this is not a goodbye

Originally published April 16 at Newsvine.

Today's my last day working at Newsvine.

It's a strange thing to type - when I told the team I was leaving, it felt like an out-of-body experience. Working here has been the formative experience of my adult life, and I wouldn't change much about it.

I thanked my coworkers for how they've helped me grow as a person. I thank you, the Newsviners reading this. Collectively, you've taught me things I'd never have learned in any other job or school or community.

Look up

When you work a weird job - and "internet authority" is a very weird job, and it was especially odd when I started almost seven years ago - you begin to develop one-liners to explain what you do to different audiences.

  • For people who grew up with typewriters: I handle the modern-day "Letters To The Editor" at NBC News.
  • For millenials: I try to build better online conversations. It's not easy. *rueful, knowing chuckle*
  • For someone I'm trying to get to know: I read hate mail and conspiracy theories for a living.
  • For someone I'm not trying to get to know: I read hundreds of emails a day. What do you do?

All of that stuff was true. I've worn a lot of hats here, and I could spend several paragraphs detailing what I've learned, but I'm comfortable boiling it down to this one tenet:

We all have a lot to share.

Newsvine attracts people who are interested in the future of the arena, the third placethe athenaeum - in using technology to have long, involved conversations and debates with strangers from different places and varied ideologies. It's a pretty reckless decision, when you really think about it, typing into boxes, sending messages to an audience we don't know or only kind of know. We keep coming back because connecting with new people and sharing parts of us - ideas, likes, dislikes, experiences, reactions, knowledge - is exhilarating. It nourishes us.

A more philosophical interpretation: it's why we're here. [Not "here" on Newsvine. Here, period. We're here on this earth to connect.]

One of the running jokes in the office is when a disgruntled Viner writes an "I'm leaving" article - we turn to each other and say something to the effect of, "how long do you think this'll last?" It's a compelling place. So this isn't a goodbye. I'm following my partner to a new city for graduate school, but Newsvine's coming with me, and not just in the form of the experience. It'll be in my favorites bar.

I'm really looking forward to my second chapter as a Newsviner who's not a staffer. I'm taking a few weeks off from the news beginning tomorrow, and comments are off on this article until then, but I'll be back.

We always come back.