Over five years and exactly 10,000 tweets ago, when I first tiptoed into the lonely textfield that was Twitter’s “What Are You Doing?” box, I typed the following:
Current thoughts: This could get extremely noisy.
— Mike Davidson (@mikeindustries) December 17, 2006
It was a reaction to many things, good and bad. The ease of publishing messages. The prevalence of insignificant breakfast trivia in the public feed. The lack of any filtering controls. The growing number of my friends becoming instantly addicted to it.
Since then, Twitter has gone from quirky little internet CB radio to exploding social upstart to what I now consider one of the most important information platforms in the world. At its best, Twitter is an international treasure.
As both a user and an information designer, I’ve grown to love Twitter more each year, and so it is with great excitement that I’m happy to announce I have agreed to move down to San Francisco and Join The Flock™ in the newly created position of Vice President, Design.
The concept was simple: license the same content that anchored the majority of most major news sites — specifically the Associated Press newswire — and marry it with original contributions from citizens around the world, all in an editorless environment controlled entirely by the community. Mainstream journalism and citizen journalism would stand shoulder to shoulder on the same stage for the very first time.
It was only the second startup I had been a part of, but the first I had founded and the first I had run as CEO. Together with my four colleagues, Lance Anderson, Mark Budos, Calvin Tang, and Josh Yockey (in alphabetical order) we set off to change journalism and show how lean a news organization could be run if given the right automation, the right strategy, and the right amount of support and passion from the community.
After two quick and productive meetings with Mike Slade and Nick Hanauer of Second Avenue Partners, we closed our Series A, left our jobs, and jumped off the cliff together.
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