It’s no secret that the publishing industry isn’t exactly booming these days. News outfits have died off left and right, and with a few exceptions, most have slashed their staffs, as even the promising worlds of the web and mobile devices haven’t proven to be panaceas.
Now I find myself, Mr. Swellesley (a.k.a. Bob Brown), among the latest casualties of a publishing company layoff. Earlier this month I was relieved of my job, after nearly 30 years at IDG’s tech business news publication Network World, as part of a broad workforce reduction. So while I worked hard with my wife on The Swellesley Report as a side gig, I had a real job, too.
Having studied journalism at college, initially with the aim of becoming a sportswriter, I never envisioned that I’d wind up covering technology and business at the same place for three decades. Though I’m indescribably grateful for having had such a swell opportunity to work with so many talented people, write for an appreciative audience of smart readers and got to interview so many movers and shakers throughout the technology industry, from DEC founder Ken Olsen to web browser creator Marc Andreessen.
So, for the first time since about the 7th or 8th grade, after fixing pin-setting machines at a candlepin bowling alley, writing for Boston University’s alumni publications, reporting and doing odd jobs at the Boston Herald and covering the world of technology for Network World, I find myself unemployed.
Now it’s on to the next thing, whatever that might be. Should I dive right back into where I came from, or try something entirely new? I haven’t yet decided.
I’ve decided to start by taking a page from Sree Sreenivasan, a social media expert I met while he was a journalism professor at Columbia. Sreenivasan grabbed headlines last summer after he was let go by NYC’s Metropolitan Museum of Art as its chief digital officer and then leveraged his social media following to solicit guidance on what he should do next in his career and life. Sreenivasan invited his followers to fill out a form with suggestions for what he should do next and encouraged people to join him for a walk-and-talk anytime that summer. He wound up getting hired as NYC’s chief digital officer.
I’m not looking to move to NYC myself, as I love it here. But if you’d like to offer me career/life, etc., advice, here’s a brief form to fill out. And if you’d like to get together to chat, I’m up for logging some miles running or walking on the Brook Path or elsewhere in town in the weeks ahead. You know where to find me: [email protected]