If you’re thinking of announcing your exit from a job you’ve been publicly associated with for years, I offer these tips: Clear out your inboxes, stretch out your typing fingers and charge your phone. I have been humbled and gratified to see the response to yesterday’s post–Twitter replies and messages; comments here and on Facebook; e-mails from readers, colleagues and competitors; texts from friends; blog posts responding to my own. (And yet the first call didn’t come until hours later. I’d say the phone really is obsolete, but it was a great conversation with an old friend.)

It hasn’t been all that long since journalism was a largely feedback-free profession: You wrote your story, and only an exceptionally interested or angry reader would put a letter in the mail or call your desk line. Then came e-mail, followed by Web chats, story comments, blog comments, Facebook updates and Twitter replies. Each of those developments has shortened and accelerated the feedback loop.

That’s not always good–the knucklehead comments on many political stories at the Post’s site testify to that–but the risk should be acceptable. Yesterday reminded me why. Thanks.


8 thoughts on “Humbled

  1. Hey Rob,

    I am attempting to create a list of bloggers across the world. This is for readers and bloggers to have a ready reference of bloggers and their links. Please help out by adding in your details and refering it to your blogger network. Thanks.

  2. Your announcement and today’s response to all the responses you got are examples of your character —- and why you are the one tech person I have followed since the beginning. I am surprised that the Post got to hold on to you for such a long time……a journalist who has your writing skills and a specialty in “all this stuff” is a hot commodity! Good luck and PLEASE keep all of us posted on your blog…..I was an early email subscriber to you even before blogs existed and will remain a loyal reader…..

  3. Rob — Just want to say thanks. I’ve enjoyed reading you and appreciate the help you gave me a few years ago when I was looking for a way to protect my home computer from viruses. Was nice to have a expert to turn to who was generous about helping a colleague with an irritating issue that had nothing to do with work. Best wishes on your next thing!

  4. Sorry to see you leave the Washington Post but I am looking forward to see what you do next. Can you make your blog igoogle accessible? That is how I followed your Washington Post writting.

  5. Rob:
    Their loss. You and Krebs bought a depth and dimension to WaPo’s tech coverage. Now, you’re both gone. Brian’s not done too badly for himself….and you’ll be fine as well.

    Reminds me of a 1997 Fast Company article, “Free Agent Nation” ( It argued that you should have no more loyalty to a company than it has to you…that, after every paycheck, both sides were square. As a free agent, you will have incredible freedom to make your own decisions. Yes, it’ll be scary as hell at times. But there is a sense of liberation that will exhilarate you.

    Take no prisoners.


  6. Just wanted to belatedly add my voice to the chorus – I saw on today’s chat that this will be your final one with the Post. Your writing has been incredibly helpful and valuable in giving me an understanding of complicated, constantly evolving issues. In fact, I’ve been reading your writing ever since you started working for the Post, so my limited understanding of technology is likely mostly due to your efforts. I wish you the best in your future endeavors, and I hope I’ll be able to follow them.

  7. Pingback: Anniversary | Rob Pegoraro

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