Willamette Week, WaPo, and WordPress: Portland's popular alt weekly picked first for new digital publishing platform

Psst. PSST! Hey you. Yeah you. C’mere. I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Traditional media? They still kind of struggle with this whole Web thing. No. I’m serious. Maybe you’ve known about this for a while. Or maybe you’ve encountered it more recently with untold virtual column inches consumed with conversation about ad blockers or whatever. But whatever the case, it’s true. Traditional media still doesn’t really get with Web.

But that’s starting to change. And with a new program being spearheaded by the Jeff Bezos owned Washington Post, it could make things change rapidly. And it’s all starting right here in our own back yard with the Willamette Week.

You may have noticed that WWeek just launched a new site, but even there’s more going on behind the scenes and under the hood.

The Washington Post today announces its Arc custom publishing platform now powers the website of Willamette Week, a news organization that covers politics and culture in Portland, Oregon. This is the first licensing client for The Post’s software-as-a-service arm, which was announced a year ago when it began experimenting with this new business by supporting the web infrastructure of student newspapers at Columbia, Yale and the University of Maryland.

Willamette Week’s site has been rebuilt onto the Arc platform and is now running on PageBuilder, the sophisticated site layout engine which The Post itself is currently using. PageBuilder will enable Willamette Week to serve online traffic at scale with minimal load time and give their staff access to rich, customizable templates and pages. Willamette Week’s staff will also utilize WebSked, Arc’s tool for internal newsroom planning.

What’s more, the Arc platform relies a great deal on the open source WordPress codebase—something that has been enabling Silicon Florist drivel since day one. So there’s a bunch of open source development and thinking that have gone into the platform. With, I’m sure, much more to come.

Not bad for those old media types. Not bad, at all.

For more information, see the Washington Post writeup and the Willamette Week post.