Humbled

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 I’d say the phone really is obsolete, but it was a great conversation with an old friend.)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.