After graduating in 2009 from Temple University, Sam Watson was stuck.
He wanted to write or work in film or television production, but he couldn’t find a steady job in any of those fields. He wondered if it was time to pick up and leave for New York or Los Angeles. But then he stopped himself.
“Why not Philly?” he wondered.
He says he knew the city was full of talent and opportunities, but he hoped for a way to connect Philly’s artists and writers and filmmakers. So he built Collaborate Philly, a social networking site that aims to unite the city’s creative community.
Collaborate Philly officially launched late last month with a party at the Philadelphia Mausoleum of Contemporary Art.
Watson, 27, and music blogger Lindsey Colferai, 23, have been leading the effort behind the site, though they say that, in the spirit of collaboration, nearly a dozen people have helped them with different aspects of the project.
The site, which Watson created with social networking site builder Ning, offers job listings and a “featured projects” page. Watson says he hopes Collaborate Philly can help jump-start creative projects in the city.
“I imagine that there’s a lot more people just like me, who live in this city, and have great ideas for projects that will never be made only because they couldn’t find the right people to work with,” he wrote in an email.
Next up for the social network is a website redesign, the co-founders say. Encouraged by the launch party, they also hope to throw monthly events, like stand-up comedy shows, pop-up art galleries or even “movie-heckling nights,” Watson says.
Watson, who lives in Montgomery County because of his data-entry day job, is a freelance journalist whose work has appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer and Pennsylvania Magazine.
Colferai, who lives in Fishtown, is a Chestnut Hill College assistant lacrosse coach by day and runs a music blog in her free time. She says she’s been “obsessed with music all [her] life.” Like Watson, she’s also dedicated to growing Philly’s creative community.
“Mostly, I want to put Philadelphia on the map,” she wrote in an email to Technically Philly. “We’re a city to be reckoned with.”