“Was thinking of hosting a bit of a young freelancers session tomorrow night at my place,” Wink wrote.
After graduating in 2008, we entered the journalism job market at perhaps the worst time in the industry’s history: The print news business was being ripped apart by digital media and was soon to fade even faster thanks to a historic recession. So, we freelanced and tried to apply for news jobs that remained. We wrote and wrote and did what we could to stay afloat, what amounted to $30 at a time, or if we were lucky to land a bigger feature, $150 at a time.
We met at Wink’s Frankford apartment that January night in 2009 to talk about how hard it had been freelancing. And we left with the idea that one way to survive in news would be to do our own thing.
We decided that we would begin reporting on the Philadelphia technology community, using open source publishing tools, online. “Tech blog is a go,” I wrote to Sean, after receiving one more rejection letter for another news job. We hate being called a tech blog these days, but like many at the time, we saw blogging as a tool or platform.
We came up with dozens of names for the publication. “The Philadelphia Technology Review.” “Benjamin.” “Circuithead.” We decided on “Technically Philly.”
Our original goal wasn’t to start a company, necessarily. Instead, we were hoping to keep ourselves busy and motivated and dedicated to the craft of journalism that we so much believed in. We were hungry. A few weeks later on Feb. 9, we officially launched what would become Technical.ly.
We’re so proud of how things turned out: Ten years in, Technical.ly has a small but mighty team of about 20 full-time people headquartered in the Washington Square neighborhood of Philadelphia, and spread out remotely across four cities.
- We’ve produced tens of thousands of local stories and have impacted the communities we serve, in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Delaware and DC. We hosted more than 100,000 people at hundreds of in-person events.
- We’ve built a team and an alumni network that would be the envy of any organization, as we’ve watched teammates grow within our company and remain friends as they find other opportunities elsewhere in the economies we support.
- And most importantly, we’ve had a chance to connect with, meet and celebrate our vibrant community of readers.
Most recently, we’ve found that one of the most transformative ways we impact our community is by connecting our readers and clients for things like employment opportunities. We’ll be writing soon about an effort to collect some of those connective stories for our anniversary, so expect that soon.
To anyone who’s read us or worked with us through years: thank you. It’s been an incredible journey so far.
We want to take some time to celebrate with you throughout 2019.
To start, we’ll host an official 10th anniversary party on Feb. 26 at The Fillmore in Philadelphia, at the tail end of our huge NET/WORK jobs fair. Special anniversary tickets are $50 and come with a limited edition Technical.ly hoodie.
We’ve got some other fun stuff planned, especially from our editorial team:
- Throughout 2019, Philly Lead Reporter Roberto Torres will be checking in on the major milestones in Philly’s tech community from our 10-year archive.
- We’ll be collecting stories from our readers about how Technical.ly has made impact in their lives.
- We’ll take a look at our all-time best read stories.
- In our sister markets Delaware, Baltimore and DC, we’ll be looking back on where those technology communities were 10 years ago.
We hope you’ll follow along and join us at the the anniversary celebration.
Knowledge is power!
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