My god. Have we really been at this for four years already?
It seems like just yesterday I was watching the countdown clock on our original domain name, theblastarea.com as we prepared to edit and put out our first magazine issue on 1/1/2007.
A lot has changed in that time. Not only has the magazine undergone four complete redesigns and an epic expansion, but the world around us has changed.
When Blast launched, “Twilight” was a popular new book, but nothing like the religion is has become today. in November 2006, as we prepared the issue, Harry Potter reigned supreme, and the first trailer for “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” was released.
The world was not yet in a period of economic recession. Housing prices were high, and it was easy to buy a home. Bush was president and Obama was a rookie senator from Illinois.
Iraq was the main war.
I gathered my friends to edit and produce articles and web-pages to go with them and we launched our 20-somethings magazine with no real idea what we were doing.
I’m still not a natural businessman, but I made one good decision: I shelled out my last $500 at the time to buy the domain name blastmagazine.com.
Broke and debt-ridden, the first year was great in terms of content and awful in terms of popularity, readership and money. BlastMagazine.com was de-indexed by Google when we bought it, because it was being used as a placeholder/advertising page with no real content. It took six months to gain and real popularity, and we weren’t on Google news for another year.
We had 25,000 pageviews in December 2007. Today we gain nearly that number per day.
We have several excellent blogs and a hold on the video game industry. We cover hard news, breaking news, soft news, feature news, music news, and porn news.
In 2010, I put the focus on geography. We expanded from Boston to New York, Miami, San Diego, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Denver and Dallas.
In 2011, Blast will focus on function. In the coming year, Blast Magazine will launch a recipes page, a job listing service, a classifieds page, an events calendar, and we will finally launch our online journalism stylebook, which we have been playing with since we launched the site.
Blast Recipes will feature dishes from Blast contributors and chefs, celebrities and restaurant owners from around our coverage zones and beyond. It is about 80 percent done, and you can see its development progress at recipes.blastmagazine.com.
Get a Job will be our own miniature version of Monster.com, but instead of millions of impossible to search listings, it will have screened job listings from employers who are specifically looking for college students, recent graduates, grad students, and Gen X-Y-Z applicants. I just have to design the logo. Check out getajob.blastmagazine.com to see how it’s going to look.
Bvents: The Blast Calendar will feature events, shows, and happenings from every Blast coverage area. We have a rough structure at events.blastmagazine.com for now, but we expect to launch this in the spring and it may look totally different.
The B-List will be our answer to Craigslist. Things have really gotten out of control with online classifieds. We hope to bring some sanity back into it. Expect that in the late winter.
The Blast Online Journalism Stylebook is online at style.blastmagazine.com, but we have a lot of design work left to do. We’re looking for a grammar nerd to help be the editor, so let me know if you’re interested.
And that’s how we’ll go.
It’s been a hell of a ride so far. Thank you for reading and continuing to make it such an amazing journey!