Metro (June 2009 to present): I regularly contribute news stories and short features to the Philadelphia edition of the international newspaper. I also occasionally fill-in for staff reporters. See examples of some of my larger stories here.
January 2010 Invoice
Christopher Wink N Electric Assist Bicycle
Christopher Wink N Bradley Ericson Entrepreneur Q&A 1/4/10
Nearly two years ago, it was apparent to me that, with the explosion of Web communities, it was necessary to be everywhere online.
Lame? Yes, maybe, but your byline is your brand and all of that goodness. That’s still true, but can we agree there still room for consolidation in our Web presences?
By a rough count — and I mean rough because I got bored quickly — I think I have worked up more than 60 profiles or pages or public accounts or what have you. That’s absurd.
As Web communities mature, so too will our ability to discern what has value for us and our interests, and the list of these stupid profiles will become more and more ridiculous. OK, we already know what’s good and what’s not, but the something must shift.
Just what will that maturation or consolidation look like do you think?
And only because I wouldn’t want my idle research to go to the wayside, below, I plunk down all those online presences I counted.
Forty leaders in Philadelphia media were on hand last week for the unveiling of a structure to develop more public affairs journalism in the region, as proposed by a university research center on behalf of the William Penn Foundation.
From 8:30 a.m. to after 2 p.m. on Jan. 7 inside the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission conference room of the American College of Physicians Building in Old City, a series of discussions focused on bolstering the next generation of news gathering in Philadelphia around community-building and replacing competition with collaboration.
Explicit details were left slim to encourage a dialogue, but loosely defined, Jan Schaffer, the executive director of American University-housed J-Lab, recommended an aggregated content hub that could be supplemented by a limited editorial team. The funded sustainability of that recommendation was not detailed, but rather suggested to be put off for three years until an appropriate level of support was developed, she said. Hers were only recommendations for the Penn Foundation. No action was announced, nor taken.
Rather, Schaffer, a former Philadelphia Inquirer business editor and Pulitzer Prize winner, led a fact-finding research project for the better part of 2009 on behalf of the Penn Foundation, which included more than 60 interviews and ran from July to October. The day was her chance to gauge response. She has not yet submitted a formal proposal but, she said, expects to do so this quarter. Last week’s open unveiling and ensuing feedback would inform her final suggestions, she said.
The ramifications of what Schaffer proposes could have a historic impact. That is, if anything happens at all.
A crazy thing happened on Dec. 2. I closed on my first home, quite an end to a decade of transition from childhood to adulthood. Something worthy enough to update a bit on.
I’m in the heart of the Fishtown neighborhood of the riverward section of Philadelphia, once a place exclusively for working-class (white) families that has the hipster and artistic communities now that often lead to gentrifying. It’s two El stops, a 15-minute bicycle ride or a 40-minute walk from Old City, full of Dietz and Watson delis, modest rowhomes and pickup trucks with ladders. Now I’m there, too.
In going through some documents of mine, I found, perhaps prophetically, a story that never was from back in March when the Devon first reopened. Originally planned for Philadelphia Weekly, its working slug title was ‘Can the Devon survive in Mayfair?’
Perhaps that hope now seems less likely. Below, I share the piece that didn’t run (for a variety of reasons) and some extras from the reporting.
Suppose, you pulled in roughly $2,800 a month from independent contractor work — $700 weekly of income that doesn’t have taxes taken out from an employer and works out to be $36,400, a small fortune for some. A good rule of thumb is to put aside 30 percent of monthly income for taxes, so you don’t get yourself caught when paying quarterly or annual taxes.
$2,800 minus $840 (the 30 percent reserved for taxes) equals $1,960.
And, if I could, I might, hesitantly and humbly, also suggest folks read my “Hyperlocal news: a definition,” which argues that there is an important distinction between local and hyperlocal. Might be worth it.