Most of the work of business takes place somewhere in between the very start and the very end. Yet a lot of media attention focuses on those two iconic poles. So you might know a lot less about the space between the two poles.
First, let’s acknowledge that three years is not a terribly long time.
Still, I’m proud that three years ago last month, Brian James Kirk, Sean Blanda and I launched a blog to cover the technology community of Philadelphia. Three years later, we are full-time employees of a growing business with a good reputation.
In that time, we’ve had some accomplishments that are worth being proud of. It’s been a learning experience to be sure.
First, our organization is changing in lots of ways.
Find the story online here, and my section here. Go buy a copy.
I was included for being one of three co-founders of local technology news site Technically Philly and being involved in the development of the city’s startup and hacker communities. I was perhaps most pleased that I have so far survived the Philly.com comments, mostly because I have helped build a small for-profit with three full-time employees.
While I am certainly proud to be included, I am humbled knowing that there are so many other young Philadelphians making great change. There is no way this list of 10 could do that justice. It’s just a highlight of some of us, and I’m proud to be part of it, but I am more than aware of how many others could have been on this list.
For the record, though, I am only 25, not 27. I should also say that I am certainly nervous about being included because of my relatively small contribution at such a young age. I look forward to being involved in much more in the future.
Sometimes, if not most times, what happens outside of the sessions can be what’s most valuable about a conference.
I learned plenty the traditional way at the 2011 Online News Association national conference, held in Boston this weekend Sept. 22-25, but I surely got more out of reconnecting with friends and colleagues from other markets, even more than I remember doing at past professional events. It also didn’t hurt that I dove more into Boston than I have while visiting elsewhere for work travel.
After a few years co-running a sustainable niche news site, participating in the online discourse around news innovation and attending events like ONA and others from the Aspen Institute, the University of Missouri and, yes, our own BarCamp NewsInnovation, I felt like attending the event was just as important to talk shop with others doing similar work across the country as it was to catch up on a lot of in-session conversations that felt less relevant to where we are professionally.
Tourism and good, smart friends aside, below I share what I learned in a conference’s traditional way.
(As noted here a couple months ago, we actually had a few fun shots taken by another great Philadelphia photographer, Neal Santos, but that just in preparation for another photo shoot altogether and weren’t formal headshots.)
A year ago, my housemate Sean Blanda and I had something of a mouse problem.
We weren’t exactly overrun with mice, but I had come across small ones in my kitchen and had our share of droppings.
Our friend was moving and couldn’t take her cat Penny Lane. We welcomed her, eradicated our mouse problem, had a little soldier for the occasional bug or fly and a very playful friend. One year later, she’s still cute and we haven’t had any signs of infestation since.
The inaugural Philly Tech Week has passed, and I shared a roundup of the entire week, but I wanted to focus in on one of the larger events.
As I noted, my Technically Philly colleagues and fellow PTW organizers each took hold of a portion of the nine of the week’s 65 events that we organized. Among what I handled was taking the lead on our Friday night Signature Event, featuring a 150-person, catered cocktail reception at WHYY in Old City, featuring keynote speaker Rich Negrin, the City of Philadelphia Managing Director who discussed good government initiatives.
I have some take aways below, which I hope to add to, in addition to the text of the quick address I gave to kick off the evening and video, showing that I’m not very good at actually listening to what I write.
These resolutions can be a little silly, but they do serve as validation of the interest and growth of the technology community in Philadelphia. It was an honor to represent the community, even though we’re only a small part of its growth.
Below, watch my brief remarks and see the notes that I should have prepared.