I traveled to Birmingham, Alabama to be part of the revival of SlossTech, where I joined a panel discussing how different entrepreneurship ecosystems vary by geography.
Among my favorite pushes: Everyone has projections about why their city is special but spreadsheets are full of hopes and lies.
Continue reading Featured speaker @ Sloss Tech in Birmingham, Alabama
I was proud of my keynote speech helping to kickoff Technical.ly Builders, the return of our retooled readers conference that welcomed 500 from nearly 20 US states during Philly Tech Week.
The outline of my speech was shared as written pieces in three parts:
Continue reading Technical.ly Builders conference keynote
For Technical.ly’s postponed, all-virtual Introduced conference, I closed out the day interviewing Guy Raz, the influential podcaster behind ‘How I Build This.’ He has a new book by the same name.
For those interested in economic development and entrepreneurship, the conversation is worth a listen. My colleague Stephen Babcock put together a nice recap, and here are a couple points I took away:
Continue reading A few notes from my conversation with Guy Raz of ‘How I Built This’
I assume that the idea of ‘letters to the editor’ was once a representative and effective means for news organizations to receive feedback from their community.
I’m not certain it remains so. For one, those can of course only be sent in for what has already been announced. I also get the sense not many reporters really listened or could gauge the preponderance of feedback.
The rise of quantitative surveying helps, though of course surveys are also not necessarily representative. We at Technically Media do our fair bit of surveying, after events and annually too. We also host regular curated groups of readers and (importantly) those we aspire to be readers of ours.
Continue reading News organizations: how do you get throughout feedback from your community?
I was given a ‘Community Leadership Award‘ by the Friends of the Coalition, a young leaders group associated with the influential Urban Affairs Coalition.
Knowing UAC’s reputation, I would have already been proud, but I was also surrounded by impressive company. My longtime friend Helen Ubinas, an Inquirer columnist, also received an award. That’s us smiling together in the above photo.
In introducing me, Kevin Harden, Jr. cited my work over the last 10 years in local journalism and community organizing, with a special focus on our adding Generocity.org to our existing Technical.ly work. He thought Generocity’s work was of particular importance.
Thanks also to Brandon Johnson, Felicia Harris and the other Friends of Coalition members, and UAC Executive Director Sharmain Matlock-Turner and the entire UAC team.
Here are the simple remarks I jotted down and shared to a group of 100 or so, at a reception following UAC’s 50th annual breakfast.
Continue reading I was given the ‘Community Leadership Award’ by the Urban Affairs Coalition
For the 11th annual Klein News Innovation Camp, an unconference on the future of news organized by my company, I interviewed our lunchtime keynote: Michael Smerconish, the radio personality and CNN host, Saturday. (Read coverage from Cover.This)
Continue reading Klein News Innovation Camp keynote interview with Michael Smerconish
In 2015, my company began publishing a second brand: Generocity.org, which aimed to offer beat reporting on nonprofit and mission work in local communities, starting in Philadelphia.
We’ve learned plenty. Last week we hosted ADVANCE, a pilot one-day conference for Generocity’s audience of nonprofit professionals. The aim was to feature case studies and concepts that would help the 100 attendees advance their mission careers. Our keynote was Kickstarter cofounder and former CEO Yancey Strickler, who has a new book on a more just economy.
I helped introduce the day by setting up what our reporting has taught us about our audience, and this growing community of future-thinking impact leaders. Though a modest start, I think it’s important we piloted this conference.
Continue reading Why we launched ADVANCE, a conference on smarter impact for nonprofit professionals
Geographically-focused acts of journalism are powerful. Professionals are increasingly rare because the business model that supported most of them has been supplanted. No one is doing the hard work of combating that. Let’s change it.
Following my journalism thinking essay, I’ve been looking to develop a more general-interest way to deliver the message. On Oct. 16, I gave my first try, at Ignite Philly, a local, volunteer-run outpost of a global confederation of big-idea events. (I spoke there in 2011 and 2013)
Find my notes and slides below, and I’ll add the video here when it’s eventually posted.
Continue reading Journalism Thinking: a lightning talk at Ignite Philly
I spoke about what I’ve learned about being a small company CEO, a startup founder and a team leader on the Ideas Elevated podcast from Lift Labs unit at Comcast NBCUniversal.
Powered by a decade of pursuing local news revenue models, I got together a few friends doing similar work and hosted a session during the 20th annual Online News Association conference, in New Orleans, on Thursday.
The session was called Real Life Local News Revenue Experiments That Aren’t Advertising. Building on a 2016 lightning talk at the same conference, I published an essay a few days before the session to gather related thoughts and spark conversation.
My big takeaway: journalism is a strategy, not an industry. Or put another way, it is an approach to competing in any number of business models. For local journalism to thrive in the future, we need to find and experiment there.
Find notes, slides and more below.
Continue reading Real Life Local News Revenue Experiments: ONA19 session