Editorial: Columbus Underground Celebrates 15 Years
Sometime in between November 2001 and March 2002, Columbus Underground was launched. The details are a bit hazy, partly because it was so long ago, and partly because we weren’t really keeping close track of what was going on during those early days and weeks. Columbus Underground originally launched as little more than a fun side project, but over time it has evolved into one of the city’s leading online news publications and media outlets, and now remains one of the only family-owned, independent voices of the city.
We often joke that measuring years for an internet-based business are kind of like measuring age in dog years. That means that Columbus Underground could be considered closer to 83 years old at this point instead of 15. When you think back to what the internet looked like in 2001 and 2002, it was a completely different beast. Myspace hadn’t launched yet, let alone Facebook or Twitter. There was no such thing as Yelp. People were still sharing music on Napster.
Locally, there weren’t a lot of places to find information online in 2001 that were relevant to a young audience interested in the growing urban core of the City of Columbus. If you wanted to find information on local restaurants, CitySearch was your primary tool and everything posted there was reliably three months out of date. Most local news publications treated their websites as an afterthought compared to their flagship print publications.
We launched Columbus Underground looking to fill that online information gap, and provide something that was unique, interesting, and relevant to those who wanted to know more about independent restaurants, local artists and musicians, neighborhood-based community issues, and other topics that were off the radar of larger publications, or limited to the print-only weeklies.
Over the past 15 years, Columbus Underground has evolved and grown to meet the needs and interests of a growing city. We officially became a business in 2005, started treating news coverage as a core focus of our mission in 2009, and began hiring talented writers and advertising sales representatives to help broaden our coverage and our reach.
Today, we’re excited to continue to see the growth not only of our business, but of our city and community as a whole. Columbus is a special place where there are always new and exciting opportunities to report on every day, and a smart and open population that wants to be well informed with what’s going on in the communities where they live, work, play, and build their lives and businesses.
To celebrate our 15 year milestone throughout the rest of this year, we’re inviting our readers to participate in any of our upcoming events, which include opportunities to taste some of the city’s best food (the popular Best Bites series), check out new places to live (the Urban Living Tour in May), sample some amazing local coffee (the Columbus Coffee Festival in October) and several other new events still yet to be announced. Ticket sales for all of these events help fund our ongoing news reporting efforts, and we share a sizable portion of the proceeds with local charities as well.
A big thank you goes out to everyone in Columbus for your continued support, readership, friendship and partnership with Columbus Underground. We couldn’t do it without such a strong and enthusiastic community, and we’re already looking forward to the next 15 years.
– Anne Evans & Walker Evans
Co-Founders of Columbus Underground