ANN 5th Birthday Editorial - Tempest Looks Ahead

by Christopher Macdonald,
Wow, five years and three years. As of today, Anime News Network has been around for exactly 5 years, and on June 15th, ANN celebrated 3 years of its current “management.” There isn't much I can personally say about ANN's first 2 years of operation since I only actually became aware of the site in March of 2000, shortly before Isaac Alexander decided to give up on being ANN's editor-in-chief. Everything there is to say about those 2 years has already been said by George Phillips and Justin Sevakis.

The past three years have been an interesting ride. When we first took over ANN, I informed Justin that I intended to invest about 10 to 15 hours a week into ANN, to which he responded, “It'll take at least 10, depending on how fast you write.” Thanks to splitting the workload in half, along with numerous other people helping us out over time, we were able to keep the workload pretty much in the 10 to 15 hours a week range... for the first year and a half anyways. But as the site grew, even with numerous people helping us, the work hours also grew. By the end of 2002 I found that I was investing at least 30 hours a week into the site, every week. That's a lot of time to be investing in a “hobby” done while also holding a full time (40~60 hours) job.

A number of different things have been tried in order to cut down those hours a bit, a lot of automation has been built into the site by Daniel DeLorme, and many of the current staff have taken over some of the tasks I used to do. But still, as the site continues to grow, and there's still more work to be done, I find that even delegating takes time and energy.

But ANN is a wonderful website, a great benefit to Anime Fandom and the Anime Industry, and something that all of us take a great amount of pride from. So despite the long hours and many hurdles, we've all persevered. It's worth it, every last minute.

Still, it's 'high time the site graduates, don't you think? From small time, fan-site (yeah, small time fan-run site with millions of impressions a month) to something a bit bigger and more business-like. Treating ANN, in some regards, as a business has been something I've been doing for a long time, but as was first announced at Anime Expo, later this year Anime News Network will become a full time job for me. Yup, now that we're really taking the plunge, there's no turning back now!

Hopefully, with one person investing the full time hours, and all the other staff maintaining their involvement, we'll be able to improve this website in countless ways. And, as the site grows, I'd like to think that eventually I will be joined by others in working full time for ANN.

Hopefully, the coming three years will be as rewarding as the previous three. And hopefully you'll all stick around with us to celebrate ANN's 8th and 10th birthdays with us.

Thank you all for your support!!

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