TP: Editorial on Philadelphia CIO call for tech support

Allan Frank, Philly CIO
Allan Frank, Philly CIO

After announcing the birth Technically Philly, I haven’t more than briefly mentioned the news site for Philadelphia’s technology community, even though I’ve been writing there sometimes more than seven times weekly.

Today, we ran an editorial that I particularly liked, so I thought I’d share. My two co-founders and I share the stance and both helped a great deal, but I took the lead on writing this one. I’m eager to see how our readers react — if they will at all.

Here’s a test.

Just how innovative and influential, forward-thinking yet practical is the technology community in Philadelphia? Because you’re being challenged.

We’re still reeling from a presentation that Allan Frank, the city’s chief information officer, gave at a meeting of Refresh Philly Monday night. Read the rest here.

Check below for a couple grafs that didn’t make it in.

  • Focus groups and forward-thinking headfirst development, which were suggested, aren’t standard-fare for big city bureaucracies — something that didn’t need to be explained by Frank, who remained more relaxed and upbeat than his blue suit and grandfatherly spectacles, slouched on his nose, might have suggested.
  • He did admit that the his staff haven’t even established a clear list of top technology priorities.
  • So, we fear our community and Frank’s staff could be swallowed whole by the clarion call for his “Digital Philadelphia.” We all know technology involves — or should involve — too many facets of government to be so broad in his exhortation of our community.
  • At the meeting, we heard comments asking for open source development, a reference to a future wiki for the city of Melbourne, Australia and snickers. Frank addressed the realities of a mobile component being perhaps more valuable, as cell phone technology develops and spreads more rapidly than more traditional computer-based units do.

I am always insistent that an editorial make a clear argument and expectation for change. I hope it can be seen that this editorial argued the Philadelphia technology community needs to take a lead in effecting responsible IT change for the city.

What do you think about it? Should we write editorials in a “community” news setting?