About Me

Hi! I’m Sean Blanda. I build editorial products that serve communities. This site is a collection of my writing. Mostly on media, our public discourse, and other fun things.

Current focus: Sabbatical + consulting for cool brands via my business Gate Check Studios.

Previously, I was VP of Content for Crossbeam, the Editorial Director at InVision, and Director and Editor-in-Chief of 99U, the “think-tank” of Adobe’s Behance dedicated to empowering the creative community. I’ve also served as Editor-in-Chief of Ramit Sethi's GrowthLab and I Will Teach You To Be Rich. I founded Pilcrow House, an event series in Philadelphia that was placed on hiatus during and after COVID.

I was born and raised in South Jersey. I then moved to nearby Philadelphia to attend Temple University in 2004 where I resided until 2012, when I moved to New York City. Then in 2017, I moved back to Point Breeze, Philadelphia. I’ve had lots of help along the way.

I care way too much about Philadelphia sports (#gobirds), eat way too many M&Ms, and play way too much Civilization VI. I’m trying to read more, learn how to identify every nation’s flag, and get really good at cooking Mexican food.

Independence Day is the best holiday and Will Smith movie, Hotel Yorba by The White Stripes is the best song ever made, the state of Colorado has the best flag. I’ve driven cross-country three times, and in 2016-17, I took a sabbatical and visited 10 countries in five months. My goal is to visit the same number of countries as my age. At 37, so far so good.

Other projects

  • For the Fall 2020 semester I taught Digital Media Literacy at the University of the Arts.
  • Always Own Your Platform, a gentle reminder to own your own distribution.
  • From 2017 to 2019 I ran The Discourse, a newsletter about the ways we talk to one another.
  • My essay "The Other Side Is Not Dumb" has been read 3.5 million times and was named one of the best Medium essays of the decade. It's been republished in several textbooks.
  • I occasionally write things for the Philadelphia Inquirer Opinion section. Like this or this.
  • From 2017 to 2018 I co-hosted The Malcontents, a short-lived podcast with my good friend Tom Critchlow on content and media.
  • I’m one of the co-founders of Technical.ly, a network of local tech news sites based out of Philadelphia and organizers of Philly Tech Week. You can read more about that here.
  • I’m the founder of BarCamp NewsInnovation (BCNI) a journalism-focused unconference that takes place yearly in Philadelphia. I am no longer involved in its planning and organization. The conference has since changed its name to “KleinCamp.”
  • I wrote Hacking PR, a small ebook to help bootstrapped entrepreneurs pitch the media.
  • I ran Point Breeze is Beautiful for one year, an organization that picked up 3,770 pounds of trash across two years of clean ups.

Say hello!

  • Work stuff: sean [at] crossbeam [dot] com
  • Personal stuff: sb [at] seanblanda [dot] com
  • Twitter: @SeanBlanda
  • Instagram: @SeanBlanda

Need my headshot for some reason? Hopefully, this helps: