In July of last year, a couple of folks put together ThePortlander, a site designed to deliver a broad range of news for residents of the Portland metropolitan area. The hope was that the site would be a welcome—albeit disruptive—alternative to more traditional local news sources.
Now, barely a year old, the site is boasting some very impressive numbers. And it looks as if it still holds a great deal of potential to impact the local news scene.
Over the past 12 months, [ThePortlander has] served well more than 100,000 unique visitors that have generated hundreds of thousands of pageviews. Each month traffic has been up double digits over the prior month while June is currently tracking at +75% over May. We have published more than 1,300 stories and recently passed 1,000 approved reader comments.
Since January of this year, ThePortlander has been solely managed by co-founder Jeff Martens, who has also co-founded review site Goboz, Twitter-like CitySpeek, and Portland Startup Weekend project CPUsage.
So what is ThePortlander exactly? Well, that’s a very good question. You see, the site isn’t really a blog and yet it really isn’t really your run of the mill media site either. It sits somewhere in between by trying to take the best of both those worlds—covering breaking news and other more traditional “big media” topics while striving to actively engage with its readers through comments and other social media.
“Our goal is to sit somewhere between a blog and a traditional news site,” said Jeff in an email. “We aim to provide news value in everything we publish.”
So what are people reading in ThePortlander? Well, the same kinds of content that seems popular in other news venues. Some of the site’s more popular content includes automotive reviews, commercial real estate news, entertainment industry insights, and ThePortlander 13, a stock index of local companies.
But it’s not stopping there. ThePortlander has just announced new pursuits, including a food cart column that—given Portland’s enchantment with the world of those small focused mobile restaurants—will no doubt draw a crowd, as well. That column will be penned… err typed by Angela DeHaven, who also writes for local ensemble blog OurPDX.
The site is currently staffed by six regular contributors. And as part of its first birthday, it will be retooling its advertising model. So if all goes as planned, we may see that number of contributors grow.
One thing is for sure, ThePortlander has made a great deal of progress for only having one year under its belt. It will be interesting to see what happens in year two.