Refresh is a community of designers and developers working to refresh the creative, technical, and professional culture of New Media endeavors in their areas. Promoting design, technology, usability, and standards.

The Refresh Manifesto:
Let's Gather Great Minds
Let's Share All Of Our Knowledge
Let's All Grow And Learn
Let's Promote Local Talent
Let's Be More Than We Think Can Be
Let's Make Our Cities Better
Happy Hour with Two Guys on Beer!

Come enjoy some pumpkin beers with Refresh Philly and Two Guys on Beer, Johnny Bilotta & Dave Martorana, Thursday the 23rd at National Mechanics.

Thursday September 23rd
National Mechanics
6pm to ????

Refresh Philly August - Fitness for Geeks!

Please join us on Monday August 2nd at the Comcast Center for the next Refresh Philly — Fitness for Geeks!

Fitness isn’t just about losing weight, it’s about staying healthy and living a long and happy life. Hear from some of Philly’s favorite geeks as they share their methods for staying on track with their fitness goals. We’ll explore four different topics: Accountability, Commitment, Community and Volunteering.

We hope you get inspired to try something new after this very special Refresh Philly!


Randy Schmidt, co-creator of Lose It or Lose It

Lose It or Lose It helps you stay motivated by involving your friends and by wagering loads of money on your goal.

Randy created Lose It or Lose It last year as a way to keep himself accountable when trying to lose weight. So far he has lost over 60 lb sand users of the site have lost over 1000 lbs!

How much money are YOU willing to bet to meet your fitness goals?


Robert Jolly, Triathlete & Ultra Marathoner

At the ripe old age of 10 years old, Robert became hooked on running and hasn’t stopped since. Having just finished a 50 mile ultra marathon, Robert will share his experiences about committing to an intense physical challenge, and the tools and gadgets that help him get there.


Kristen Faughnan, Philly’s Dailymile ambassador, Triathlete & Marathoner

As Philly’s local Dailymile ambassador, Kristen shares each and every segment of her training with a large community online. Find out more about how using a social training log like Dailymile can help you stay on track, meet your fitness goals and have a lot of fun along the way.


Christopher Wink, Media Director for Back on my Feet

Want to get fit AND help others? Consider joining up with Back on My Feet, a nonprofit organization that “promotes the self-sufficiency of homeless populations by engaging them in running as a means to build confidence, strength and self-esteem.”

As BOMF’s Media Director, and co-founder of Technically Philly, Christopher will tell us more about the program and share some of its’ greatest success stories.

Register for Refresh Philly August - Fitness for Geeks! in Philadelphia, PA  on Eventbrite

Refresh Philly June: Happy Cog Presents A Case Study

Are you ready for the next Refresh Philly? We sure hope so! We’re very excited to have the top notch talent behind Happy Cog share their experiences in reviving the way the world sees Philadelphia online.

With the redesign of Philadelphia’s premiere tourism website at (formerly, Happy Cog and it’s client the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) have made Philly appear as vibrant, as hip, and as engaging a city as it is in reality. This redesign resulted in a virtual representation of Philadelphia that is more emotionally compelling and immersive than ever before, yet still entirely credible and accurate to the endless possibilites of what you can do here. In a case study presented as a series of short, practical talks, Happy Cog’s Experience Director, Creative Director, and Development Directors will walk you their design and planning process to create this successful redesign, citing specific research techniques, conceptual approaches, and coding techniques as well as sharing examples of their works in progress that got them to this result.

Speakers include:
Kevin M. Hoffman - Experience Director
Christopher Cashdollar - Creative Director
Jenn Lukas - Interactive Development Director
Mark Huot - Technology & Development Director

RSVP is required for this event. Doors open at 6pm and presentations will begin at 6:30pm.

Refresh Philly June
Monday June 14th, 6 to 8pm
The Comcast Center
1701 JFK Blvd

Register for Refresh Philly June: Happy Cog Presents A Case Study in Philadelphia, PA  on Eventbrite

Light refreshments sponsored by MissionStaff

Jared Spool, Revealing Design Treasures from the Amazon

Just another reminder that there’s no Refresh Philly tonight, but instead, we’re meeting 2 weeks from tonight on April 19th.  This month’s event features the extremely knowledgeable and funny Jared Spool and his entertaining talk Revealing Design Treasures from the Amazon.

Read more below:

On its surface, just  seems like a large e-commerce site, albeit a successful one. Its design  isn’t flashy, nor is it much to write home about. But deep within its  pages are hidden secrets — secrets that every designer should know  about.

If one looks closely at  what the team at  Amazon has built, it’s filled with innovative functionality and clever  designs, all of which creates a delightful experience for its users and  directly produces regular profits for its shareholders. But not all is  perfect. Some design changes in the last few years have not been the  success that the team had hoped for. Amazon’s exceptional qualities and  imperfections are critical knowledge for any designer that wants to dig  deep into what makes the site tick.

In  this  entertaining presentation, Jared will share some of UIE’s latest  research into the hidden treasures of (the) Amazon. You’ll learn:

- The simple Yes/No question that increased revenues by more than $1  billion
- The elegant subtlety of Amazon’s security  system

- Why Amazon’s business model is more than meets the eye (and why  designers need to care)

- The wins and losses that  Amazon has  had with social media functionality

We’re partnering  with our friends from PhillyCHI for this event, so it’s a great  opportunity to meet some folks from the User Experience field in Philadelphia.

Jared Spool
Revealing Design Treasures from the Amazon

Monday April 19th
6 to 8pm
National Mechanics
22 South 3rd Street

RSVP Today!

Sponsored by Weblinc, National Mechanics and Anikto.

Refresh Philly February

Please join us for the February installment of Refresh Philly hosted by local GIS software development firm Avencia. We’ll be meeting at Avencia’s offices located at 340 N 12th St Suite 402(at Callowhill) on Monday February 8th at 6:30pm.

Aaron Ogle

While living in Seattle, Aaron became intrigued by Alan Durning of the Sightline Institute and his concept of a “walkshed” that would score a location based on the quantity and diversity of amenities within a one-mile radius. A year later, Walk Score, which drew heavily from Durning’s walkshed concept, became the first application to calculate walkability. Walk Score is a fantastic application with a clever methodology but it also has a number of acknowledged limitations.

Aaron wondered if improvements were possible. So as part of Avencia’s 10% research project program, he has developed Walkshed to demonstrate that it is possible to more accurately calculate and map walkability by accounting for actual walking distances and user preferences. Walkshed is available in Philadelphia and New York City, and is competing the NYC BigApps software competition.

Josh Marcus
CommonSpace: Sustainable Transit Visualization

Getting around without a car — by walking, biking, or public transit — adds another wrinkle to making plans with friends. Instead of just having to figure out what’s going on in the city, we need to figure out what’s going on that’s conveniently located to everyone. Could a web-based tool make this moment of planning and collaboration easier? And could it promote Philadelphia “local treasures”, sustainable businesses, and sustainable transit at the same time? That’s the question Avencia is exploring for NPower and the Sustainable Business Network, as part of an exciting initiative funded by the William Penn Foundation to implement innovative web-based tools focused on the environment and Philadelphia communities.

Josh will show an early mock-up of an imagined application that would allow real-time collaboration, integrate a variety of curated data feeds of destinations and events (sustainable business databases, online services, Philly blogs), provide biking and public transit directions, as well as allow users to dynamically visualize and search the areas that are available to them — and the “common space” where a group of friends could meet if they want to split the difference and meet in the area that’s convenient to everyone, based on how they’re each traveling.

Refresh Philly February
Monday February 8th
6:30 to 8pm
340 N 12th St Suite 402
RSVP on Facebook

Refresh Philly January - Science on Tap!

Happy New Year everyone! We’re breaking protocol this month and meeting on the 2nd Monday of January. We could blame the holiday, but we were also really excited about checking out Science on Tap at National Mechanics!

Science on Tap is a monthly gathering that features a brief, informal presentation by a scientist or other expert followed by lively conversation. They meet on the 2nd Mondays of the month at National Mechanics.

January’s Science on Tap features the following:

Dr. Ernie Schuyler, Curator Emeritus of Botany, Academy of Natural Sciences
“The Origin and Evolution of Beer”

How could a bunch of geeks not be excited about the history of beer?

Join us for a pint and a chat to welcome in 2010!

Refresh Philly January featuring Science on Tap
Monday January 11th @ 6pm
National Mechanics
22 S 3rd St [btw Market & Chestnut]
RSVP on Facebook

Refresh Philly December

We’re pleased to announce that Chris Bartlett (aka @harveymilk on Twitter) will be leading the next hands-on installment of Refresh Philly!

A few months ago, Chris gave a heartfelt presentation at Ignite Philly about the Gay History Wiki, a project he has been working on for many years to honor and recognize the multitude of gay Philadelphians who have died since 1960.

View the Ignite Philly presentation >>

The Gay History Wiki raises many other issues to the surface, such as how do we remember the dead in social networks? How do we share a person’s history and context through images, connections, and comments?

We’ll explore these questions and more as we breakout into groups to brainstorm ways to take this project to the next level.

As always, doors open at 6pm and RSVP is required to gain entrance to the Comcast Center. Please RSVP on Facebook or email refresh[at] to get on the list.

Refresh Philly December
6:00 to 8:30pm
The Comcast Center
17th & JFK

Our refreshment sponsor for this event is Lose It or Lose It!

“Lose It or Lose It helps people stick to their desire to lose weight by making them try for 10 weeks or be punished! You pick lb per week and dollars per lb and give us the money up-front. each week, if you skip a weigh-in or don’t make your goal, you lose part of your initial investment. We send you daily reminders as well as let you add accountability friends who are updated every week with the status of your weigh-in. You weigh in by taking a picture of your feet on the scale and uploading it.”

Long story short: “Lose the weight or lose your money”

Refresh Philly November

On the eve of Election Day, Refresh Philly is excited to host a politically themed panel:

Local Politics on the Web: Is technology more important than kissing babies in Philadelphia?

Much has been made of the social media revolution in national politics, but will reliance on the Web come to the wards and blocks of Philadelphia and other local elections anytime soon? Has it already? What would that mean for voter interaction, transparency and fundrasing in a city known for machine politics?


Christopher Wink is a co-founder of Technically Philly, a news site that covers technology, entrepreneurship and innovation in Philadelphia. He covered Pennsylvania state government in the Harrisburg State Capitol in 2008 for six of the state’s largest newspapers in association with the Pennsylvania Legislative Correspondents’ Association. In May 2007, he began a year-long thesis research project on Philadelphia’s Republican Party and its relationship with the city’s Democrats.


Benjamin Barnett is the social-networking micro-blogger for He is the founder and digital media strategist for the Philadelphia-based Media Bureau.

Alex Urevick-Ackelsberg is Partner & Business Lead at Zivtech, LLC, an Open Source/Drupal web development company located in Old City. Alex has been working at the cross section of technology and politics/organizing sincesince he hooked up with Music for America, a voter education and registration initiative, during the U.S. 2004 presidential campaign. Before he began working professionally with Drupal he helped to create numerous blogs and online communities including Young Philly Politics (where his official title is “technical overlord”), Blue Force, a progressive national security site, and Future Majority, which looks at the intersections of youth, culture, and politics.

Rob Wonderling officially became the president and CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce in August. The two-time Republican state senator from Delaware County previously served as deputy secretary of transportation to then-Gov. Tom Ridge. He spent the preceding decade working for Bentley Systems, an Exton-based software firm, and Allentown-based Air Products and Chemicals. The Chamber’s first major initiative under his leadership has been to undertake a major public advocacy and awareness campaign called Relay, the first step of which is to survey more than 25,000 people in the region to capture how the chamber might affect the most change.

Doors open at 6pm, panel will begin at 6:20. We’re starting and ending a little earlier so we can go downstairs and catch the Phillies game on the BIGGEST screen in town - the lobby of the Comcast Center!

RSVP on Facebook or email refresh[at]

Refresh Philly October Happy Hour!

It’s first Monday again, which means another meeting of Refresh Philly! Please join us for a happy hour on Monday night at Jose Pistolas.

We’ll have the upstairs bar from 6 to 8pm. Swing on by and meet your fellow Refresh Philly friends. Never been to Refresh? This is a great time to see what we’re all about.

Looking forward to seeing you Monday!

Jose Pistolas
236 S 15th Street @ Locust Street [map]

RSVP on Facebook

Refresh Philly September: GRID!

GRID PhillyPlease join us on Monday September 14th for the September installment of Refresh Philly.  We’re meeting a week later than normal because of the Labor Day holiday.

We are very excited to have Alex Mulcahy and Stephanie Singer from GRID magazine be our guests for this hands-on Refresh session.

Grid inspires the people of Philadelphia to create a more just, livable and sustainable city.

We’ll learn about the history of the magazine, the editorial process and where they see it going in the future.

After that, we’ll help GRID brainstorm up some ideas for their website presence and ways to have  more impact on improving the city of Philadelphia.  We’ll share some of our favorite brainstorming techniques for drumming up ideas.

Doors open at 6pm, event begins at 6:30pm. Please RSVP on Facebook to get on the list or email refresh[at]refreshphilly[dot]org.

See you soon!