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Living Can Kill You

Smells like Seattle

Almost exactly five months ago , I started my first major foray into the world of self-employment and began working with a series of exceptional clients to develop web applications and advise about online strategy. The quality, and quantity, of work surprised me, and I savoured every moment of it.

Yet, as the savvy may have already surmised, I’m referring to this work in the past tense.

Although I still have some projects to wrap-up, by the holiday season, my time as a self-employed Web guy will have, unexpectedly (but happily), ended. In the new year, I will be moving to Seattle to take a position with a forward-thinking media company, and a pioneer in online news: MSNBC.com.

The company has been undergoing some incredible changes over the past while — including the dramatic new redesign and the purchase of Newsvine — so the opportunity to be involved in the future plans was too good to refuse. (Ironic Moment: the day the MSNBC/Newsvine deal closed I was actually in Seattle and was planning to meet-up with some of the Blue Flavor guys, and coincidentally with MikeD and the MSNBC.com crew. Alas, plans were dashed by my car and my decision not to get an iPhone.)

My role will be, in part, to work with the team to continue the evolution, carrying the new design to all parts of the site, and helping MSNBC.com learn from Newsvine’s tremendous online efforts. But a job is only as good as the people one works with, and judging by the time I spent with them in Vancouver, Seattle, and even Toronto, this is very much worth a move across the continent.

Yet, as great as Seattle will be, Toronto will always be “home,” and I’ll truy miss my little portion of it. In my remaining weeks as a Torontonian, you may see me in some my favourite haunts  but you most definitely can find me on December 1st to December 2nd at 201 Niagara St. for the “Smells Like Seattle farewell party — if you’re in Toronto that night, it’d be great to see you. And for those of you on the left coast, I hope to be (iPhone-enabled and) seeing/meeting you soon enough, too.

(P.S.: Have any Seattle tips? Let me know as there’s a good possibility I’ll be starting a new blog about my adventures there.)