We move fast around here at Xconomy Seattle, so there isn’t much time to look back or celebrate. Today we’re making an exception. It’s been exactly one year since we took a deep breath, pushed the button, and published the first edition of Xconomy Seattle.
There’s truly never been a dull moment since we fired up the Wi-Fi, bought some Ikea furniture, and settled into our scruffy space on Seattle’s First Hill (after first freeing the Qwest phone guy from our elevator shaft). We have published 1,440 stories and briefs about the Northwest’s leading personalities, companies, and trends in the most innovative segments of the business community. Readership across the Xconomy network has soared to some 170,000 unique visitors per month nationwide—about triple where it was a year ago. We have nailed down partnerships to feed our content to a pair of major Northwest media players—Seattletimes.com and Seattlepi.com. And, we’ve organized local events on new vaccines in development and the rise of the cleantech industry, with more to come—including the Xconomy Battle of the Tech Bands on July 30, which will take place at the Washington Technology Industry Association’s annual summer celebration.
So, for those of you who are just discovering us, what is Xconomy about, and why are we so pumped (well, besides the unhealthy quantities of caffeine we consume)? We get up every day looking for stories that matter. Stories about innovation in high tech, biotech, and cleantech that are happening all around us. This provides an amazing lens on the world, and every week we feel the joy of discovering people and projects that are new, interesting, and important drivers for the Seattle region (and beyond)—as well as some things that just never pan out. Much of this stuff is off the radar of other media, so it means we have the good fortune of digging out stories you can’t find anywhere else.
The Web also allows amazing freedom in how we write our stories and engage with readers, in ways that wouldn’t work in a traditional print operation. As Xconomy founder and editor in chief Bob Buderi described when we launched the Seattle site a year ago, “We aren’t a typical blog: we’re more like a cross between a blog, a daily newspaper, and a magazine, running articles that range from 30-odd words to more than 3,000, depending on where the story takes us.”
Xconomy as a company has been around for almost two years, since we first got going in Boston on June 27, 2007. After opening Seattle, we added another site in San Diego last October. Since we are always asking companies to explain their strategies in plain English, I figured it was only fair to let you hear from the horse’s mouth exactly what it is we aim to accomplish:
“We believe that you can best understand today’s high-tech economy by keeping your eye on the places where diverse people, technologies, organizations, expertise, and interests come together,” Bob wrote, on the day we launched in Boston. “Life sciences is made stronger by world-class information technology. Nanotechnology helps drive biotechnology, computing, and energy…The collaboration of—and friction between—academia and industry sparks profound changes in the way novel technologies are commercialized…The interactions of venture capitalists, angel investors, professors, students, lawyers, consultants, accountants, legislators, consumers—all these forces and interests come together in different ways to spur or hinder technological creativity and economic growth.”
Basically, if we do our job well, we believe we can help foster community. Maybe we’ll even help spark some innovation that might not otherwise occur. And that’s another way we differ from traditional journalism—we see ourselves as an active part of the community we report on, not just passive observers. We want to help lead the discussion about the most important issues in Northwest innovation. That, plus our authoritative voice on the specific technologies and businesses that leaders need to know about in today’s ultracompetitive climate, are what we think sets us apart from the media pack.
Of course, we are still in the early stages of this venture, but it is the most exhilarating ride of our professional lives. We are honored to be supported by a number of underwriters, venture members, and partners, including Alexandria Real Estate Equities, AT&T Wireless, EMC, the Science & Technology Directorate of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Fenwick & West, Cooley Godward Kronish, ARCH Venture Partners, Polaris Venture Partners, the Washington Technology Industry Association, the Technology Alliance, the Alliance of Angels, and the Washington Biotechnology and Biomedical Association.
And thank you, readers, for joining us on the journey. We enjoy hearing your feedback, at our events and other in-person meetings, as well as through your comments on the site, as you engage us in often fascinating conversations and help us do our jobs better. We make our personal contacts available on every story we write. And you can always reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or send us story ideas to email@example.com. We hope you’ll keep us on our toes, and stick around for many more anniversaries to come.
P.S. No birthday celebration would be complete without a quick rundown of our favorite hits, of course. So we’ve selected six Seattle stories from 2009 that we think best encapsulate Xconomy’s brand of journalism, in no particular order. Enjoy!
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