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Site Stuff: Our fifth anniversary is Tuesday!

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Our fifth anniversary celebration, or Lunatic Bash V or whatever anyone else might want to call it, is coming up tomorrow: Tuesday, July 23, 6 p.m., at Highmark Stadium.

We've talked about it a lot. We've written about it a lot. That's because we care about it a lot.

Know who else cares?

Willy Peppers!

The one and same from our comments section, Willy reached out to us over the weekend -- with trademark enthusiasm -- to let it be known that he'll personally be catering this event! And he's got the extensive professional experience to make that happen, as Matt Sunday can attest from frequently being fed by Willy during intermissions at PPG Paints Arena!

So yeah, we'll have free, fine food. We'll also have a bunch of other giveaway fodder, from Bricks, mugs, flash drives to raffle baskets from our various business partners. My wife Dali's been driving around collecting such things from our friends at PNC Bank, Point Park University, Moon Golf Club and more. Best of all, a lot of them will be on hand, too, people who've meant so, so much to this venture.

All we need is you. Come on down. Even if it's just long enough for one of us to thank you personally.

Let us know on our Facebook event page.

AGGRESSIVE APPROACH

Not everything has gone smoothly here over these now-nearly five years. It never does for a startup, and one can double that when it's a startup doing something no one else had tried on the continent.

We were inventing this venture on the fly. Not every idea panned out. Not every beat we covered panned out. And no, not every employee worked out. Being here isn't a job as much as it's a passion. Again, that's the nature of a startup. That's not a fit for everyone, to say the least, and it isn't easy to tell that from an interview or a resume.

But look at the staff we've built now, and I'd hope it's easier to see why we held firm to a high standard rather than hanging onto unproductive ideas, beats or employees just for the sake of hanging on. We're as strong or stronger on every beat than we've ever been, and I'd welcome any debate to the contrary.

Here's what I don't welcome: People on the outside, particularly in local media, portraying us as something we're not. They're threatened. In a couple cases, they're either shrinking or in total retreat. It's to be expected, even if we don't do it ourselves with other media, that they'll take their shots at us and/or me. That's the nature of succeeding in business. You're instantly the bad guy.

We'll continue not criticizing their work or business practices. It's a waste of energy and, for the most part, readers get turned off, including our own.

But what's going to change from now on is that we, as a company -- not just me but all of us -- are going to be the ones more aggressively defining who and what we are, what we've achieved, what our ambitions are for the future. You'll see it here, on social media and everywhere we go.

I'll take full blame for not having been aggressive enough on that front over the years. We have a great story to tell, one unlike any other, and we're going to be the ones telling it, not any ex-employees, social media trolls or competing outlets. We'll do it ourselves.

That began over the weekend in a special, no-holds-barred Live Qs at 5, in which readers were encouraged to ask me anything about this business.

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