I’m Joining Twitter

Over five years and exactly 10,000 tweets ago, when I first tiptoed into the lonely textfield that was Twitter’s “What Are You Doing?” box, I typed the following:

It was a reaction to many things, good and bad. The ease of publishing messages. The prevalence of insignificant breakfast trivia in the public feed. The lack of any filtering controls. The growing number of my friends becoming instantly addicted to it.

Since then, Twitter has gone from quirky little internet CB radio to exploding social upstart to what I now consider one of the most important information platforms in the world. At its best, Twitter is an international treasure.

As both a user and an information designer, I’ve grown to love Twitter more each year, and so it is with great excitement that I’m happy to announce I have agreed to move down to San Francisco and Join The Flock™ in the newly created position of Vice President, Design.

I couldn’t be more thrilled to help lead an already world-class team of designers working alongside all of the other great people in the company to make Twitter a positive force in as many people’s lives as possible.

I can’t speak too much about strategy yet, especially considering I don’t even start until the end of the month, but I will just say this:

I’ve always viewed Twitter as a personal information agent, and I think as we work to make it both smarter and more responsive to what people want from it, it has the potential to be the most useful connected service in the world.

I hope to be able to post more thoughts in the coming months, but it’s probably wise to wait until I’m at least on the payroll before saying something that might get me fired.

On a personal note, I will say that I’m heartbroken about leaving both NBC/Newsvine and Seattle. NBCNews (and MSNBC.com before it) has been an outstanding parent since they acquired my company five years ago, and Seattle is the only city in the United States I like more than San Francisco. This was literally the only position at the only company in the only city in the world that could have gotten me to leave.

And so with that, I look forward to improving your experience on Twitter starting October 29th. If you’re a news organization, a designer, a technologist, a sports fan, an early Twitter user, or just someone who wants to see Twitter be as good as it can be, you’ve got a friend on the inside.

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28 Responses:

  1. Dan Mall says:

    Wow, congrats Mike! After reading this, I can’t think of a better challenge for you.

    Also, posting a comment on this site makes me long for the yesteryear of debugging CSS and keeping up to date on sIFR.

    Congrats!

  2. Beth Dean says:

    Woah awesome news, can’t wait to see what you do!

  3. Roger says:

    “more responsive to what people want from it”

    The feeling that that isn’t really the objective for twitter is what’s causing many of us to drift towards other services. Best of luck, and hope you can play a part in addressing that!

  4. Ethan says:

    Damn, Mike—I’m so happy for you, and for Twitter. Can’t wait to see what kind of marvelous stuff you make happen.

    Best of luck!

  5. Kudos sir. A solid acquisition for them. Look forward to your work!

  6. Sounds like a great opportunity, congrats!

  7. Luvvie says:

    Awesomesauce! Congrats!

  8. Congrats, Mike :)

  9. Many congratulations on your new role Mike, fantastic news and I wish you every success.

    Twitter for me is like a set of Russian dolls – it reveals new people all the time and leads to fresh conversations and insights. It connects and plugs me in to people around the Globe and has revealed a whole community of like-minded comms professionals.

    I’m encouraging internal comms pros to communicate with each other via @theICcrowd and it’s great to discover more and more people daily.

    Best of luck, enjoy, and happy tweeting, Rachel @AllthingsIC

  10. Travis Godbout says:

    Wow! Shocker and huge congrats. This will be interesting.

  11. Kevin says:

    Damn! Did not see that coming.

    Congrats Mike!

  12. Scott says:

    Whoa. Congrats Mike – looking forward to seeing you around the bay.

    Does that mean Dorny is moving into your Iron Man house now?

  13. Brade says:

    Exciting news! I’ve been following your blog and twitter for years and years, so it’s nice to see someone I respect getting this opportunity. Twitter is definitely at a crossroads (seemingly alienating some of the third-party developers who aided in its success), but hopefully you and the team take it to new and better heights.

    I dumped Facebook a while ago and chose to stick with Twitter as my social media tool of choice. As long as you guys avoid the IPO lunacy that Facebook perpetrated, I’ll stick around to see what you have for us ;)

  14. Scott Phelps says:

    Sad to see you and the Mrs leave. I’m shocked you’d leave that wonderful house you spent so much time building.

    Fantastic move!

  15. Congratulations Mike! I know a lot of us have some concerns about where Twitter has been headed from a user experience perspective, but I’m definitely excited to see where you’ll be able to help direct the product experience going forward.

    And of course, welcome to San Francisco. :-)

  16. Greg says:

    Boom! Big boom! Incredibly unexpected and I am very happy for you! Two roads diverged in yellow and now, now you have renters. As a fellow landlord, I wish you a gravy boat of luck and fortune. I know you’re going to make another big impression, again, on the Internet we use every day. Congratulations my friend.

  17. Troy D says:

    Congrats! Magnolia will never be the same without you!

  18. Very big congratulations. As an early Newsvine user, I’ve been impressed with your work (and your writing) for quite some time. I’m happy to see a good guy get a great opportunity. And, less fog!

  19. Congrats, Mike! Exciting move…give me a call when you’re settled in the Bay Area.

  20. PJ says:

    Congratulations!

  21. Congratulations! I look forward to seeing the big impact I am sure you will have.

  22. Adel says:

    Congrats Mike!

  23. Joe Clark says:

    Mazel tov, of course. But: What happens to Bowman?

  24. Julian says:

    What’s with your house then?

  25. Congrats Mike! Really wishing you the best of luck :)

  26. Congratulations Mike! This is really exciting news and will be phenomenal for Twitter.

    Don’t be a stranger in the NW

    (Also glad to hear Twitter starts improving on my birthday, your hire date ;-) )

  27. Congratulations Mike. I as well look forward to seeing what you will do. Are you going to do a “House Overlooking the Bay”? :)

  28. Congrats Mike!

    Cool move. When is the house-cooling party?

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