Where’s Gloria? Philly Tech Week 2016!

I’m getting a lot of “let’s meet up during Philly Tech Week” requests so I am taking a tip from my good friend Tracey Welson-Rossman and writing a post with where I plan on being during #PTW16.  Hint – here’s where you will find Tracey during #PTW16.

Every year it gets harder to choose between all of the amazing events happening during Philly Tech Week, but here is where you will find me from April 28th to May 7th.  I hope to see you at one or more of these events or grabbing a quick bite in between some of them.

Thursday April 28th, I am kicking off #PTW16 with Through a Prism: Why Diversity Matters in Design and Tech 

Friday April 29th will find me at Techniculture in the morning and the Philly Tech Week Kick-off Festival in the evening.  I’m sending sacrifices to the weather gods for no rain for the gang at Technical.ly.

Saturday, April 30th I was hoping to go to the Philadelphia Museum of Art Tech Tour, but it is sold out. *Insert sad face & lesson learned to sign up early here*  So it looks like it will be my day to rest up before the craziness of the upcoming week.

Sunday, May 1st – Happy May Day! This day will be dedicated to family and getting ahead on work.

Monday, May 2nd brings an abbreviated version of  Let’s Talk About Tech with my good friends at Slice Communications  and then off to How Can Philly be the Capital of Gender Equality in Tech.

Tuesday, May 3rd is a full day starting off with Data Management for Non-Profits: Turning Information into Shareable Knowledge.  I’m be a little late but the next stop will be Technical.ly’s Media Conference.  I’m hoping I can make a quick stop at the Lesbians Who Tech Do Philly Tech Week Happy Hour before I head to the Rad Awards.  (Yikes! Did I leave any time in that schedule to eat?)

Wednesday, May 4th – does anyone have a cloning machine I can borrow? If not, then it means I will be attending a few different events but probably not for the full time – The Future of Technology in Business, The Philly Startup Leaders Entrepreneur Expo and the 2nd Annual Women in Tech Soiree.

Thursday, May 5th is another need a cloning machine evening that will start with the merriment at the #PTW16 Cinco de Mayo Block Party.  Then it is off to figure out how to be at From Philly to DC: Building Powerful Inclusive Tech Communities, FailFest, and an invitation-only networking event all at the same time. Most likely it will be a little while at each.

Friday, May 6th, after a week of insight and education, I’m looking forward to relaxing with some fun and friends at the PTW Signature Event.

Saturday, May 7th, #PTW16 wraps up with Techies Who Brunch (if room opens up on the waitlist) and The Hacktory’s Robot Universe Showdown.

There are also some TechGirlz  and TechShopz in a Box events happening during the week so be sure to check them out for your middle school age girls! (Hint – YOU can run your own TechShopz in a Box)

Saturday May 30th – Intro to Video Production  and MATLAB Motion Tracking

Saturday May 7th – Intro to Linux

It is going to be an AMAZING week!!  What are you going to?

Looking forward to seeing everyone. 






Periscope vs Meerkat Bake Off

Periscope vs Meerkat Bake Off

It is not often that you get to do a truly side-by-side comparison of two new tools, but Tracey Welson-Rossman (@twelsonrossman) and I (@gloriabell) got the perfect opportunity to do just that with Meerkat and Periscope at the Philly Emerging Technologies for the Enterprise Conference (#PhillyETE).


We used both apps at various times throughout the conference, but at the Day 2 Keynote, we did an actual side-by-side comparison.

The reason we wanted to try live streaming at the conference is a no brainer, this has the potential to be a great marketing tool . The ability to reach more people with good content, is really exciting when you run a lot of events like we do.  

Here are the pros and cons of each with our “Bake-off” winner (and the reasons why) below.


Pros:      Easy to set up an account

Easy to give the stream a name / title

Ability to tweet comments in the stream

Can schedule a stream

Ability to save broadcast

Can target smaller, more direct audience because no auto link to Twitter

Cons:      Cannot zoom in or increase volume

Need a built-in audience to gain viewers

Lack of direct connection to tweet the stream makes it harder to gain audience

Hard to manage the chat and hold the phone

Need a good cellular or Wi-fi connection to make it work

Hard to understand the metrics for viewership during the broadcast and post

Lack of documentation on how to use it

Really need a tripod for a good recording

No post-viewing metrics




Pros:      Setting up the account was easy

Ability to save the broadcast

Connecting to and broadcasting via Twitter was easy

Ability to tweet comments and likes in the stream, but can’t easily add other Twitter names in the tweet

Easy to “title” – just like a tweet

Direct link to Twitter makes for a larger audience but also more possibility for spam comments

Cons:        Can’t switch between Twitter accounts

Can only have one account associated with the app

Need a good cellular or Wi-fi connection to make it work

Hard to manage the chat and hold the phone

Lack of documentation on how to use it

Few metrics – post view metrics much easier to see on an iPad

Really need a tripod for a good recording

There are a lot of limitations with both apps and we are hopeful there are more features coming that will address the issues we outlined above. Both seem to be good, fairly easy-to-use tools for live-streaming, especially at events. For right now we give Periscope the edge due to its seamless integration with Twitter.  This feature alone will make it an easier-to-use social marketing tool.

It is a slight edge, though.  Even with the limitations, we see these apps as a great tool for events and smaller conferences with small budgets. The video and audio quality will not be great, but these apps will allow for broader distribution of events.

Check out our next experiment at the Chariot Solutions’ talk on Angular JS on April 22nd.

How to play nice with others at camp…

DISCLAIMER:  This is a reprint of a guest post I wrote for the Philly Creative Guide.

Philly has become the unofficial “Camp Town” From BarCamp to TrendCamp, HigherEd Camp to HealthCamp, Philly has been drawing the best and the brightest in many different fields all sharing and exploring the newest and current trends, information, apps, and discussions. Whether it is looking forward at TrendCamp or looking at the now at NewsInnovation Camp, the wellspring of unconference format events in Philadelphia (21+ in the last 3.5 years – a full list is below) is a testament to the vitality and growth of the creative and technology communities in the City of Brotherly Love.

For the as yet uninitiated, an unconference is a facilitated, participant-driven conference centered around a theme or purpose. The format consists of multiple sessions of attendee generated content. The participants are the speakers, discussion leaders and sharers of information. (see barcamp.org for more details)

The central message in the tremendous growth of all of these unconferences is that the community wants to come together. They want to share. They want to learn from each other. Which brings us to the question – who gets to decide what gets shared, how it gets shared? What is the etiquette? And most importantly, how do we as a community get the most of out of these gatherings. A few tips gathered from participants at the recent BarCamp Philly gives us some insight on how to maximize the experience as individuals and as a community.

  1. Be open-minded – Realize that not everyone is going to like the same things, but that sometimes we learn best from those who have different viewpoints and experiences.
  2. Don’t hog the stage – Don’t do the same presentation at the same events over and over. Rather than present, lead a discussion and let everyone learn from each other. Better yet, encourage someone new to the community who is knowledgeable on the same topic to present. Give someone else a chance to share their expertise.
  3. Get outside your comfort/knowledge zone – Attend a session or camp on a topic you know nothing about. Expand your knowledge and grow your circle of connections.
  4. Get involved – Present, lead a discussion, volunteer, ask questions, be a sponsor.
  5. Get others involved – Be a community builder by encouraging others to get involved. One of the greatest things about the camp experience is meeting and learning from new people.
  6. Exercise the rule of two feet – Not getting what you were hoping for out of a session? Don’t sit and heckle, quietly leave and find one more to your liking.
  7. Relax – the day is not about selling anyone anything and it is not about cramming as much knowledge and networking as you possibly can in to a single day. It is about opening ourselves and our minds to possibilities, insights, information, and people.
  8. Remember the Golden Rule – Do onto others and you would like them to do onto you. Be polite, courteous and respectful to the session leaders and other participants.
  9. Make it about the Community – Show support for other groups in the community by attending and helping spread word about a camp you might not normally go to.

What would your tips be?

Alphabetical Listing of Philadelphia area Camps (If any are missing from this list, please feel free to let us know)

Why you need to be at Twestival Philly

This is Red Stapler’s second year as a sponsor and co-organizer of Twestival Philly and we could not be prouder or more humbled to be a part of this amazing event.

Twestival is a global charity event.  200+ cities all holding unique events in the same 24 hour period raising money for the same charity, Concern Worldwide.  From Philly’s Search for Concern – a bar crawl and scavenger hunt through historic Old City to the black tie affairs happening in other cities, everyone is gathering to take our online connections into offline meetings to make a difference in the world.   Every penny raised goes directly to the charity, every event is run by volunteers, every prize, venue or item needed to run the event is donated.   City organizers are charged with one mission and a few rules – Raise as much money as possible for the charity while spending no money and using only volunteers.   As you can imagine that is not as easy.  What it is, however, is fun and rewarding.

2009’s Twestival event raised $250,000 for charity:water.  We are trying to raise that much or more for Concern Worldwide.  We want to support them in their efforts to educate and improve the lives of the world’s most impoverished and disadvantaged children.

So why do you need to be there?

  • Because you have been blessed to live in this country and to have received an education.
  • Because you know that every little bit makes a difference in the life of a child.
  • Because you believe that we can make a better world one small step at a time.
  • Because the $20 ticket price is probably less than you spend on beer at a normal happy hour.
  • Because you like getting to see all your online peeps face to face.
  • Because you like to have fun and win prizes.
  • Because you are just a good person and like to do fun things that help others.

So get your tickets now!

Your invitation to Twestival

I know most of you have probably seen me tweeting about @phltwestival or may have received a Facebook invitation about the event, but I wanted to extend a personal invitation to all of you to join us on March 25 for Twestival Philly’s Search for ConcernSearch for Concern is a Bar Crawl / Scavenger Hunt through Old City.  100% of the proceeds raised from ticket and raffle sales go directly to Twestival Global’s chosen charity Concern Worldwide.

Concern Worldwide
is a global humanitarian organization that works to transform the world’s poorest children lives through education.   Twestival is a global movement that raises money to help global charities continue their work.  Last year’s Twestival Global raised over $250,000 for charity:water.  We hope to reach or exceed that amount this year.

So for the small price of $20 (in advance or $25 at the door) you get to have fun on an exciting scavenger hunt, take advantage of some great drink specials provided by our participating bars – National Mechanics, Sugar Mom’s  & Triumph, maybe win a great prize and help raise money that will be used to make a real difference in the world.  So please, buy your tickets now, encourage your friends and family to get theirs and help us spread the word!  Thank you in advance for your generosity!  Looking forward to seeing you all there.

Feel free to send on this email, retweet our tweets (@phltwestival) or shout the news from the mountaintops.  Here are all the links.  Please share them!


Geeks Who Give

On the morning after the first, very amazing  BarCamp Philly, some still very excited BarCampers were gathered for Sunday brunch at the Philly tech scenes favorite bar, National Mechanics . The mood was still electric and the discussion centered around how many wonderful things had been happening in the Philadelphia tech and creative communities over the last few years.  From this simple conversation about the good the community has experienced came the idea for Geeks Who Give  .   The goal of Geeks Who Give is to provide Philadelphia geeks an avenue to further demonstrate their caring natures and assist them in spreading that goodwill and support to the local organizations and charities who can use our help.   Geeks Who Give  is a  dynamic, community driven organization that hopes to opens more pathways for Philadelphia area geeks to return the good that has come our way. 

In the spirit of this giving, Geeks Who Give  is holding its first event, a Tweet-up/Food Drive on December 9th from 6pm to 9 pm at, where else but, National Mechanics.   Admission to this fun-filled inaugural event is 5 or more non-perishable food items that will be donated to Philabundance .   Along with the friends and fun and good feelings of helping out our less fortunate neighbors, there will be drink specials, a live cooking demonstration by ForkYou and a raffle of some really amazing foodcentric prizes!  Hint: the more food items you bring, the more hungry people Philabundance can feed plus the more raffle tickets you get.  So increase your warm fuzzy feelings and your odds of winning a great prize and bring lots!   Be sure and check out the Geeks Who Give website for all of the details. 

So come out on December 9th, bring your non-perishables and your desire to mingle & party, then stick around for Techkaraokephl and all the extra fun.