Well that’s a nice perk of the job.
It wasn’t so long after I started my job as national media director at homeless running nonprofit Back on My Feet that I was presented with what would be a rewarding opportunity. Not so long at all after I first started talking about how traditional marketing was just a small part of what I thought mission-orientated nonprofits should be chasing for audience building.
Not a month into the job I heard that HCI — the publishing house that hit a home run(s) with the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series that reigned commercially successful, if critically panned, for 15 years — was finalizing Ultimate Runner, the latest edition of its newest anthology series, and had an opening.
I was working for a running-involved organization with compelling stories and came from a writing background. I also had been blabbing about how we needed to involve ourselves heavily in content creation. This sounded like something to chase.
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The cover of a regional edition of the highest circulated daily newspaper in Philadelphia featured a news story of my own yesterday.
Rumors on the possible sale of an alleged drug-infested nuisance property veiled as a recovery home in a Northeast Philadelphia neighborhood that came out of last week’s Frankford Civic Association meeting was enough to warrant front page coverage of Metro. The property has been seen as something of a rallying call on the issue of illegal ‘recovery homes.’
I attended the meeting as a former resident and occasional contributor to NEast Philly, the Northeast hyperlocal, that started last month a content partnership with the Philadelphia edition of the international free daily newspaper franchise.
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Sixteen months ago, I accepted partial RSS feeds as a necessity for Web metrics. The only question in my mind was how much content should be shared in the summary feed. By last fall, I was transitioning to this self-hosted version of my site and was starting to accept the reasons that convinced me last week to turn the feed of my content here to full-text wherever it goes.
I haven’t totally flipped. I maintain — for now — the stance that, until sponsorships or other ways to monetize full-text feeds are in place, NEast Philly and Technically Philly, as we announced in October, should keep their partial feeds. It comes down to this duality I see.
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CoPress co-founders Greg Linch and Daniel Bachhuber at BarCamp NewsInnovation 2.0 at Temple University in Philadelphia on April 24, 2010. I spoke with them about Technically Philly and News Inkubator back in December.
I missed the release of the podcast once, and it took a conference four months later to remind me once more.
Back in December, my fellow Technically Philly co-founder Sean Blanda and I spoke to CoPress co-founders Greg Linch and Daniel Bachhuber about our site’s development and its work with News Inkubator, which was passed on in its Knight News Challenge attempt but conversations continue today.
Give it a listen here.
I guess I’ll have to get a copy of the mp3, since the boys are closing down CoPress to focus on other projects.
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The second annual BarCamp NewsInnovation was held last month at Temple University — see my notes here.
In addition to sharing all the failures we’ve had at Technically Philly, I spoke with founder and editor Shannon McDonald about the progress we’ve had with Northeast Philadelphia hyperlocal NEast Philly, including most prominently the breakdown of where our content was coming from.
See here the notes from our 2009 BarCamp presentation on being an online news startup in a print-heavy community.
Below find the notes and slides from this year’s BarCamp presentation entitled: Twitter is stupid…and other foundations of our content strategy.
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Tracking our Twitter followers from January 2010 to April. Back on My Feet launched a campaign on the Web in January.
Last month marked three months since I started at nonprofit Back on My Feet and launched a concerted effort to share more member stories and help develop a better, broader online relationship with our volunteers, members and supporters.
The first step in that process was to reawaken our social media accounts — the best platforms to create Web communities and ones buttressed by an organizational blog that I hope to more formally announce soon. Because our organization is all about accountability, we wanted to see how we’ve done.
I thought some lessons or benchmarks might be able to be garnered for others interested in social media use by nonprofits or other organizations, so I’ll share our progress below.
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As part of a push for a broader readership, back in March Technically Philly announced a content partnership with Philadelphia magazine and its new daily blog.
Fellow co-founder Brian James Kirk has been writing most of the weekly posts, as he’s still freelancing. But last week, I filled in, penning a short feature on five City of Philadelphia departments that could use a touch of Web openness.
The use of technology to transform government has been a growing municipal interest in city halls across the country.
Here, the City of Philadelphia has announced intentions to release a service-orientated 311 iPhone application, it’s applying for ultra high-speed broadband from Google and it’s in hot pursuit of a funded team of developers and technologists which may someday make our every government transparency dreams come true.
The overtures are there, even if the substance hasn’t yet hit the pavement.
Read the rest here.
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I speak during Technically Philly's afternoon session at BarCamp NewsInnovation 2.0 at Temple University on April 24, 2010, organization of which was led by Sean Blanda, at left.
They weren’t from around here, were they, shouted my neighbor across the street over the weekend.
She was talking about a pack of young journalists — from Florida and Washington state and California — who had invaded my Fishtown rowhome the weekend before.
That was perhaps one of the largest take aways I drew from attending and, by way of Technically Philly, co-sponsoring BarCamp NewsInnovation 2.0 April 24 — the staggering drawing power of the event in just its second year.
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Photo from Flickr user Leo Reynolds
I’ve been asked a dozen times in the past few weeks what it takes to develop communities on the Web. There isn’t any scientific response, but I’ve started thinking about four Cs that come to mind.
- Connection — Whether it’s a geographic or topical vertical, or one strictly based around a product, organization or experience, there has to be an identifiable reason for people to come together around a single site or platform.
- Consistency — If it’s going to be once a week, or once a day or five times a day, you need to remain consistent in connecting with your community
- Communication — Dialogue is sticky. Active communication online around your audience keeps people around and coming back.
- Compelling content – What is going to bring that community back to that blog, or social media account or forum or mobile application? It needs to be content in one of its many forms and it has to be related and compelling to your audience.
What am I missing?
Photo from Flickr user Leo Reynolds.
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There are new owners at 400 North Broad Street, the historic home of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News, which publish online with stand-alone sister organization Philly.com. The movement begins immediately and will likely result in a closing by the end of June.
Go here for the financial details of the auction of parent company Philadelphia Media Holdings, which was taken over by debt-holding lenders, not the existing local ownership led by Publisher Brian Tierney.
Such large daily newspapers going on the chopping block at a time of continued media fracturing makes for national news, meaning intellectual conversations have ranged from how Philadelphia now compares to other big cities like Minneapolis and why the conversation around this city is so prevalent in media circles.
It’s also meant that the Hitler film parody meme that had a swift death this very month, has been brought back in — I believe — wonderful, insider hilarity. (Aside from the missing ‘been’ on the first subtitle.)
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