Happy 5th Birthday to and Looking Ahead

Happy Birthday! is 5 years old this week! That’s right, we are leaving our toddler years and starting to grow up (just a little bit).

It was May 8, 2009 when we posted our first article. The site looked a lot different back then. In fact, some would say it was barely functional. Still, we plodded on and learned a lot along the way.

It’s been an incredible ride so far and the site continues to reach new milestones in terms of page views and connections. I won’t go through all the boring stats, but one interesting tidbit is that the majority of views are now coming from a mobile device (including tablets) instead of a computer. Five years ago, I don’t think anyone would have predicted that is how most people would be using the Internet.

2009 Header for

So, what’s next?

First off, our mission will always stay the same, to share community “news & views.” The About page needs a refresh but still remains an accurate representation of the site’s goals.

Next, I am thinking more about sustainability for the long-term survival of While the site has dozens of volunteer contributors, it still requires daily attention by me which I happily do in my spare time. Last year, Conor Finley came on board as a part-time reporter and that has been a huge help as my free time has become more limited. I hope to continue working on the site for a very long time, but I eventually want it to be self-sustaining from both a maintenance and financial perspective. Only when that happens can the site continue on indefinitely. That’s my goal for our 10th birthday!


Over the next year, I plan to experiment with some advertising and donation buttons on the website. Proceeds would largely go to pay freelance reporters and perhaps an assistant editor. The site’s traffic has grown to the point where it certainly can generate some type of revenue stream, but I am not sure whether its enough or worth it. It has been successful on our sister site, so we are encouraged by that. My goal with any advertising is to keep the clean look and editorial independence the site enjoys today. I am not too concerned with the latter, since almost every other media publication has figured out how to accept advertising. Look for this change over the summer.

A Short Vacation

Lastly, I am taking a short vacation starting in about a week. Don’t fret, it’s just a vacation. Conor will still be posting as will our regular columnists. I’ll be back after Memorial Day ready to go.

Feel free to leave your feedback below in the comment section or contact me via email. Thank you to everyone that helped this site become what it is today in just five short, terrific years. And here’s hoping you will be with us for the next five years!

15 Replies to “Happy 5th Birthday to and Looking Ahead

  1. Congratulations on 5 years Matt! Thank you for all you do for the neighborhood and the time spent publishing this newsletter. I look forward to reading it every day! Have a wonderful vacation! Beverly

  2. Only 5 years old? I can’t remember not looking to your newsletter for the goings on in our neighborhood! You’ve done an Amazing job – growing this newsletter! ~~ enjoy your vacation – well deserved! and by the way – we share the same bday! ah… to be 5 again 😉 Thank you Matt!

  3. Nobody does more — and so reliably, dependably and honorably — to help grow the North End as a caring community. Bravo and happy birthday. I have five REAL candles for you anytime you want.

  4. Matt – you’re the BEST! I don’t know you find the time to attend all the meetings and events around the neighborhood AND have a regular job…AMAZING! Tahks so much for all your reposting work and well designed newsletter.

  5. thank you matt,,, i am glad you have done this.. I might not live in the north end any more but at least I know what’s goping on.. great job and again thanks and keep taking those beautiful pictures!

  6. Matt – you’re the BEST! I don’t know where you find the time to attend all the meetings and events around the neighborhood AND have a regular job…AMAZING! Thanks so much for all your reporting work and well designed newsletter.

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