Applause: Rafat Ali leaving paidContent

rafat-ali-atd.jpgAli created his media business news site eight years ago, sold parent company ContentNext to the London-based Guardian Media group two years ago, and recently moved to New York from Los Angeles. "In the end, all things do come to an end," he writes today. Nice touch:

paidContent and the company has given me a lot: it saved my life, literally (subject of a book someday); it gave me an existence, purpose and sustenance, in that order. It gave me way more chances in life than I probably deserved. I burned the candle on both ends, and then in the middle. And to think that I entered this country little over a decade ago, and in that time, got a degree, worked at two dotcoms, started one, sold it, lived in Bloomington, Ind., NYC, London, Los Angeles and back in NYC, and am now moving on to the next phase of my career. Next phase of my life.

As for my future, the honest answer is, I am in the middle of figuring it out. The good part is I have lots of choices; the bad part is that I have lots of choices. Very likely it will be another startup, in a larger media and marketing space. But in the immediate future, you will see my head pop up in places like Iceland, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Socotra Island (Google it!) and other parts of Central Asia. That’s the head-clearing trip of a lifetime, for the summer months after I finish here.

The site's staff has shrunk by half since the sale, but Ali deserves a round of applause for creating a site that became must-read. Hat tip to Romenesko and Media Memo.

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