Seattle is growing — or perhaps a better term is exploding — at an almost startling rate. An average of 263 people are moving to the region each day, and Seattle’s skyline is dotted with more cranes than any other city in the country to keep up with a booming economy and growing population. The change is enough to make even stalwart Seattleites uncertain of how they fit into the city.
Journalists Mónica Guzmán and Anika Anand started talking about Seattle’s identity crisis a while ago, and dreamed of creating a new media project that would help foster and connect Seattle’s community.
Today, their dream is taking shape with the official launch of The Evergrey, a daily newsletter that highlights events and stories from around the region and helps residents become more involved in their community. The free newsletter, which was previously available in beta, is part of the media company WhereByUs, which operates a similar newsletter called The New Tropic in Miami.
“We feel that Seattle ought to be a more inclusive, more accessible, and more exciting community for everyone that is here,” Guzmán said in a special edition of the GeekWire podcast, which you can hear above.
Guzmán and Anand did extensive research before they began the project to see how Seattle residents are being impacted by the city’s growth, and the results surprised them.
“One of the takeaways for us was how much the way the city is growing and evolving is affecting people very personally, in their daily lives — the commutes, how they can access the city, how their neighborhoods are changing,” Guzmán said. “At a time when the city is trying to figure itself out again, even people who have been here their whole lives are wondering where they fit, where their place is and how they can be a part of it.”
The for-profit newsletter plans to make money initially through sponsored projects at the local level and branded content in the form of campaigns created for clients by the central WhereByUs creative team, Anand said.
“With the way WhereByUs is set up, it’s not about chasing page views,” Anand said. “It’s really about chasing the engagement of readers.”
Guzmán is a longtime technology journalist and recent Nieman fellow at Harvard University who has written for publications including GeekWire and the Seattle Times. Anand has worked for the ChalkBeat education news site and was most recently the engagement editor at the Seattle Times Education Lab.
You can sign up for The Evergrey here. Listen to Anand and Guzmán discuss The Evergrey in more detail above, and keep an eye out for our full GeekWire podcast and radio show later this week.