Philly Geek Awards: nominated by Geekadelphia for Philly Tech Week, Story Shuffle, Constitution Daily

As I shared on Technically Philly today, the team behind Geekadelphia, the playful geek culture blog, has announced the first ever Philly Geek Awards to take place Friday, Aug. 19 at the Academy of Natural Sciences.

I am proud to say I have my hand in three of about a dozen or so nominations. Thanks Eric and crew!

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How to choose a credit card for my small business

Over at Technically Media, I had a bear of a problem for a few days trying to figure out how we could get a company credit card.

We had no credit. We were a new business. Plus, there were three of us, and we wanted all to have equal footing. What was more, I struggled to find good, meaningful information about credit cards online, instead I found spam.

I took to social media and was repeatedly recommended American Express and other cards that had credit limits that precluded our new business.

I did a little reading — tried BillShrink, this BusinessWeek story and a Business.com option — but in the end, I went to the bank where we have our business account.

In the end, all three of us became guarantors — putting our personal credit on the line — to get a business credit card with a small starting balance. We’ll be able to wean off of our personal reliance, I’m told, and continue to build business credit, which is our goal.

How to dissolve a partnership and what to do next

The three of us who founded Technically Philly dissolved our partnership at the end of last year. But it was good news.

Moving away from the general partnership we launched in early  2009, we’ve incorporated as an S-Corporation in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, for better protection against liability, losses and for better treatment by the federal government (though, as I understand it, if we were to ever sell this thing, it’s a less desirable designation).

That means we closed a bank account, tossed out our partnership agreement in lieu of an operation agreement and started anew of sorts. In our case, dissolving our partnership coincided with our new, dusted off business plan for Technically Media Inc., our parent publishing consultancy that oversees TP.

I put considerable thought into the organization of our business so as to make this inevitable step forward as painless as possible. For others it might be obvious, but if it isn’t for you, below I share some lessons and the steps we took.

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Technically Media meeting style: effective, productive and professional from home

Larry Summers, former Harvard president and National Economic Council director, asleep in an April 2009 meeting. Courtesy of IvyGate

During presentations, we at Technically Media have talked about our failures. We do a lot of speaking (me too), so we’ve also touched on the power of working in threes.

But I think we haven’t touched on what I think is our most innovative reason for sticking together for more than two years: our meeting style. And the power of drag of meetings are important to us.

OK, yah, it sounds pretty boring, and, well, maybe it is, but if you ask about our success (whatever it is) I think it has quite a bit to do with the meetings we’ve almost always held, from the very beginning.

It’s largely a style I’ve advocated for years that has now been further evolved, practiced and cemented into our culture with a lot of follow through from two colleagues who really buy into it and have crafted it on their own. So much do I prefer our meetings over others I often find myself getting into, that I often find myself bringing the style elsewhere.

You can see advice from Google and a startup.

Below, I share a typical agenda from a Technically Philly meeting, some unwritten rules we’ve adopted for these meetings and the phrases you’d be sure to hear at each of our meetings.

Continue reading Technically Media meeting style: effective, productive and professional from home

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.

Grow audience and revenue: two ways to increase the number of news sources

Yes, that is George Michael. There are three clear steps to increase the number of news sources to the level that, say, surrounded Singer George Michael in May 1985 when this photo was taken by Ann Clifford for Life magazine.

To increase the number of news sources in a community one needs to do two things: (1) grow audience and/or (2) grow revenue.

In a followup to a prompt that ushered in a post last month, Spot.Us founder David Cohn again opens the Carnival of Journalism, in which a handful of media makers and molders opine a subject of his choosing. This session, the question focuses on the role that we all play in increasing the number of news creators.

As organizers put it:

What can you, as an individual or employee, do to increase the number of news sources. Everyone has a different set of circumstances. Some work at universities (which we found out last month) others work for public media, for independent media or for-profit media entities large and small. Take a moment to reflect on your unique skills and circumstances. Then answer: What specific things can you do to increase the number of news sources for a local community.

We can figure that out by doing building audiences and revenue.

Continue reading Grow audience and revenue: two ways to increase the number of news sources

Technically Media office space, or why I have a flask on my desk

I have a flask (and a typewriter) on my desk . That desk is in new office space, as announced today.

In conjunction with the Technically Philly open data grant project, our Technically Media Inc. parent company has moved into a working office space at Temple University Center City at 1515 Market Street in Philadelphia.

It’s important to note that this office space is specifically for the six-month Technically Philly grant project, and so the office is used for those purposes and is only leased for that time.

It’s also important to note that we at TP take great interest in respecting, honoring and, in some ways, continuing the traditions of the past.

Continue reading Technically Media office space, or why I have a flask on my desk

What is Editorial Strategy: Definitions for Content Strategy and more

I try to keep things simple.

Because there is so much crap out there, I like to think if you can’t describe simply, quickly and tersely what you do, then it’s probably not important.

So, in introducing my work with Technically Media, I kept it simply to that we build audiences, which is something of a tag line of ours.

But there are those in the industry and near to it who are a bit more interested in what exactly we’re proposing.

We’re calling what we do editorial strategy, something of a subset of a growing movement called content strategy, which usually falls under user experience design and differs itself from content marketing.

It’s a concept that pulling with content you create is going to become just as much as a given as pushing with social media you control.

But what the hell does all of that mean?

Continue reading What is Editorial Strategy: Definitions for Content Strategy and more

Philly Tech Week: introducing event series growing innovation impact

PHILADELPHIA — Regional technology news site Technically Philly has announced today that it is organizing the first ever Philly Tech Week to be held across the Philadelphia area April 25-30, 2011.

Philly Tech Week will be a week-long celebration of technology and innovation in Philadelphia. The annual week of events is intended to grow the impact of this innovative region through programming focused on technology, collaboration and improving Philadelphia

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How do I choose a payroll services company for my business

When I am unsure about something, I tend to over-indulge in the research.

So, when my two colleagues and I decided that, despite our size, we thought it was worth the cost of hiring a payroll services company to withhold taxes for Technically Media from the very start, I knew I’d be indulging.

In the end, we went with a Center City Philadelphia representative from payroll services giant Paychex.

Let me tell you a bit about the process, in case you have a small business that might want to outsource that work as we have.

Continue reading How do I choose a payroll services company for my business