Justin Kistner, a fixture in the Portland startup, design, and social media scene (who also happened to create the “Conversation” theme that skins the Silicon Florist site), has shared with me that he will be going to work for Silicon Valley communications firm Voce Communications, starting in April.
Kistner is perhaps best known for his weekly gathering of influential Portland bloggers, Beer and Blog, and his own blog on the social media scene, Metafluence.
He will be joining Voce (in spite of Steve Rubel’s recent post) as a Social Media Strategist, focusing on:
Identifying the people, places, and conversations that are advantageous for a business to engage with and recommend an approach. Then provide engagement maintenance to keep our market position moving in the right direction.
I hear you. “I thought Silicon Florist was supposed to be about Portland news?” So, why am I writing about somebody bailing on the Portland startup community for the Valley?
Well, because he’s not bailing.
Turns out Kistner will be working from Portland—and likely still for Portland companies. And I think that makes this announcement especially interesting to the Portland startup and tech community.
Why? I have three specific reasons.
First, with this hire, Portland’s social media and Web scene gets a hint of some well-deserved “street cred.”
“They want me to stay here because they like that I’m part of the Portland tech scene,” said Kistner. “And they feel that gives them more perspective. It helps them if I’m not get stuck in the Silicon Valley echo chamber.”
Second, Portland—through Kistner—has the opportunity to expose the firm that handles social media strategy for companies like Yahoo!, Verisign, Sony Playstation, and eBay, to Portland’s way of doing things.
Third, Portland gains another diplomat for meaningful cross-pollination with the Valley—in the same vein as Scott Kveton, Raven Zachary, Marshall Kirkpatrick, and countless others—whom Portland is lucky to have acting as de facto emissaries in that important epicenter.
All of those things, in my opinion, can only be good for Kistner. And good for us.
I, for one, am interested to see how this progresses and seeing who stands to benefit most from this new relationship.