Community Post

Big changes coming to CDNews

We launched almost exactly three years ago as a software experiment. We had been building the Neighborlogs service for about 10 months before that, and we wanted a real-life way to “eat our own dog food”, which is the software term for using what you build so that you know first-hand how it operates.  It was all done in a rush one afternoon when a car ran over a baby stroller in a freak accident on 23rd Avenue.

We never expected CDNews to be a major focus of our efforts. But within a few weeks of light coverage, we developed a dedicated audience. And the interaction with that audience and the exploration of news in the neighborhood became an addictive process. Traffic continued to grow and we continued to feed news stories big and small onto the site. Now the site has hundreds of thousands of monthly page views, tens of thousands of unique readers, and thousands of registered users who form a close-knit online community of physical neighbors. In that time we’ve had just shy of 4,000 stories, thousands of photos, and tens of thousands of comments.

But CDNews was never our full time job. Most hours of the day were spent with software development, customer support, sales, and business meetings. But we could never resist the urge to keep up with the news of the day and try to keep our dedicated audience satisfied.

This week we’re making major changes at Instivate, our parent company that got its start in 2007. We’re rolling back our efforts on Neighborlogs and our content tools, and refocusing everything on our Seattle-based local advertising network.

And as part of that change, I’m stepping away from the company I founded, and starting next week in a really exciting new job at another local company. Justin Carder, our long-time VP of Business Development, will be taking over day to day operations at Instivate and driving things forward with the new strategic plan.

Those changes at Instivate will mean some changes here at CDNews too. The new job will require a huge amount of time and focus from me, meaning that I will no longer be able to be the main contributor, publisher, and editor of Some features will take a big hit, most notably the scanner, which has only worked through the years because we had quiet time in the office while we took care of other development tasks. It’s unlikely that we’ll find anyone else with the time and patience to take that on.

We’re actively looking for a new editor and contributors to come in an take things over from here. And in the meantime Justin will be helping to make sure things run smoothly here on the site.

But I won’t be going away completely. I expect to have some weekend time to devote to the stories that will still interest me and keep me curious about what’s going on in the neighborhood, and the occasional evening or early morning post to fill in where I can.

One of the funniest things over the last few years has been how the new people I’ve met refer to me as a journalist and know me primarily through what happens here on the site. It’s always seemed strange because my background is completely at odds with that and because so much of my less-visible time was spent on technology and business. But the fact is that in the new world being a journalist is much more about what you do than who you are or who you work for or what your educational background is.

Can you string a few words together to tell a story? Are you curious about what’s going on around you and have a few minutes to make a phone call, send an email, or go to a community meeting? Can you approach issues honestly and compassionately, even if you have and state your own strong feelings on a subject?  

If so, you too can be a journalist. And the internet gives you an immediate and effective platform to do it.

And if you do ever give journalism a try, I hope it’s as rewarding experience and I’ve had here on CDNews. Thinking about the upcoming changes the other day, I realized I’ve never done anything else in my personal or professional life that has generated so many supportive and encouraging comments from so many people. And nothing else I’ve done has resulted in so many online friends developing into lasting real-world friends.

But the bottom line is that the upcoming changes are good and necessary, and CDNews will live on with new voices and new personalities. So if you’re a reader, keep coming back. And if you’re an advertiser, please hang with us as we’ll depend on ads to provide salaries for the new contributors.

And a big thanks to everyone for making this such a fun experiment in neighborhood news!

0 thoughts on “Big changes coming to CDNews

  1. Scott-
    I’m happy for you, wish you all the best, but I’ll also miss your great neighborly reporting!

  2. to Scott, Justin, and so many others who started cdnews and kept it going. It’s been a fabulous news source.

    Best wishes as you move into new positions and jobs. Scott, I’m glad you’re still our neighbor! Lots of changes for you this year. I’ll miss your journalism. Cheers!

    Ok, peeps, we’ve all got to step up to keep contributing and keep cdnews alive.

  3. Ever since moving to Madison Valley this has been my go to site for news and happenings around the ‘hood – I wish you luck in your new endeavor, I thank you for bringing this site to us and I hope we can look forward to continued great local reporting from the new crew at CentralDistrict News!

  4. Scott,

    I am a relative newcomer to the site but I really love it. I never thought I would have the slightest interest in the comings and goings of the local neighborhood but oddly enough I seem more drawn to the hyper local issues than to national and interenational fare. I am sure it is in good hands and I look forward to more of the same that really, somehow, creates an intense sense of community. Thank you for creating something unique, different and important. Good luch in all future endeavors.


  5. I appreciate all your hard work and wish you nothing but the best!! So many of my neighbors read this site
    and it really helped alot of us come together!

  6. I think the future of journalism will include a huge neighborhood based component. Thank you for being so curious, open and fair. That has made you an important part of our community. Even if you are not doing the day to day work, I look forward to whatever you want to share and I look forward to more fun or serious community projects with you.

  7. I totally agree with this and hope you will continue to be a presence in our ‘hood whatever way you can. I’ll miss you both online and at neighborhood events you were usually at, and I hope the new guys will find a way to continue the Scanner – it’s always part of my day. This website has been a huge public service and a catalyst for our community. Best of luck, Scott, and many thanks!

  8. CD News has been a wonderful resource these last 3 years.

    Thank you Scott for all your hard work. I guess we’ll have to see if/how it can continue as a community effort.

    Best wishes in your next adventure.

  9. What began as an “experiment” has, I hope, taken on a life of its own. This venture is too important to the readers it serves to be allowed to die. I share Andrew’s hope that the community will come together to keep CDNews moving forward in spite of the early semi-retirement of its founder.

    Best wishes to you, Scott, in your new role.

  10. And thanks for all your work here. This site has been a great resource for me ever since I moved here, and your presence has definitely been a big part of that. I’m looking forward to seeing where the site goes next!

  11. You will be missed! It will definitely seem strange to have an event and not have Scott show up. Perhaps we will get to know the next CD staff as well. This has been my local news site; don’t take a local paper and read NY Times for the nation and the world. The next staff has big shoes to fill!

  12. And THANK YOU for all of your commitment and work that has gone into launching such a great community site!

  13. Scott – thanks for everything you’ve done. You’re leaving a great legacy with this awesome site. Best of luck at your new job.

  14. Thanks Scott for all the blood, sweat, and tears you (and your brother) put into the CD News. I check it everyday and will continue to do so. I hope others step up to fill our big shoes.


  15. You have very supportive of the programs I work for and I will really miss your reporting!! Congrats on your new job. You deserve it!!

  16. Best wishes for your next ventures. Thank you so much for the work you’ve done over the last few years to build up CDN.

  17. Wow, Scott, I can’t believe you’re leaving-but on the other hand, I am excited for you as you embark on your new journey! You have contributed a huge amount of community building with your efforts. The CD news has been the lifeblood of our neighborhoods and you have been the heart…But life moves on and I wish you the best in your upcoming endeavor.
    A huge Thank You for all you’ve done and when will we meet Justin?