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.

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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.’

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Faint Praise from Philly Weekly Better than Best issue

All of my thoughts

Eh, who has the energy. Instead, I’ll leave it to you:

Philadelphia Weekly’s Better than Best issue

Best Self-Promoters on the New Media Scene

To be honest, we’re not always sure exactly what it is the young journalists at Technically Philly are trying to accomplish at the site. Are they attempting to chronicle the local media’s often-painful transition into the web-centric era? Well, yes, there’s certainly that. But it sometimes seems that TP’s contributors are trying to bring about the future of media by loudly declaring themselves to be the future of media. The guys—Sean Blanda, Brian James Kirk and Chris Wink—are certainly good at getting their names out there: The trio appeared last spring at BarCamp Philly, a gathering of veteran journalists, to explain the virtues of their approach. And if that approach appears to be a combination of web links, brief stories and occasional interviews that skim the surface of the local scene—well, who’s to say that isn’t the future of media? [Source]

Introducing @MyPICCLine: a patient’s account of the healthcare industry

mypiccline

Finding an audience, a focus and a voice involves place, time and circumstances.

So, I knew what I’d talk about when I arrived at Hackensack University Medical Center the first week of July to see Matthew C. Sheehan, my best friend from growing up in northwest New Jersey who had long been looking for something meaningful to write about and had just been diagnosed with a rare blood disease.

Let’s get you to write about enduring the often-maligned U.S. healthcare industry at a time of great national interest. Of course, Matt, who graduated in May 2008 from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst with dual biology and journalism degrees, already had it in mind.

With graciously offered hosting space from my Philadelphia partner in media obsession Sean Blanda, a WordPress template and a few hours of my tinkering and Matt’s first couple weeks writing, I present MyPICCLine.com, his personal journey through the healthcare industry.

Continue reading Introducing @MyPICCLine: a patient’s account of the healthcare industry

Introducing @MyPICCLine: a patient's account of the healthcare industry

mypiccline

Finding an audience, a focus and a voice involves place, time and circumstances.

So, I knew what I’d talk about when I arrived at Hackensack University Medical Center the first week of July to see Matthew C. Sheehan, my best friend from growing up in northwest New Jersey who had long been looking for something meaningful to write about and had just been diagnosed with a rare blood disease.

Let’s get you to write about enduring the often-maligned U.S. healthcare industry at a time of great national interest. Of course, Matt, who graduated in May 2008 from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst with dual biology and journalism degrees, already had it in mind.

With graciously offered hosting space from my Philadelphia partner in media obsession Sean Blanda, a WordPress template and a few hours of my tinkering and Matt’s first couple weeks writing, I present MyPICCLine.com, his personal journey through the healthcare industry.

Continue reading Introducing @MyPICCLine: a patient's account of the healthcare industry

ChristopherWink.com: Independently hosted and spruced up

The older, WordPress.com version of this site.

Well this is overdue.

Exactly 575 days after my first post on this incarnation of ChristopherWink.com, I’ve done a massive redesign. If you’re in a feed reader, come on over and browse.

There is so much left for me to do, though. A lot of usability, design and organization elements remain janky. We’ll get to that. For now, I wanted to get over the big introduction hurdle of the redesign.

Of course, when I say redesign, I mean I switched from a free WordPress.com theme to using a free, self-hosted WordPress theme, but, hey, I’m tweaking this baby up.

It’s a slightly bold step forward.

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Community News Startups: Presentation notes from BarCamp for NewsInnovation

Sean Blanda, Brian James Kirk and me on Saturday, April 25, 2009 in the atrium of Annenberg Hall at Temple University after discussing at the BarCamp for NewsInnovation at TechnicallyPhilly.com, which we co-founded.

Two Saturdays ago, friends Sean Blanda, Brian James Kirk and I presented at the BarCamp NewsInnovation — which Blanda organized and Brian and I helped run — on TechnicallyPhilly.com, which we co-founded in February.

Read my thoughts on the event here. Read Twitter coverage of our presentation by looking through #BCNI304, which relates to the room in which we presented.

Below see the notes from and video of the presentation we gave.

Continue reading Community News Startups: Presentation notes from BarCamp for NewsInnovation

Advertising can't be the only option and other musings from BarCamp NewsInnovation

PlayPlay

You missed the national BarCamp for NewsInnovation conference this past Saturday, held at Temple University in North Philadelphia — even though I encouraged you to come.

I sure didn’t. As I posted about the week prior, I was in Annenberg Hall on April 25.

It seemed to be a personification of online communities and conversations I’ve been following only online — like the value of personal branding, which was the focus of the first hour-long session  I attended, how valuable journalism school really is (why it might not be) and why news organizations and journalists need to add value.

I made it to four sessions, spoke at two and helped divvy out the sponsored food during the long day which officially went from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., though I was out of the house before eight a.m. and not home before 11 p.m. (after a bumping after part).

These conferences are structured around creating dialogues and allowing anyone to speak on something important to him, so nobodies like me led sessions next door to ones held by executives, editors and reporters from places like the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, GateHouse Media, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly.com, McClatchy News and, likely more than I don’t know about. I mean, gees, the whole growing crew at Publish2, which develops tools for what it calls collaborative journalism, showed up.

See the complete schedule here.

I learned some things, and I’d like to share them.

Continue reading Advertising can't be the only option and other musings from BarCamp NewsInnovation

I’m the proud new owner of my own business cards

wink-businesscard

Once I admitted I was late, I just kept delaying the inevitable — buying business cards.

I got into the full-time, freelance writing back in December, so I ought to have had something right away. I could have passed them out when I spoke at a high school journalism conference and with the many sources I’ve met in my freelancing work since.

Well, now I have them, double-sided cards, as depicted above, though the colors are a bit darker and the text a bit harder to read here than they are when printed. Much thanks to colleague graphic designer Brian James Kirk who did the dirty layout work.

There are those who say business cards are old hat, but, let me answer my own question, they are still absolutely necessary for a freelance journalist even today. Below I share what I did and related learning.

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How I graduated and watched my peers have a real impact

The effects of Zunegate. Cartoon courtesy of PennyArcade.com. Link in-text.

Shannon McDonald unwittingly speared a wide, if brief, revisit to a conversation about race and prejudice in one of the largest police forces in the country. She is 21-years-old.

It was early December when Neal Santos, another friend of mine, was ensnared in his own media firestorm. Ever hear of Zunegate?

Santos, the assistant online editor of Philadelphia alternative-weekly CityPaper, spotted then-President-elect Barack Obama using a Zune mp3 player on a treadmill in a Philly gym. He reported it and chaos ensued.

Every tech site in the country wanted to beat that story. Folks at the Wall Street Journal, Wired, PCWorld and MacWorld were on it.  It got around on Podcasting News, iPhone Savior and was animated on Penny Arcade (as depicted above).

These are just two cases of a trend that excites me, scares me and motivates me. Young journalists, some with whom I’ve graduated, many with whom I’ve worked and all of whom I respect, are making an impact. Not always in the ways they want, but, Christ, it helps to understand that, wow, this is real now.

Continue reading How I graduated and watched my peers have a real impact