September 14th, 2010
OurPDX goes on hiatus as management plans for ‘doing it right’
As much as I love cheerleading new ventures on Silicon Florist, there are times when I have to talk about less than happy news. Because they affect you, they affect the Portland tech scene, and they deserve to be covered.
And so it is with a bit of a heavy heart that I have to report that Portland-focused blog OurPDX has been shuttered. I say “a bit” because there is a silver lining to this cloud. You see, there is the promise that the shutters may be reopened once they retool.
If you’ve read Silicon Florist for any amount of time, you may have encountered my coverage of OurPDX. I’ve been following the site since its inception. And I’ve always been rooting for its success. Plus, it’s a blog about Portland. Why wouldn’t I find that interesting?
I know, I know. A Portland blog writing about a Portland blog is a little meta. But still.
When OurPDX launched in June 2008, it was very much a phoenix rising from the flame out of Metroblogging Portland.
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.
I appreciated OurPDX because it wasn’t more of the same. Instead, it provided a unique viewpoint on the Portland scene. It wasn’t news, per se, although sometimes it was. It wasn’t op-ed, per se, although sometimes it was.
But over the last few months, that content dwindled. Writers moved on to other projects. Even the management was consumed with other efforts that took time away from caring for OurPDX.
I don’t know what local blogging should look like these days- but Robert & I both agree that it shouldn’t look like OurPDX did a year ago, or even six months ago. People have moved on; shorter, more pungent content (Twitter, etc.) is where it’s at.
We both have plenty of thoughts about where we think we’d like to go with OurPDX — but not a lot of time or energy to put into reshaping it into what it really ought to be in a 3.0 kind of way.
So rather than let it sit out there moldering, I’m putting the site in a cocoon-like state. Gestating. Incubating. Conserving energy.
OurPDX manager Robert Wagner takes it a step further, arguing that we need to look beyond the whole “blogging for the sake of blogging” mindset. And that OurPDX has to change to support that.
The problem is this – we’re all doing it wrong. I’ve been doing it completely wrong and to speak honestly, I’ve probably been doing it a hell of a lot more right than you have. Sure, there are exceptions, but for all of the hype surrounding the blog that we’ve had to endure over the past several years, I’m just not seeing the mainstream acceptance of it all. Not yet. Not in a way that speaks to people like my father, my sister, or my friend Dave in Seattle.
And so they’re closing the OurPDX doors while they do that. If you visit the OurPDX site, you’ll be greeted with the following:
OurPDX is hibernating…
OurPDX is currently slumbering, gathering its strength to emerge as something newer…fresher…more inviting and/or engaging.
We’re not going away for good — I promise. Instead, it’ll be worth waiting for.
Questions, issues, concerns and/or feedback? Send email to betsy at ourpdx dot com.
And in the famous words of those noted philosophers, Messrs. Bartles & Jaymes:
thank you for your support.
I’ll be interested to see what happens with the retooling. And I’ll remain hopeful that the OurPDX phoenix arises successfully from the ashes, once again.