my 5 best trafficked, most interesting and other posts of 2012

This is a map of 2012 web traffic on as displayed by WordPress. Random web traffic from 160 countries really doesn't matter much, as a lot of it is probably meaningless image search results, but it's a pretty map.
This is a map of 2012 web traffic on as displayed by WordPress. Random web traffic from 160 countries really doesn’t matter much, as a lot of it is probably meaningless image search results, but it’s a pretty map.

I like to wrap up each year by looking at what I’ve written about here. To do it a little bit differently, I looked at three different measures of content: what was the best trafficked, what got the most engagement (email, conversation, social chatter) and what I ones I most want to follow up on.

Continue reading my 5 best trafficked, most interesting and other posts of 2012

Quirky Tumblr accounts I wish were active

I’m a fan of the fun collections of ideas, images and concepts that find their way onto personal Tumblr accounts, often driven by crowdsourcing contributions.

Recently a handful of ideas have come to mind that I wish were actively being created by someone. I’d happily contribute.

  1. Ridiculous local TV lower thirds — As depicted above, the foolishness of TV news is often good for absurd, accidentally ironic or just downright idiotic messages and descriptions in text on news casts.
  2. Vanity license plates — A few efforts have started and stumbled, but a collection of great vanity license plates is too good to be missed. This is probably one I’m most suited to start myself, considering I’ve exchanged picture messages of these with my family for years.
  3. Fat men eating ice cream cones — Next time you’re downtheshore or at a vacation spot, you’ll find them. And it will make you smile.

My 10 best trafficked posts of 2011 (and some others that I think are pretty good)

As I’ve done in passed years, as this year comes to a close, I like to dive a bit into the work I’ve done here in the last 12 months to gauge what was popular and what I was most proud of.

Below, find my 10 best read posts of the year and a few others I thought were worth reading.

Continue reading My 10 best trafficked posts of 2011 (and some others that I think are pretty good)

New Media Unplugged: Technically Philly hosts indie publishers event with 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 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.

Continue reading New Media Unplugged: Technically Philly hosts indie publishers event with as part of #UncappedLive series

How to migrate a blog to your own WordPress hosting

I’ve done this enough times to figure out how to do it without screwing everything up.

Suppose you start a project on a free, and, as it grows, you want to move it to a self-hosted platform version of WordPress, like I did with this site and NEast Philly and my thesis and others.

So, in case you need to do the same, here are the steps:

    1. From the Tools option in the sidebar, choose to Export.
    2. Download the XML Export file, being mindful that all fields in the drop down menus are chosen, so you are downloading everything.
    3. Open in Wordpad and change your file extensions with a Search and Replace. i.e. So, in the XML file from my thesis site, I replaced ‘’ with ‘’, meaning that the links would then associate
    4. *Make sure permalinks are the same from your to your new site.
    5. From the Tools option in your new self-hosted WordPress platform, choose to Import.
    6. Browse and choose to Upload the XML file that you downloaded from your and then edited in Wordpad.
    7. **Easy-to-miss step** Upon selecting your XML file, under ‘Import Attachments’ be certain to check off the box next to ‘Download and import file attachments’ so that your photos and other uploaded media will be transferred to this new database. (I’ve missed this step before to much frustration).
    8. Delete the old jawn — Take down the old or, if you want to transition some search engine love, you can block the from being picked up by search engines but keep it alive for old links with a post pushing to the new site and eventually delete.

      Sustaining the craft, not developing the craft itself, should be focus of Knight and RJI

      I’m late.

      I’ve been invited to the Hardly. Strictly. Young.  conference on alternative ways to implement Knight Foundation recommendations at the Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri [More on that later]. One of the fun precursors to the two-day event later this month has been participating in the Journalism Carnival of blogging, shepherded by conference organizer, Spot.Us founder and leather jacket-wearer David Cohn.

      In January, I wrote about the role universities should play in creating journalism,  and in February wrote about two ways to grow the number of news sources. In March, I was supposed to write on what the Knight News Challenge should do next and how the RJI fellows program could be a part of curating that innovation.

      Fortunately, in being late, I can point to others who already did it better than I would. No, Cohn, this isn’t a cop out, this is cutting my losses. The undercurrent on both of these questions for me is that I’m not worried about the craft as much as I’m worried about sustaining the craft.

      Continue reading Sustaining the craft, not developing the craft itself, should be focus of Knight and RJI

      My Life To Do List got a face life; you really might not care and that’s OK

      The online documentation of my pursuit of accomplishing items on a Life To Do List that I made as a kid has moved to a subdomain of this site, at I first brought it online earlier this year and have since updated it.

      It gives me more flexibility, control and organization. I have no expectations or desire for that blog to be any regularly updated place, but rather a true chronicle of meaningful experiences. If you find that at all interesting for whatever reason, there is an RSS feed here and an email blast here.

      A few good recent examples might be my post on attending the competitive eating Wing Bowl and being part of the Mummers Day and a review of backpacking Alaska. I have only posted four times so far in 2011, and I figure that’ll be about average.

      Otherwise, I wouldn’t worry about it too much, as this here will remain my focus of professional work.

      The old that I first shared in 2008 is now dead, though the experiment with distinctions between personal and private seems to be alive.

      This is just about the last online piece of my January resolution to update my archives, which also included shifting over my college thesis to and getting online my work from Japan. Those are just for archiving purposes, as those projects are finished.

      Tokyo: Archived Podcasting and Blogging from Junior Year Abroad with NBC

      Four years later, I’m finishing this piece of archiving business.

      A couple months ago, I announced I had moved my honors thesis to a subdomain of this site for the sake of organization and archiving. Following up on that resolution to make more tidy a rambling online portfolio, I have brought another dated, collection of work of which I am proud under this house.

      I spent the better chunk of 2006 in Tokyo video podcasting, writing, traveling and learning on behalf of NBC Universal Digital Studios. Now all of that work can be found at

      See all the Episodes here and all the Archives here. Go and explore.

      A few things interested me from my work in 2006:

      • Short, bad titles — The post headlines were all short and sometimes not even descriptive. I didn’t recognize then the importance.
      • I wrote a lot — I far outpaced all of my fellow castmembers in output, which is great, but I could have made much of the content terser and more straightforward.
      • I actually had comments — On many posts, I had a handful of comments. I haven’t transferred them… yet.
      • I never linked — I didn’t have a single link to a past post.
      • Photo albums, not in posts — Photos and the video episodes were never embedded. This is the one major change I’ve made, by incorporating them.
      • Yes, I called posts ‘blogs’ — But that was 2006. What’s the excuse today?
      • I learned and experienced so damn much — I interacted with an audience and explored and created multimedia, but ultimately, I was just a young kid learning. ..And what a clear stepping stone toward the WDSTL podcast I did while in Western Europe.

      My 10 Most trafficked posts of 2010

      You can learn a lot by looking at what you’ve done over a year.

      So, while I try to get better at making goals and sticking to them, I have an eye to my work here, because this has always been a place for experimentation and learning, where I develop my thoughts, my writing and my style.

      So, like I did last year and the year before, I’ve looked at the 15 most trafficked posts I’ve written here.

      Looking at the list I think there are two specific lessons to be learned:

      • Original Reporting rocks — It’s just what I saw in Technically Philly’s roundup of top stories. In this list of 10, seven featured first-issue original reporting, two offered insider commentary and one offered a strong opinion. No aggregation, summaries or general perspective made it to the list, though I do all those kinds of posts too and those kind of posts dominated my 2008 list and had more influence on my 2009 list.
      • Time matters — This site gets a relatively low-level of traffic (the top post on this list received fewer than 500 hits this year), so the sheer amount of time a post is up is magnified. With bigger traffic sites, the first week of traffic can largely overcome a long tail. However in my case, just one of the 10 posts was created in the last four months, and I don’t think that’s due to lack of relatively meaningful content. So, with lower traffic sites, the longer a post is up has a greater impact on its overall traffic than with higher traffic sites.

      That said, here are the posts. Draw your own conclusions:

      10. Newsworks: WHYY online news brand launching means a lot to these legacies — Nov. 22

      Find the other nine below.

      Continue reading My 10 Most trafficked posts of 2010