News Columns & Blogs

Welcome to the iTCH

Today, we debut a blog that will offer an inside look at the comings and goings of the Tri-City Herald's websites.

This site has been my baby for nearly 15 years, going back to when we launched over Memorial Day weekend in 1996. Back then, newspapers were just starting to gain a web presence (even our company's flagship paper, the Sacramento Bee, didn't have a site yet), and few Tri-City businesses and organizations had standalone websites.

Our publisher then, Jack Briggs, decided we needed to be online and gave me 30 days to come up with the site. At that point, I barely knew how to spell "html," much less create a site. So I bought a few books and became a quick study. We met Jack's deadline with a site that had more than 300 pages on it - all built by hand rather than in a database. That first day, our site received about 5,000 "hits" (as traffic was referred to back then). Since that day, the Herald has had the dominant website in the Mid-Columbia news-and-information arena.

In the 14-plus years since, our site has gone through several iterations - and will continue to. I will use this blog to talk about changes to the site, interesting tidbits that occur (such as what our top stories are) and trends in town and on the Internet in general. Sometimes, I might just post a YouTube video that catches my fancy.

Feel free to ask questions, make comments, rant or rave. I look forward to the conversation.

And just a note on the name: Full credit goes to one of my oldest and dearest friends, Jon Bauer. He and I met in journalism school back in the mid-1980s, and we have stayed close friends ever since. He has worked at various papers around the state, including a stint on the copy desk of the Tri-City Herald. He's now an editor at the Everett Herald and is editor-at-large for Wine Press Northwest, a quarterly magazine I run for the TCH. He's also the finest and most creative headline writer I've met in this business, so I asked him for help on the name. I'm rather pleased with the result, and I hope you enjoy the double entendre.