Love And Peace

I know I usually get up on my soapbox to talk about some thing going on in the Anime world, and from the responses, many of you like what I have to say. But today I'm going to talk about my personal life and how it is affecting ANN. If you really don't care about my personal life, feel free to breeze over the next two paragraphs.

Many of you may already know that I'm a network engineer, but what you probably don't know is that I work for a finance firm (mostly accountants) handling their network. It's a pretty big company and a pretty big responsibility; I happen to like my job and I've learnt a lot here in the past 3 years, but the one thing I don't like is tax season. From January 1st until May 1st every year is tax season, when accountants go into overdrive, it gets particularly crazy from March 15th. The harder the accountants work, the harder I have to work to make sure everything is running smoothly. In terms of raw numbers, I'm spending anywhere between 75 and 90 hours a week in the office right now. I don't like it, I don't like how tired it makes me, and I particularly don't like how little time and energy I have left over for the other things and people in my life, like my fiancée, like ANN.

So there you have it, that's why I haven't been spending much time updating ANN.

But I'm not the only person here that has been busy. Cookie is a University student, and as you may very well know, March is midterm month, so he's been very busy as well, working towards his Japanese degree. In fact, pretty much all of the ANN staff have had busy months with detracted from maintaining the site.

But the good news is that things will soon be getting back under way. Cookie has finished his midterms and as soon as he gets a bit of rest he'll be back in shape to put as much energy into ANN as is required, and as for myself, tax season ends in 3 weeks at which point I'm going to take a well deserved vacation, during which I'm going to rest, spend time with my friends and work on ANN.

What does all this mean for ANN?

Regular (daily) News updates should start again as of right now. Hopefully we'll also be able to start replying to all the e-mail you've been sending us, we love receiving it, and we wish we could respond to it all, but we just haven't been able to make enough time!

We've received many submissions for the February/March review contest, I'll be posting all of these over the next week or so and then Zac will be picking the winner. To everyone who sent in a review: I apologize for the delay. There will be no April review contest, however the review contest will start up again in May, with some new twists and more prizes.

We'll also be introducing some other fun contests in May and over the course of the summer.

Site upgrades and new features will continue. You may have noticed that we've already introduced the Encyclopedia, which is still in its very early stages. There isn't very much content yet, and there are still a few bugs to work out. Special thanks to Dan42 for the work that he's going to be putting into it.

The next new feature to be added to the site will be a release dates database, this should be in place by then end of this month.

A few of you have mentioned problems viewing the site with IE (particularly 5.x or higher). We're looking for the cause and hopefully it will be fixed soon.

This summer we plan to add a section of extended convention coverage, as well as replace the webboard with a much more robust piece of forum software that we will tailor to ANN's needs.

Zac Bertchy's SubCulture is indefinitely cancelled, as Zac is too busy with school and work to write two columns. He will continue his very popular Answerman column, and he hopes to get back to SubCulture if and when his schedule allows him to.

We've also got three new and very exciting columnists that will be writing for ANN, two of them have in fact already submitted their first columns but unfortunately we haven't had time to post them. Look for the new columns coming up very soon.

In addition, expect part two of the Spring Preview this weekend, with lots of new previews of upcoming (and recently released) anime titles!

So that's it, those are our current, concrete plans for Anime News Network, we know things have been a little slow the past 6 weeks, but trust me, things are going to get much better in the coming months.

Oh yeah, we're also taking steps to make sure that this kind of slow down never happens at ANN again.

Love & Peace :-P

Christopher Macdonald
Anime News Network

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