My new gig at the Guardian in London

At the end of April I will be joining the Guardian in London to build a new developer program there.

This is a fantastic opportunity in many ways. Perhaps what’s most appealing to me is the direction the Guardian is going — they are totally focused on building a great online business, and it all starts with great journalism. As Jeff Jarvis reported from a management meeting there about a year ago,

“Alan Rusbridger, editor-in-chief of the Guardian, told the staff of his newspaper that now ‘all journalists work for the digital platform’ and that they should regard ‘its demands as preeminent.’…They issued a set of principles to work by. And this was surrounded by much deserved — in my biased opinion — back-patting for good journalism and innovation and, from managing director Tim Brooks and company head Carolyn McCall, for business progress.”

In addition, being owned by a trust committed to preserving the core values of journalism provides a very powerful foundation for using the Internet to offer important services for developers around the world. From the Guardian Media Group web site:

“The Trust was created in 1936 to safeguard the journalistic freedom and liberal values of the Guardian. Its core purpose is to preserve the financial and editorial independence of the Guardian in perpetuity, while its subsidiary aims are to champion its principles and to promote freedom of the press in the UK and abroad.”

With it’s history of championing data freedom, the Guardian is a great environment for opening up data that matters to people. The Guardian’s Simon Waldman points out:

“Charles Arthur and his gang have been banging their ‘Free our data’ drum for two years now. This week, under the slightly optimistic headline: In sight of victory, they cover a report which proves their case that their is more value to be created by opening up publicly owned data than by giving government agencies control over it.”

This is also a great opportunity for me, personally. I lived in London a few years ago now when I was with The Industry Standard and loved it. I met my wife and got married there and always planned to return someday. (I’m curious to see how fast my daughter’s accent changes…my wife has been trying in vain to get her to speak the ‘correct’ way. “Water is pronounced wottah, not waddr.”) And I’m looking forward to living in the same city as my brother Mitch again. Many pints to enjoy together, brother.

It’s also difficult to leave Yahoo! with all the exciting developments happening there. I came to Yahoo! in 2005 during the Flickr era when lots of people were innovating on different approaches to openness. Now, it seems, the drive toward openness is having a major impact on the company and the Internet as a whole. I’m glad I was able to at least participate in getting things moving in that direction.

At the same time, I’m really excited to be working with some outstanding people at the Guardian, some I already know, many I’ve recently met and many who I’ve only heard about still. I can’t wait to find out what other ideas are cooking in addition to our plans to open up data and services for developers.

Meantime, anyone interested in buying a nice little house in San Francisco’s Potrero Hill, please drop me a line. Oh, and let me know if you have any interest in looking after our dog (terrier/beagle mix) while he’s in the pet immigration waiting period (about 6 months).

I’ll continue to use this blog to comment on what’s going on in the online media market as I see it. I may also twitter the inane details of our move across the pond for our friends and family. So, stay tuned as this new adventure unfolds.

34 thoughts on “My new gig at the Guardian in London”

  1. Congratulatiions Matt, I always thought that the Guardian’s new digs in Kings X will be LDN’s answer to SOMA. May your relocation run smoothly

  2. best of luck with your new gig, Matt–if you have any interest in renting out your house, please let me know(and I would consider watching your dog…)

  3. Congratulations Matt! I’ll miss working with you, but you’ll rock in your new role. The Guardian is lucky to have you. Have fun in Londontown.

  4. Dude. You will truly be missed. Of course, I’m assuming this will result in a cover story for Laaker.com within a month. And, monthly “where are they now” followups. Also, got some ideas for changes to the G’s funny pages. (Hint: it involves a tart, tubby striped tabby.)

  5. I told Sue that I tried to talk you out of it to keep you closer to home but secretly I’m very excited for you 😉

  6. Matt, I’m so glad I had the opportunity to work with you. Too bad it was for a short time. Best of luck with everything across the pond. Hope our paths cross again down the road.

  7. Hi Matt!

    Delighted you’re joining the Good Ship Graun. Let me know when you move over and I’d be happy to show you round, not that you’ll be short of offers!

    All the best,

    Jemima

  8. Congrats Matt,

    Setting up a developer network in a media company, orientated around content more than services, is a really interesting and exciting challenge. Setting up backstage.bbc.co.uk was probably the highlight of my career to date.

    Moving to the US was perhaps one of the biggest challenges of my life.

    Sounds like we’ll both have plenty of notes to compare!

    Guardian have some fine people working for them, I think you’re going to have a great time.

  9. We’ll miss you Jess, Millie and Olie. I guess this means more family gatherings by video conference. Can’t wait to see what this adventure has in store for you.

  10. Hey Matt – A belated congrats! I can’t help but feel you’ve made a positive step towards the way English should be really spoken… that is the Aussie version known as “Strayan.” 🙂

Comments are closed.