: I just quit my job at Advance.net to do lots of new things — a damned career smorgasbord — all related to changing news and to citizens’ media:
: I’m going to work on content development About.com, on a consulting basis, working with Martin Nisenholtz at The New York Times Company, whom I’ve known and respected for more than 10 years now. What excites me today is the meeting of mainstream media and citizens’ media and About at The New York Times Company is just that. But this is more than an old-media property buying into new-media (as I first saw it); it’s more than smart diversification (which the news business needs). About.com can be a platform for distributed media and I’m eager to explore all the great things that will come of that. But first, I’m looking forward to working with the amazing army of About guides, who have created a great resource of content and service online. I’m doing this part-time, as a consultant, so I’ll be free to continue blogging and doing other things, including:
: I will act as editor in chief of a new news start-up founded by Upendra Shardanand (ex Firefly, Microsoft Passport, AOL, and Time Warner) and a sterling team. More than a year ago, when Upendra first described his idea to me, I lurched at it. I was so determined to work on this that I gave up plans to start my own blog company. The start-up remains in stealth mode — this is the first public mention of it — but you’ll hear more about it soon. (And we are, of course, hiring engineers.)
: I got a chance to write the new media curriculum for the new City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism, collaborating on it with Dean Stephen Shepard (former editor-in-chief of Business Week), Merrill Brown, Judy Watson of CUNY, and more faculty there. I will continue to work with CUNY as the school launches and I can’t wait until fall 2006, when the school welcomes the generation of students who will shape the future of news.
: I am hanging out my consulting shingle to take on a few good projects. The first: I’ll continue to work with Advance.net on a magazine/online assigment. I’ve joined a few advisory boards. And maybe I can even get paid for the occasional speech. I am now Buzzmachine LLC.
: I have a book I’m finally ready to start writing and I’m thinking about writing some of it here on this blog.
: And, of course, I will blog — blog more, I hope. Blogging has changed my career and opened all these doors. I’ve learned a tremendous amount (or think I have) about the future of the press thanks to the conversation I’ve had here with you all. So thank you. I will continue the conversation and continue learning and changing my old ideas about media until somebody pries my laptop off my cold, dead lap.
Because I’ll be working with the Times Company, I’ll usually refrain from blogging about their business and policies, just as I did when it came to Advance’s business at Conde Nast and its newspapers (apart from the occasional plug for hyperlocal… and I swear, I never fed Gawker any Conde elevator reports). In the interest of full disclosure, this is why I did not blog about (or answer a few interview requests regarding) The Times’ new TimesSelect premium service. So have I sold out to The Man? Of course, I have. I did that more than 30 years ago, when I went to work for my first newspaper. You should always judge what I say about big media in the context of fact that big media bought the suit I wear (and a damned nice suit it is, thank you).
Now allow me to say a few things about Advance.net and my boss, Steve Newhouse, who is a real visionary and strategic thinker in the press and new media. It’s because of Steve’s enthusiasm for community that we opened our newspaper-related services to interactivity more aggressively than any other publisher I know. I’m proud that a great staff at Advance — led by my friend and colleague from Entertainment Weekly, Peter Hauck — built the top news sites in every one of the company’s markets. I’m also glad that I got to work on the start of CondeNet’s Epicurious, Concierge, and Style with Rochelle Udell, Joan Feeney, and other creative editors. I have the highest respect for the Newhouse family and their company and I’m delighted that I’ll continue to work with them.
Thanks for indulging me my little bit of personal news. Now back to blogging….