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Editorial: Anniversary Time!
By Chris Beveridge
March 01, 1999
A year. I'm still somewhat in a state of shock about it. March 6th marked the first full year of operation of this site. And it's definitely been a year of changes. We started off on my 1 meg account on Netcom with just a few pages and an outsourced forum. We then moved on to Geocities for several months as we started to grow. And finally in August of 1998, we made the "big move" to acquiring our own domain name and getting some hosting services set up. All because last March I wanted to see if I could learn a little HTML and put up a page or two about something I'm very much into.
We've gone from a couple of pages to over four hundred now, dozens and dozens of images and reviews and so much more. We've picked up a couple of regular contributors to columns, a region 2 reviewer and several occasional contributors. We even went so far as to offer space to the Anime DVD Support Campaign to bring more anime out on DVD.
Early on, we averaged about a hundred or so hits per week. Now we're hitting 3000 per day and still growing. Our old forum used to contain messages for two months with little talking going on to over six thousand messages in the past four months. We've gone from a small group talking about something a lot of people had written off as a novelty to a strong group of people with a passion for something that is making headway in influencing the market, much more so than was possible in the laserdisc days.
When we got going and started putting up reviews, there were maybe five or six discs out, and looking back at those reviews I cringe. I was writing just for a small audience and still learning a lot about the DVD field itself. There are now nearly sixty anime DVD's out and a lot more planned for this year. A couple of OVA's and movies made up the market (though they were exceptionally well done) to several TV series and more this year. Companies have gone from trying a title or two to realizing that this is an expanding marketplace that can actually get new consumers instead of feeding to the same fans they have for years.
It's been an amazing year. The thousands of people who visit this site have made the format what it is and what it will continue to be. DVD fans seem to be getting a bit more interaction with companies, often times because early one, those who got into it had to foot a large bill to get the player and other associated hardware, and were generally more interested in seeing a better product with suggestions that constant complaining in areas where nobody listens.
And it does seem like companies are listening. The twenty questions session we had with Central Park Media got some good press. The comparisons to Warner Bros. was even passed on to Warner Bros. which has given the WB a bit more incentive to try and put out some animated material in 1999. We have several lurkers from the companies reading the forum as well as the truly brave ones jumping into the foray and posting and interacting there. And I'm extremely pleased to see mostly cordial and frank discussions taking place about the two things a lot of us enjoy.
1997 was a weak anime year for DVD. 1998 was a huge turning point. 1999 looks to build on the turning point, but it still needs support from the fans. Take advantage of the information that I pass along here and contact the companies when there are things you don't like. And more importantly, make sure you contact them when there are things you do like. They're still taking chances out there putting out product. Let them know when they do it right and they're more likely to try more!