2001 - A Year in Review: Opening Editorial

Jan 1st 2002

2001 - A Year in Review: Opening Editorial

It's been 18 months since George and I first took up the mantle of "Editors in Chief" of Anime News Network, and December 31st marked the end of our first full, calendar year running the site.

2001 was a good year for Anime in America, true - there were disappointments, but there were many more high points. Before we begin looking at the rest of anime, let's take a quick stock of ANN itself.

January 1st marked the launch of our new site design, which most people seem to like; more importantly though, January 1st also marked our transition from static html pages to a complex set of PHP scripts and SQL databases. These scripts & databases run pretty much everything on the site, and they make many things that weren't possible before possible.

July 27th, 2001 marked the 3rd Anniversary of Anime News Network, yep ANN's first post was on July 27th, 1998. We had plans to do something special for ANN's third birthday, but we were just too busy taking care of ANN's day-to-day business and we missed our chance. Since "4" isn't a particularly special anniversary, we'll have to wait till July 2003 to celebrate ANN's fifth birthday.

Although we didn't get to celebrate the birthday, ANN's founder, Justin Sevakis was kind enough to write a little something about ANN's first three years, and we've included it here.

2001 was a big year for ANN's convention coverage, we sent our largest troop ever to Anime Expo. In fact AX was the first time George and I met face to face, along with Zac. We reported regularly from AX with coverage that we are proud to say was second to none. And next year our presence at AX will be hard to miss. At AX we also met up with Mikahil Koulikov. Mikhail joined ANN to provide coverage for Anime Weekend Atlanta as well as Otakon 2k1. Mikhail also arranged for Kris Naudus to cover the Big Apple Anime festival for us. George covered Anime Central and James Politte covered Nekocon for us. Yes, we're quite happy with our convention coverage during 2001, but we see a lot of room for improvement and we plan on having that improvement happen in 2002, starting with OhayoCon, which is taking place this very weekend.

Mikhail wasn't the only person to join ANN in 2001, in fact we have a long list of people that came to ANN this year and have been helping many parts of the website. Earl Gertwagen joined us in June and is responsible for the dauntless task of keeping our release database up to date.

We also had the great pleasure of working with Ken Cross, yes the Ken-san who was responsible for Fantasticon's Anime Channel. Ken also joined us during the summer months, and provided several cool stories and reviews to our readers. Hopefully more are on the way.

Ken was the first person to come to ANN after running their own website, and Scott Green was the second. After providing Anime News on his own website, UMJAMS Anime News, since February 1999 Scott decided to join ANN in August. Since then Scott has been a valuable part of our news team and in 2002 Scott will be writing a monthly column for ANN in addition to the weekly column he writes for Ain't it Cool News.

Jeremy Barnes also joined ANN's news staff in 2002. Before coming to ANN Jeremy, or Moridin as we most often refer to him, worked at Anime Dream. Along with Scott, Jeremy has helped ANN diversify its news coverage and competes with me to see who can make more typos in a single news story.

Last… but certainly not least, Daniel Delorme joined ANN in August and has done extensive amounts of work re-vamping and expanding our PHP scripts. Dan's work is most visible in our new review script, which he designed from the ground up. For 2002 Dan's big project is our Encyclopedia, although currently close to empty, Dan hopes to make the encyclopedia a veritable lexicon of Anime information.

Kyle Pope joined Zac Bertchy in our columns department this year. Along with Zac's Answerman column, Kyle's Edit List proved to be one of the most popular regular features on ANN. Whether or not you watch Anime on TV, Kyle's Edit List is a great resource for finding out how the TV networks deal with the some of the more questionable (by their standards at least) content in Anime.

2001 was a bit of a bad year for reviews for us, the year started out very well with our TRSI sponsored review contest, TRSI and ANN were very happy with the results of the contest at first. Unfortunately the amount of work involved in maintaining the "monthly" contest grew to be too much and we had to cancel it. Hopefully someday we'll get a review contest running again, but there will be a couple changes, for starters, if we say we're going to give a prize away every month, then we will, regardless of whether 20, 5 or … gah 1 people enter the contest.

But 2002 is looking much better for reviews, in case you haven't noticed, we've already posted a slew of reviews this month, in fact not a day has gone by when there hasn't been a new review on the site. Our goal for reviews this year is to get timely reviews of every new title on the site (preferably before the release, if not within a month) as well as catch up on many titles that we never got around to reviewing before.

Joining us for the reviews in the past year have been Chris Shepard, Bamboo Dong, Alexander Harris and Allen Divers. Alexander decided not to stay with us in the New Year, but we've been joined by several new talents who's reviews will be making their way onto the site soon. Julia Struthers also joined us this year as a review editor, helping us get the reviews properly edited and posted on the site. Statistically speaking, with our growing team of reviewers, we expect to be posting an average of more than one review a day in 2002.

Speaking of statistics, here are a few for you to chew on:

  • Half a million page views a month
  • 50 gigs a month transferred
  • 5 000 unique visitors every day

There are a lot of people I would personally like to thank for making this a good year.

Deepest Apologies to any one I might have missed

Thanks for a great year, and here's to an even better New Year!

Christopher Macdonald
Co-Editor in Chief
Anime News Network



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