[HTML1]If you’re tuned into tech scene in the Portland area, you’re no doubt a reader of the Silicon Forest blog. And if you’re not, you should be. It’s written by Mike Rogoway, the tech and business writer for The Oregonian.
And lately, to be honest, Mike and his blog—even his printed pieces for that matter—have been kicking my ass. Quite soundly, I might add. And that, gentle reader, is a very very good thing. Dare I say awesome, even?
Now, how exactly does one blog kick another blogs ass? Well, by breaking stories or covering topics more thoroughly. And Mike has been doing both, lately.
Don’t believe me? Well, take a look at a few examples as of late.
- His Portland Seed Fund piece, which ran both online and in the print edition, is the most comprehensive story on the biggest thing to happen with investing in the Portland startup scene in years.
- He broke a story on the local coupon book, the Chinook Book, and how they had worked with local iPhone agency, Small Society, to bring their coupons to the iPhone.
- He posted an interesting take on how Microsoft’s move into downtown Portland heralds a downtown renaissance for Portland tech.
- And he was the first to write up a major chunk of startup funding when Portland’s Giftango secured an additional $5 million in venture backing.
See? I told you. Ass kicking. So why am I bringing up the fact that I’m getting my ass kicked? Soundly?
First and foremost, I wanted to recognize the ever growing effort Mike has been putting into covering the startup space in Portland. And his continued diligence on breaking news about what’s happening around here.
You see, when I started this whole Silicon Florist thing, trying to cover the cool stuff I saw happening in the startup scene, poor Mike was stuck writing story after story after story about Tektronix and Intel and HP and InFocus.
While I got to cover all the fun exciting startup stuff, Mike got to cover old Silicon Forest tech. Embedded systems. Wa-effing-hoo! (No offense to anyone who gets really excited about embedded systems. It’s just that I don’t.) And that’s why I started blogging about what was happening. Because traditional media folks, like Mike, either didn’t have the time or lacked the interest in what was happening with startup tech.
But then things started to change a bit. Mike got the chance to cover some of the startup activity around here, some folks got funding, more stuff started happening, and he got to cover more and more. And then, the readers got interested. And started reading about the startups. Which made Mike and his editors more likely to pursue stories about startups. Which people read and so on and so on and so on. Virtuous cycles and all that.
And more and more, Mike has been first on the scene with stories about the startup scene.
But why, why in the name of all that is holy, would I be commending this ass whooping he’s been dishing out to me?
Because, Portland, that’s the best news we’ve seen in quite some time. How could I not like that? That traditional media is now more consistently interested in what the Portland startup scene is doing? That The Oregonian readership is responding to and engaging with stories about what’s happening around here? That the broad distribution of Oregon’s most read publication is introducing formerly unknown companies to a whole new group of readers?
How can any of that be bad? It can’t. It can only be awesome. And that’s why this tanning I’ve been taking as of late is awesome too.
You startups keep doing what you’re doing. And bear in mind, that those efforts are very likely to make it to a much broader audience thanks to the work @Rogoway has been doing.
Thanks, Mike! Please please please keep up the good work.
(Since you made it this far, here’s a random fact for you. Did you know that Mike and I went to the same college? We even graduated the same year. And here we are, both writing about startups in Portland, Oregon. Small world.)
(Image courtesy Aaron Hockley. Used with permission.)