Recent Posts by Brian James Kirk

Episode 04: Neil Budde, CEO of new Philadelphia Public Interest Information Network 4.16.12 0

In the fourth edition of Whiskey Chats, we speak to Neil Budde, new CEO of the Philadelphia Public Interest Information Network (its history, here), housed at the Center for Public Interest Journalism.

We talked to him about his history at the (Wall Street Journal) and at Yahoo News, and about what he plans to do with the new organization.

Whiskey Chats — 04 — Neil Budde

Why, how and where to buy an international domain: our acquisition story 3.3.12 0

When it comes to branding an online property, one of the first things you should consider in the process of naming an entity is the availability of a possible domain name.

Like good real estate, the neighborhood and address you land at can help your online property thrive.

But good real estate gets speculated quickly, and with a finite number of memorable and catchy domain names available in the top-level .com domain spectrum, many brands are looking to international domains as an additional resource.

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Technically Philly’s 2011 comprehensive technology reporting highlighted 1.10.12 0

We’re excited to announce that our technology news publication Technically Philly was prominently highlighted in a report generated by J-Lab, the journalism innovation think tank based in Washington, D.C, for a number of projects that it was involved with in 2011.

Working with various partners in Philadelphia’s journalism industry through grants funded by J-Lab and the William Penn Foundation, Technically Philly was active in shaping projects that, most notably, accelerated conversation about broadband connectivity and its future and another that researched abandoned properties in Philadelphia.

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Let’s help improve sites that suck! 11.15.11 0

We’ve seen it all too often: the government landing page that lacks user experience. The restaurant that has a three-minute Flash intro sequence before you can see its phone number. The music venue with its calendar buried three levels too deep. What is it that makes web sites SUCK? What can content strategists do to fix them?

We’ve been working hard to increase programming in the Content Strategy Philly meetup group, which we helped launch last year during Philly Tech Week. That’s why we’re excited to announce that along with co-organizers Monica Hays, Vanguard’s content strategist and Kelani Nichole, a freelance content strategist, we’re programming an upcoming event to discuss user experience and content problems on a handful of Philadelphia websites.

At the group’s next meetup on Tuesday, Nov. 29, at the Indy Hall coworking facility in Old City, we’ll work in breakout groups to give some therapy and solutions to these frightening sites. RSVP here.

We’re looking to the to you to nominate Sites that Suck. Tell us your least favorite local web site designs, looking to music venues, government sites, restaurants, museums, entertainment or other. We’ll choose the five best suggestions and break out into smaller groups to try and fix the user experience and content problems. We’ll end with short presentations.

This will be a great way to see how other content strategy experts work on-the-ground, share how you see content on the web, and work together to make results. Add your website suggestions here.

Early nominations from the meetup group members include:,, South Philly Food co-op and RealWinWin.

Hope to see you there!

A year with the William Penn Foundation 9.6.11 0

Our regional technology publication Technically Philly has, this year, wrapped up or is close to finishing a number of journalism projects backed or related to the William Penn Foundation, a robust, locally-focused foundation — with interests in journalism, the built environment, and community — which calls Philadelphia home. The foundation released its annual report late this summer, which you can view here.

Through the year, we’ve worked with a discretionary grant with Temple’s Institute for Public Affairs to investigate Philadelphia’s open municipal government movement, a project we call Transparencity. We’ve recently submitted a final report on the subject and we’ll be sharing the outputs and outcomes of that grant soon.

In August, in partnership with City Paper and PlanPhilly, Technically Philly helped launch an examination of Philadelphia’s Redevelopment Authority and the properties it had offloaded for redevelopment. Using relationships pulled together through Technically Philly’s open government hackathons, we were able to put a top notch developer, Tim Wisniewski, on the project to create a map of properties that remain undeveloped after the exchange. The project was funded by a $5,000 award from journalism catalyst J-Lab, paid for by William Penn.

We continue work on our Broadband2035 project, another of partnership between William Penn and J-Lab, and have been recently asked to participate in the organization of a master broadband plan in Philadelphia as a result of our coverage. Our final piece of the series, examining the neighborhood economic and social impact of broadband, is due this fall.

And, before coming on full-time in June, Technically Media co-founder Brian James Kirk wrapped up a six month project at PlanPhilly, which was featured high in William Penn’s annual report. Kirk helped handle the online presentation of an extensive multimedia series investigating a transformed neighborhood in Eastern North Philadelphia reported by former Inquirer city hall reporter Patrick Kerkstra, and talented CityPaper staff photographer Neal Santos.

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