The last day in the office

London Bus

Three years working in digital media is a long time. A little like computing your dog’s age, you’ve got to multiply time served by a factor of something like seven to account for all the policy changes and technical innovations that have sped by.

When I first walked into Net Media Planet in early 2008 I had never heard of any of the following acronyms: SEO, PPC, CTR or EPC. Bounce rate sounded like something faintly connected with cricket and I was happily ignorant of browser compatibility problems. Almost nobody apart from Rory Cellan Jones knew what Twitter was (even Stephen Fry hadn’t joined yet) and Technorati remained one of the most exciting websites about.

And then, in a very strange moment that I hope won’t be repeated I found myself online editor of something like sixty five different websites, based in thirty different countries and written in around twenty or so languages. These were template websites, set up for CTR (look it up), light on content and indifferent in style. They were maintained by a knobbly pyramid of freelancer writers and translators that were based in places like Buenos Aires, Australia and Beirut. I was just back from a few years’ of editing a magazine in Madrid and it was all weirdly wonderful. The next months and years were spent creating as much as was editorially possible from scratch.

Today’s my last day with the company. I’m now off to write and join the Journalism Department at City University as a lecturer. Aside from learning plenty over the past few years, we’ve done some fantastic websites and online campaigns, been voted the sixteenth fastest-growing technology firm in the country by the Times and I’m leaving behind an editorial team that’s as sharp as the Marquis de Sade’s pencil.

I suppose managing the editorial department of a Google company over the last years is something like the professional equivalent of Donald Campbell taking Bluebird out on Coniston. It’s been lots of fun, but it’ll be nice to slow down just a little bit.

Image credit: E01

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