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Joining forces with Tara and Chris at the Citizen Agency

I know that many of you have been waiting with much anticipation about my next job after the BBC.

Well, I am pleased to announce that I have decided to join San Francisco based Citizen Agency – which was founded two weeks ago by Chris Messina (previously of Flock) and Tara Hunt (previously of Riya).

Citizen Agency logo

The agency is primarily a consultancy business that currently specialises in advising clients in strategies and approaches that harness the power of their grassroots userbase for the purposes of design, product development, marketing and innovation.

I am absolutely delighted to be working with Chris and Tara – two of the most talented and dynamic individuals I know in the industry.

My official title (which I got to pick, yay!) is Grassroots Architect & CTO. I will also be an equal partner in the business, which is self funded.

My new business card

Tara is renowned for her pioneering “Pinko Marketing” strategies, and Chris for his product development and design skills, and of course his interest in Open Source. I bring to the table a new dimension for the Citizen Agency with my technical and software engineering background, and my experience creating innovation platforms.

The Agency will now also be able to advise its clients on the execution of developer networks and similar strategies as grassroots channels for innovation, technical development and specialist marketing. I also will also be bolstering the Agency’s product development foundation and also advising on the technical implementation of our work.

Each of us have a proven track record at previous employers of harnessing the power of the community to mutual benefit of both the company and it’s userbase. I’m really excited at the opportunity to be combining our skills to offer a complete consultancy solution to innovative start-ups and existing leading players.

I believe the our new approach and ideas on an already established philosophy offers something unique and distinctive that will create successful outcomes for our clients.

There is also already a strong demand for our services – in the two weeks I was out in the Bay Area we signed 4 deals with three companies. Three are paying consultancy gigs and one is a co-collaboration on a startup idea with a pioneering development house. And that’s in addition to the existing work Tara and Chris already have.

And finally, the announcement that many of you who know me personally have been waiting for… Yes, I will be relocating to San Francisco – hopefully by the end of the summer. Sofia will also be coming too! In the mean time I’ll be sorting out a London-based division of the Citizen Agency.

It’s going to be sad to say goodbye to London but I’m pretty sure I’ll be back regularly to stay in touch with everyone on the London alpha geek scene!

I’ve just got back from my West Coast tour of San Francisco and Seattle (and home via LA) so I’m pretty jet lagged – but I’ll write more about the background behind my decision later today.

Published in Citizen Agency News


  1. Congratulations. I’m glad everything worked out 🙂

  2. Ben Ben

    Thanks Rachel!

  3. “I know that many of you have been waiting with much anticipation about my next job after the BBC.”

    I personally havn’t been able to shit straight with all the anxiety…

  4. “I know that many of you have been waiting with much anticipation about my next job after the BBC.”

    Now I can sleep better and stop taking those damn pills…

  5. Phil Miller Phil Miller

    Great news for publicans. Pump up the volume 🙂

  6. Ben Ben

    Phil, yeah. But I’m still going to petition the council to stop their application for a late licence. I’m a property landlord now, don’t you know and I need to get the maxium rent for the place!

    (In joke: I live next door to Phil’s favourite pub, which plays their music far too loud. Often when Phil is DJing.)

  7. Well done Ben – sounds like a really smart move. And you get to go to SF – even better. Hope it all works out.

  8. Congratulations! I wondered why you were copied in on that email from Marc C the other week… 🙂

  9. Just wanted to wish you and CA the best of luck. It was fun hanging out with your Thursday night at Gnomedex.

  10. Ben

    Congratulations! Having followed Tara’s blog and taking a fairly active role in Pinko Marketing, I am delighted to see that someone from the UK has been able to add something of real value to the global community.

    I would love to hear more abotu what is going on in London and your plans for the UK. Having tried to speal to businesses in Manchester, I feel that Pinko/community may be a bit of an uphill struggle – but then if it was all that easy, everyone would be doing it!

  11. congrats, ben! 🙂

  12. Ben, good move I think. Have a great time doing backstage for the whole world 😉 Best wishes!

  13. Hey buddy, welcome aboard. Let’s kick this thing off, whaddya say?

  14. Nice one Ben. Worth the (short) wait.

  15. Great stuff! Congrats!

    Will you be around for London Bar Camp still?

  16. tom tom

    good on you.

  17. Congrats Ben, it sounds right up your street!

  18. Ben Ben

    Thanks everyone for your support!

    Ian: Yes, I will be around until at least the end of August as I have a number of loose ends and formalities to sort out here in London before I leave!

  19. congrats ben! such a shocker! 😉

  20. Bob Bob

    Nice card. Is that colour ‘bone’?

  21. Congrats Ben, nifty move. Don’t want to get too far ahead but what about a wee party for the London division launch? 😉

  22. Tim Tim

    Wow, that’s awesome – nice one. I am very envious of you in SF: it’s a wonderful city and so laidback – I am sure you and Sofia will love it. And Citizen Agency sounds groundbreaking, but I would have expected nothing less. By the way, I am doing the reverse — leaving the commercial world and heading back to the BBC….

  23. Deborah Deborah

    Big congrats Ben – you’re going to continue to be fabulous.
    (PS What’s ‘normal geek’?)

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