I got a new job. Personally, I thought I’d keep it quiet — you know, the first issue of the magazine hasn’t been printed yet, people have paid in advance, and they haven’t seen anything for it. We are going through a really, really long period of approvals, but my job is basically done — I’ve actually been just sort of on-call for the last two weeks and I’ve moved on to assigning stories for issue 2.
But at the same time, I was also entertaining this other job offer. And it’s something I’m really excited about, but I realized I should not go public with it right away, because I didn’t want to complicate things for the magazine. I figured people who are waiting for their first issue would take my leaving as a lack of confidence, even though, like I said, my work was basically done. I resigned quietly last night, and said I’d be happy to help with the transition and keep my mouth shut for the good of the project.
This morning, before my staff even found out, Future posted my job on Craigslist. (And people noticed — in addition to Twitter, someone asked me in IM before I even knew the position was posted.) So, um, okay — I will not let the door hit me in the ass on the way out!
Here’s the truth: I found custom publishing frustrating as hell. I’d done it before, between GamePro and GamesRadar, and I knew this project would be going back to that, but since it was structured like a more traditional magazine (as opposed to the catalogs and booklets that are the staple of custom pub) I thought things would be better. I was wrong; it’s still not a good fit for me. So when something else came up, I took it seriously.
It was also a really incredible opportunity. When I went to E3 this year, I asked Activision if they needed anybody in community management, thinking maybe I could help out on Guitar Hero from the RedOctane office in nearby Fremont. That didn’t work out, but a few months later, I got a call saying that they were looking for someone to do more than that — start a fresh line of communication to gamers and be a direct line to what’s going on within Activision. You know — blogging, podcasting, video stuff, and several other things that got me really creatively stoked. Ars Technica did a story on this kind of position the same day I handed in my letter of resignation, which felt somehow very right.
I’ve done this kind of stuff on a volunteer basis on other jobs (like GamePro and OXM) because I was genuinely interested in making that connection with our readers. I really do like having discussions in forums; I volunteered to start our Facebook group; I established our Twitter feed; I love podcasting with Ryan. This new position would let me do all that stuff plus some other really cool creative opportunities. So it’s an even dreamier dream job than the dream jobs I’ve already been fortunate enough to hold.
I went through the interview gauntlet over the last few months and talked about specifics, and it felt really right. So when they made the offer, I accepted. I am thrilled. We are moving to LA in December so I can start work in January.
Ironically, as I type this, I’m finishing the last of the bottle of Patron that Paul Curthoys bought me when I left OXM.