A crazy year in Review – Top 10 articles of 2020

By Jim Teece
Publisher – SouthernOregonBusiness.com

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

I am able to tell many things about the people that come to our website and what they do once they are on it because we use Google Analytics on the site. It’s a free and great tool for marketing but also looking back and seeing what the most popular articles of the year are.

One key take away from analytics is how much our readership has grown. We have grown 446% from 2019 and people just like you, read, comment on and share our articles which is very rewarding.

The majority of our readers came from Medford, Portland, Ashland, Eugene, Roseburg, Grants Pass, Salem and Beaverton. (in that order)

The gender split is about even and more than 22% of our readers are between 25 and 34 years of age, while the 18-24 age range is our lowest readership at 10% and the rest of the age brackets are evenly split around 17%.

So here they are, The 10 most popular articles of 2020 with links to each one, in reverse order.

#10 – Greg Retires

Greg started the journal in 2015 and retired in 2020. Even though it came as a shock to me when he announced it, I thought we would have a few more years together, I completely understood the reprioritizing that Greg wanted to do. It was time. I was able to create a section on him in the June issue and send him off properly. I have been in touch after his retirement and he might even come back every once in a while with a guest article.


#9 – Thank you Greg Walden

Another Greg retired this year and I was honored to have an interview with him before he left office. Even though Facebook denied my ad for this post (as too political) it got the 9th most reads this year.


#8 – People’s Bank of Commerce (Medford) and Willamette Community Bank (Albany) have announced a merger.

People’s Bank had quite the year in 2020. They made the top 10 list several times. This article was a second post about the announced merger with Willamette Community Bank out of Albany and included a full reprint of the detailed report they sent out to shareholders to explain the deal and rationale behind it by both boards.


#7 – People’s Bank Founding Board Member, Bill Jacobs, Retires From the Board after 22 years of Service.

I was happy to see this article get so much attention. I met Bill when I joined the People’s Bank board a few years ago. When he retired I wanted to do an article on his life and many careers with the hopes it would inspire others to continue to lead even after they retire.


#6 – People’s Bank And Its Employees To Donate More Than $1.2 Million Toward Local Fire Relief

Again People’s Bank was making news and made the top 10 most read articles. After the smoke cleared from the fires that devastated Southern Oregon, the employees and board of the bank stepped up and donated 1.2 Million dollars toward relief and rebuilding.


#5 – The Staff at the Jackson County Expo are some of the unsung heroes in the Almeda Fire.

I was happy to see the response to the article I wrote on the amazing Jackson County expo team and it’s response to the fires. There is a followup article linked at the bottom of this article that is a must read as well. It spreads the love and shares what I learned about pretty much every department in the county coming together to help after the fires.


Be sure to check out the followup article –


#4 – Meet Julia Beattie – The New President of People’s Bank


The 4th most read article was an article about Julia Beattie, who was promoted to president of the bank in 2020.

#3 – Remembering Douglas County’s Snowmageddon – 1 year later.


Before COVID shut us down, I did an anniversary article on the Snowmageddon in Roseburg and the amazing teams at DFN and Douglas Electric and how they responded. It’s a great read and the readers of the journal agreed.


#2 – Hunter Gets Bought, and a New CEO, Wins Awards and Launches Fiber to the Home in Medford. All since April.

I was surprised to see that two internet provider articles made the top 3. Hunter was bought and I had a chance to introduce the new leadership and share their plans for the future.


#1 – COVID and Cares Act Section

I remember sitting there in March and realizing the that journal needed to change to a daily online resource instead of just a monthly print publication. I introduced a new section on the site and did my best to maintain it with updates from state and local resources to help all of our businesses through the pandemic. There were articles on PPP loan process to apply and then to ask for forgiveness as well.


That’s the list. We collect data and use it to learn what you read and what you don’t. The key take away for me is as follows.

  1. Business is about people. You read about the people, not the business. I love that. I’ll continue to do more of these articles. Interestingly as well is that 3 of the top 10 were celebrations of the retirements of great leaders.
  2. Many of our readers are young. This is a change in demographics from when I got involved with the journal and I’m happy to see it trend this way. These young entrepreneurs are our future and we need to help them be successful and then get out of the way.
  3. The journal readership has grown and many are not just in Oregon. I have readers all over the world and many of the topics we share are relevant regardless where they are located, and I heard from one, the journal is helping them relocate to Oregon to buy a business.

(Special note of interest – I did not include an article in the list above, that made the top 10 list in 2020, because it was not written in 2020 but it was well read all year long – $75-million 5th Street Public Market expansion project in Eugene on track to open fall 2020.)

Which brings me to the final point. I’m proud of the fact that the top 10 articles read online covered companies in Medford, Eugene, and Roseburg. That shows me that we are relevant in those communities and truly represent the business community in Southern Oregon.

Congrats to People’s Bank for being in the top 10 list 4 times about 4 different topics 4 different times of the year.

Here’s to hoping that the most read article or section will not be about COVID in 2021.

Leave a Comment