Making mistakes since 1983: Speaking at Rowan University

Brian James Kirk (L) and Sean Blanda speaking at Rowan University on Sept. 16, 2009.

Making mistakes since 1983 | Sept. 16, 2009 | Rowan University

On Sept. 16, 2009, the three Technically Philly founders spoke to Rowan University journalism faculty and students about the necessity of entrepreneurship for young, aspiring journalists. The cheeky presentation was stuffed with insight from their young experiences. Below see our presentation notes.

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Metro: The death of the American post office



I contributed to one and grabbed a byline on another in a small package for Metro on talk of closing Philadelphia post offices in response to lagging volume.

With mail volume down, jobs dwindling and the highest deficit in agency history, technology has brought the United States Postal Service into its darkest days.

Read the rest here.

Below some quotations that didn’t make it into the piece.

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Number of Views:2091

Audience building with social media: Speaking at the PA Women’s Press Association

On Aug. 30, 2009, we addressed a small assembly of the Southeastern chapter of PWPA on building an audience using social media.

Using examples from the audience, we shared some of our thoughts on using those tools for bringing traffic to political and freelance writing operations. Below see our presentation notes.

Number of Views:2217

PC users: How to use MS Paint for quick, easy screenshot selections


Anyone publishing to the Web needs to accept the importance of a catchy image, graphic or photo.

The color can spruce up a site — bringing in word-resistent readers and making something simple seem more design friendly — and affect readership.

But many average PC users out there blogging — or even those just looking to share captures from their screen — struggle with an effective way, particularly if they aren’t skilled in graphic imaging or have the requisite software.

Thankfully, MS Paint and other similar basic graphics software prove powerful tools, even with their bare-boned application options.

Mac users can utilize Command-shift-4 to take a selected screen shot (or Cmd-shift-3 for a copy of the entire screen), but for PC users there are a few extra steps if you want to make a selected screenshot. Below, at the behest of a friend, I share the simple steps.
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Number of Views:10312

Metro: Babette Josephs down on ‘Secure Communities’ initiaitve

A city-state-federal policing partnership criticized as threatening the civil rights of immigrant populations in Philadelphia was the focus of a short brief I had in today’s Metro, following a brief interview with state. Rep. Babette Josephs following a press conference in City Hall.

Read it here.

I wrote a fairly large profile of Josephs for the Inquirer last summer. Fair or not, a group of self-labeled reformers in Harrisburg called Josephs a mythological three-headed dog.

I was unable to include a brief interview I had with City Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sánchez on the matter, portions of which you can see after the jump, in addition to quotes from Josephs that were cut, more from the Nutter administration, other sources and one interesting concept of the story that didn’t make it into the piece.

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Number of Views:4039

Introducing a new revamped @NEastPhilly: neighborhood news looks good


For more than eight months, NEast Philly, the online hub for Northeast Philadelphia news I introduced back in May, grew to a small, but targeted, 6,000 monthly page views, housed on a free template from

Finally we have broken free. Yesterday we launched the brand new redesign of our neighborhood news site for the future.

No longer just a forwarding domain, now aims to be the Web portal for content creation, aggregation and dissemination of news, views, information and events happening in Northeast Philadelphia, a middle-class, still print-reliant community. We hope to recapture our traffic numbers from the old site quickly and move far beyond them.

If you’re interested in the geography or another online news startup find a voice, audience and value, grab the RSS feed here.

What’s more, it’ll also be another experiment in establishing a small, self-supporting local news product. Unlike the Technically Philly product I co-founded that is a swing at a high-end, double niche, NEast is a decidedly more modest proposal.

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Number of Views:3137

Metro: Temple tuition hike warned over controversy

Temple students during summer session. Rikard Larma for Metro.

Temple students during summer session. Rikard Larma for Metro.

I covered for Metro Philadelphia the political battle between my alma mater Temple University and another alumnus Rep. John Taylor, who is pushing to hold back a $175 million appropriation for the school because of a closed hospital.

Nathaniel Nnadiugwu says he feels like there’s nothing he can do about a political fight between Temple and state lawmakers that threatens to hike his tuition by $5,000.

Read the rest here, or pick up a copy if you’re in the city.

This Page Two story was my second in Metro today. I also had a front page piece. Below see some quotations that didn’t make it in.

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Number of Views:4230

Metro: Double-byline front page on wrongful firing

Daniel Bryant outside the Chop Shop on Temple University's Main Campus. Photo by Rikard Larma for Metro.

The complainant outside the Chop Shop on Temple University's Main Campus. Photo by Rikard Larma for Metro.

I reported on a wrongful termination suit and received a double-byline, front-page story in today’s Metro in Philadelphia.

[He] wears women’s clothes because he says they better show off his feminine features.

Read the rest here. The Metro story has been kicked offline, but you can find coverage in the Inquirer here. Pick up a copy if you’re in town and can find it. Below I have some quotations from the owner accused of the wrongful termination below.

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Number of Views:5450

Metro: Nutter warns of a Doomsday Plan C budget

A photo I took of the police district headquarters where Mayor Nutter spoke yesterday.

A photo I took of the police district headquarters where Mayor Nutter spoke yesterday.

For free daily newspaper Metro Philadelphia, today I covered a press conference and related fallout from Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter warning of the Plan C budget he says he’ll be forced to introduce if two provisions aren’t passed by the state legislature.

I wrote a main brief on Nutter’s use of political theatrics: framing the legislative fight by a fight over cops and firefighters, groups that are taken very seriously in the part of the city he made the announcement.

Mayor Michael Nutter surrounded himself with police officers — and the Northeast Philadelphia residents that lean on them — to continue sending his message to Harrisburg yesterday that the city will be in dire straits without action from lawmakers.

Read the rest here. I also wrote a small sidebar item on some reaction from neighborhood onlookers.

Read the related story I wrote for

Below see some extra material that didn’t make it into either story.

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Number of Views:1604