June 23rd, 2008
Our PDX Network: You can’t keep a good team down
They had meetups, they had banter with their readers, and—most importantly—they had Portland paying attention.
Not only did I want to read the blog, I wanted to write for them. To comment. To be part of the vibe. To be part of that team. To be part of that talent that was doing a better job of keeping Portland informed—for free. Better, in fact than many of the paid journalists in town.
And then, much to my chagrin, that blog stumbled. Badly.
And the worst part of it was that it had nothing to do with the writers, nothing to do with teamwork, and absolutely nothing to do with Portland. It had to do with the fact that they were part of a much larger network that had less concern about the Portland site than they did the network as a whole. And they made some mistakes.
And now, it seems like ages since we’ve had that vibe. The blog never recovered. They lost the team except for a few who stuck around. They lost the banter by implementing an oppressive comment system. The list goes on and on.
And since then, it’s been some irreparable shell of a blog, mocking its former instantiation, dribbling out half-hearted and insipid posts on an irregular basis.
And Portland sat. Waiting for the voices to return. Or for someone to pick up the torch.
But now, that wait is over.
I hear you. Whoa whoa whoa, Mr. Sourpuss. Don’t start my Monday morning off on such a depressing note. Geez.
“Last Saturday, a local story dropped in my lap. But I had no outlet,” said Betsy Richter, the driving force behind Our PDX. “And, I got frustrated about the fact that I didn’t have much of a local presence any more (Twitter notwithstanding). So, I bought a couple of domains. And sent off email to a few people, asking for a review/feedback.”
And the rest, as they say, is history.
Now bear in mind, it’s not a repeat of their former existence. This isn’t a “2.0″ of the prior site, by any means. No, my friends, it promises to be better. Way better.
By Portland and for Portland, Our PDX promises to be a true hub of Portland news and happenings. You’ll see content developed by the Our PDX authors, but you’ll also see a great deal more. They’ll be working to aggregate publicly accessible media from throughout Portland, be that via Twitter streams or RSS feeds.
And they’ve really focused on getting the conversation going, again. Which is a very, very good thing.
Based on what I’ve heard about their vision, I’m excited. And I think it could really become that hub of activity for Portland that we’ve all been seeking.
Long story short, Our PDX will truly be a community blog.
I know that these folks know how to do it right. And I’m really looking forward to having them back.
Please join me in welcoming them back from their respective sabbaticals.
I can’t wait to see where this goes.
For more information, visit Our PDX and join in the conversation.