Online News Association conference 2010: OK, now let’s work together

Online journalism has seen advances editorially, technologically and, more recently and perhaps more importantly, in sustainability, but the industry has yet to efficiently mature its methods of replication, according to my experience last week at the 2010 Online Journalism Association conference.

In spring 2009, major conversations were still focusing on what direction anyone should be headed, as the inaugural BarCamp seemed to suggest, and by last spring, the BarCamp conversation had grown enough to have presenters narrowing onto funding. Last fall, Jeff Jarvis held the Hypercamp conference at CUNY which largely focused on business models for niche sites, and, at the beginning of the year, the William Penn Foundation was focused on create an editorial investment in local Philadelphia public affairs news.

ONA 2010, in Washington D.C., showed another march in the broad conversation of those interested in the future of news, seeming to correlate a connective maturation in those three issues of primacy — editorial, technology and business — but there felt like a lack of real shared and collaborative best practices.

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Voting information in Philadelphia

Major contentious midterm elections take place the nation over today.

Despite the enthusiasm, I’m the reason why getting 60 percent of 170 million registered U.S. voters out there would be a triumph.

I’m fairly politically aware — even my interests are more in local policy than national — and have been involved in government and campaigning in the past. But, like most Americans, I have an excuse.

I spend most of the time leading up to an election pondering the journalism around it, listening and debating both sides — in short, seeing the election through my own prism (in my case, that means something of a balanced journalist).

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Knight Arts Challenge in Philadelphia: my seven submissions

Today is the deadline to put 150 words together that could help change the direction of arts in Philadelphia.

The Knight Arts Challenge Philadelphia is a three-year, $9 million initiative of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. We’re seeking the best ideas in the arts. We’re investing $9 million, to be matched by other funders, to impact the arts in your hometown. We are seeking the most innovative ideas in the arts to inspire and enrich Philadelphia’s communities. [Source]

Philadelphia is just the second city in which Knight is running this arts challenge, following the foundation’s home of Miami. Get your questions answered here or submit here.

On a train ride home, I brainstormed a dozen ideas for the arts challenge, seven of which I thought were clear and concise enough that they’d be worth submitting. While only a couple directly relate to my work with technology community news site Technically Philly, as venture capitalist Fred Wilson recently wrote (H/T Karl Martino), there is great cross over between a maturing creative economy and an aged arts world.

So, I find it relevant to share what I’ve submitted, which I will do below.

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Fund My Media J-Lab ONA pre-conference highlights

The J-Lab Institute for Interactive Journalism held a pre-conference called ‘Fund My Media’ before the launch of the Online News Association annual conference Thursday.

Building on last year’s pre-conference before the ONA national event in San Francisco, the morning of discussions, speakers and panels were decidedly focused on keeping online editorial products alive: from foundation support, to events to other for-profit revenue. The event preceded the ONA conference held today and tomorrow.

You can watch the archived livestream of the morning’s sessions here.

Full Disclosure: In conjunction with the J-Lab Networked Journalism Collaborative project and funded by the William Penn Foundation, the OMG Center for Collaborative Learning has generously sponsored and supported my attendance here.

Yesterday’s ‘Fund My Media’ morning series of sessions were inventive and practical. Jan Schaffer and crew put together a rich, insightful, varied and fast moving event. It was a pleasure.

I shared a slew of thoughts, which I think will be updated, but here are some first thoughts for those who weren’t as fortunate to attend, and perhaps even those who have:

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Philadelphia Enterprise Reporting Fund awards grants to Technically Philly and NEast Philly

I’m proud to say that I’ll have a small part in three of the fourteen inaugural reporting projects funded by the Philadelphia Enterprise Reporting Fund, as announced Tuesday.

Funded by the William Penn Foundation and administered by J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism, a center of American University’s School of Communication in Washington, D.C, the $5,000 micro-grant awardees were based on recommendations from an April 2010 report by J-Lab.

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Ignite Philly: The Power of Working in Threes

Tonight, at the sixth Ignite Philly, a presentation event featuring fast-moving five minute discussions, my two Technically Philly colleagues and I discussed ‘The Power of Working in Threes.’

Find the presentation online here or flip through it below. I’m going to try to wrangle the video.

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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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