Technically Philly: Interview with adult film star Stoya on technology and Philadelphia

I profiled the feisty and strong-willed adult film star Stoya  for Technically Philly.

It could be her, standing in the low light of a trendy South Philadelphia coffee shop.

There are maybe 10 people — drinking tea and working on laptops — most of whom are cute, pale-faced women with dark hair and a look. One arrived promptly at 4 p.m. and happened to be the biggest young thing in the entirety of mainstream adult film.

She was introduced as South Philly’s Stoya by CityPaper last November, but with more than six years of this city behind her and the heart of a profitable and exhausting porn career ahead of her, Stoya is leaving Philadelphia. Read the rest here.

A friend kindly submitted it to Digg, where it has more than any other story I’ve been a part of has gotten. Someone else pushed it on ReddIT. Combining porn and tech, I suppose, were bound to get interest online, though I maintain that the story has real merit for TP.

Below see what got left on the cutting room floor.

Many thanks to photographer Neal Santos who took some shots of Stoya where we interviewed, including the photo we used. I also want to thank Stoya for her time and patience.

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Changing ways in which society collects information


The way we have gained information has apparently changed in the past 200 years, according to a really interesting and insightful graphical analysis of those trends by online magazine

The graphic analysis, as depicted above, aims to give some sense of the how the sources of information developed in common society. It suggests that in the next 10 years, we’ll find more and more news and information via social networks, with declines in TV, general Web sites and blogs.

After a few hundred years of newsletters, pamphlets and other written news sources known of in Europe and perhaps present elsewhere, the idea of a regularly published, verifiable collection of news source was developed in the United States in Boston, New York and Philadelphia in the mid-18th century. Leading to that turn of the century, more than 50 newspapers of varying stripe were bubbling in the colonies, leading to the idea of “freedom of the press” when the 1791 Bill of Rights were ratified.

This graphic and its explanation — well worth your time — gets the history down, if briefly, but I can’t say I agree with all its prognosticating about the future of news gathering.

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Why not every blog is written by a blogger

bald_bloggerI’ve come to believe there’s a very real difference between a blogger and a blog.

The person updating a blog isn’t necessarily a blogger. Though I blog on and maintain this professional site and have certainly blogged elsewhere, I don’t consider myself a blogger.

For one, I’m a professional writer, so I’d need to be making money at the blogging game for me to get that title. Instead, I use the format to connect with readers and colleagues, discuss issues and share the content I create for newspapers, magazines and trade publications.

It’s a tool of social media, not a livelihood.

Of course, there are certainly bloggers who don’t do so as a living, so I thought it prudent to throw down some guidelines as to who I figure a blogger is and what I suppose makes a blog.

See my list, and let me know whatcha think, after the jump.

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April uwishunu posts: Hysteria, author appearances and BarCamp

It’s Memorial Day, so no one’s reading this anyway, right?

In February I announced that I was blogging for, a popular, award-winning arts and entertainment blog for Philadelphia. Some months I write more for them than others, not all run as expected and some are of only middling interest to casual readers, so I’ve decided I’d like to do a monthly digest of my work there — if only just for record-keeping.

I’ll post them as I file them, not as they run. See all of my posts here, and my profile here.

Below — later than I’ll do this in the future — see my April posts.

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Pointing to free online ways to train journalists

I received some degree of criticism recently on a post about journalism classes I wish were more readily available in college J-schools.

I openly admit some forms of them already are and that many colleges have wonderful professors looking forward and doing great work with them. Still, I stand by the conversation being an important one — needling great institutions further.

That’s perhaps why I thought it funny that someone e-mailed me soon after that post and directed me to a collection of 50 open courses that could offer many of the basics of j-school.

They point to a variety online resources, including a great many of them from MIT’s open coursewares — part of a phenomenon on which I’ve written before. It seemed like another swing at j-schools. It’s far away from the name recognition, networking and other assets of a traditional school, but it’s certainly good for the dialogue.

See some of the best and some thoughts below.

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Inquirer: Dogs call for a neighborhood in change

At Orianna Hill Park in Northern Liberties, Basil is petted by owners Lisa Lee, center, and Scott Nealy as Marie Barnes watches. As the neighborhood has become trendier, the pets have proliferated. (RON TARVER / Inquirer Photographer)

At Orianna Hill Park in Northern Liberties, Basil is petted by owners Lisa Lee, center, and Scott Nealy as Marie Barnes watches. As the neighborhood has become trendier, the pets have proliferated. (RON TARVER / Inquirer Photographer)

Why an influx of dogs are often a sign of a neighborhood in change is the focus of my story for the Style & Soul section of today’s Inquirer.

Dogs may not have caused Northern Liberties to change from blighted to trendy, but they sure were a sign that change was coming.

Twenty years ago, when Frances Robb first moved to the neighborhood north of Old City, dogs were about as rare as a parked BMW. But as Northern Liberties went from edgy to trendy, the canine pack grew. Read the rest here.

Read the full story, comment and then come back for what didn’t make it in.

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Cliches that journalists need to let go


All you need to make a journalist is pressure and time.

Those same elements can disrupt a writer. Under pressure and no longer feeling the same need to impress someone can make even the most capable of scribes turn a phrase that shouldn’t be turned anymore.

Hell, I may be one cliche away from a lifetime achievement award myself. Still, it’s worth noting a few that just shouldn’t be done anymore, and other mistakes that are so commonplace they themselves have become something of a cliche:

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The Temple News: my four-years with the college newspaper of Temple University

Sitting at my then clean and empty desk in Room 243, the newsroom of The Temple News, on May 21, 2008, the night before my college graduation.

Sitting at my then clean and empty desk in Room 243, the newsroom of The Temple News, on May 21, 2008, the night before my college graduation.

One year ago I was cleaning out my desk in Room 243, the newsroom of The Temple News, the college newspaper of Temple University since September 1921.

I spent one year as a reporter, one year as a columnist, one year as a contributor and one year as an editor. It is, truly, where I first developed the craft, came to understand the rules and learned journalism and writing was a real professional opportunity.

I got a lot out of Room 243, TTN’s newsroom in the student center at 13th and Montgomery in Philadelphia, Pa. So, I thought it was worth revisiting what I did, what I learned and how it has affected me now 12 months clean.

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NEastPhilly city controller debate brings voters

A crowd of 30 watch Democratic candidates for city controller from left to right: Incumbant Alan Butkovitz, John Braxton, Brett Mandel. Far right: Moderator Chris Satullo of WHYY

Last night was the city controller debate held by Northeast Philadelphia community news startup and NPR affiliate WHYY.

I fully intend on updating this post with lessons learned, but for now, I’d like to just share some of the coverage.

Full video and audio will be up soon, so you’ll be able to make your own assessments on the debate.

Number of Views:3280 an introduction, a City Controller debate announcement and more

Banner advertisement design by Brian James Kirk for

Here’s introducing one of the first regionally-focused community news portal in Philadelphia:, home to anything and everything that happens in Northeast Philadelphia.

In a true testament to its rapid growth in its first few months of existence, tonight it is partnering with WHYY, Philadelphia’s NPR affiliate, to host the third and final primary debate for Democratic city controller candidates. If you’re in the Philly area, I welcome you to come see a down and dirty triumph of a small media venture.

This could be the future of news coverage.

Last fall, Shannon McDonald, who is now on the tail end of a media firestorm, began plans to launch a quarterly print publication called NEast magazine, covering Northeast Philadelphia. I pushed her to think of beginning online — even if her core demographic was a working class community not heavily entrenched online. I thought it was an opportunity to begin a brand for cheap, making her known to what potential advertisers, readers and sources she could.

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Number of Views:5198