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

    Con­grats!!