What the web is creating is a world in which the details can be erased but nothing is forgotten. It is a distinct change from when only that of broad interest could make it to the widely distributed vehicles of traditional media.
It was with that in mind that I told a reporter of mine earlier this year one of the golden rules of online news — take screenshots first, ask questions later — after something we were reporting on was removed from a source website. Reminding her of that prompted other rules that came to mind and after sharing them still others came to mind.
Any city worth its existence has enough culture that exists there that small quirks exist that can help you get by.
In my short nine years living in Philadelphia, a few lifehacks have become pretty common to me but are perhaps worth sharing.
Here are a bunch. I’d love to hear yours:
It recently occurred to me that there are a handful of Internet memes that I just can’t shake, and why wouldn’t I share them on April Fool’s Day.
Though memes are meant to come and go, there are some I find myself going back to enjoy again and sharing with anyone who will listen. Here are some of them.
It was a good year.
- January 2012: I moderated a CSPAN-televised online privacy panel held at the National Constitution Center.
- February 2012: We celebrated three years of Technically Philly.
- March 2012: I finally became an official member of the Pen and Pencil Club.
- April 2012: Invited to private roundtable discussion held in the Pulitzer Room at Columbia University on the next stage of news innovation academia, which resulted in this academic report released in November.
- April 2012: We hosted the second annual Philly Tech Week.
- May 2012: I designed and launched Ph.ly/newsweekly, as first discussed here.
- July 2012: After first hiring a reporter back in December, we hired another in Philly and our first in Philly.
- September 2012: After a July soft launch of Technically Baltimore, we more formally expanded by hosting the inaugural Baltimore Innovation Week.
- October 2012: A short profile of Philadelphia’s new Chief Data Officer was my first proper clip in a major regional print magazine. (I also landed another Temple Review feature.)
I like to wrap up each year by looking at what I’ve written about here. To do it a little bit differently, I looked at three different measures of content: what was the best trafficked, what got the most engagement (email, conversation, social chatter) and what I ones I most want to follow up on.
There is no shortage of jokes and jabs at corporate jargon. But here’s another.
Though the Internet has its fair share of lists and collections and compilations and generators, I felt too few of them actually helped remind us what they really meant and why they’re so hated — a PC obfuscation of business politics.
So this isn’t meant to be as comprehensive as the ones above, but rather a set of ones I really hear and have really come to understand to have a different, somewhat more subtle meaning.
In the past few years, I’ve gotten a taste of some and felt it took time to learn the most common underlying meaning. I use a lot of these words and phrases, and I don’t necessarily think that’s all that bad. Instead, I list them to help remind myself that I can often be more direct. Here’s my best shot at helping the cause for the rest of us.
Young people who move to Philadelphia sometimes ask me how to get better connected in Philadelphia. And the figures suggest there is a growing number of them.
I’ve found myself offering up the same handful of suggestions more than a few times.
- Attend Young Involved Philadelphia events — The group is a great hub of smart, hungry, young Philadelphians. Your city probably has one like it.
- Join the Philadelphia Sports Network or another recreational sports league — These groups are great at bringing people together around sports, and most cities have something like them.
- Join your neighborhood civic or block group — Most neighborhoods that are attracting new Philadelphians have active community groups that improving the city and connecting the civic minded. If your neighborhood doesn’t have one, then start one.
- Find an online community that fits your interest — Whether it be sports or technology or drinking or your part of the city, someone is probably writing and hosting events that will attract people like you. If not, start one.
They’ll find you.
- Rock social media — There are probably smart people on Twitter in your city. Find them. Engage with them. Ask them to grab coffee. And, hey, don’t ignore online dating if you’re looking for that.
- Embrace an institution — Maybe your university has an alumni group in your new city. If not, find a museum, advocacy group or another institution that has a young friends group or something else.
- Volunteer — Find a nonprofit, political group or mission group that has value to you. Volunteer and find people like you.
This year, the celebrated, 13-year-old organization will host its annual event of more than 5,000 members in San Franciso to offer some geographical balance to the affair. There is some call for a Midwest event in 2013, which might make sense, but whether it’s next year or in 2014, the conference, expo and meeting of the minds of news innovation should happen in Philadelphia.
Updated: Apparently Philadelphia is booked for 2014. So, uh, 2015?
I’m part of a small group in Philadelphia lobbying for the effort, which includes a formal application process, and that application is being submitted. Still, I felt it worth sharing what appears to me to be the clear reasons why this would be an easy decision.
Here are 10 reasons:
The importance, sway and influence of one of the world’s most dominant 20th century newspapers was the focus of the 1998 collection of essays about the once powerful Philadelphia Evening Bulletin, edited by its former education reporter Peter Binzen, who also wrote Whitetown USA.
Dubbed ‘Nearly Everybody Read It,’ a riff off the paper’s legendary slogan, the 163-page book has nearly 20 essays from former Bulletin reporters and editors, including its first female and black correspondents. For 135 years, the family owned paper was a powerhouse among a rich daily newspaper tradition in Philadelphia.
A central story line of the book was the Bulletin’s battle with the Inquirer, its chief rival, and how, in the end, the Inquirer, considered by many to be the chain response to the family-owned operation, won. Through all the bluster, I thought there were four primary reasons that rang most true to me:
- The Bulletin fundamentally failed to innovate, remaining an afternoon daily as circulation fell with growing TV news audiences, increasing transportation costs due to traffic and changing news cycles.
- The Bulletin failed to develop the revenue to stay competitive, including a premature sale of its nascent TV station, denying alcohol advertising and other funding methods that kept it lagging behind the Knight-Ridder funded Inquirer.
- The Bulletin resisted aggressive editorial reconfiguration, following the investigative spirit of the 1970s that soared the reputation of the Inquirer behind editor Gene Roberts, and pushed out its own innovative editor George Packard.
- The Bulletin came up short in following the suburban trend, having its 1947 purchase of the Camden Courier Post denied by the U.S. Department of Justice for anti-monopoly concerns was a large blow.
As I often do when reading something relevant to the news and innovation conversations I so adore, I wanted to share some choice thoughts from the book.