And now for something completely different: Working at Billy Penn

Credit card-size plastic business cards for the Billy Penn staff.
Credit card-size plastic business cards for the Billy Penn staff.

I now work for Billy Penn. The Philly news site, not the person.

It was a tough decision to leave NewsWorks after four years (and they didn’t make it easy to say goodbye), but as the title of this post suggests, I’m ready for a new challenge.

The bootstrapped site (formerly known as Brother.ly) is the work of Jim Brady and Chris Krewson, and I’m thrilled to be working with people who really understand news from a consumer’s perspective. We’re operating under the tagline, “a mobile news platform for a better Philly.”

My new workspace in the Billy Penn offices
My new workspace in the Billy Penn offices

There will be a lot more to say about Billy Penn and my role as the community manager as our efforts take shape into a true product. Until then, here are a few specific reasons I left my digital public media job for a position with a startup:

There’s no legacy. When we talk about breaking rules and being inventive, we really mean it. There is no “what we did 10 years ago when this similar thing happened…”

No one is afraid to talk about business models. News is a business and businesses need money to sustain, grow, improve and pay employees such as myself.

Everything we’re trying to do has a reader-first mentality. We’re journalists. We already know what the news is, who the players are and how to get the information we want. The rest of the 1.5 million people in Philly need a place to turn to that can engage them, not spew facts.

We’re actually going to link to other news stories. Not paste their entire articles onto our site with a link at the bottom, or even run a couple paragraphs. When there’s a story we think you need to know about, we’ll just give you the link.

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Shannon Wink

Shannon Wink is a Philadelphian and experienced reporter, editor, community manager and content marketer.

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