement needs. Thanks, Sheepless."
- Stacy Mitchell, senior researcher at New Rules Project, author Big-Box Swindle
“I've seen Scott moderate a panel of Brooklyn entrepreneurs talking to a packed house -- some aspiring business owners, some just interested in the amazing projects happening in their community. I've seen him talk to a room full of independent booksellers, who found themselves revitalized and inspired as it dawned on them that small business owners all over the country share their passion for local, independent businesses and their impact on communities. Clearly, there's a hunger for the kinds of stories that Sheepless is telling.
“For us, it's been incredibly inspiring to meet the other entrepreneurs we've come to know through Scott, and to read about countless others on the Sheepless.org website. Many new entrepreneurs like us are serious about these ideas of shopping local, sourcing sustainably, creating community, and fostering creativity. It took Sheepless to show us the faces of the movement outside our own neighborhood, and show us we're part of something big.”
- Jessica Stockton Bagnulo, Co-owner at Greenlight Bookstore
Video produced by Scott Ballum. Shot and edited by Brian Hedden and Bryan Sykora. Music by the tUnE-yArDs.
The Consume®econnection Project
The Consume®econnection Project was a year-long effort to meet the laborers and craftspeople who made anything and everything I bought - before I bought it.
Why? My work frequently pushed others for deliberate, considered, personal, buying habits. On the event of my 30th birthday, I launched into an experiment devised to put my money where my mouth was: become aware of my own dependence on blind consumption, and gain an understanding of the people and processes involved in making commodities available to me.
My intention was not necessarily to change what I purchased, but to change my level of awareness and participation in the acts. I was interested in knowing where a large, mass-produced object came from as I was in meeting local entrepreneurs and artists. It was about understanding the labor and encountering the people that made my life, my consumer life anyway, possible. Read more about the project. See the blog.
Video: Speaking about the project at the Interesting:NY Conference Sep 21, 2008
Jan 13, 2009: Interview on NPR's All Things Considered
By Rebecca Sheir. Read the transcript on NPR.org
At a time when independent retailers are forced to compete with global corporations, and information is disseminated instantaneously and internationally, it is increasingly easy to be influenced by a good sales pitch or the latest trends.
CONSUME®EVOLUTION looks at the effects mass-marketing and globalization have on local industry, our buying habits, and our culture – highlighting the importance of our awareness and the immediacy of making personal critical choices.
View Issue 1 (May 2005) as PDF
Created by Scott Ballum with Jeffrey Metzner.
Commissioned by the innovative strategy agency Yoxi, SIR.tv
is a platform to exhibit a daily portfolio of social entrepreneurs and leaders in sustainability. As project lead, I was responsible for the design and development of the entire site, including a rigorous custom backend database; curating the selection of the nearly 100 social innovators featured from pre-launch in May until August 2012; managing the workflow of the development team, photographers, illustrators, freelance writers, research team, in-house producers, marketing efforts, and outreach; as well as top-level cross-agency relationship building with partner organizations.
“Scott is a gifted designer and writer who also has an editor's eye to create a highly strategic and compelling brand voice for any project he works on. I saw Scott develop and launch the SIR.tv website, coordinating multiple writers, designers, and development staff while also identifying the talent that was interviewed and photographed for the site. Working within a limited budget, Scott created the voice and feel for the site in conjunction with management and brought the SIR.tv brand to life to feature compelling entrepreneurs via a sexy and hip platform. Scott was also great to work with - a gracious collaborator, always prepared, and willing to listen.”
- John C. Havens, Founder and Principal at Transitional Media and colleague at Yoxi