We’ve profiled the guys from Technically Media in the past, specifically around Philly Tech Week. Chris Wink and his friends are back at it again, and this time they’re looking to reach Philadelphians once a week with stories of importance that they may have missed (a form of local aggregation, if you will).
PH.LY is described as “one weekly curated email sharing the best, most important journalism that impacts Philadelphia and is reported by the region’s news sources you trust and others you might not know yet.” It also doubles as a local URL shortener (for those on Twitter who see all those bit.ly links, you can now search for ph.ly links).
We caught up with Wink earlier Friday to talk about the creation of the service, why it is important, how to get involved and more.
NBC10: Why was it important to create a service like ph.ly?
WINK: There are two services on Ph.ly. The local URL shortener, which is just playful and prideful. More interestingly is the Ph.ly news weekly, in which every Friday morning we're sending an email with links to three biggest, most important news stories in Philadelphia that week. Today's media environment is only getting increasingly fractured. Great reporting is done by the Inquirer, NBC10 and WHYY, but also by niche sites like the Public School Notebook, PlanPhilly and research nonprofits, polling agencies, app developers and graphic designers. No one is consuming all of these outlets, so we risk losing that shared set of common facts that bind us together and make us an identifiable region. Social media is a great resource but can be overwhelming. For busy people who want to be a smart, engaged Philadelphian, we're giving you the three biggest stories once a week in the most digestible format we could imagine. (It also is really easy to consume on smart phones).
NBC10: How are the stories chosen for the weekly newsletter?
WINK: The most traditional format imaginable: an editor, me. As part of my real work as editor of Technically Philly, I consume as much local news as I can, but I know most people don't have that luxury, particularly not for local news. I welcome submissions -- @christopherwink on Twitter for example -- but the focus is on important, vetted reporting that has a broad impact on Philadelphia. You can see the first few Ph.ly news weeklies here.
NBC10: How do people sign up and get involved?
WINK: On http://ph.ly. Right now there are nearly 1,500 subscribers, as the number climbs each week, but we know that in a region of millions, there are thousands more people who care about the important stories of our city.
NBC10: What do you expect the end benefit will be for people who subscribe to this service?
WINK: The most immediate impact will be a promise that you will end each week knowing that you're aware of the biggest local news of the week. You don't want to go out with friends over the weekend and be completely unaware of the big news and smart conversations happening in Philadelphia. This is an experiment, and with experiments you have to be prepared with missing your goal, but the idealistic hope is we could help jumpstart a broader appreciation for the local stories that help make this city special.
For more information, visit http://ph.ly.