Slowly, quietly, but surely Alex Muse and I have been building a startup blog network called SpringStage. We’ve been in a live beta for about 3 months now. We have about 35 blogs on the network at this point and, like this one, they’re all focused on their local geography.
With a little prodding from Micah Baldwin, Alex and I got together last year to discuss this concept. Alex been writing the fantastic Texas Startup Blog for years, and I’d been writing Colorado Startups. We had both done this for the same reasons – to provide exposure for our respective communities, as well as to facilitate connections locally between investors and entrepreneurs. Independently, and without knowing each other, we both came to realize the tremendous and simple power of simply writing about what was going on in our startup communities.
Independently over several years, Alex and I had learned a great deal about how to become catalysts for our communities. Certainly we weren’t the only ones in our communities making these connections and providing this exposure, but we felt we were each making a difference in our own unique way. SpringStage was born to help others do this same thing in an organized manner.
We’ve now recruited dozens of new catalysts to cover their local startup communities, and it’s been amazing to watch these folks work to make their own part of the world a little better. We’re all sharing ideas and best practices. We’re just beginning to scratch the surface by tapping into national sponsors, coordinating national events, and more. Our ultimate goal is to make sure there’s a credible SpringStage catalyst covering every community in the world on our network. That way, if someone wants to know what’s going on in Abilene, TX, they can easily find out. We want to make sure it’s dead simple to find the best startup resources in any part of the world.
We’re also releasing a feature soon that geographically aggregates our blogs. This way, you’ll easily be able to subscribe to “the midwest”, the “USA”, “Texas” and other aggregated sets of blogs on the network.
SpringStage is one of those projects that Alex and I started simply because we felt that it should exist. So far, the response has been overwhelming. It’s been really encouraging to see new catalysts from all over the world suddenly take over our “popular posts” leader board by just creating great content that’s being shared and discussed.
Here are a few of my favorite recent posts from the network:
- Video coverage from The San Antonio Startup Blog of Blellow, a SXSW favorite from San Antonio, and other startups from there who were at SXSW.
- Coverage from North Carolina Startups on the interesting startup Shoeboxed.
- The Philadelphia Startup Blog covering Fwd:Vault, a simple backup service that work via email.
- The Caribbean even has startups – see their coverage of the Top 10 Facebook Marketing Resources for Caribbean brands.
Like I said, this has really been fun to watch. If you’d like, you can get a taste of startup activity from all over the world by adding the SpringStage global feed to your reader. Watch SpringStage.com for our regional feeds that are coming soon. And don’t forget about our search bar on SpringStage.com, which now lets you search dozens of startup blogs at once.
Finally, SpringStage provides some neat opportunities for advertisers as well. You can run ads across our entire network, or target them by any local geography. And our startup job board which is already very popular in Texas and Colorado is now going worldwide. This is the cheapest (just $5.00!), most targeted way to reach talent that wants to be a part of your startup, while still getting your ad onto the entire SimplyHired network.
I hope that you’ll spread the word about SpringStage and encourage all of our new catalysts to keep their good work up. If you know someone who’s into the startup scene in one of these geographies (see “Networked blogs” in right hand column), please forward them this post and ask them to check it out. Likewise, if you know someone who might like to join the network as a Catalyst and blogger, please let them know where they can find us.
I really hope you enjoy the SpringStage Startup blog network. It’s been a bit of a labor of love and I’m excited to see it continue to grow.