A Personal Milestone

I am now an editor at Techmeme.

Some online friends connected with me on social networks like Twitter and Facebook already know this, but I was waiting for an official announcement before I wrote about it here. You can also read TechCrunch’s coverage here.Techmeme Logo

If you’re not in the tech field, you’ve probably not heard of Techmeme. It is a news aggregation site that works for technology news where Google News fails. It is a combination of automated aggregation and human editing.

Techmeme is highly regarded in the tech world, and my boss Gabe Rivera was listed as one of the Top 25 Influential People on the Web by Business Week last year.

The Journey

I took a break from the cubicle farms of the IT industry last year. After spending some time with my baby daughter & family, I switched gears to working online. As most of my blogger friends know, I started writing for MakeUseOf.com as a contributor, and am now a staff writer. I still needed additional work to completely replace my full-time day job routine and have finally reached that goal with this opportunity.

The Change

In some ways, the change from the IT world to the online Media world is like my shift from Mumbai to Pune. A suburban local train getting delayed in Mumbai because of an accident meant being late for office rather than concern for the possible loss of human life. A team member getting sick meant the project getting delayed rather than concern about my team member. A world where I was a slave to schedules dictated by others, constraints imposed by others, filled with competition like in a rat-race. A world saturated with ambition, stress, pressures, politics, performance-based incentives, frustrations, commuting long-distance in traffic, and sometimes, disillusionment.

Pune is serene, laid-back, and relaxed. In my real and online life, I can focus on value, enjoy my freedom, use my judgment. I choose my own topics. I can express myself the way I like. I can use my editorial judgment to decide what to publish or exclude. Clean air makes you think clearly, and the comfort of working from home relaxes you.

The Job

Because Techmeme is so highly regarded, it is always under the scanner and keenly watched; at times, even criticized.

Being a human editor is thus a great responsibility, and one that I hope to carry well. My diverse experience in IT helps to fathom the spectrum of news that Techmeme deals with every day. I have always been reading and following online tech news since the early days of the Internet even before Google came into existence. Over the years, my appetite for information and ability to consume it refined to the extent that I was already researching and curating information for my CxO bosses in my IT job. Now, this hobby of mine is my work.

Can it get any better than this?

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  • It is indeed a pleasure to see someone who’s made all the right moves, and that too for all the right reasons, succeed. It gives a lot of encouragement to others on similar paths and reinforces their belief in themselves. Once again, congrats and all the best!

  • An official congratulations 🙂

  • Fast Dots

    Congratulations Mahendra! This is most excellent!!

  • @HyperActiveX, @asuph, @Fast Dots: Thank you!

  • Hearty congratulations.. being happy with what you are doing is the surest ladder to more achievements.. all the best

  • Dev

    “Now, this hobby of mine is my work.

    Can it get any better than this?”

    Of course not. They say that happiest people are those who turn their hobbies into their profession.
    Congratulations and good luck for the future too!!

  • Wow Mahendra this is fantastic! Congratulations. You are now able to put your IT knowledge to good use and also use your love of writing for this job. Plus you can work from home. I always believed that the combination of writing skill and IT knowledge can be a very dynamic combination. Being attached to an organisation is what gives the stamp of authority and from here on you need not look back. Best of luck!

  • @Gauri: I don’t know about more achievements, but thank you! 🙂

    @Dev: So far, I am enjoying exactly that kind of happiness! Thank you.

    @Nita: Insightful observation about writing & IT. Geeks often seem to excel at computer languages more than human languages! 🙂 Thanks for your encouragement and wishes.

  • Oh this is awesome no doubt but hey it can get so much better. If you continue on this trajectory, some day they’ll invite you to TED. Then, I think, you can call it ‘done’. 🙂 All the best!

    • Heh…funny. I would consider myself lucky if I get a chance to attend TED. 🙂

      Thanks for the wishes!

  • I read the very day you wrote it and also wrote a comment which got lost mid way. 🙁

    I find it an act of courage to give up security of ‘cubicle farming’ to make it on your own. I admire that, and it is awe-inspiring. Personally, I feel I lack the self-discipline to make it successfully on my own as a freelancer. I feel safe in cube. 🙁 Maybe some day I will have courage to take this leaf out of your book. (Since I still hope that against all odds, I have to consider myself as an eternal optimist. )

    Congratulations again! 🙂

    • Thank you, Poonam!

      This shift is not suited for all, and carries its own pros and cons. So it isn’t a leaf everyone should tear out of anyone’s book. 🙂

      What is important is that you make your dreams come true, and I think you’re self-disciplined, courageous, and optimistic enough for that.

      • Oh, but I think I might want to freelance and be financially independent at the same time when I start my family. I can’t take constant grind on dual fronts. And for that I must gear up. There is still some time though.

        And me, flattered, to know you think highly (so many adjectives :D) of me. 8)

        • Just a word of caution, Poonam: starting a family & freelancing at the same time sounds a herculean task. 🙂

  • Dottie