In February 2009, Technical.ly published our first article. Fifteen years later, we're still here — but a lot has changed. We're celebrating our anniversary with a look back, and a look forward.
I thought a presence on the news site I launched with friends would be a great idea, since the tech workers and entrepreneurs I knew bought a lot of beer. The manager was confused. So was I. I didn’t close the deal.
This year marks a milestone for that first sales call: Technical.ly celebrates 15 years of reporting on technologists and entrepreneurs, and we’re launching a new way to fund our journalism. On Feb. 9, 2009, I published this post on a blog template we launched. We’ve learned a lot — and have so much to share.
Shortly after our 10th anniversary, the world changed and we were forced to change with it. At the start of the pandemic we produced our first five-year Strategic Vision, which informed our local economic journalism by identifying that our community includes both experienced technologists and entrepreneurs ~and~ their aspiring peers.
Just about every national business and tech news site focuses on experienced, often well-paid professionals, so it makes sense most have moved behind paywalls and subscriptions. Our local focus has always been quirky — a double niche of geography and topic. That has driven our approach: We lead with an established audience while keeping our reporting free and accessible to welcome people aspiring to join the ranks.
To support our journalism for the experienced audience, we’ve strengthened our client services — destination marketing for economic development groups, sales marketing for service providers and employer brand marketing for tech hiring teams. It’s going well, and we’re energized about continuing to develop this local news business model.
Now, to advance our reporting for people aspiring to tech and entrepreneurial careers, we need your help.
Timed with our 15th anniversary, we’re reviving the Technical.ly Journalism Fund — with an option to join as an individual Insider for $150 a year. Over this year and next, we’ll invest $2 million into our newsroom, across reporter and editor salaries, economic data and tools. Our goal is to cover half of that ($1 million) with our Journalism Fund, with the other half supported by our client work and business services.
We are asking for support from both organizations that invest in economic mobility and individuals who value our journalism. (If you haven’t yet checked out our just-completed Thriving series, it’s a good example.)
The best way to join the Insiders program is to buy a ticket for our annual Technical.ly Builders Conference on Thursday, May 9, in Center City Philadelphia during Philly Tech Week presented by Comcast.
The total package:
- Full access to Technical.ly Builders Conference on May 9 in Philadelphia
- A spot at the PTW24 Signature Event reception that same evening
- A Technical.ly hooded sweatshirt (limited supply)
- Warm, fuzzy feeling of supporting our local economic journalism
Can’t join us May 9? You can still support the Fund by becoming an Insider.
What about your company or organization? One of Technical.ly’s accomplishments that makes me most proud is that as a local news org we’ve developed a suite of services that solve genuine problems for clients that speak, sell and reach technologists and entrepreneurs. Working with us also supports us.
The Technical.ly Journalism Fund is a new way to support us that goes directly and entirely to our newsroom. Organizations contribute annually at levels ranging from $5,000, $25,000, $50,000 or $150,000. Thanks to our affiliation with Report for America and the Tiny News Collective, certain contributions can be tax deductible.
A series of new investments has started us nearly half way to our goal. Thanks to the Lenfest Institute, Longwood Foundation, Heinz Endowments and the William Penn Foundation.
Anyone that invests in workforce development, skills of the future, inclusive entrepreneurship and other issues of technology and economic opportunity in a region should also invest in how those stories are told and that work is amplified. We believe Technical.ly is the best place to do that.
We’re focused on ensuring Technical.ly lasts for the next 15 years and beyond. This Journalism Fund is a big way, but we’ll continue to supplement it by solving business problems too. For example, also timed with our anniversary, expect the release of our first Preferred Partners Program, in which we’re recommending the vendors, coaches and service providers we know best to help advance your career and company.
How else are we celebrating 15 years? Our newsroom is reporting stories about how technology in each of our markets has changed since 2009 — what promises came true, and which fell flat? What innovation engines are still powering local economies? Who’s been increasing access and equity as it happens? — and how people leading that change feel about the progress. Also stay tuned for this December’s editorial calendar month focused on imagining a future in 150 years, when we’ll be releasing our second annual State of the Local Tech Economies reports.
We’re proud of what we’ve done, and excited about what we’ll do together next. Catch you here in 2039.
Knowledge is power!
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