Celebrating three years of The Electric, and introducing Great Falls Greats

In May of 2017, I did a wild thing and launched The Electric.

It was a slow start and I was working three part-time jobs after being laid off from the Tribune.

Now, I’m celebrating the third anniversary of The Electric and in celebration of that milestone, fellow small business owners and the strength of this community through trying times, we’re launching the Great Falls Greats contest and will be featuring profiles of local business owners throughout the month of June.

This year’s contest favors simplicity given the realities of life right now, but the plan is to make Great Falls Greats an annual celebration of what makes our city pretty darn great.

Get your votes in and we’ll have more details on winners and how we’re celebrating soon.

Great Falls Greats 2020

Three years ago, I promised no clickbait, cat videos and only occasional stories on daily crimes, car crashes and house fires without a larger public safety issue.

So far, I’ve largely stayed true to that, focusing on what many consider boring: local government meetings, code changes, budgets, taxes, land use decisions, etc. Those are the things you pay for and that, whether you realize it or not, affect much of community life.

I have long believed that if you give people that kind of information, without fluff or flair, it helps a community talk to itself and make better decisions.

From May through December of 2017, the site had 69,199 page views and 38,854 visitors.

But, I do look at the numbers and remind myself that what started out as an experiment has become a full-time project that pays some of the bills (I still do a freelance job to cover the others).

And it appears that more and more of you want information about your community.

So far, 2020 has been exhausting and surreal but in April, the site was just shy of all of the total page views for all of 2017 and by the end of June the site will have as many hits as all of 2018

In April, I posted 112 stories. This month has been a bit slower, in part since I’m simply recovering from the chaos of the last two months. They have been challenging in many ways and days have gotten away from me faster than I like to admit.

May marks the third anniversary of this little news adventure, powered by one woman, and to those of you who have been here since the early days, thank you. To the advertisers and contributors who believed in this from the beginning, thank you. To the friends and family who have been sounding boards, mentors, editors and constant supporters, thank you.

To those of you who found The Electric along the way, thank you.

To the new readers, advertisers and contributors, thank you.

To those of you who send notes of thanks and encouragement, share stories and encourage friends to follow The Electric, thank you.

I don’t say it enough and rarely have the time to send the individual thank you notes you deserve, but all of you are a part of keeping The Electric going.

The Electric is just one person and to continue and ideally grow in the future, it needs your continued support. Advertise, contribute, share stories, follow on social media and most importantly, read.

I believe in The Electric and I won’t always get it right, but at the three year mark, I’m renewing my promise to work hard, seek truth and always strive to get better.