Technically Philly directory launches, more updates to come

Today, Technically Philly has announced its directory.

Directories are normally pretty boring. We think ours won’t be.

It’s certainly a small step, but, leveraging WordPress custom taxonomies with some incredible thinking power of Sean Blanda and plenty of sweat equity from myself and Brian James Kirk, we have launched pages for the nearly 1,000 companies and almost as many individuals we’ve covered at Technically Philly in the past two years.

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New Yorker profile of Nick Denton dives into online news profit

Earlier this month, the New Yorker had a big profile of Nick Denton, who famously launched in 2002 national blog network Gawker Media. It’s interesting, of course, for its personality, but I was drawn most to a few grafs focusing on news profitability.

Check out the profile in its entirety — or another recent big profile on him from New York Magazine — but below, find my favorite sections.

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The Social Network: thoughts and reading on the Facebook movie

I tend to watch films in move theaters when I think they’ll have a particularly significant impact, will be worth remembering years from now and, of course, when I’m lured in by the story.

The Social Network, Aaron Sorkin’s film that tells with some literary license of the meteoric first-year rise of Facebook, fit the bill.

Last week, I saw and was greatly entertained — call it a 9 out of 10, not perfect but sure close and worth the price of admission.

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Switch Philly: a roundup after the first major, paid Technically Philly event

The speakers at the first Switch Philly, held Oct. 6, 2010, from left: Deana Zelenka, Zecozi; Steve Barsh, Packlate; Geoff DiMasi, P'unk Ave; Josh Marcus, Azavea; Greg Wilder, Myna Music

As I first shared last month, we at Technically Philly last week hosted Switch Philly, a tech demo event that we hope to host with some regularity and served as our first major, paid event.

It is the first in a series of events that a big part of making TP a sustainable business.

On the night of one of the most meaningful playoff baseball games in the sport’s history, we welcomed 170 people into the historic Levitt Auditorium of Gershman Hall at University of the Arts to hear five local companies pitch their latest, greatest innovation in just seven minutes, with no PowerPoint presentations allowed — though we made an exception.

That crowd included Councilman Bill Green, Inquirer columnist Mike Armstrong, RobinHood Ventures co-founder Ellen Weber, Genacast Ventures Managing Partner Gil Beyda, Independents Hall co-founder Alex Hillman and dozens more venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, journalists community leaders and more.

It was — for a tech business demo event — fast-moving, crowded and inspiring for the continued acknowledgment of this region’s technology community. We hope to have our next in early 2011.

Below, find a roundup of the successful event, including video, media coverage and more.

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SugarHouse Casino: Thoughts from a gentrifying homeowner in the neighborhood

The back of SugarHouse Casino on Delaware Avenue in Philadelphia on Sunday, Oct. 10, 2010. Its restaurant and walkway offers pleasant views of the Delaware River and Ben Franklin Bridge.

Last month, my neighborhood helped to make Philadelphia the largest city in the country with a legally-sanctioned casino.

SugarHouse Casino opened in mid-September, as scheduled.

The six-year battle to bring casinos to Philadelphia is not one I want to remark much on. If you want to hear argue for or against the existence of casinos in urban communities, you’ve come to the wrong place. Isaiah Thompson at Citypaper is downright obsessed with reporting on why casinos are in the net bad for communities.

That’s not what I’m writing here for.

By the time I bought my home in Fishtown, the neighborhood that the casino arguably resides within, SugarHouse was already coming. That argument was over with.

What was still up for debate were two issues that I did care about, if a casino was going to come to my neighborhood.

  • I wanted the casino to embrace, enhance and help develop its portion of the Delaware River waterfront, so we could start embracing this beautiful asset of ours and do so through the sensible, efficient use of commercial development.
  • I wanted table games to supplement slots machines so, in my experience, if there was going to be gambling, it might go beyond the droning, heartless slots. (Basically, I have friends who would play blackjack for a night socially; they wouldn’t dump coins in a machine).

This weekend, I enjoyed the beautiful weather by taking a leisurely stroll through the casino’s compact 45,000 square-foot innards and the compound that surrounds it. In an hour’s time, my initial reaction was that, if a casino were to come to Philadelphia and considering much of the debate and compromise that has come with it, what SugarHouse is to date isn’t so terrible.

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Sarah Palin likes Lee Ellen Pisauro

In an unexpected collision of various interests of mine, a political celebrity came across and shared the music video of a family friend.

Northwest New Jersey school teacher and mother of two Lee-Ellen Pisauro has spent a few years now sharing her experiences and emotions — particularly related to her youngest son, who has Down’s Syndrome — through music. Picking up a few gigs in local bars, then national awareness walks, working with friends to produce a CD and, most recently, sharing a music video for a particularly personal song.

We’re not sure how just yet, but somehow that video came within ear shot of former Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin, who shared it with her followers on Facebook and Twitter.

Then Politico went and picked that up.

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PhillyChitChat on Tek Lado launch party, posing shamelessly with Geekadelphia crew

Technically Philly is a media partner of Tek Lado, the Hispanic pop culture mag from Southwest Philly publisher Bartash.

Recently the magazine held its kickoff party, and I came to see my former editor Liz Spikol, mingle, eat guacamole and, mostly importantly, end up in a vanity shot from Hugh E. Dillon, Philly’s favorite and, hell, probably only paparazzi.

He runs a cool blog called PhillyChitChat following the events he ends up at around town.

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Young Involved Philadelphia State of Young Philly Entrepreneurship panel take aways

Audience at YIP Entrepreneurship event.

Tuesday night was the Business and Entrepreneurship portion of a two-week event series called State of Young Philly hosted by the sprawling and popular Young Involved Philadelphia. (The event series closes this tomorrow, Friday, Oct. 1, with its showcase.)

I reported on this week’s entrepreneurship event for Technically Philly, through whom we co-sponsored the event.

The night, held at CBS 3 Studios north of Center City and drawing upwards of 60 young professionals, featured a half-hour panel discussion on the state of business in Philadelphia today and a half-hour breakout session in which smaller groups discussed actionable steps about improving the entrepreneurship climate here.

To close the event, panel moderator Bernie Dagenais, the former editor of the Philadelphia Business Journal and now CEO of the Main Line Chamber of Commerce, assessed that the sentiment seemed to be that public schools and the perception and practice of the city’s startup scene needs the greatest focus to grow Philadelphia’s business climate, but there was more to it.

A handful of important thoughts I took away from the panel discussion didn’t make it into my TP story, so I wanted to share them, which I will below.

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Switch Philly: the startup presentation event from Technically Philly

We’ve always said a niche news site has to look beyond advertising. We at Technically Philly have toed the water of events before. Well, we’re jumping all the way in now.

Switch Details:

When: Oct. 6, 6 p.m.

Where: Levitt Auditorium, University of the Arts, Broad and Pine streets, Center City

Price: $9

Click Here to Get Tickets

Earlier this month, we announced Switch Philly, a new business presentation event where five local companies will each offer entertaining seven-minute demos of their new products. Find TP coverage of our event here.

The event will be held Oct. 6, 2010 at 6 p.m. inside the Levitt Auditorium of the University of the Arts at Broad and Pine streets in Center City Philadelphia. Tickets for $9 can be purchased here — which helps us throw on the event, have others in the future and supports a niche news effort.

Much of the coverage goes to my colleague Sean Blanda, who is leading this initiative for TP.

The presenting companies at the inaugural Switch will be the following:

  • Azavea, the GIS-software firm based in the Callowhill neighborhood, will present sustainably-minded mapping and direction application CommonSpace.
  • P’unk Ave, the Passyunk Square-based web development company, will share innovative content management system Apostrophe.
  • Orpheus Media Research, the Old City tonal research project, will share music comparison software Myna.
  • Zecvozi, the stealth Northern Liberties sustainability tracking company, will launch at the event.
  • Packlate, the West Conshohocken discount vacation planning startup, will share its new deal-finding search engine.

Find the official press release here [PDF].

Number of Views:3479