I’m Moving to Boston–But My Brain is Staying in Seattle
It’s been a thrilling, challenging, and rewarding experience covering the technology innovation scene in the Seattle area these past 18 months, meeting all of the brilliant people (and maybe a few dodgy characters) who make this a supremely interesting part of the world.
Starting in September, I’ll be doing the job from a new location: Xconomy’s home office in Cambridge, MA.
It’s actually a complete coincidence that I’m moving to the Boston area, where our growing network of tech business coverage got its start. My wife, Tiffany Campbell, was recruited away from The Seattle Times to serve as the new digital managing editor at WBUR, an NPR affiliate in Boston— one of the best public radio stations in the country.
Clearly, I married well. I also have the good fortune to be a part of the team at Xconomy, because my bosses were enthusiastic about devising a plan to keep me on the beat covering Seattle companies and investors on a daily basis, even though my desk will be a bit farther away.
I’m not going to pretend that I won’t be missing something by not being available for a spur-of-the-moment coffee or happy hour drink with the people whose stories I tell. But I’m dedicated to staying connected with the people who inform and read our coverage here in Seattle.
Luckily, we can crib from the playbook that Xconomy Seattle editor Luke Timmerman has developed for his high-profile national coverage of the biotech sector. Luke’s actually got this down to a science: Regular trips to the cities he covers, usually around one of our events or a big industry get-together, with more interviews than you can imagine packed into the surrounding days, gathering material that he uses for weeks afterward.
As far as the day-to-day work of reporting goes, much of it will actually stay the same. My routine involves a lot of e-mail, RSS subscriptions (yes, still), SEC filings, social media posts, and phone calls with folks who help me keep tabs on the flow of information around Seattle.
That part of the work will become more important, so I hope you’ll understand if you get more e-mails or calls from me asking to chase down a rumor, talk about what’s on the horizon, or just shoot the bull about what’s happening around town. I plan to be visiting regularly to keep up my personal connection to the tech scene here as well, and Xconomy will be looking to add an on-the-ground writer over the next few months to boost our coverage even more.
Sustaining a professional, vital news media is personally very important to me, and the problems confronting this industry are very worrisome to anyone who cares about honest information. If it can survive the transition from its legacy models, journalism in America has a chance in the digital age to improve and serve the public in new and exciting ways. Xconomy is part of this grand experiment in new media business models, and I’m excited to be a part of making it work.
Washington state will always be my home. I grew up in a really small town called Cle Elum, went to college in Bellingham, and all of my family still lives here. I spent some formative years in my career covering state government and politics in OIympia, along with big businesses and daily news in Seattle. As maddening as it can be, I also root for the Seahawks and the Mariners. This place is in my bones.
But I honestly didn’t know enough about what makes it tick until I got to know the people I’ve covered for Xconomy Seattle. Thank you for helping me understand my own home better. I hope to give back more than I receive by getting smarter, cutting through the hype, and reflecting the best obtainable version of the truth.