2012 professional milestones

It was a good year.

my 5 best trafficked, most interesting and other posts of 2012

This is a map of 2012 web traffic on ChristopherWink.com as displayed by WordPress. Random web traffic from 160 countries really doesn't matter much, as a lot of it is probably meaningless image search results, but it's a pretty map.
This is a map of 2012 web traffic on ChristopherWink.com as displayed by WordPress. Random web traffic from 160 countries really doesn’t matter much, as a lot of it is probably meaningless image search results, but it’s a pretty map.

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.

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Corporate jargon: a collection and translation of common business slang

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.

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How to make friends, build connections in Philadelphia (or any city)

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.

  1. Attend Young Involved Philadelphia events — The group is a great hub of smart, hungry, young Philadelphians. Your city probably has one like it.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Volunteer — Find a nonprofit, political group or mission group that has value to you. Volunteer and find people like you.

Online News Association national conference should come to Philadelphia: here are 10 reasons why

I have been blessed to attend the last two national Online News Association conferences, one in D.C. and last year’s in Boston.

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:

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Philadelphia Evening Bulletin history: ‘Nearly Everybody Read It,’ a 1998 book from Peter Binzen

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

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A Brief Timeline of the History of Daily Newspapers in Philadelphia

This Philadelphia daily newspaper family tree is framed in the Inquirer editorial board room at 400 N. Broad Street. Photo by Russell Cooke. Click to enlarge.

There were a dozen or more daily newspapers in Philadelphia at one time, I hear. Trouble is, I couldn’t seem to find anyone who could name what all of those papers were.

So I went and did some good old fashioned research — with some great direction from representatives of the following institutions.

Below, find a historical timeline of daily newspapers in Philadelphia, or at least what I could decode using four sources: primarily the Pennsylvania State Library newspaper collection [call number: Philadelphia] and the archives of the University of Virginia, with some help from a 1997 collection of essays called ‘Nearly Everybody Read It,’ edited by Peter Binzen (whose other book I recently read) and an essay from Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia member Gerry Wilkinson. (I compiled some other notes on the Inquirer here.)

Check it out below and offer any criticism or comment — I’m certainly expecting that this is incomplete, so any other leads are appreciated!

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My 10 best trafficked posts of 2011 (and some others that I think are pretty good)

As I’ve done in passed years, as this year comes to a close, I like to dive a bit into the work I’ve done here in the last 12 months to gauge what was popular and what I was most proud of.

Below, find my 10 best read posts of the year and a few others I thought were worth reading.

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Boardwalk Empire: five lessons to learn from season one of the hit HBO drama

The celebrated HBO historical drama Boardwalk Empire, set in Prohibition-era Atlantic City, is making its way through its second season, and I’m catching up, having recently finished watching the first season.

The well-funded period piece, with backing from Scorsese, Wahlberg and others, tracks the life and times of a character based on a real political boss of the time. It’s a compelling story, tinged with real happenings, heavily researched authenticity and complex characters. In short, it’s a great watch.

Having finished the first season, there are a few takeaways I found myself internalizing:

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