We thought bringing together two niches — the geography of Philadelphia and the industry of technology and innovation — and diversifying revenue streams — going beyond advertising — was a new enough model that it might catch the eye of a judge or two.
We walked into a meaningful business, social and startup community in a major metro region’s creative economies and began reporting, relying on our interests in social media, community reporting and professional and ethical journalism.
We recently introduced advertising — a small first step in monetization –and feel that a grant for $10,000 could afford the three of us an opportunity to work full time for perhaps as much two months or more. Considering how pleased we are with our traffic growth and the response from the community, we’re thrilled by even the chance at the opportunity to give full time to a project none of us have been able to offer even part time thus far.
Unfortunately and entirely unsurprisingly, there is some stiff competition from the nearly 100 submissions that were entered. Below I share some of the more interesting submissions I saw and my thoughts on our viability.
The real problem is, advertising is dying. It’s just pulling down newspapers along the way. Next up: TV, radio, and Google.
This is why I was warning anyone who would listen that traditional media’s schadenfreude when the internet bubble popped in 2001 was probably misplaced. Because the reason it popped was one finally had the metrics to show Advertising Doesn’t Work. Google has forestalled the inevitable by doing the Net equivalent of the “tiny little ads” schtick of a decade or two back, but I think they see the writing on the wall, which is why they keep trying so desperately to find something, anything, other than search that’ll make money…. [Source]
If you check out Technically Philly and you follow every minute change, you may have noticed that the tagline that we boast at the site’s top has changed slightly.
Last week it still read: “Technically Philly is a blog covering the community of people who use technology in Philadelphia.” Now it says, “Technically Philly is a site that covers the community of people who use technology in Philadelphia.”
It may be a small change, but we realized we were lying.
The type of Web site quickly took to house a variety of online diaries, often collecting news and commentary, too, but always flowing in some form of sequential order.
In 2004, with five million worldwide, the blog format was said to have hit the critical mass of being mainstream, bringing with it a new crew of news analysis and commentary, then largely from an outsider’s perspective.
I am surprised to say I’ve become something of a fan of marketing author Seth Godin.
I find his blog purposefully insightful, thought-provoking and strangely general. A person from just about any industry could take lessons away from his posts, which, of course, is likely his purpose.
It’s in that way that if, say, a fellow young journalist asked for a few blogs to follow, I’d suggest at least two that really don’t have any direct relationship to newspapers or even media. I’d certainly say Godin’s, and I’d also say Mark Cuban‘s — but that’s for another post.
I have to fight an urge to share very nearly everything they post.
Last month, though, I found a bit of a theme in Godin’s posts. It may have been because of my focus of my own announcement of intentions to monetize Technically Philly, but no matter the reason, I think Godin offered a series of interesting thoughts on making sales, all of which correlated, I thought, to Web startups.
In the first four months, we’ve been introducing members of this region’s Web 2.0 and co-working communities, but we have so much ground yet to cover. We’re only now making friends with the bubbling venture capital scene in Philadelphia, and the innovation and technology that is being employed in this region’s rich life sciences and biotech sectors would blow you away. We want to report appropriately and effectively with wisdom and justice, chronicling the heights and depths and direction of this scene and its creative economies.
And that’s just it, for a Web startup, you have to be patient. By most accounts, four months is likely early to launch monetization, but, simply put, the fiscal standing of my two co-founders and I makes it necessary to get the profit structure squared away.
It could be her, standing in the low light of a trendy South Philadelphia coffee shop.
There are maybe 10 people — drinking tea and working on laptops — most of whom are cute, pale-faced women with dark hair and a look. One arrived promptly at 4 p.m. and happened to be the biggest young thing in the entirety of mainstream adult film.
A friend kindly submitted it to Digg, where it has more than any other story I’ve been a part of has gotten. Someone else pushed it on ReddIT. Combining porn and tech, I suppose, were bound to get interest online, though I maintain that the story has real merit for TP.
Below see what got left on the cutting room floor.
Many thanks to photographer Neal Santos who took some shots of Stoya where we interviewed, including thephoto we used. I also want to thank Stoya for her time and patience.
After announcing the birth Technically Philly, I haven’t more than briefly mentioned the news site for Philadelphia’s technology community, even though I’ve been writing there sometimes more than seven times weekly.
Today, we ran an editorial that I particularly liked, so I thought I’d share. My two co-founders and I share the stance and both helped a great deal, but I took the lead on writing this one. I’m eager to see how our readers react — if they will at all.
Here’s a test.
Just how innovative and influential, forward-thinking yet practical is the technology community in Philadelphia? Because you’re being challenged.
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.