Farewell, Seattle: A Changing of the Xconomy Guard, and a New Beginning

For my last official post as Editor of Xconomy Seattle, let me tell you a quick story.

It was a warm, cloudy day in June 2008. Two guys walked into an old office on First Hill, but only one guy walked out. That was me. I took the stairs. The other guy was the Qwest cable guy. He took the elevator, and got stuck between the basement and the first floor for 40 minutes before we could extricate him with the help of a repairman.

Our phones and Internet service at Xconomy Seattle didn’t get turned on that day—or the next, as I recall. It was kind of a drag, given that we are an online media startup. So Luke and I improvised a lot, working from home (or wherever we could pick up Wi-Fi) in those early days.

We’ve come a long way in two years. OK, maybe not in terms of our office, which could still be described charitably as “startup space.” But in terms of our editorial content, our events, our readership, our sponsorships, and especially our relationships with people in the innovation community, we have created something we think is pretty special. That’s why today’s news from Xconomy warrants a personal note from me to our readers.

This morning, Xconomy announced our expansion to San Francisco—the fifth city in our growing network of innovation clusters around the country. As part of this expansion, Xconomy’s ace technology reporter in Boston, Wade Roush, is moving to San Francisco to be our Editor there. And my big news is, I am moving back East next month to become Editor of Xconomy Boston. It’s a great opportunity for me. But—and this is important—I plan to keep a strong hand in our Seattle and West Coast coverage by taking on an additional role as National IT Editor of Xconomy. That means I will continue to write stories about technology startups, financing strategies, and big-company research and innovation in Seattle and elsewhere—all from a national perspective.

I will also be an advisor to our latest addition to the Xconomy Seattle team—Thea Chard, our new Assistant Editor, who is my successor on the tech side here. We’ll have much more to say about Thea (pronounced TAY-uh) once she gets started next week. Meanwhile, my comrade-in-arms Luke, who first moved to Seattle in 2000 as a reporter at The Seattle Times, has been promoted to Editor of Xconomy Seattle. He will oversee our Northwest coverage, in addition to his considerable responsibilities as National Biotechnology Editor (which include leading our life sciences coverage in the San Francisco Bay Area).

Those who know me understand that I rarely like being the center of attention. So I don’t want today’s news to be about me—and it isn’t. It’s about the team. I can only begin to tell you how excited we are at Xconomy to be making this nationwide push to redefine technology and innovation journalism. My move back to Boston is part of this push. And, of course, I have roots in Boston, having lived there for 15+ years before coming to Seattle two years ago. So I do have some personal and family reasons for the move.

But it’s also really hard to pick up and leave town just when I’m getting to know lots of amazing people in the Seattle community, and starting to make some real friends. Let’s face it: this sort of thing takes time. There is something called the Seattle Freeze; this town isn’t always the most welcoming place for a newcomer, let alone a new beat reporter for a new publication. But I’ve learned … Next Page »

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Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and Editor of Xconomy Boston. E-mail him at gthuang [at] xconomy.com. Follow @gthuang

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