Posted by Jonathan Maus ( Publisher/Editor ) on December 21st, 2009 at 1:34 pm
It’s not often that I use this space to share what’s going on behind-the-scenes at BikePortland. But with another year gone by and as we head into our fifth anniversary, I figured it was time to check in.
2009 has brought more changes to BikePortland than any year in our history — both for me personally and on the business side of things.
The site itself, which for years was the work of myself alone, is now a team effort. In case you haven’t noticed, it’s not just a blog anymore (I should put that on a t-shirt!). We’ve added features and refined existing ones, we do more (and better) events than ever before, and — thanks to the help of Elly Blue — we’ve assembled an excellent crew of interns and contributors.
This past summer, I actually took a vacation with my family and did not even think about BikePortland for about a week. That might not seem like a big deal to you, but it was the first time I’ve ever left the day-to-day operations of the site to someone else (and Ms. Blue did a stellar job!).
When I started this site, many people assumed I would burn out. The opposite has happened. I’m still just as much of a bike nerd as I was back in 2005. My perspectives and interests are a bit different now, but the most important thing has not changed: BikePortland is still a labor of love and my passion for bikes and for this community still burns bright.
That passion, mixed with a deep respect for journalism and the power of information, are the foundation of BikePortland. It’s only now that I’m beginning to understand the importance of adding good business practices to that foundation.
I’ve had a laser-focus on one thing for years — to create the most compelling, well-rounded, thorough, and timely bike news anywhere. Dealing with the business has never been anywhere near as exciting (or as high of a priority).
Thankfully, our wide reach and reputation means companies seek us out to advertise. But contrary to what some might think, we are far from media moguls. We can’t continue to rely on advertising alone. Unlike non-profits, we do not have paid members or grants from big foundations, or lots of wealthy donors behind us. I’ve gone the business route (vs. becoming a non-profit) because I value independence above all else. With no board members, no grants with strings attached, and no meddlesome (kidding!) members, we are free to follow our instincts and do whatever it takes to serve the community’s interests.
Your bike enthusiasm and insightful comments help BikePortland inform and inspire thousands of people all over the world, every day. The policymakers, the planners, the industry leaders, the politicians, the advocates, the activists, the media, the regular folks just looking for support and information — they’re all tuned in. And they read not just our stories, but your comments as well. BikePortland gives us all a voice on important issues.
Now we need your support. We have much more work to do and we need your help to accomplish it. Please consider hitting the buttons below for a recurring $5 monthly payment or a one-time amount*. Your support will help us sustain and improve BikePortland. We cannot realize our vision without you.
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[$5 per month]
Thanks for making this such an amazing year. Take a minute to think about what we’ve created together… and then just imagine what we’ll do in 2010!
— Jonathan Maus
*Please note: BikePortland is not a non-profit organization. Your payments are not tax deductible.