For over eight years now, I’ve run BikePortland in pretty much the same way. Give or take a few years when I had the good fortune of working with Elly Blue (as managing editor) and Jonathan Reed (as my ad sales and business guy), this has been a solo operation. Over 15,000 posts, 211,000 comments, 32,000 photos and countless meetings and events. That’s a whole lot of work, stress, ups-and-downs, and screen-time for one person. That’s why today I am very happy to announce that I’m about to get some much-needed help.
BikePortland and Portland Afoot are joining forces.
Since the day he first shared his idea for a magazine about low-car life in Portland, I’ve watched Portland Afoot Founder Michael Andersen develop something special. He has approached his beat and his business with skill and grace and he created a solid following. While we have approached our work from different perspectives and with different business models, we have always believed that more and better coverage of biking, walking, transit, and low-car life is important.
In these past few years, Michael has realized the challenge of creating a financially stable citizen journalism enterprise. In the past few years, I have realized the challenge of not having the help I need to realize BikePortland’s potential. I’ve also known for a while now that if the opportunity to bring Michael into the mix here at BikePortland in a significant way ever presented itself, I would jump at the chance.
This is that chance and I’m taking it.
So far, Michael and I have committed to working together. We’re not exactly sure what form it will take, or what the future holds; but we’ve decided there are too many exciting possibilities to let this opportunity pass. Here’s how Michael explains it:
“Jonathan and I are going to start collaborating more closely. We’re not quite sure yet where we’re going, which channels we’ll use or what sort of news operation will result – but we’re sure that working closely together is the best way to make both organizations better… This collaboration means that we’re going to end some things that haven’t worked, which will let us continue to do things that have worked while creating new things that we think will work.
We are not being vague to annoy you. We just want to do this right and we are taking small steps in feeling our way to a partnership that works. We also want your feedback. As Michael says over on his blog, the only way we are able to do this work is because of your support (that means readers and advertisers) and all the amazing things you do that give us so much to write about.
If you have input on how this partnership could work, we’re all ears. As Michael transitions away from Portland Afoot in its current form, and we begin to put our heads together, we’ll keep you informed — and hopefully inspired — about our future.