ORblogs Turns Three

I run a site that pulls together blogs and posts by people in Oregon called ORblogs. The idea started as this post on this site: Oregon Weblogs, after I met Michael Buffington and Nick Finck for the first time at SXSW in Austin that month. I found out they both lived about 45 minutes away and I thought there should be some way for local bloggers to find each other.

I set up ORblogs.com with a simple link list of the Oregon bloggers I could find. Then a few months later (three years ago today) I moved from a simple list of links to a database-driven site that gathers posts and information about the blogs. And I moved from actively finding weblogs, to making the site a voluntary, participatory space. In fact, if you go to the blog detail page for this site—onfocus at ORblogs—you'll see that the date my weblog was added is June 3, 2003. A quick SQL query tells me there are 58 weblogs that are still active and were added that day. There are currently 1,055 active weblogs in the directory.

I've been able to virtually get to know a number of my fellow Oregonians by reading the site daily for three years, and I think it's helped me get to know my city and state better than I would have otherwise. I've even met a few bloggers in person, and I'm not sure that would have happened without the site. I also appreciate the fact that I see diverse viewpoints from people across the state. I don't always agree with everything I see flowing through ORblogs, but I think it's healthy to read outside of my normal ideological bubble once in a while.

So I just wanted to mark the milestone with a post. I always have grand plans for ORblogs, a whole stack of ideas I'd like to implement that would help connect Oregon bloggers and their ideas together. (I've been talking with people about an ORblogs get-together forever, that'd be a fun way to connect with other bloggers too.) But the site is a side-project, and I'm not making any money from it. Hopefully someday I'll figure out how to turn the intangible value I feel from participating at the site into tangible value so I can focus more time at ORblogs—a classic personal Web dilemma.

I'd also like to take this post to say thanks to all of the Oregon bloggers who have chosen to participate at ORblogs, who bother pinging the site, and who are teaching me more about Oregon every day. The site wouldn't exist without the Oregon blogosphere collectively nodding in ORblogs' direction.

Comments

Thank you! I finally decided to go ahead and start my little project after I found OR Blogs and realized there would be a way to possibly gain some readers. The site rocks, so thanks again. :)
Happy ORblogs birthday, Paul..

It's kinda' nice when things work out for the good.
ORblogs is the heart and soul of blogging in this state. Thank you!
I've discovered some great weblogs via ORblogs. Some I love. Some I hate. Some I love to hate. But it's just great to see the level of blogging involvement in the state.

I always hope that you at least break even on ORblogs. And, as I've mentioned before, I'm happy to contribute something. Have you ever thought of posting a "donate via Paypal" button?

Keep up the good work!

(p.s. Tell your wife we now have juvenile jays in flight, so they didn't *all* get eaten.)
i love orblogs and have found some really cool people there. now that i blog for a living it's fun to think that i first discovered the power of blogs right here in my own backyard. thanks paul for making it happen :)
thanks, everyone, I appreciate the comments.

J.D., thanks for the donation offer. I've thought about going that route and it might work in the short-run. But I'm not sure how effective I could be at NPR-style campaigns on a regular basis. I think some sort of "subscription" plan down the road will be more sustainable. But I'm still thinking about it.