ThePhillyFiles’ six-week milestone!

I sent the following to subscribers of ThePhillyFiles on Mailchimp:


It’s hard for me to believe but today marks *six weeks* since the kickoff of ThePhillyFiles.com!

Of course, it’s not like there was nothing on July 3, and everything suddenly appeared on July 4.

I spent time experimenting with issues on the navigation, which articles to write — even changed platforms — and a whole lot more, and that’s continuing.

For example, a week ago, News Home/Sections — which is the homepage — was just articles I’d written, with widgets on the right side. Since then, I added a bunch of news feeds to it, so you can follow all sorts of news. It should be interesting, whether you live in Philadelphia or can’t even find it on a map.

Then, there’s the weather. Somebody was finally able to show me how to get the maps to update on their own! Now, you can make good use of it.

In sports, I added more local teams, different sports, more feeds, and a generic sports section that has a combined local team calendar.

And perhaps saving the best for last: Yesterday I was able to cover the huge breaking news story — six Philadelphia police officers shot in a seven-hour standoff — without leaving my desk at home, and without an army of professionals working behind me, or anyone at the dangerous scene. Sure, it was a lot of work and I hadn’t eaten during that time, but it was well worth the effort.

In fact, I took a quick look around at the major news sites and realized nobody else had worked the police commissioner’s word “miracle” into their headlines!

Also rather miraculously, nobody was killed and lucky for me, the suspect surrendered before I went to bed. This place doesn’t have an overnight shift if something that needs immediate attention should happen. Someone would have to call, or I’d actually have to hear it on my own.

I updated the article constantly, and posted highlights on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram— so it’s worth liking or following each of those pages to run into new details, unless you check back in with ThePhillyFiles.com constantly!

There’s still a lot of work to do, and I have plenty of thoughts.

I’d like to do less crime and fewer missing people, but those stories do give a taste of what’s happening in the city, and what the police department chooses to send out to the media.

Two recent stories that go beyond the basic, average crime were The war on guns, from Philadelphia to the feds from last Friday, and Historic human sex trafficking conviction; Victims were addicted to opioids from Monday. And if you missed Video: 2 wanted for setting fire inside convenience store from Monday, you’d probably be shocked how one device pretty-much blew up the inside of a convenience store and how flames shot up outside. (Click to watch it. The inside is on the left and the outside is on the right. The video lasts just about 45 seconds.)

I want more event and community stories, along with helpful information that’ll help readers save money and enjoy themselves more.

Of course, I can’t do everything at once. Please forgive me since I’m only one person, also working on a blog, and looking for a job if there are not enough businesses advertising.

Please contact me if you’re a business owner interested in advertising — or if you have sales experience, know parts of the city and would like to make extra money going door-to-door, selling ads. I can create art, have various sizes available and am certainly negotiable.

Also, use the comment section at the bottom of most pages to let everyone know what you think, and get a discussion started. Philadelphians aren’t shy and the internet isn’t the place for a one-way conversation.

Certainly keep in mind, when it comes to crime stories, I can only report what the police say. I often have questions and feel some stories are incomplete, but report them anyway when I decide they would be more beneficial than not.

Anyway, thank you for subscribing and reading — especially the 66 of you who did so yesterday and the nine who did today. If you’d like, you can let your friends know the place to sign up is https://mailchi.mp/5272b7eb3555/thephillyfiles, rather than WordPress. (Or simply forward this email to them!) I promised occasional emails and don’t want anyone getting alerted every single time I post a story, since that’s probably too much. On Mailchimp, I only ask for email addresses.

So in the meantime, please use ThePhillyFiles.com to your benefit and let me know what I can do better. Whatever it is, it’s probably worth a try!

Thanks!
Lenny the publisher

P.S. I’m sorry to all the new subscribers from WordPress who got an automatic email at 1:33pm ET when I moved your email addresses over to Mailchimp, which is what I use to send out emails. I sent one out a few weeks ago after 40+ people signed up on one day, but never saw it. Apparently, the same email went out to new subscribers today! I’ll change that before I move email addresses over again, if that’s necessary. Luckily, there are links to four better stories in this email!

P.P.S. Please don’t forget to subscribe to ThePhillyFiles at https://mailchi.mp/5272b7eb3555/thephillyfiles!

About the author

The journalism “business” has changed — from standards to platforms to layoffs — along with the American public, and I’ve managed to survive somewhat on my own terms.

I started in 1994, becoming an award-winning and respected TV newscast producer.

Even better was creatively producing websites and social media, and serving as a station's digital media manager — writing news, creating graphics and getting evidence of growing my audience here in the nation's fourth largest market, Philadelphia.

I also taught first grade for eight years. My principal saw my class website and made me electronic gradebook manager to assist co-workers when we stopped using paper gradebooks.

In 2018, I took courses and earned the Google IT Support Professional Certificate.

In 2019, I was a freelance newspaper reporter, but enjoyed copy editing and reviving the publication’s social media even more.

That got me striking out on my own with a local news website to join the blog I created, designed and write.

Ask me about all the details.

I did drive Uber to make ends meet until I started as a customer service representative at one of the world’s largest web-hosting companies, with more than 8 million customer contracts and hosting more than 12 million domains.

With classroom and newsroom experience, I know how to prioritize, analyze and take the best course of action. Getting results means attention to detail, following through and following up.

Something to add? Disagree? Let us all know!

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