Nine years ago today, I published my very first blog post about biking in Portland.
Back then my posts were published on OregonLive.com’s “Bike Fun” blog (which no longer exists). After being hosted by OregonLive for about four months, I decided to go it alone and launched BikePortland.org in its current form on July 29th. After that big move, it would still be several years before I started doing the blog full time.
And what an amazing run we’ve had since then!
Here are a few stats to ponder:
- 244,095 approved comments
- 17,752 posts
- 10,120 posts to the Front Page
- 5,766 stolen bike listings
Over the years we’ve covered bicycling in all its wonderful forms and we’ve shared news and perspectives from every corner of the state (and beyond). We’ve also had some very talented people work with us and write for us. To keep the business alive and strong, we’ve partnered with tons of great advertisers and many loyal readers. That support allows us to bring you all the daily news, opinions, photos and stories you care about.
And my how things have changed over the years!
I’ve seen activists, advocates, and bureaucrats come and go, social movements and trends explode then flare out, elected officials rise and fall, and so much change in the news business that I sometimes feel like the “old media” I was once was pegged to replace.
Yet in a strange way, while I can talk to you for hours about how I’ve changed and how biking in this city has changed over the years, I also feel like BikePortland has remained the same: Every day we share words and photos that deepen your understanding of bicycling and the role it plays in cities, politics, and in people’s lives. Whether it’s introducing you to a interesting personality or new business, wading into sensitive social issues, or covering a tragic collision, I truly believe that our stories — and your comments — have created a strong thread that holds our community together.
It’s an ongoing narrative that deserves respect, honesty, objectivity, and constant care-and-feeding. Even after nine years, last Sunday I found myself checking in on reader reactions to a heated story and had to excuse myself from my family while I spent time replying to commenters and moderating the conversation. I won’t let that thread weaken or break down because we’ve worked too hard to keep it going.
But now I’m rambling, so let’s finish this up…
Beyond this post, I really haven’t thought too much about our 9th anniversary. I am much more focused on what I want to achieve by next year. 2015 will be a huge year for BikePortland. The 10th anniversary will be a major milestone for the site and for me (I’ll turn 40!). Right now, Michael and I are focused on getting to that 10th year in much stronger shape that we’re in now. I have never been more proud of the product we create each day; but the site must grow and mature in ways beyond the stories if we plan to celebrate our 20th anniversary in 2025.
Thank you for a fantastic nine years. And like always, stay tuned….