Here are our 10 most-read stories of 2016 - Technical.ly Philly

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Dec. 29, 2016 9:57 am

Here are our 10 most-read stories of 2016

You clicked on it, you read it. Here are 2016's most relevant narratives for the Philadelphia tech community.

Philly tech people: this was your 2016.

(Photo by Roberto Torres)

What a year it has been, Philly tech community.

Startups came, startups went. Layoffs, funding, acquisitions. A zillion meetups and events. Plenty of tweetstorms and incendiary comments.

As we browse through the year’s most-read stories (most of them written by our award-winning reporter turned editor Juliana Reyes), we can’t help but notice how broad our community’s interests are.

From weed to broadband access, from layoffs to health IT deals, our top 10 also offers a window into that vague concept we call the tech scene.

Here’s the roundup of news you dug the most this year:

10. Inside Philly’s cannabis economy

At a recent weed market event. (Photo by Christian Velasquez of AutoHD Films)

At a recent weed market event. (Photo by Christian Velasquez of AutoHD Films)

Contributor Sue Spolan chronicles Philadelphia’s green rush.

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9. City Council demands answers on Verizon’s FiOS buildout

Verizon workers that are members of Communications Workers of America Local 13000 cheer as local union president Jim Gardler takes the mic at the City Council hearing.

Verizon workers that are members of Communications Workers of America Local 13000 cheer as local union president Jim Gardler takes the mic at the City Council hearing. (Photo by Juliana Reyes)

A battle between Verizon and its workers set the stage for a series of lively City Council hearings.

8. A report from India on Google’s Project Fi

Full bars but 2G speeds in an Indian autorickshaw. (Photo by Adam Bender)

Full bars but 2G speeds in an Indian autorickshaw. (Photo by Adam Bender)

Contributor Adam Bender tries out Google’s invite-only wireless network.

7. RJMetrics got acquired

RJMetrics cofounder and new head of Magento Analytics, Robert Moore.

RJMetrics cofounder and new head of Magento Analytics, Robert Moore. (Photo by Roberto Torres)

Likely this story was going to rake in the clicks: up until its acquisition, RJMetrics had been a stable source of news for Technical.ly Philly. In a separate piece, cofounder Robert Moore spoke at length about how the deal came about and what this meant for Stitch, the spinout company led by CEO (and RJMetrics cofounder) Jake Stein.

6. Philly grapples with a racist algorithm

The Special Committee on Criminal Justice Reform's hearing of reducing the pre-trial jail population.

The Special Committee on Criminal Justice Reform’s hearing of reducing the pre-trial jail population. (Photo by Juliana Reyes)

Should computer programs that predict crime be fair? Or should they be accurate? Are those the only two options? In another heated City Council discussion, this dynamic made for some interesting conversation on the ethics of technology. Related: A Drexel professor on the ethics of algorithms and a technologist’s responsibility.

5. RJMetrics layoff round

The RJMetrics team before these announced layoffs. (Courtesy photo)

The RJMetrics team before these announced layoffs. (Courtesy photo)

Yes, six months before getting acquired, RJMetrics had to let go 25 workers (20 percent of its staff). In the piece, cofounder and CEO Robert Moore explains why. (He also gave a talk at Technical.ly’s #FailFest back in April with some more detail and thoughts.)

4. A CloudMine-Jefferson collab for health IT growth

At Jefferson's hackathon, November 2015. (Courtesy photo)

At Jefferson’s hackathon, November 2015. (Courtesy photo)

If Philly is to become the health IT hub some say it can become, we’re going to need more partnerships like this one.

3. Uber’s corporate splash in Southwest Philly

Uber's new office in Southwest Philadelphia. (Courtesy photo)

Uber’s new office in Southwest Philadelphia. (Courtesy photo)

Uber got quite a bit of attention in 2016, starting off with the announcement of its new Philly HQ. The year would see it face off with state legistators over ridesharing laws and then celebrate the fact that ridesharing finally became legal in Pennsylvania (and at the Philly airport, where Uber pays fees on every pickup and dropoff like taxis do). Also: the company launched UberEATS and held a mobile pitch competition dubbed UberPITCH as part of Philly Tech Week 2016.

2. CTO Sree Kotay’s pitch on Comcast

Sree Kotay at SXSW 2015.

Sree Kotay at SXSW 2015. (Courtesy photo)

Comcast wants to hire you, they really do. And yes, full disclosure, this post, by contributor Mike Bederka, is sponsored by Comcast, but Kotay’s thoughts on Philly’s tech scene brought something interesting to the table.

1. Philly’s own “farm of the future”

Left to right: Metropolis Farms' John Paul Ramos, Jack Griffin and Lee Weingrad. (Phoyo by Jason Sherman)

Left to right: Metropolis Farms’ John Paul Ramos, Jack Griffin and Lee Weingrad. (Phoyo by Jason Sherman)

The number one spot goes to … the farm of the future? OK, so not exactly your old-school idea of a tech company, but contributor Jason Sherman’s story of South Philly’s Metropolis Farms and how it’s using tech to reduce its water and energy consumption was our most-read story of the year.

Runner-ups:

Here are a few fun, thoughtful or impactful pieces that barely eluded the top 10, yet are still worth a mention as we wrap up 2016:

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