Required reading from 2009 for hyperlocal news entrepreneurs

If you’ve walked into 2010 with plans on becoming, remaining or sustaining a hyperlocal news venture, there is lots you should already know and have already read.

Still, while thumbing through some links I thought were particularly important, I managed to find five stories from 2009 I think are most valuable.

  1. A Brief History of Hyperlocal News by Keith Hopper
  2. 10 new routines for a Hyperlocal news site by Nieman Journalism Lab
  3. Can the Grey Lady sell ads to hyperlocal businesses by Econsultancy
  4. Let’s build an ecosystem around hyperlocal bloggers by Jeff Jarvis for Guardian
  5. Ad shift throws blogs a business lifeline by New York Times

And, if I could, I might, hesitantly and humbly, also suggest folks read my “Hyperlocal news: a definition,” which argues that there is an important distinction between local and hyperlocal. Might be worth it.

What else might you add to this list?

Five sales lessons that I don't think Seth Godin meant to give last month

I am surprised to say I’ve become something of a fan of marketing author Seth Godin.

I find his blog purposefully insightful, thought-provoking and strangely general. A person from just about any industry could take lessons away from his posts, which, of course, is likely his purpose.

It’s in that way that if, say, a fellow young journalist asked for a few blogs to follow, I’d suggest at least two that really don’t have any direct relationship to newspapers or even media. I’d certainly say Godin’s, and I’d also say Mark Cuban‘s — but that’s for another post.

I have to fight an urge to share very nearly everything they post.

Last month, though, I found a bit of a theme in Godin’s posts. It may have been because of my focus of my own announcement of intentions to monetize Technically Philly, but no matter the reason, I think Godin offered a series of interesting thoughts on making sales, all of which correlated, I thought, to Web startups.

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Seven habits of highly effective freelance journalists

I have difficulty finding time to relax, freelancer Chris Hardwick says. (Photo by Sian Kennedy)
"I'll be honest: I have difficulty finding time to relax", freelancer Chris Hardwick says. (Photo by Sian Kennedy)

Chris Hardwick, a freelancer and contributor to Wired magazine, rocked out two popular self-help, time-management guides – the Four Hour Work Week and Never Check Your E-mail in the Morning – and broke it down for the average freelance journalist or writer.

Well, as a freelancer myself, I am often looking for better methods to save time and accomplish more. So, when I saw another noted self-help guide, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, was giving away a free audio-book, I nabbed it and put it on my Zune.

I thought I could break down Stephen R. W. Covey’s 1988 cult hit for you freelancers out there.

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Celebrating Valentine's Day with links from 2008

The only proper way a journalist could celebrate Valentine’s Day 2009 is to look elsewhere, the past, namely.

It might have been hard to think in February 2008 that one year later would only look darker for newspapers. Let’s look back on those happier times with what was going on in the blogosphere circa Cupid’s Day 2k8, via the archives of 10,000 Words. Thanks Mark.

For those of you pathetic souls alone and online searching today, something that can totally take away the pain is due up later this morning.

Image from Wikipedia.

Five books I reread in 2008 that you should try in 2009

Today is Jan. 2, 2009.

Looks like you ought to find something new to read. For me, there are those books I can’t seem to put down, even if I’ve already read them and have a stack of new stories I hope to try.

In 2008, I returned to more old friends than I normally do. Below, see the five books to which I returned and why you should give them a go if you haven’t, or a second look if you can.

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Your digital legacy: we know your wild past won't forget, but who doesn't?

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Image by Steve Carroll

We already got the message. Twenty-somethings of today, I suspect, are already careful about their presences online. We were coming to professional age when we were first joining social networks.

But the conversations seems to be ongoing.

The Economist magazine has released its annual forecast for the coming year, and, among their predictions, the U.K. politics magazine says 2009 may be a year in which the social networking phenomenon will reach critical mass: hurting security, employability and socializing.

Hear their audio and my thoughts below.

Continue reading Your digital legacy: we know your wild past won't forget, but who doesn't?

Recession thick, but some sectors still hiring

People in line for unemployment benefits in Detroit. (Photo by Francis Miller, January 1952)
People in line for unemployment benefits in Detroit. (Photo by Francis Miller, January 1952)

I now know a handful of bright people – some family, some friends, some young all smart and competent – who are victims of what is becoming a growing economic hysteria, made worse by media… and blogs. This from the Washington Post:

New unemployment figures from the Department of Labor show average new jobless claims for the past four weeks up more than 200,000 from a year ago to their highest level since Dec. 1982.

The latest Washington Post-ABC News poll found job cuts reaching a broad swath of Americans: nearly two in 10 reported they or someone in their household had lost a job in the past few months, and almost three in 10 said their household had been hit with a pay cut or reduced hours at work.” [Source]

That can only affect this freelance journalist, as it does millions of Americans.

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I heart John Baer: Move Pennsylvania Society weekend from NYC to Philly

Ed Rendell and others at 2006 Pennsylvania Society dinner in New York City.
Ed Rendell and others at 2006 Pennsylvania Society dinner in New York City.

One of the largest and, admittedly, one of the many embarrassments of old Philadelphia is that the annual Pennsylvania Society dinner is held in midtown Manhattan.

It seems like a suggestion that Pennsylvania’s largest city – the city of firsts, the workshop of the world, the first great city of the United States – isn’t good enough. Or as Fred Anton, head of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association, told eminent Daily News columnist John Baer, Philly isn’t “exotic” enough.  His recent most column lambasted the 109-year-old celebration:

Cancel next month’s Pennsylvania Society weekend in New York City, or curtail it, or work on moving it to its home state.

In the worst economy since the Great Depression, with 1.2 million jobs lost this year, with state unemployment at 5.7 percent, the highest rate since right after Gov. Rendell took office in ’03, with the city facing job cuts and a $1 billion shortfall, it just strikes me as a tad unseemly to, you know, party hearty. [Source]

But, this deal is even more twisted than even Baer acknowledges, though I would like to take this opportunity to point out that I was once in a group photo with him.

Continue reading I heart John Baer: Move Pennsylvania Society weekend from NYC to Philly

Thoughts on City Paper cover story on Philly porn star

Photo by Michael T. Regan for CityPaper
Photo by Michael T. Regan for CityPaper

So turns out one of today’s biggest, brightest and youngest upcoming porn stars lives in South Philadelphia.

And really, where else could Stoya live.

Philadelphia City Paper devoted its latest cover story to her. Nearly 5,000 words, friends. Writer Matt Stroud is getting beaten up a bit in the blogosphere and on the story comments – though some are complimentary – and there’s been some buzz around it, so I gave it a read, though I’m currently out of Philly.

Continue reading Thoughts on City Paper cover story on Philly porn star