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"[I]t's part vanity, it's part privacy and part sensitivity." -- Bono, on why he wears sunglasses

A Final Note for U2 Fans as I Walk Away, Walk Away

@U2

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Dear @U2 readers,

For the 23+ years that @U2 has existed, we've had a number of internal rules and guidelines. We change and update them when needed, but one has been consistent and unchanged since the beginning: If you're not having fun, it's time to step away.

On May 2, I alerted our staff that running @U2 had stopped being fun for me and that I planned to leave the site. I promised to stick around for as long as the crew needed to figure out what happens next, and to help them transition into whatever that is. I'm happy to report that the transition is well underway and has reached a point where I'm not needed. Ergo, today is my last formal day as part of @U2.

I don't like drawing attention to myself like this, but leaving @U2 without saying anything to you, our readers, seems rude and like an invitation for unneeded rumors and speculation. I'm leaving now because, as I said above, this isn't fun anymore. I'm burnt out on the band and on running the site, and I've found new musical interests that excite me in the same way U2 did in the early 1980s.

Since my announcement last month, the staff elected Karen Lindell to take over the site's primary leadership role. Karen has been with @U2 since 2007 and has served as Assignment Editor for many years. In that role, she's directed the site's daily content efforts, helped run @U2's social media accounts, written and published numerous articles/interviews under her own byline, and so much more. @U2 is in great hands going forward.

My departure doesn't change @U2 in any noticeable way. The remaining staff will continue to provide the most reliable, interesting and accurate U2-related content anywhere. And they're already discussing lots of new ideas, so be on the lookout for those to come to fruition in the weeks and months ahead.

I leave with a heart full of gratitude for U2 and their associates. I've been blessed to meet many of them along this journey and interview a lot of them here on @U2. Without exception, they've been tremendously kind, gracious and helpful -- even when they didn't particularly care for some of our reporting. They've always respected how we aim to be fair in our U2 coverage, and that we're not just another PR outlet for the band.

I'm also filled with thanks for the @U2 staff -- not just the great group that's on board now, but everyone who's been part of this site over the past 23+ years. These are U2 fans who've given the most valuable thing they have -- their time -- in the name of serving you, our readers/listeners/viewers. And they've done it without earning a penny in salary. (Often at a personal financial loss, in fact, as they pay for their own travel to cover U2-related events, to put on fan events, etc.) U2 fans, even when you don't agree with what we publish, please continue to give this staff the respect they deserve.

Finally, thank YOU. This site's purpose statement begins with a simple sentence: "@U2 exists to serve U2 fans." You're the reason we're here, and you're the reason this site has thrived for 23+ years. The unexpected email you send to say "thanks," the grateful comment you leave on a Facebook post, the kind reply you send on Twitter -- all of those expressions of appreciation are what fill our emotional gas tank and keep this website going. Thank you for reading, watching and listening to us all these years. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Be good to each other. Love and respect U2, but don't worship them. Cherish every moment that U2 is still around. Bands aren't supposed to survive as long as this one has. It's going to come to an end someday, and when that happens you're not going to be angry that you heard "Pride" live one too many times; you'll wish you could hear it live one more time. Be grateful for the goosebumps they've given you over the years, their ability to lift you up when you're down, and all those moments of pure joy when the adrenaline shoots through your body and you feel like you're about to leave the ground.

Still running (but down a different road),
Matt