Observation: We're three years old. Can you believe it?

We've come a long way, baby.

SmartPlanet is three years old this month. Unbelievable.

I say "unbelievable" because we launched with little fanfare and just five part-time writers -- not many at all when you're trying to write enough stories to fill an entire week. (Today, we have a few more.)

They say time flies when you're having fun, but guess what -- it moves just as quickly when you're working hard, too. There have been a lot of late nights, bleary-eyed edits and last-minute story filings. There have been countless technical bugs to swat, letters to the editor to address and far-flung events to attend. (True to our name, we are far-flung: there's a SmartPlanet reporter on six of the seven continents. We'll get that Antarctica bureau one day. Promise.)

This all goes to say that a lot of blood, sweat and tears are shed every hour to create the pixels you see on your screen. But make no mistake, it's been fun, too. Traveling to the world's most interesting places, meeting the brilliant minds behind the things that surround you and gaining a better understanding of how the world works -- this isn't just fun, this is what we do.

If you don't mind, we're going to keep doing it. With a name like ours, we're not short on good ideas for where to go next -- though if you have some, drop us a line -- and that's why we're excited for what's to come. This isn't just a website; this is a community.

So do us a favor: come along with us for the ride, and bring a friend, too. Tell your boss to check us out -- she'll enjoy our great design and architecture coverage. Tell your newshound buddy that the final word on the energy crisis rests with Chris Nelder, bar none. And tell your coworkers that you've found a great website that isn't afraid to look beyond America's borders for really interesting stories that you won't see in the daily papers.

Tell them. It only takes a brief e-mail.

For three great years, SmartPlanet has been our wonderful little secret: a place to take a breath from the echo chamber of the Internet to get true perspective on the things that really matter to the world -- your world, if we're doing our jobs right.

Here's to three years, and many more.

Photo: SmartPlanet on June 7, 2009, our second day of existence.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com