Here are the 12 stories we obsessed over this year - Technical.ly Philly

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Dec. 23, 2015 1:22 pm

Here are the 12 stories we obsessed over this year

Long reads on everything from Philadelphia's failed municipal broadband project to an open-source awakening. And love and dating. Always love and dating.

A fitting snapshot from Philly Tech Week 2015's Arcade @ Dilworth kickoff event.

(Photo by Aidan Un)

Ah, the long read.

2015 was the year we got serious about longer narratives. (As opposed to last year, when we were just trying them on for size.) Here’s a look at the most in-depth, longform stories we did this year. And don’t miss our list of the most-trafficked stories of 2015, which overlaps a little with this list.

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1. These devs delved into the world of Backbone.js and were blown away by what they found

Ian Stewart and Jide Osan at work in the Squareknot office. (Photo by Aidan Un)

Ian Stewart and Jide Osan at work in the Squareknot office. (Photo by Aidan Un)

How the world of open source changed the way Squareknot’s tech team thinks about development. (Or: That One Time Technical.ly Tried Out Clickbait.)

2. What other cities should learn from Philly’s failed municipal broadband effort

The FCC says internet access should be regulated like a public utility.

The FCC says internet access should be regulated like a public utility. (Photo courtesy of Flickr user when I was a bird, used under a Creative Commons license)

A recent FCC ruling paves the way for more cities to jump in to the internet game. Philadelphia was a pioneer in that arena. Wireless Philadelphia — with its positive legacy and fatal shortcomings — offers plenty of lessons.

3. Brand.com has mysteriously disappeared

Back when Brand.com was called Reputation Changer, the company gave out these hats as swag.

Back when Brand.com was called Reputation Changer, the company gave out these hats as swag. (Photo by Christopher Wink)

The domain is for sale. The emails are dead. The top execs are gone. The office is dark. What happened to online reputation management firm Brand.com?

4. Dj CUTMAN’s day job is playing old-school video game music

Dj CUTMAN at MAGFest, 2013.

Dj CUTMAN at MAGFest, 2013. (Photo by Villecco Media)

Chris Davidson used to busk on the streets of Ithaca, playing remixed video game music through his speakers. Now he makes a living off of it. Here’s how Dj CUTMAN came to be.

5. These two guys prove that you are doing Tinder all wrong

The Tinder double date in question.

The Tinder double date in question. (Photo by Juliana Reyes)

Two best friends hacked Tinder to make it work for them. Just how well does it work? This reporter went on a double date to find out.

6. Meet Sayra Lopez, the weightlifting UX designer who found love on Instagram

Sayra Lopez at USA Weightlifting's American Open, December 2014.

Sayra Lopez at USA Weightlifting’s American Open, December 2014. (Courtesy photo)

Who needs Tinder?

7. Meet Philly’s online dating guru for Asian women

Keira Peng is the founder of WeLove, an online dating consultancy for Asian and Asian-American women.

Keira Peng is the founder of WeLove, an online dating consultancy for Asian and Asian-American women. (Courtesy photo)

Can WeLove’s Keira Peng teach Asian women to take control of their lives through the platform of online dating?

8. Why this is Philadelphia’s biggest open data victory to date

A new City of Philadelphia data release makes it easier to get data about city properties.

A new City of Philadelphia data release makes it easier to get data about city properties. (Center City Philadelphia brick building by Natalia Bratslavsky via Shutterstock)

A hundred bucks and a CD-R used to get you access to city property data. Now the high-profile data set is free. The long road to its release is a case study that other cities should learn from.

9. Mark Chadwick is over startups

Vistar Media cofounder Mark Chadwick spends his Thursday nights volunteering at a community bike shop called Bike Church.

Vistar Media cofounder Mark Chadwick spends his Thursday nights volunteering at a community bike shop called Bike Church. (Photo by Juliana Reyes)

He was part of one of the buzziest Philly tech exits in the city’s web 2.0 era. Now he’s at the helm of another venture-backed startup. But after that, Mark Chadwick wants something else. He wants to do, well, good.

10. City Hall web developer Gabriel Farrell wasn’t always this boring

Gabriel Farrell in West Philly's Cedar Park, where he likes to take his son to play.

Gabriel Farrell in West Philly’s Cedar Park, where he likes to take his son to play. (Photo by Juliana Reyes)

It’s all relative — especially when your past involves bike protests, urban exploring and a “Condiment War” between Brooklyn art collectives.

11. The Comcast franchise negotiation saga

Rev. Greg Holston speaks at a rally before the second City Council hearing for the Comcast franchise agreement.

Rev. Greg Holston speaks at a rally before the second City Council hearing for the Comcast franchise agreement. (Photo by Juliana Reyes)

The story starts at City Council’s first, seven-hour, marathon hearing on the proposed contract, including two hours of impassioned public comment. During the second hearing, City Council asked Comcast not to speak, leaving room for activists to hammer away at the issue of internet accessFinally, as the process draws to a close, everyone shares a prayer. (We also took an in-depth look at the one organization that lost out in the final contract: public-access nonprofit PhillyCAM.)

12. Our interview with Mayor-elect Jim Kenney

City of Philadelphia Mayor Elect Jim Kenney speaks at right with Technical.ly Editorial Director Christopher Wink

City of Philadelphia Mayor Elect Jim Kenney speaks at right with Technical.ly Editorial Director Christopher Wink. (Photo by Brian James Kirk)

A month from taking over Philadelphia City Hall, the South Philly native and longtime City Councilman spoke frankly and freely about his view of progressive leadership at Technical.ly’s Rise Conference on civic innovation.

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Juliana Reyes

Juliana Reyes has been covering the Philadelphia tech scene since 2012. She's co-president of the Asian American Journalists Association Philadelphia chapter and a two-time Philadelphia News Award winner for "Community Reporting of the Year." The Bryn Mawr College grad lives in West Philly, likes her food spicy and wears jumpsuits often.

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