What we learned at our Fishbowl / A thank you - Technical.ly Philly

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Feb. 25, 2010 2:45 pm

What we learned at our Fishbowl / A thank you

To celebrate our one-year anniversary at Technically Philly, we brought together two-dozen community members as part of the Philly Startup Leaders 'fishbowl' series to share what we've done and where we're going.

At the University of the Arts, TP founders Brian James Kirk (left) and Sean Blanda (right) listen to suggestions from attendees.

(Photo by Christopher Wink)

A huge “thank you” from the bottom of our techie hearts to the roughly 25 people that came out last night to our Fishbowl and one year anniversary after-party.

With the help of Philly Startup Leaders, a mix of entrepreneurs, TP readers and PSL members all gathered together in at the University of Arts to hear our vision for the future of Technically Philly and to offer both praise and criticism. Among others, PSL members Chris Cera and Gloria Bell were there with Neil Kleinman of Uarts.

At the event, TP told a condensed version of our history and outlined our six planned revenue strategies. Three of which (advertising, jobs board and events) we have made some sort of progress on. We then opened it up to the attendees and heard a wide spectrum of ideas that were of infinite value to us, both as journalists and as businessmen.

Here were some of our takeaways:

  • Some thought our jobs board is wasted energy, distracting us from creating content. While others thought it was a form of revenue that aligned with our goals to create a gathering place for the technology community.
  • Everyone in attendance seemed to like the idea of an editorially vetted directory of companies and services of use to entrepreneurs.
  • Transparency and our “purity” is one of the most important reasons people read us.
  • Our advertising is valuable because it is seen as a sponsorship. If we were to display ad network ads it would cheapen our product and render current advertising useless.
  • In the future we should offer whitepapers on in-depth topics.
  • Paid events look to be a future growth area.
  • The staffers of TP can’t maintain the duel role of business and editorial forever and should be clear about the methods we use to prevent conflicts of interest.

After the fishbowl, nearly everyone walked three blocks to the Irish Pub where some remained until 11:30 chatting and enjoying the $2 drafts and $3 well drinks.

Now, enough about us. If you excuse us, we have some work to do.

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Sean Blanda is an adviser to Technical.ly, the local technology news network, having cofounded its flagship Technically Philly in February 2009. He is a media consultant, engagement editor for Behance and lives in Brooklyn, NYC.

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