Happy 11th Birthday to Us! We Love You!Eleven years ago today â€“ on Dec. 11, 2007 â€“ we pushed the “Publish” button for the first time on The B-Town Blog,Â with the hopes of providing an effective, frequently-updated, professional local news and events source for Burien and its fine residents. We were Burien’s first localÂ blog, and one of the very first in the entire Northwest. Since then, weÂ have been named “Best Hyperlocal Website” for two years in a row by the Society of Professional Journalists, and most recently were profiled by Seattle Business Magazine. Also new this year was a survey conducted by the City of Burien that shows that 71% percent of residents get most of their information about Burien from The B-Town Blog â€“Â “…one of the highest responses throughout the survey”: First created as a hobby by former TV Writer/Director (and Burien resident)Â Scott Schaefer, the blog grew organically over the next few years, with numerous local news stories, event listings, arts, photos and more. The one day Scott was asked if he “sold ads” (say what?). He then sought and received excellent business mentoring advice from Northwest marketing legend Larry Coffman, as well as one of the original founders of Starbucks â€“ Zev Siegl,Â working then at the SBDC at Highline College. Then, the amazingÂ Janet Grella met Scott at a Burien Farmers Market during the summer of 2008, and innocently asked “what’s a blog?” (and whether she could get a virus from one!). Janet then became our first “Sales Diva,” and helped turn a fun little hobby into a full-time biz by selling ads to many local businesses. Soon, local Photographer/Code God Michael Brunk joined us, re-designing the website, fixing code, taking great photos, schooling Scott in WordPress and much more. And now we’re averaging nearly 102,000 Unique Visits and overÂ 406,000Â Pageviews per month (as per Google Analytics so far for 2018). Not bad for a city of ~50,000 residents! And just for ol’ time’s sake, here are links to our very first two stories: ILoveKent.net â€“ which serves up local news/events and more for Kent, the sixth largest city in Washington state, with ~127,000 residents. The current overall reach for South King Media’s entire network is 140,811 Sessions and 473,006 Pageviews per month. In addition to our ever-increasing traffic, we are continuing to build a fast-growing social media network as well. As of Dec. 10, 2018, our Facebook Page has 13,614 Followers, and our Twitter Feed goes out to 6,604 Followers. And if you like getting all your B-Town news in a FREE daily digest, please subscribe to our email newsletter, which will arrive in your email inbox at 6 p.m. every day:Â http://eepurl.com/blthaf
But we couldn’t have done any of this without YOU, our great Readers â€“ your community spirit, your involvement in the blog, and especially your continued support of our wonderful Advertisers and all the local non-profits and fundraisers that we help!Oh, and we’ve had some great help along the way â€“ a huge Tip O’the Hat to the following team members (hopefully we’ve listed them all, and if we didn’t include someone we apologize â€“ it’s been 10 years!):
- Theresa Schaefer, Sales Manager. Scottâ€™s wife is the newest member of the team, having joined in April, 2012. Most recently she served as a member of the Victorinox Swiss Army Sales Management team. Theresa is a veteran sales and marketing professional â€“ with deep customer service experience at Nordstrom â€“ who is ready to help market your business.Â Email her for our Media Kit/Rate Card.
- Jack Mayne, Associate Publisher/Senior Reporter. Jack Mayne has done about all there is to do in print journalism. He has been city editor of the Seattle P.I. back in its glory days, edited the Journal American in Bellevue and Valley Daily News in Kent in the 1990s. Before that he was a freelance international journalist and reported from South Africa, China, visited over 80 countries and even covered a colonial war in the 20th century between the United Kingdom and Argentina over the desolate Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic. He got his start at the Vancouver Province, thence to The Associated Press, becoming chief of the New England bureau, but a desire of AP to send him to Buffalo, N.Y., drove him back to Seattle. With writing for print becoming quaint and dated, Jack has now set his sights on Web journalism and has become an important member of South King Media’s network.
- Michael Brunk, Photographer/Technical Guru. With a love of photography that spans more than 20 years, Michael has fond memories of film but wouldnâ€™t give up his digital SLRs for anything. His checkered past includes stints as a monthly columnist for a nationally published magazine on telecommunications and technology, and several years reviewing movies. Heâ€™s also been known to dabble in community theater. His main qualifications are a large camera, and a love of coding/technology. He also builds and maintains the code that runs our sites.
- Mark Neuman, Writer/Marketing: former real-world Journalist, TV Host, Producer and Marketer, Mark is an old friend of Scottâ€™s going back to when they worked on their high school newspaper together (West Seattle Highâ€™s â€œChinookâ€). Mark has interviewed two US Presidents, cops, cooks and cartoonists, authors and artists, senators, singers, scholars and senior citizens, along with the first Mayor of Burien and a local man running for State Superior Court.
- Elston Hill, Photographer. Elston and his wife Jackline often send us some of the most amazing, beautiful photos we’ve ever seen, and we are proud to showcase them!
- Blake Messer, Marketing Consultant, Newfangled Commerce. Blake is an expert in marketing, and helps us manage our growing Daily Digest Email Newsletter as well as Advertising and social media.
- Greg Wright, Writer/Editor. Greg has helped us a lot over the years, mostly for our sister sites The SeaTac Blog,Â The Waterland BlogÂ and most recently, I Love Kent.
- Todd Christensen & Wendy Quesinberry, Quesinberry & Associates. Todd & Wendy are partners in LOL Dudez, LLC (dba South King Media), and they designed our logos and helped with web design.
- Shelli Park, Reviewer. Shelli is a local Artist who has become our main Reviewer, especially for Burien Actors Theatre.
- Virginia Wright, Phoenix Tea. Virginia created and maintains the Burien Culture Hub, which is featured in our main menu.
Again â€“ THANK YOU for 11 years of reading our blog, supporting our Advertisers, giving us feedback (and yes, commenting will be returning soon), and being engaged with your community through us!
Oh, and stay tuned for a huge website re-design soon!