Whiskey Chats: Technically Media talks with Jim Brady

Over at TechnicallyMedia.com, we’re feeling out the editorial strategy of our editorial strategy company’s website.

For now, it’ll have about a post a week, usually focusing on lessons in growing audience and sharing content online, in addition to specific case studies from our work and now, whenever we have the chance to grab someone smart who pops into our new office to talk about journalism, the future of news and the like, we’ll share a new episode in our Whiskey Chats podcast.

We launched the first episode this week when former TBD.com General Manager and WashingtonPost.com executive editor Jim Brady stopped by.

Listen here.

Thanks to Sean Blanda for editing and naming the product.

Technically Media Inc.: introducing a media services consultancy

Simply put, we build audiences.

At the beginning of December, I left another role and promised greater details on what I would doing. Here’s a start.

In the past few weeks, I’ve chosen a payroll services company, applied for tax status, requested a business operating license, closed an existing account and otherwise finalized the incorporation of a new business, of which I am now a full-time employee, answering early a resolution of mine.

Technically Media Inc. is a media services consultancy with three founders: Sean Blanda, Brian James Kirk and myself.

And, while I could get you lost in the details, all you really need to know that at its simplest form, we build audiences online.

Continue reading Technically Media Inc.: introducing a media services consultancy

Technically Philly directory launches, more updates to come

Today, Technically Philly has announced its directory.

Directories are normally pretty boring. We think ours won’t be.

It’s certainly a small step, but, leveraging WordPress custom taxonomies with some incredible thinking power of Sean Blanda and plenty of sweat equity from myself and Brian James Kirk, we have launched pages for the nearly 1,000 companies and almost as many individuals we’ve covered at Technically Philly in the past two years.

Continue reading Technically Philly directory launches, more updates to come

Switch Philly: the startup presentation event from Technically Philly

We’ve always said a niche news site has to look beyond advertising. We at Technically Philly have toed the water of events before. Well, we’re jumping all the way in now.

Earlier this month, we announced Switch Philly, a new business presentation event where five local companies will each offer entertaining seven-minute demos of their new products. Find TP coverage of our event here.

The event will be held Oct. 6, 2010 at 6 p.m. inside the Levitt Auditorium of the University of the Arts at Broad and Pine streets in Center City Philadelphia. Tickets for $9 can be purchased here — which helps us throw on the event, have others in the future and supports a niche news effort.

Much of the coverage goes to my colleague Sean Blanda, who is leading this initiative for TP.

The presenting companies at the inaugural Switch will be the following:

  • Azavea, the GIS-software firm based in the Callowhill neighborhood, will present sustainably-minded mapping and direction application CommonSpace.
  • P’unk Ave, the Passyunk Square-based web development company, will share innovative content management system Apostrophe.
  • Orpheus Media Research, the Old City tonal research project, will share music comparison software Myna.
  • Zecvozi, the stealth Northern Liberties sustainability tracking company, will launch at the event.
  • Packlate, the West Conshohocken discount vacation planning startup, will share its new deal-finding search engine.

Find the official press release here [PDF].

Those are similar ledes: faint praise from the Philly Business Journal

Hey, ledes are often pretty formulaic. That much we know.

We also know that Technically Philly has aspired to grow more broader coverage of its community.

Now, they may not be the same and there may likely be no influence; I just thought this was quaint. Honestly, what it may best show is that we’re on the right path with Technically Philly.

From a former colleague and friend Peter Key:

If a lot of extremely strangely dressed people start showing up in the area in the next few months, it could be a sign that philanthropy in the region is increasing.  — Philadelphia Business Journal lede on July 9, 2010

From a current colleague and friend Sean Blanda:

If you see DunkTank co-founder Blake Jennelle walking around Center City with a cowboy hat, cowboy boots and a fake beard, rest assured he hasn’t gone completely crazy. — Technically Philly lede on June 17, 2010

CoPress Podcast: Speaking about Technically Philly and NewsInkubator

CoPress co-founders Greg Linch and Daniel Bachhuber at BarCamp NewsInnovation 2.0 at Temple University in Philadelphia on April 24, 2010. I spoke with them about Technically Philly and News Inkubator back in December.

I missed the release of the podcast once, and it took a conference four months later to remind me once more.

Back in December, my fellow Technically Philly co-founder Sean Blanda and I spoke to CoPress co-founders Greg Linch and Daniel Bachhuber about our site’s development and its work with News Inkubator, which was passed on in its Knight News Challenge attempt but conversations continue today.

Give it a listen here.

I guess I’ll have to get a copy of the mp3, since the boys are closing down CoPress to focus on other projects.

BarCamp NewsInnovation 2.0: My take aways and experience

I speak during Technically Philly's afternoon session at BarCamp NewsInnovation 2.0 at Temple University on April 24, 2010, organization of which was led by Sean Blanda, at left.

They weren’t from around here, were they, shouted my neighbor across the street over the weekend.

She was talking about a pack of young journalists — from Florida and Washington state and California — who had invaded my Fishtown rowhome the weekend before.

That was perhaps one of the largest take aways I drew from attending and, by way of Technically Philly, co-sponsoring BarCamp NewsInnovation 2.0 April 24 — the staggering drawing power of the event in just its second year.

Continue reading BarCamp NewsInnovation 2.0: My take aways and experience

Failure is not an option, it’s a necessity: Technically Philly at BarCamp NewsInnovation

A year after focusing strictly on business, the three of us at Technically Philly took a softer approach at BarCamp NewsInnovation 2.0, which we again sponsored and organized [Notes here].

The event was held today, April 24, 2010, again at Temple University.

Find video, our slides and presentation notes from our talk below.

Failure is not an option (it’s a necessity)

Five Stories about Failure

1. Ad Sales — “Until you have the right person, you are the right person.”

FAILURE: Wasted time, energy and resources. [Tried a half dozen commission-based sales people]

LESSON: We should have been selling ads ourselves.

2. Business Roadmap — “Don’t hang out with Brian. It’s depressing.”

FAILURE: We thought we’d be making money by month three.

LESSON: Double or triple the time your business plan will take.

3. Business Criticism — “To be honest, we’re not always sure what [Technically Philly is] trying to accomplish.”

FAILURE: Uh, we were criticized in a best-of issue.

LESSON: If you’re noticed, your work will be scrutinized.

4. Potential Partners — “I don’t see the point of meeting.”

FAILURE: Turned down an opportunity to meet with a key business leader.

LESSON: In this new media environment, everyone is a potential partner.

5. Investment (sappy anecdote) — “Well, that wasn’t THAT depressing.”

FAILURE: We started Technically Philly (and said some silly things in front of important people).

LESSON: We’ve learned much, met many people and improved what we know in the space of journalism.

The presentation is also available here. See and hear the presentation from Samurai Tours here.

When we were asked for more embarrassing stories, we realized we should have also shared the story of our speaking engagement with the Women’s Press Association of Pennsylvania, in which no one showed except the organizer and former Philadelphia mayoral candidate Queena Bass. Or we could have told one of the half dozen times Sean has been under dressed when going to cover events.

It was a fun session with a few practical takeaways, we hope. If nothing else, it seemed well-received.

Some Tweets

  • Anthony Ruiz of Samurai Virtual Tours quotes me about being stupid
  • Freelancer Amy Z Quinn agrees on the concept
  • Freelancer Morgan Zalot picks up on our swearing working in threes is the best
  • Newspaper company digital chief Jason Krustifek noted our take that everyone can be a partner.

BarCamp NewsInnovation 2: Who I’m hoping to meet

Nearly 200 journalists, bloggers, innovators and technologists have signed up to attend the free-to-attend second national BarCamp NewsInnovation un-conference held this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Temple University in North Philadelphia.

Last year, lots of attention came from the first national un-conference dedicated to news, information and journalism, and it was when I first became exasperated with the conversation that revolved around advertising and advertising alone as a print mode.

I spoke about community news sites with my two co-founders of Technically Philly and the upcoming challenges of branding online in a print-heavy community with the founder of NEast Philly. In both cases and what I felt was a bit of a trend, the conversation revolved around — even in April 2009 — about what had gone wrong and what we all were going to do about it.

In October, lead BCNI organizer Sean Blanda asked what should be different about the second. Lots of suggestions came his way, but I think one will happen a bit more naturally.

I’m expecting much more of a conversation about what we are doing now about the ‘future of journalism.’ So looking at the long list of attendees, I already have in my mind a handful of people who are doing things that I’ll be interested to meet.

Continue reading BarCamp NewsInnovation 2: Who I’m hoping to meet

Introducing the 67th ward

[Updated: URL is dead, now go here.]

With a bit of a twinkle in our eyes, my colleagues Brian James Kirk and Sean Blanda, today, we launch a small testament to our love for that city that lives in Philadelphia’s historic shadow: New York.

Today, we launch the 67th ward.

It’s not much now and probably won’t be in the future. Just a small landing page for a mentality.

Yes, it comes from that old New York Times trend story that chronicled — in a somewhat condescending tone — the young people from that city, particularly Brooklyn, who were migrating to old transitioning neighborhoods of Philadelphia.

Philadelphia, the story suggested, was the ‘next borough’ so the ‘sixth borough.’

Continue reading Introducing the 67th ward