NEast Philly: everything I learned by working on this now-closed hyperlocal news site

The hyperlocal news site NEastPhilly.com that served Northeast Philadelphia for five years stopped publishing in December and was closed by founder Shannon McDonald. During that time, I helped her with strategy, reporting and web work. Since its closing, I’ve wanted to share a few lessons from that time.

Find out why Shannon decided to stop publishing NEast in her own post here. Below, I share what I learned (find other writing here I did about NEast here).

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Intern syndrome

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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New Media Unplugged: Technically Philly hosts indie publishers event with 215mag.com as part of #UncappedLive series

A variety of strategies and expectations remain, but online media conversations can’t happen in good conscious without at least a glancing mention of business sustainability.

That was my first takeaway from the New Media Unplugged #UncappedLive event held at the historic Sigma Sound Studios in Center City Philadelphia Tuesday night.

On behalf of Technically Philly, I hosted the event with Tayyib Smith of 215mag.com and led the conversation, featuring a half dozen five-minute introductions from niche publishers seated in chairs amongst 40 attendees in the room, decorated wildly by lead sponsor Vitamin Water and featuring free samples of Heineken Light, which didn’t turn out to be half bad.

See below some of what I learned.

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