Way back on Dec. 11, 2007 – 12 years ago today – The B-Town Blog published its very first post.
Since then, we have published over 38,000 stories (!) – of local news, politics, arts, events, photos, videos and more – for Burien.
Our homegrown, family-run, totally independent website has amazing reach too – as it’s considered by 71% of residents as their main source of information, according to a 2018 survey by the City of Burien – here’s a handy-dandy infographic with all the details:
First started as a hobby by Burien resident and multiple award-winning TV Writer/Director/Producer Scott Schaefer (“Almost Live!” “Bill Nye the Science Guy” “The Arsenio Hall Show” “Penn & Teller:Bullsh*t!” and many others), the blog began after an online search for things to do in Burien for his family netted zero results.
Inspired by the early success of other “local blogs” around the Seattle area, as well as a love for the community, Schaefer decided to start one for Burien. He adopted the nickname “B-Town” from an ice cream shop in Olde Burien called “B-Town Scoop,” and within a few months, traffic started to explode. Schaefer consulted with Zev Siegl (one of the original founders of Starbucks) at the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Highline College, as well as with business Mentor and friend Larry Coffman of Marketing NW Magazine.
Both encouraged him to drop everything else and turn this little “hobby” website into a full-time business.
Soon, the incredibly talented Michael Brunk came on board and helped design and code the website, as well as share amazing photos he had taken around town.
Old college pal Todd Christensen and wife Wendy Quesinberry of Quesinberry Design helped with artwork and logos.
Then, Janet Grella joined as Sales Manager, and The B-Town Blogolution was underway. We soon had dozens of paid Advertisers and were able to eke out a living! (R.I.P. Janet)
In 2012, Scott’s wife Theresa joined the team as Sales Manager, and she and Scott now work full-time as the “Mom and Pop” internet publishing company South King Media, a family-run, totally independent local network of seven news/events websites for an area spanning from White Center to Kent. They are joined by experienced Journalist Jack Mayne, as well as Sales Rep Dona Ozier, Columnist Dayna Mason, Photographer Elston Hill, Shelli Park, Greg Wright, Mark Neuman, assorted other contributors and our new Big Picture Intern Marie Schau.
In August, 2018, South King Media was profiled by Seattle Business Magazine – read the full story here
YIKES…OUR SERVER CRASHED!
In mid-August of this summer, the boot drive of our server (pictured above) crashed, knocking the blog offline for a few days. We had to scramble to get everything back online, and for several weeks we thought we had lost over 11 years’ of our historic content – not just for B-Town, but also for the six other local websites we publish. Luckily, the good folks at our server company Wowrack, as well as Jon Lehman at Creative Dynamic, were able to dig deep into the crashed hardware and somehow find over 38,000 of our historic stories that we thought were goners.
HELP ‘SAVE OUR STORIES’
The only problem? To restore all of these historic stories it will cost us money (mostly to pay coders to do their magic). That’s why we will soon be starting a new “Save Our Stories” fundraiser drive to restore as many of the posts we’ve done. We realize the importance of how we capture and preserve local history via our award-winning online journalism, and will be announcing this drive soon in order to restore this history.