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Monster blogger turns monster product guy: Marshall Kirkpatrick stepping back from ReadWriteWeb

Marshall Kirkpatrick, a formidable voice and fascinating mind in the tech blogosphere, is turning his attention from writing about startups to running his own.

Kirkpatrick has been at ReadWriteWeb, a publication covering all things Internet-related, for the past four years, most recently as co-editor and VP of content development.

He will be stepping back from this full-time role to work on Plexus Engine, a tool that will help poor saps like you and me be as immediately up-to-date on information as Kirkpatrick himself is.

I worked with Marshall during the earlier phases of my tech blogging career; the man has a deep fascination with the gears, levers and pulleys of real-time communication. He was also famous, internally and externally, for his secret sauce: a system for seemingly instantly knowing when anything had happened anywhere — and knowing it before anybody else.

Truly, he was and is uncanny about lightning-fast information gathering.

This skill, coupled with his fantastic analyses, made Kirkpatrick a great in the industry. But now, he’s taking this same skill (being the first to know everything) and turning it into a web product and platform.

“It’s a learning-curve busting, ‘first mover’s advantage’-as-a-service technology for information workers who want to win. It’s about helping users skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it’s been,” Kirkpatrick wrote in a blog post.

In short, he’s giving anyone who needs it a distinct competitive advantage.

The shopworn axiom tells us that knowledge is power; if that’s true, then knowing something before anyone else constitutes a first-strike weapon.

The service is currently in private beta; Kirkpatrick is acting as CEO of the venture.

“A plexus is a place where nerves branch and rejoin in the body,” Kirkpatrick explains, “and the Plexus Engine analyzes points of intersection online to detect emerging signals… I’ve been learning about how to do this kind of stuff for as long as I’ve been working online. The methods I’ve explored have been complicated, experimental and challenging but now I’m going to productize the lessons I’ve learned in a way that anyone can use them.”

Kirkpatrick writes to us in an email, “I’m hoping to launch [Plexus Engine] to the public in about 3 months.” In the meantime, he will continue to write his famous analysis posts on ReadWriteWeb.

Stay tuned for more details on Plexus Engine soon.