Judge your social media identity by whether you’d want to hang with yourself at a bar [Knight event]


I’m only as good as my audience is — if they’re the audience you want to know about your work and I have more of them than you do, you want coverage from me. That’s the value proposition of media coverage as I tried to convey it on a panel discussion I was a part of yesterday.

I was proudly asked to be on a panel about media relationships at the first ever day-long Philadelphia grantee conference from the Knight Foundation. The logic was to offer some programming and bring together the 100 or so grantees that Knight has touched in Philadelphia. Held at the Barnes Foundation, I was honored enough to be in the audience, set aside speaking.

Full Disclosure, I was there because Technically Philly is a grantee — Knight was a generous support of Philly Tech Week.

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Radiator Heat: my ‘Rust Belt Rising Almanac’ flash fiction from Head and the Hand Press


The Rust Belt Rising Almanac is a beautiful anthology of narratives from what is new and inspiring in post-industrial American cities from the Head and the Hand Press, a small, craft publisher startup based in Fishtown, Philadelphia.

The anthology was released Friday. I met the Press’s founder Nic Esposito a couple years ago in Center City and have followed him since, moved by his own publishing startup story. He has a space on Frankford Avenue that serves as something of a creative writing coworking space — a monthly fee to be part of the strong community he’s created. When I saw his call for submissions, I knew I wanted to take part and am proud I was selected along with a dozen far more accomplished, talented fiction writers.

The anthology is worth the $17, so you should buy it here. Below I have the first few grafs of my small submission, find the rest in the book itself.

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Civic Innovation: my answers to 7 questions I asked this Mayors’ Innovation Summit panel

Textizen CEO Michelle Lee giving her lightning talk before our panel on civic innovation, which featued, from left, Michael Brennan of SecondMuse, Brigitte Daniel of Wilco Electronic Systems, Keya Dannenbaum of ElectNext, Alex Hillman of Indy Hall and myself.

Textizen CEO Michelle Lee giving her lightning talk before our panel on civic innovation, which featued, from left, Michael Brennan of SecondMuse, Brigitte Daniel of Wilco Electronic Systems, Keya Dannenbaum of ElectNext, Alex Hillman of Indy Hall and myself. Photo lovingly stolen from Aaron Ogle.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors held its annual Mayors’ Innovation Summit in Philadelphia last week, and I moderated a panel Friday morning focused on ‘civic innovation,’ a fancy phrasing for a new era of groundswell public-private partnerships growing out of technology and creative communities across the country.

As is custom, I shared beforehand some questions I wanted to ask the group, and while we didn’t get to all of them because we got into some good conversations, I figured I’d share my perspective on those questions.

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Why this reporter agreed to be in a digital divide ad campaign


KEYSPOT is the branded network of computer literacy centers in Philadelphia, including city-backed rec centers, Free Library branches and private nonprofit efforts.

Since their federal stimulus-backed launch in 2011, we at Technically Philly have reported on the effort, including the impact, small numbers and celebrated successes. That’s presumably why I was asked to be one of a handful of people included in a public awareness advertising campaign — which also included rapper Freeway and has run on a few outdoor billboards, on SEPTA subway cars and in some train stations.

I’ve had a few questions privately and publicly about the appropriateness of a reporter/editor to be involved in such a campaign, so I thought it was worth sharing my logic.

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5 Instagram photos from Philly Tech Week 2013

The third annual Philly Tech Week was the largest yet, and its impact was clear.

Rather than recite the more than 80 events and 150 partners, I thought I’d share a few Instagram photos I saw that helped me feel the week was growing and proud about my involvement. That’s mostly because the photos were taken by people I didn’t know.

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Intern syndrome


When you worked under someone who will never be able to see as you as anything more than subordinate: intern syndrome.

Like many industries facing a disruption, experienced leaders that have earned their leadership through seniority rightly question a newer, younger cohort that asks a lot of questions and experiments with process. I think that’s partly the reason for sometimes uneasy relationships I’ve had with more veteran colleagues of mine.

(Read: our struggle at Technically Philly to establish any meaningful content partnerships, our decision to expand to other markets and, sure, the fact that BarCamp NewsInnovation will often have more people from other cities than the Philly daily papers).

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Campaign opposition research is a type of investigative journalism


What we have lost in investigative reporting units at news organization in the last two decades will be at least partially replaced by mission-orientated groups that can find other value for doing such work.

Foundations, think tanks and mission-minded nonprofits may be the more ethically normalized groups, but in elections and government, the idea of campaign opposition research will almost surely come to wider prominence. The idea that a campaign would hire investigators, lawyers or others to dig up shortcomings on political rivals is not new at all, but we’ll hear more about this.

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Photos, video and social media at events are our newest form of applause

A photo of the crowd at an All American Rejects concert at Xfinity Live in September 2012.

A photo of the crowd at an All American Rejects concert at Xfinity Live in September 2012.

Creating media continues to become easier and more varied every day. Humans are the only species to develop the practice of recording history.

So whenever we are in a moment we regard as a distinguished experience — travel, first-time moments, extraordinary circumstances — we are bound to have this motivation to record that history as best we can.

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5 things I told a classroom full of journalism students yesterday


There are at least five big things I’ve learned about reporting for a living over the past few years since graduating college and some stories to back it up.

That amounted to my half hour talk and Q&A period with a classroom of students at my alma mater Temple University in the PhiladelphiaNeighborhoods.com capstone on Monday. I called myself the ghost of the near future — having graduated in 2008.

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Number of Views:3634