Photo of some of the Technically Media staff mean-mugging with an actor portraying Young Ben Franklin

9 examples of substance from nine years of Technically Media

My thoughtful coworkers brought in to the office a young Ben Franklin impersonator to discuss entrepreneurship and civic good in publishing last month. It was perhaps the most fun celebration of the ninth anniversary of starting what became Technically Media I could ask for.

(For some reason, someone shouted out that we should only have serious faces in the above photo. Believe me, we were having lots of fun.)

Afterward, I did a little Twitter rant I thought I’d save here for posterity.

Edited for clarity here:

When you start a news brand from scratch entirely boostrapped, people spend a lot of time telling you why you’re not yet good enough. Early on, I was constantly told we didn’t have enough depth (example here and here). It took time (and we have so much more to go) but let me share some examples of our growing substance.

  • Thanks to our Technical.ly Editor in Chief Zack Seward, we’ve started an annualĀ  tradition of deeply and ritualistically reviewing all of the young tech startups in our communities to vet and list them. Find the RealLIST here.
  • We care seriously about every community taking seriously innovation, but we’ll always be uniquely tied to Philadelphia, where it all began for us. With Philly Tech Week, we were part of launching OpenDataPhilly, playing the world’s largest videogame and demanding D&I, open data and startup friendly policies moved forward, driven by our newsroom and events team.
  • We’ve spent six years invested deeply into Baltimore. First sketched by Andrew Zaleski and then transformed by Stephen Babcock, we have not just reported there, we have played a major organizing role in Maryland entrepreneurship. The first time I felt something big was when we organized the first ever tech-focused City Council hearing.
  • With leadership from Julie Zeglen (and influential Mo Manklang guidance) we have transformed Generocity.org. Look at our reporting on recidivism, homelessness and reentry here.
  • Thanks to Tony Abraham’s enthusiasm, look at how we’ve shaped what could have been a small campaign with the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce into a serious conversation about innovation districts in small communities with Grow PA.
  • With a foundation from Lalita Clozel and Tajha Chappellet Lanier, we’ve developed an important role in asking big questions of #dctech See some examples here.
  • In Brooklyn, Brady Dale and now Tyler Woods have consistently been thoughtful balances to a big and fast-changing place. One of my favorite Technical.ly stories of all time is this.
  • For oft-forgotten Delaware, our storytelling was an important part of programs like Girl Develop It and Next Fab launching in Wilmington. Find some big reporting here.
  • We fund this work with services for our communities and now individual memberships. If these or other work we do has value to you, I hope you’ll consider finding a way to work with us to support our continued growth. Visit here.
  • Of course I can’t sum 9 years in a tweet thread so let me say it like this: growing a community journalism publisher is the most important and influential professional experience of my life. Thank you to so many of you who have been a major part of it, and thank you to our current team for making it possible.