Hit the north: I’m moving on from TNW

It’s almost seven years since I started working at a tiny blog called The Next Web.

Zee, the only member of staff working full-time on the site then, hired me to write a post a day after I answered an ad on now long-departed social platform FriendFeed.

The first post I wrote.

Thankfully, my tech journalism career has outlived the topic of my first post, Google Wave, and I’ve stayed with TNW since then. I went full time in December 2010 as European Editor, worked as a Managing Editor, and then became Editor-in-Chief in the summer of 2013. Last year I stepped into the role of Editor-at-Large. That has been a lot of fun but now it’s time for me to do something new, and it’s something I’m incredibly passionate about.

I was born in the North of England and have lived here my whole life. Thanks to my job with The Next Web, I’ve traveled across the USA and Europe, meeting countless tech companies, investors and community leaders. At home in the North, I see a hive of activity that hasn’t yet reached its full potential. And a big part of the reason why that potential hasn’t yet been reached is awareness, both outside the North and within it. Many people simply don’t know what is happening and what they should pay attention to.

“We need to shout about the North of England’s technology sector a lot more” is something I’ve said over and over in the past few years. Now, I’m going to help do something about it.

At the start of May, I’ll be joining Tech North to put my time where my mouth is and telling the stories that are currently going untold. I’ll be digging out the many success stories that the world needs to know about, highlighting issues that need addressing and making sure that no-one can ever say again that the North has nothing worth knowing about or they don’t know how to find out about the technology sector here.

A mission

My new role isn’t a dull content marketing thing — there’s simply too much of an important mission at Tech North for us to skim the surface and write fluffy copy that has no impact. Look out for more details soon about exactly what I’ll be doing.

One thing I’m not going to do is disengage from the rest of the tech world. I’ll still be out and about at events as a speaker or attendee, so if you know me from my TNW role I hope we’ll see each other around and keep in touch. I’m not planning on suddenly shutting up about wider issues and trends in technology on Twitter, and I’ll continue to be active on Snapchat too. If we’re friends from my time at TNW, let’s stay in touch.

I’m looking forward to using all the experience, connections, knowledge and insight I’ve gained from The Next Web in a new way, That wouldn’t have been possible if Zee hadn’t hired me and if Boris and Patrick hadn’t had faith in me. There are so many other people from TNW that I want to thank but I’ll save that for my last day there (April 29th, in case you’re wondering).

I can’t wait to join the great team that Herb is assembling at Tech North, and start working hard to make sure you pay attention to what’s happening in this dynamic, creative, beautiful and highly potent part of the world.

Here’s Tech North’s announcement.

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