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Thanks for voting BikePortland “Best Local Blog” – again

Posted by on July 14th, 2017 at 2:18 pm

Yours truly rolling in the Willamette Valley last week en route to a Cycle Oregon event.
(Photo: Lars Larson)

You guys did it again.

For the second year in a row, your votes helped earn BikePortland the title of “Best Local Blog” in the Willamette Week Best of Portland Reader’s Poll.

Just wanted to say thanks for all your support. This time came as a bit of a shock because I never once even tweeted or mentioned that I’d needed your vote. I figured winning once was cool enough and maybe someone else should win this time. Even so, I’m thrilled that y’all still consider this blog to be the “best”.

It’s been a strange year for me both personally and professionally as I’ve had to re-adjust to doing this business solo. I’d gotten used to (maybe too used to) having a very talented partner at my side before Michael left about one year ago. We were on a nice trajectory together (and I’m happy he’s still contributing now and then); but now the course has shifted a bit. I’ve been working from home for several months now and trying to plot how this business will survive — and thrive! — well into the future.

My central dilemma is: How can I make BikePortland sustainable — in every sense of the word?

Those early years were thrilling, but far from sustainable for me or my family. Now that I’ve found a bit healthier relationship between my blog and my life (not perfect yet, but better), the revenue side of things isn’t where it needs to be for the long haul. I’ll figure it out. I’m not complaining. Far from it.

Every day I think about how lucky I am to still be doing this. Thank you to all our advertisers, subscribers, readers commenters (and lurkers!), for making it possible. I appreciate your support.

If they had a “Best Blog Readers” category, you’d get all my votes.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

BikePortland is supported by the community (that means you!). Please become a subscriber or an advertiser today.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

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Eric U.Paul ConeMossby PomegranateAlan 1.0Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) Recent comment authors
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Matt
Guest
Matt

Congratulations! This is a well-earned honor.

bikeninja
Guest
bikeninja

Congrats, I voted for BP.

Pete
Guest
Pete

I voted against BP, but he won anyway…

bikeninja
Guest
bikeninja

Jonathan, I plan to become a subscriber soon, but in the meantime, have you thought of adding some kind of digital “tip jar” to the website, or is it already there and I have missed it.

Ryan
Guest
Ryan

Congrats! Well deserved. Sweet bike in the pic too 🙂

brian
Guest
brian

That Cannondale though…

Mossby Pomegranate
Guest
Mossby Pomegranate

Better and more fair moderation please.

Kiel Johnson (Go By Bike)
Member

I can’t imagine Portland without Bikeportland. The other day I was chatting with Michael about what we like about Portland and he mentioned that it is full of smart people who want to make the city a better place. In my opinion, one of the reasons this exists is because of Bikeportland and the community Jonathan has helped build. There are certainly bikeportland haters out there but I think most of that sentiment comes from folks being envious of bikeportland’s success and that the posts are not only about doing the “Portland back pat” but about pushing people to make our city a better place. Excited to see where you take this success Jonathan. You have shown that you do not need to be ED of a big advocacy group and raise a lot of money to make a difference.

rachel b
Guest
rachel b

Hurrah! You deserve it. Thank you so much for all you do here. And I owe you some money! Good to have the tip jar info–I encourage one and all to give a congratulatory $$ tip to BikePortland/Jonathan in honor of this… er… honor. Do it! Or ants will bite you! And the heavens will rain FIRE!!!!

Big Knobbies
Guest
Big Knobbies

Haven’t seen any posts from Hello Kitty lately. Is she on vacation?

Congratulations on the blog honors. I didn’t even know there was a vote!

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

You might have one the “Best Legs” category if there was one.

Scott Kocher
Guest

+1 Congrats. Pretty bike too ;).

Ron Richings
Guest

Congrats Jonathan. Well deserved. You should come back up to (the real) Vancouver and try out our very new Arbutus Greenway. 9 km of car-free paved pathway for your riding pleasure.

Ron

Pete
Guest
Pete

Yeah, sure, you might have awesome cycling up there, but last I checked The Alibi Room was still out of Megadestroyer Imperial Licorice Stout.

Alan 1.0
Subscriber

Vancouver-2 did have wonderful apple, pear, and cherry ciders from the nearby Okanogan valley well before microbrews became a thing down here.

John Liu
Subscriber

I wish BP could extend beyond its niche of “urban cycling activism and politics”, to use a phrase I just made up.

There is a big world of cycling out there. Recreational cycling, sport cycling, bike racing, gravel riding, mountain biking, BMX, bike packing, cyclotourism, bicycle technology and products, vintage bicycle collecting, on and on.

BP does post on some of those other aspects of cycling, from time to time, but the current audience seems mostly in the range of disinterested to hostile. BP’s posts about Cycle Oregon typically get a handful of comments, if that. Reviews of new bicycles and products usually elicit bitter comments about expensive toys for rich people and how the commentor’s bike was a dumpster find and the best rain jacket is a Hefty bag over a wool sweater from the Goodwill box. Coverage of even local racing falls entirely flat. And given the frequent scorn expressed for lycra wearing roadies, I guess I see why there’s essentially no coverage of the sport recreational riding scene.

The reason I wish this is that I think the niche of urban cycling activism and politics, and the reader participation that it brings, is too narrow to support a financially successful blog. Blogs are supported by advertising. Advertisers want to sell things. To sell things, you have to reach an audience that buys those things. Judging by what posts get the most reader comments, and the content of comments, the current BP readership doesn’t seem like a good audience for most advertisers, or at least there’s lots of room for improvement.

I’d be happy to be wrong, but when being the repeat winner of best blog in Portland, and the only Portland cycling blog that most people know of, isn’t leading to financial sustainability, it seems like something has to change.

John Liu
Subscriber

Sorry, I guess I shouldn’t have posted a downer comment in a celebratory thread. I’d delete if there was a delete button. Feel free to delete for me.

Kate
Guest
Kate

Actually, I think that’s some pretty interesting analysis on the advertising vs interest and coverage in cycling events that might be more attractive to place advertisements on. Coupled with Jonathan’s post, it makes me think that perhaps part of the solution is that more of us who do those other events should step up with guest posts.

Joseph E
Guest
Joseph E

I suspect that the comments are not very representative of the number of page views each post gets. The recreational cycling posts may well get plenty of views, but since they lack controversy they may not get as many comments per view.

Gary B
Guest
Gary B

That’s what I was thinking. I read those articles, but have nothing to offer in a comment. It’s just not really a topic for discussion, which is fine.

Toadslick
Subscriber

Thanks, Jonathan, for all that you do! I’ve met wonderful people, participated in unforgettable events, and connected with activists and organizations, all because of your blog.

BikePortland has made living car-free in Portland so much better, by providing vital information about route closures and openings, fostering a supportive and inclusive community, and enabling people like me to have a voice in the future of transportation in Portland.

Thanks again for all of your hard work and dedication.

Paul Cone
Guest
Paul Cone

Did Lars Larson put the Thanks in your mouth, or did you?

Eric U.
Guest
Eric U.

this is a great blog. It’s the only bike blog I read, from across the country. I guess I just need to see how the other half lives, since we’re lucky to have a few bike lanes that are really converted gutters