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TheNextStep: I’m leaving @TechCrunch and (re)joining @TheNextWeb

The gist

Or the tl;dr version if you will.

After roughly 41 months (okay, 3.5 years) of proudly working for TechCrunch, I’m extremely pleased to announce that I am joining the team from The Next Web as European Editor.

The Next Web blogged about the move, and TechCrunch (kinda) waves goodbye.

Update: thanks Alexia, and Paul Carr (PandoDaily).

Tnw

The story in probably far too many words

I started working for TechCrunch as a staff writer back in October 2008, when Web 2.0 was still called Web 2.0, almost on a whim. If the stats on WordPress are correct, I’ve written about 3,725 posts.

I absolutely loved my blogging time at TechCrunch, and learned more than I could have dreamed before I joined. It’s definitely challenging work, but also tremendously fun and interesting. Great job, rewarding experience, etcetera.

Even though I’m leaving, I’m very happy that there’s no bad blood between me and anyone who used to work for, or still works for TechCrunch (at least to my knowledge) and I hope this will continue to be the case in the future. I’ll leave the feuds and drama to others.

I’m going to really miss the entire team and will continue to root for TechCrunch. I was a fan long before I started writing for the site – heck, my wife even gave birth to our baby boy in a TechCrunch t-shirt last year!

On a personal level, I simply felt it was time for something different, especially after the AOL acquisition ultimately turned out to be not the kind of marriage I wanted to be a part of. I mean, they want to install a fucking nap room over at HQ. Facepalm. AOL can try to make me care about them all they want. I don’t, and I won’t.

There are a couple of other minor reasons that contributed to my decision to leave my senior writer role at TechCrunch and join The Next Web, but please make no mistake: I really enjoyed working with the entire team there, the blog is anything but dead in the water, and I consider it to be a privilege to compete with them – and especially my mate Mike Butcher – for a change.

Mike

TechCrunch has recently lost some key people, and hired some great new people – not all that different from what other publications tend to go through at one point or another, although I must admit that it’s tough for any business to see both the founder and the CEO depart, even post-acquisition. I ain’t gonna lie; it certainly did have a certain effect on the overall ‘vibe’ at TechCrunch.

Anyway, I want to give big props and thanks to Michael Arrington (again), Erick Schonfeld and everyone else at TechCrunch for putting up with me all those years, and teaching me a lot – directly and indirectly. It will help me on the rest of the journey.

And my apologies to the many friends I recently saw at the DLD Conference in Munich, because I was then still unable to talk about the move I was about to make. I’m sure I’ll get to catch up with you at some event in some part of the world soon enough.

Before I started writing for TechCrunch, coincidentally, I learned some of the ropes as an occasional contributor to The Next Web, so you can call this a return to my blogging roots. The opportunity to rejoin them has been available before, but when they made an offer two weeks ago it was the first time I felt comfortable enough to actually enter discussions with recently appointed CEO mr. Zee M Kane. It didn’t take long for me to feel making the jump to TNW was without a doubt the right move to make at this point.

Working with @Boris and @Patrick again will also certainly be a pleasure. Mainly because they’re basically insane.

Borispatrick

Over the years, I’ve watched The Next Web improve tremendously as a professional tech blog and events company (currently #5 on the Techmeme Leaderboard, trumping respectable blogs and news sites such as Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, CNET, GigaOM, Ars Technica, paidContent, Bits, Engadget, ReadWriteWeb, Venturebeat and the New York Times) but with lots of room for growth still left. I’m genuinely excited about being able to help them realize their ambitions and hope you’ll check them out if you aren’t already one of the blog’s many subscribers and fans. The Next Web are an ambitious bunch of guys and gals with huge plans, as you’ll soon find out.

Not everyone agrees that the tech blogging space is evolving into something better, but I do, and I want to my best in getting better on a personal level.

As The Next Web’s new European Editor I will obviously be focusing a lot of my time shining a light on Euro startups (good or bad), obsessively covering the general tech industry from a European point of view, sharing my u
nsalted opinion on things from time to time, and building out a team that can help me and the rest of the crew further improve The Next Web’s coverage of the scene, raise its profile and build the brand.

Heck, why not start now: follow TNW on Twitter and Tumblr.

I’m very bullish about the European startup ecosystem, and I’m bullish about The Next Web becoming the absolute site-of-record for reporting what goes on there – and what doesn’t but probably should. As much as I love and admire Silicon Valley, I honestly think there are more than enough reporters and publications competing for stories over there right now, while promising European startups and outright successes have been generally underreported, at least in my opinion.

Onwards and upwards. My first day at The Next Web is next Thursday, and I really hope to see you there. You can reach me via robin@thenextweb.com or the usual channels.

Also, see you at The Next Web Conference in April, right?

(Photos of the TNW Conference courtesy of Flickr user juliadeboer.com)