"Empty House" from August 2009 by Flickr user B Rosen via Creative Commons

Stop worrying about having too many people at your event

You won’t have too many people for the event you’re hosting. Make a bet on it.

Many of us will host events at some point in our lives — choosing a date, creating some programming and inviting people to come. I do quite a bit of this, some 50 events a year for work, a dozen or more a year for social groups I’m a member of and maybe that many among friends or one-off special get-to-gethers.

Often you might hear someone express frustration with the delicate balance, that you don’t want too few people there but you also can’t have too many. I’m here to help you: in very nearly every case, it’s better to have too many people than too few so that’s exactly how you should optimize. Don’t waste energy worrying whether you have too many people coming.

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How Open Source is Changing the World: my keynote speech at FOSSCON

To an audience of 100, I gave the keynote at FOSSCON, a one-day, open source conference held in Philadelphia for attendees from around the country this Saturday. (I also covered the event for Technical.ly here).

It was easily the most technical event at which I had a prominent speaker role — usually, I’m a side show to offer reporting background on a related issue. This time, I was closing out the event, which featured prominent open source leaders. But I wasn’t there to offer technical insight — which I don’t have — but instead meant to take reporting perspective and put it through the open source lens.

My title was “How Open Source is Changing the World,” and the argument was that open source software culture has shaped so many other changes happening in local tech communities — how technical recruiting gets done, why governments are pursuing open data, where tech businesses are locating.

I did an OK job at this.

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Christopher Wink receiving the 2015 Be Your Own Boss Bowl 'Self Made and Making Others' award

Temple University’s Fox School honored me with the ‘Self Made and Making Others’ award

I’m proud to say that the Fox Business School of my alma mater Temple University honored me with their third annual ‘Self-Made and Making Others’ award during the Be Your Own Boss Bowl.

The honor is a recognition for entrepreneurial work that helps others do the same. I gave a keynote address to students and other alumni, which I wrote out and shared below but mostly just used as notes.

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What you can learn from the calendar of our fifth annual Philly Tech Week

The fifth annual Philly Tech Week, now presented by Comcast, kicks off later this week. There are more than 150 events on the calendar, two dozen of the largest anchors we at Technical.ly organize. We publish in five markets now and do an array of events but this is easily the largest undertaking of ours each year.

Below find out what you can learn by looking at that calendar.

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A few additions to Philadelphia magazine’s profile of Technical.ly

Ahead of the fifth annual Philly Tech Week, Philadelphia magazine profiled Technical.ly, the local tech news site I cofounded that helps to organize the calendar of more than 150 events.

The piece is fair, largely flattering but challenging, too. It was written by Joel Mathis, whom I’ve come to know some through Philadelphia media circles but got to speak to more at length during the interview process (thanks for the interest Joel). I can admit that I was nervous how the piece would land after I found out the magazine announced plans to launch a vertical focused on “innovation,” but I’ve seen the piece and their plans for Biz Philly appear to be a wider business blog.

It’s still a strange time here for the local news media environment.

Still, though I think Joel did a fine job, I wanted to share a few more background thoughts for those who might be interested. Read the item here, or find a PDF of the article here or buy the mag if you can, then check out below.

(Also, check out this cool blog post of a mutual friend who reached out to make sure the typewriter I’m using in the photo was authentic — it was a gift from my grandfather.)

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Why I’ve (slowly and modestly) paid more attention to fashion for professional gain

Even in high school, I had it in my head that buying new clothes was vain.

Picture my mother pleading with me to let her buy me pants that fit me. At some point I realized that she had starting sneaking in new pairs of socks and throwing out my old ones with holes. One of the first places I went after I got my drivers license was to a thrift store, afterward proudly showing my parents a $5 suit I bought (and wore way later into life than I should have).

While my teenage friends cared about clothes, I was defiantly disinterested in any of it. I was proud I saved what money I earned and perhaps prouder of how little I ever asked my parents to contribute. (For their part, they were more often embarrassed of my taking hand-me-downs from bosses and friends. They were worried it might look like they weren’t taking care of me, even though they most certainly were. I had one of the most loving households I could imagine, which might be why I didn’t want to ask them for anything else — look at how they helped me pay for college.)

But then I got older and entered the workforce, where the first impressions you make aren’t cast aside by the whims of youthfulness.

It took quite a few experiences as a professional for me realize that there’s a balance between spending too much money and time on clothes and too little, and I hadn’t found it. That’s when I had to make a change.

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