Wireless Philadelphia’s Communications Strategy

I did the interview with Greg Goldman, CEO of Wireless Philadelphia. He shared a good chunk of his morning with me, which I really appreciate. An edited version of the Q&A will appear in the next issue of GovTech’s Digital Communities Magazine. Thanks to everyone who suggested questions. I’ll keep you posted.

One important line of questioning that we touched on in the interview was Wireless Philadelphia’s strategy for communicating with the general public of Philadelphia. It’s not fully-formed, but it is starting to take shape and it is not very robust.

WP has hired a Northern Liberties web firm to design its website. Goldman wouldn’t give me the name of the company when we spoke, but it’s now posted on the slightly-new WP site: O3 World.

Goldman said the completely new site should go live in early December (about the time the test area will be complete). By the way, for those who asked, Goldman says he’s not going to have a blog.

Wireless Philadelphia has also selected a vendor, Ninth Wave Media, from Toledo, Ohio, to provide “community websites.” From the selection announcement: “Ninth Wave Media is the company that has managed the Olney and Norris Square Pilot Portals during the pilot phase of WP. The proposal for six links—one each for Teens, Young Adults, Parents and Children, Seniors, Visitors, and Small Businesses–is based upon the experience gained by WP and Ninth Wave during the Pilot Phase.”

These are steps forward. But Wireless Philadelphia is also taking some fateful steps backward. For starters, the revamped WP site no longer includes the contract documents. To correct that, I’m reposting them here:

The updated website, like the earlier version, has broken links for the pilot area brochures. Every one links to the Norris Square pdf.

The second step backward: The promised “Community Advisory Board” for which Wireless Philadelphia was going to solicit applications, according to statements before City Council, has become a an “‘Advisory Committee,’ comprised of members selected by most of our City’s elected officials,” according to Goldman in a follow-up email. That committee had its first meeting on October 19, as I understand it.

The idea of a community summit, which the consultant Karen Archer Perry and interim CEO Derek Pew had discussed, is off the table. Instead, there will be an invite-only happy hour at the SoleFood Lounge this Thursday, October 26, from 5:30-730. The WP website says details to come. Here’s the invite:

wp_happyhour.JPG

Mostly, Goldman has been speaking directly with a very small number of organizations like People for People and Solutions for Progress. These are good groups, but if you’re not on the short list, you are shut out.

I’ll be sharing more thoughts and ideas on Wireless Philadelphia as they develop and when the interview is published. In the meantime, here’s an interview he did with the Nonprofit Technology Enterprise Network in September.

Read more posts on Wireless Philadelphia

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2 Comments

  1. Thanks for posting the contract documents! A valuable public service.

  2. bxlight said

    […] I’m really excited about a couple of new things. But first a note – Josh Breitbart’s blog on Wireless Philadelphia’s Communication Strategy is a must read. Don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Also, if you’re a community media activist, he gives you the low down on writing a good application for a scholarship (deadline Nov. 6) to the National Conference for Media Reform. This is good stuff, and if you get a scholarship, you must set aside a few dollars of it for a treat for Josh. Chocolate covered ginger, maybe. […]

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