Six weeks of news

Okay, it’s not like I haven’t been writing — I just haven’t been writing here. The Unionville Times continues to grow nicely and add readers daily, but not surprisingly, it’s a lot of work.

The daily grind of keeping content up and making sure it’s of high quality is one of the big challenges, but just the time I need to spend to put the word out is another challenge. I don’t have a ton of marketing money, so I’m doing a lot of word of mouth stuff and my business card seems to be the biggest marketing device I have these days. I understand that the rest of 2010 will be a bit like a beta test, as I work to add components to the site and continue to add readers. Read the rest of this entry »

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In the news….biz

I suppose it’s not stunning to hear famous print journalists like Howard Fineman and Howard Kurtz are turning their backs to print and joining Internet only ventures. While I’m not remotely in either of those two writer’s classes I have made the same move — albeit with a little more control over how things work out.

As of Oct. 1, I stopped writing for print — while my time at the Chester County Press was interesting, it wasn’t exactly a fit for my experience and skills — and so has launched. While it is expected to be part of a much-bigger news effort — one with a national footprint — for now, I am laser focused on the events and people of the Unionville-Chadds Ford School District.

And while writing remains my first love, I’ve already started putting videos up on the site and may look at doing live on the Internet audio programming, if there’s an audience for it. We’ll be trying a few different things to see what works and what doesn’t — there’s no rule book now for how to make this work. So check it out and drop me a line and let me know what you think.

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Fortune favors the bold

As some of you may know, I’ve spent the last six months or so writing for the Chester County PRESS. It’s been fun and challenging — but those of you who know me know it was only a matter of time before I needed to do something more — well — complicated.

So, I am. Starting Oct. 1, I’ll be running my own local venture, in association with a national outfit (details will have to wait, thanks to non-disclosure agreements) and I’ll be updating more of the details of the where and when in the coming days. Let’s just say I got a unique opportunity to change the face of community journalism, not just here in Pennsylvania, but across the country. Like any startup, it will be something of an uphill climb, but I think these folks have the right idea and the time has come for something like this. Read the rest of this entry »

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Kids and iPhone video

Just to see how it would work, I shot and edited a quick video featuring my kids on their return from camp. When I think about how much work this would have been when I first started editing video tape back in the early 1980s, it’s kind of amazing.

And yes, it’s a bit silly.

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How we got Best Buy to eat a dishwasher

Okay, it’s not like I’ve ever been a big fan of Best Buy.

Back in my old Home Theater/E-Gear days, I’d stop in my local version and play dumb with the video guys and ask questions to see how poorly and incorrectly they’d answer them.

My point wasn’t to be mean or just to have fun, but to gauge the kind of strange information being put out there to my readers and what mistakes and misconceptions we needed to make an extra effort to correct.

And yet, like most tech-loving people, I’ve spent my share of spare change at Best Buy.

But during the last couple of weeks, though, my wife and I have gone through a surreal experience with them. Read the rest of this entry »

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Kenny at the AirShow

My son Kenny at the New Garden Air Show

One of the many perks of doing what I’m doing for a living is getting to share a little of it with my kids. Last week, I got to take my son Kenny to the New Garden Air Show, which is pretty close to heaven for a nine-year-old boy.

I think he had a pretty good day. I know I did.

You may notice a new look. This is the first entirely designed from the ground up Word Press template I’ve written, called, oddly Mcgann. I’m oddly proud of it, and plan to do more things like this in the coming months.

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A month as an ink-stained wretch, again

It’s been a little more than a month since I returned to newspapering, writing for the Chester County PRESS.

Although a lot of stuff is the same, writing about school budgeting and development issues and so on isn’t much different than the last time I did it back in the early 1990s, it’s interesting to see how technology has changed things. I guess I’m a little like the old-timers who used to regale me with stories about working with typewriters and how spoiled I was being able to use a computer back when I was a kid in the 1980s. Read the rest of this entry »

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So Now What?

In some ways it seems like it’s been about 20 minutes since Election Day and in others like 20 years.

I’ve spent the last few months working and thinking, trying to figure out what’s next, where I fit in and how I can make a difference. I hoped, maybe naively, that I could do something to make the world a better place in politics. I think that it’s been proven at this point, though, that’s not where my future lies.

So what, then? Read the rest of this entry »

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Thanks for everything

Nothing longwinded or deep today. Thanks to everyone who came out and supported me and my running mates — especially those in the Chester County Democratic Party who worked so hard. We didn’t get the result we hoped for, but the fight goes on.

We will be back. I will be back. Count on it.

And expect to hear from me in the coming weeks, both in terms of politics and a new Chester County media outlet that I expect to have a role with.

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" rel="bookmark"Need a Reason to Vote Nov. 3? Local GOP Blaming Obama for economy. Seriously.

Need a Reason to Vote Nov. 3? Local GOP Blaming Obama for economy. Seriously.


President Barack Obama. Val DiGiorgio says the budget deficit and the bad economy is all his fault, as if Bush was never president.

It was a pleasant enough night at Tel Hei, up in Honey Brook. The audience was reasonably receptive in what was to be the final forum for county-wide candidates.

It was, though, at times a bit like falling through Alice’s looking glass. First, only Val DiGiorgio and Mimi Sack showed up for the GOP, while all five Democrats attended. Sack, of whom virtually no one has anything unpleasant to say was her usual polite, civil self.

DiGiorgio — clearly rattled by mailers sent out by his opponent, Jim Reilly, went on the attack, trying to defend the both his lack of fiscal training and experience as well as the county’s giant debt load. That was to be expected. But then DiGiorgio dropped this bombshell:

All of our current economic problems have been caused by President Obama and the Democrats. When he said that, I really began wondering whether it was Val who took a shot to the head Monday night instead of Brian Westbrook. Read the rest of this entry »

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