going pro

I've always liked the idea that the key revolution in popular music in recent years wasn't the shift from guitar bands to electronic music, nor the growing influence in the mainstream of rap and hip-hop, but the shift in attitude that accompanied both of those trends: indie rock, right down to the name, was characterised by an aversion to popular success, while the stereotypical popstar of the late noughts flaunts their wealth on MTV.

It's the difference, in other words, between the concept of "selling out" and "blowing up". There's something to be said, I think, in defence of both of those views. Authenticity is a hollow concept, but the need for there to be something more than pure commerce underpinning creative endeavour is important. And while major success is doled out more or less at random, that doesn't mean it's healthy to build a culture which actively objects to it. People doing well is good, and a world where more people do well is better.

(As I write this, and trace back my sources, I'm realising that my introduction to that distinction came to me from veteran blogger Jason Kottke… who was relaying an insight from Buzzfeed and HuffPo co-founder Jonah Peretti. I will admit that takes the shine off it as an organising principle of life.)

That's a long preamble to the good news that The World Is Yours* is blowing up. Specifically: I'm going to be writing the Guardian's flagship tech news letter, TechScape, every week starting in mid-July. You can, and should, sign up here.

I hope to bring some of the same energy that I've brought to this newsletter over to the Guardian. It's going to be authored essays, not a simple link round-up, and I'm not constrained by what the Guardian itself does or doesn't cover. I hope, in fact, that it will actually bring me a bit more freedom in how I cover tech than I've currently had: for obvious reasons, I'm constrained over here in how I can tackle topics that I've also covered in my day-job, and it will be good to write with those limits removed.

It also means I'll be able to write the newsletter in the working day, which is very good news given I have a three-month-old daughter in the house. The World Is Yours* remains on paternity leave, with an abstract goal to revive it as a monthly-or-so newsletter that covers the topics that fall through the gaps in TechScape; in practice, that will likely mean more writing about culture, politics and parenthood, and less-to-none about technology narrowly construed.

Obviously I think you should subscribe to both newsletters, but if you're here for tech insight and roll your eyes when there's an issue about gaming, then I won't take it personally if you whack the unsubscribe button here on your way over.

That said, I will take it personally if you don't sign up for TechScape. Please. I have KPIs now. My daughter needs shoes.

It's also worth noting that TechScape won't be my full-time preoccupation at the Guardian. I'll continue to be a reporter-editor, covering technology news, and my hope is that the two sides of my job feed into each other: a vibrant newsletter community will give me a more direct line to readers than I normally have on the Guardian's site, which will lead to better tips and leads, helping bring in bigger scoops, and grow subscribers to the newsletter.

But I can't do that without your help, so please do subscribe to TechScape, tell your friends to subscribe to TechScape, sign up for new email addresses with which to no actually just the first two probably.

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