Professional Resolutions for 2010

Update: Today, Dec. 19, 2010, I’ve gone back and looked at my goals. It’s interesting to see a split and failure to finish most of these. Three of these resolutions I succeeded in meeting definitively and met in spirit a fourth; I outright failed at three, and two became un-applicable as the year wore on.

I also created personal resolutions and goals to manage on my new home in 2010, but with a new year, I want to set goals for my professional self in 2010.

After all, 2009 was a brutal year, so 2010 should be plenty better.

  1. Stabilize my incomeUpdate: I did that in January 2010 in an unexpected way. It’s varied wildly throughout 2009. One way or another, I want to focus it.
  2. A new, solid pitch at least once a weekUpdate: Did that until I got the above mentioned job. (to buttress other work and those fed to me)
  3. Contact a new client at least once a monthUpdate: Did that until I got the above mentioned job. In writing, editing, multimedia or other
  4. 100 RSS subscribers for this site, up from 60 todayUpdate: Nope.
  5. 1,500 Twitter followers, from the 960 today (I hope a plurality of them can offer value in connecting to sources, ideas and content) — Update: nope, though, at nearly 1400, I got closer.
  6. Distribute remaining 600 business cardsUpdate: Nope. I still have more than 400.
  7. Bring Technically Philly to profitabilityUpdate: By way of its parent company, we did do that, as I’ve come on full-time.
  8. Earn grant funding for real journalismUpdate: Yes, for both NEast and Technically Philly.
  9. Write regularly on this site Update: check! It’s a place to improve my web writing and connect with audiences. I want to perhaps write a little less but make the product more meaningful.
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Content breakdown of a healthy, efficient hyperlocal news site

thomas-edison-mixing-chemicals-in-his-lab-in-njIt’s about finding the right mix.

I’m working with a couple, following many and thinking about a great number more hyperlocal, niche and other online-only news sites in this country of ours.

I talk a lot about where content comes from in a healthy, efficient news-gathering entity today or in the near future.

Whether it proves untenable or inaccurate or not isn’t necessarily the point. I have some goals for the geographically-based hyperlocal I’m helping in building — NEast Philly — and I want to float them.

Below I share what that looks like in my head, what it looks like now under the tireless effort of its editor and team of contributors and how it’s looked in the past.

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Number of Views:16691

Clay Shirky: ‘a bad thing is going to happen’ to journalism


New York University new media professor Clay Shirky speaking at Harvard University in September 2009.

I’m not one for posting video clips on this site, nor am I about doing so more than two months late.

But then, by way of the Nieman Journalism Lab, I only now came across a lecture New York University new media professor and internet intellectual Clay Shirky gave to the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy back in September.

Watch video below and be reminded why Shirky — who doesn’t necessarily have any traditional line-item journalism resume builders — gets a seat at the serious discussion of where news is going.

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Number of Views:5746

Metro: Bicycle rally following hospitalized cyclist and legislation

At left, victim Rachel Fletcher after being struck by a motorist on Thanksgiving Day. At right, her working as a bicycle messenger. Both photos were provided to me by Fletcher.

At left, victim Rachel Fletcher after being struck by a motorist on Thanksgiving Day. At right, her working as a bicycle messenger. Both photos were provided to me by Fletcher.

Another ugly chapter in the ongoing battle for the road between motorists, cyclists, pedestrians and the law was the focus of a story I wrote for Metro yesterday.

A few days after one of their own suffered serious facial injuries in a hit-and-run crash, city bicycle messengers upset with what one courier describes as “rising anti-cycling sentiment” are rallying at LOVE Park this evening. Read the rest here.

Staff writer Brian X. McCrone contributed to my reporting and helped pen the final product. Below I share how I got the story and a lot of other reading in this increasingly heated fight.

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Number of Views:8069

‘Citizen Journalism’ is a phrase just like ‘Horseless carriage,’ and we needed both


News-gathering can be profitable — there are oodles of examples of them. The challenge is taking those dollars to create the most efficiently-produced local journalism.

The big solution and sure trend of the future is fostering a community that covers itself.

The Quick Take

Citizen journalism is a transitional phrase that will soon be as dated as ‘horseless carriage’ is now

But we’re in a period of transition so the ‘citizen’ distinction serves a purpose.

So I’ve been thrilled to see that NEast Philly, the year-old, hyperlocal news site for Northeast Philadelphia to which I contribute and handle Web operations, has been slowly receiving more reader submissions. Lately, Editor Shannon McDonald tells me she’s receiving an item or two a week from readers.

We’ve been encouraging readers to send in photos, brief write-ups of their community events and any other kind of reporting that anyone can do. It’s coming, but still most comes from McDonald tracking down information, submissions and contacts.

I’m one to describe this as ‘UGC‘ — user-generated content — and have been known to use the phrase “citizen journalism.” After doing so once more, I was pointed to a few dated conversations about just how dated that phrase might be, and I have some thoughts on why it’s a concept that still has value.

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Number of Views:16362

City Paper: Chris Bartlett, Gay History Wiki and preserving a community

CP_2009-11-26Today — yes on Thanksgiving — I’m happy to say I have the cover story on this week’s Philadelphia City Paper, the popular alternative newsweekly, profiling Chris Bartlett and his push to chronicle the lives of 4,600 gay men he says died in Philadelphia after being diagnosed with HIV/AIDS.

Chris Bartlett sits down with his egg roll, just as the weekday lunch rush pours into Reading Terminal Market. At 43, this short, fiery gay man with tightly cropped, graying hair and thin, pursed lips, is already something of an elder statesman in Philadelphia’s LGBTQ community. For nearly two decades, he’s been at the center of just about every gay- and AIDS-related movement to hit this city’s streets. [More]

I previously wrote a shorter feature on Bartlett and his Gay History Wiki for Technically Philly, and he was recently interviewed by the Philadelphia Gay News.

Below, as always, check the extras from a half dozen interviews I did and other goodies from the research of this piece.

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Number of Views:100423

Reflections on CUNY graduate school New Journalism Models Hyperlocal camp

Jarvis at Hypercamp edit

Author, blogger and journalism professor Jeff Jarvis begins his Hypercamp on Nov. 11, 2009 at the College University of New York's graduate school of journalism.

Highly localized news and its intersection with profitable, sustainable news is already starting to dominate conversations about the future of news in the United States.

The numbers and business plans, relationships with each other and with legacy news organizations and who will be written into history for leading the movement seemed trending themes of the  New Business Models for (Local) News Hypercamp summit at the modern, sleek and sexy (read: expensive looking) midtown Manhattan home of the College University of New York’s graduate school of journalism.

Held two weeks ago today, the invite-only affair was blasted the world over by way of social media, notably a wildly active Twitter hashtag, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth sharing my experience at the Nov. 11 event.

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Number of Views:25413

Temple Review: Profile of lawyer-turned TV producer Lukas Reiter

I contributed a short profile of a 1995 Temple University law graduate to the winter issue of Temple Review, the university’s alumni magazine.

Trial lawyers are storytellers, and Lukas Reiter, LAW ’95, always wanted to be a storyteller. He’s just taken it one step further now.

After graduating from the Klein School of Law, Reiter, 39, took a job as an assistant district attorney in the Queens County of his native New York City. Two years in and exhausted from the grind of the homicide investigations bureau, Reiter decided he needed a break. That break became a fast-paced ride toward another avenue for storytelling, as one of TV’s most respected authorities on crime and law drama, with a Jerry Bruckheimer-produced prime time show that premiered on ABC this fall…..

Pick up a copy or browse other stories here. Watch the trailer of the Forgotten TV series.

Number of Views:9219

Community newspapers: a panel and their use of the Web at PhIJI


Community newspapers in Philadelphia remain wary of the Web, if any stock is to be paid to a morning panel from a journalism innovation conference held this month at Temple University.

Technically Philly was a partner in hosting PhIJI

Technically Philly was a partner in hosting PhIJI

Their thoughts just might be relevant to community-focused news gathers across the country.

Hosted by Temple’s journalism department, the Philadelphia Initiative for Journalistic Innovation was a day’s worth of smaller sessions focusing far less about the plight of big newspapers and more about smaller, more entrepreneurial ventures. Yes, the future of news just might be a series of conferences about the future of news, but I was happy to see a greater focus on the business side of the industry.

With the help of supportive chair Andy Mendelson, Temple journalism professor George Miller put together one of the first future of news conferences I’ve seen that tried to really pay attention to sustainability through profit. There’s incredible value in that, so I was thrilled to be a part of it.

Along with my two fellow co-founders of Technically Philly, I presented twice a session called ‘Be a Publisher Now’ on free tools that news-organizations and bloggers could make use of to create become more efficient and better prepared. See our presentation slides here.

I also got the opportunity to sit in on a session focused how community newspapers were dealing with the 21st-century’s dramatic paradigm shift in news-gathering. That’s where I was left more than a little puzzled.

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Number of Views:6272

Blogging for Big Kids


Blogging for Big Kids

Small Business Social Media Mentoring Tele-class | Nov. 23, 2009

How to take your blog to the next level with more sophisticated, low cost features like web video, photo slideshows, free Google apps, social media integration and ways to have fun with it while jamming some traffic to your site. This is how you create a place for customers, clients and friends to know what you’re offering, how to get it, why they need it and make it look good for low cost. [Description here]

You can also download this as a PDF here.


A. Introductions

  1. What’s your 30-second introduction?
  2. I’ll pull up some of your WordPress sites you built since the previous session
  3. Why I’m worth your time — I’ll give a quick intro, so you don’t think I’m making everything up

B. What you’ll leave tonight with

  1. A clear understanding of why a small business might blog and how
  2. Tools to automate and promote your blog
  3. Tools to liven up your blog content

C. Rehash last week’s session

  1. Domain=Address; Hosting=Land; Platform=House
  2. Small businesses should use blogging to build relationships and authority
  3. You should only be blogging if you’re passionate (brief and easy to read)

D. Evangelical Embed

  • Use the existing multimedia world (i.e. Every minute, 20 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube.)
  • for photo slideshows on or otherwise
  • Youtube for video on or Viddler otherwise

E. Learn to hug RSS

  1. RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is a chronological feed of your content (Often “”)
  2. Plop that on your Facebook page
  3. Automate those pretty little sidebars with links to social media accounts and content

F. [If time] Give in to Google

  1. Gmail account
  2. Feedburner
  3. Google Calendar

G. Take Aways

  1. Small businesses blog to create connections, build authority and share information
  2. Tools to liven up your blog content: existing video and photos or your own
  3. Tools to automate and promote your blog: RSS feeds with social media and others on your site
  4. If you need any additional help, contact me and maybe we can work together on this stuff.
Number of Views:2797