Ingram reflects on leaving Globe for GigaOM

The Globe and Mail’s first communities editor, Mathew Ingram, left the Globe in early January to join tech blogging network GigaOM.

In a post to his blog, he explains that he discovered GigaOm, started by Om Malik, in 2005 and has been a fan ever since. He calls the network “one of the world’s premier technology blog networks, one that has a well-justified reputation for thoughtful and intelligent reporting and analysis” and adds that the new job “feels like the first day of school and I get to sit with the cool kids.”

As for his leaving the Globe, where he’d worked for nearly two decades, he wrote (after noting the talented and smart team he worked with):

“I want to make it clear (in part because a bunch of people have asked) that I’m not leaving the Globe because I think newspapers are dead, or because I think the Globe is going under, or anything of the sort. I think it’s pretty obvious by now that the newspaper industry is going through a tremendous upheaval, a clash of evolutionary forces that will cause some to expire and others to thrive. I think — and hope — that the Globe is well positioned to be one of the entities that can adapt to those forces, and in fact it has already gone some distance towards doing that.

“Evolution is a messy business, however. And changing the tools that people use is not the hard part — changing the way people think and the culture they work in is the hard part (in some cases, it may even be impossible). And doing that while you are still operating a traditional legacy business, one that still provides the bulk of your revenue, makes it even harder (the old saying about “building an airplane while flying it” comes to mind). The Globe has made some progress in that department, and is making more every day, but there is still much left to do.

“Part of me is sorry that I won’t be around to help the Globe continue to make that transition. I can’t say that it hasn’t been frustrating at times, because it has, especially the seemingly endless meetings and debates over policies and procedures — not to mention the fear and uncertainty that often underlie them — that can get in the way of journalists engaging with readers in a real and human way.”

In a GigaOm post welcoming Ingram to the team, Malik wrote:

“We immediately hit it off for like me, Mathew is an old media guy who believes that the future of the news business is a digital one…I have been trying to convince Mathew to come and help us realize our dreams for some time. But his dream was to be the G&M’s online communities editor, to help that publication embrace social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook. So we waited.”