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It's About That Time

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, June 1 2011

A few years back, as a Washington DC transplant eager to make the move from a life working in politics to the writing life, I met Micah Sifry and, shortly after that, Andrew Rasiej. They took me into this exciting little organization called Personal Democracy Forum, and charged me with writing day-in and day-out about how people were using technology to shape the world around them. At every step of the way, they've encouraged me to follow my own intellectual curiosity and honesty. And for that, I am more grateful to them than I suspect they'll ever really know.

Somewhere along the way, this organization instilled in me the idea that human existence is a participatory experience. Each of us has the power and responsibility to do what we can to shape the world we find, albeit to differing degrees. For some of us, that means actively remaking the democratic experiment. For others, it's holding up a mirror to that process, something that I hope I've been able to do on my better days during the three years I've been part of this place.

The problem with getting it into your head that life really is what you make of it is that you start to believe it. And so, after what seems in retrospect to have been a good long run, I'll be leaving PdF and techPresident on June 10th, shortly after this year's Personal Democracy Forum conference in New York City.

Bigger picture, I'm not really going anywhere. Not really. You'll, of course, still find me writing. It'll still be mostly about politics and policy and technology. I'll still be tweeting. For the short term, at least, I'll be writing as a freelancer. (Editors, you know where to find me!) I'll still be but an email away.

Most importantly, it's time for me to finally put into words something that I've been feeling for three years now. It's been an honor to write for you. It's been a honor to have been read by you. It's been an honor to share with you this ongoing conversation about what politics means in this fascinating start to the 21st century. If there were an emoticon for sincerity, I'd probably be unable to resist inserting it right here. Fortunately for me, one of the truths of this networked world is that goodbyes mean something different than they used to. We all keep moving toward who we're going to be, but as we do it, we can keep connected if we want to. I want to.

So, in short, onward. And I'll see you there.