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One Year Old, With Growing Pains

We launched a year ago “with great optimism.” Now we’ve outgrown the site, but not our optimism

I was a lot more thrilled to tell you all that TheWrap was one year old about 12 hours ago, before we went through an agonizing four-hour site downage (I made that word up, we do that occasionally) that resulted from moving servers and upgrading our technical infrastructure, or at least trying to.

But here’s the good news: The reason we’re having technical challenges is because we’ve outgrown the site that we built a year ago. That’s thrilling, though temporarily frustrating, as we try to run and catch up to our own size.

So: Happy Birthday. A year ago today we launched — I believe the phrase I used was “with great optimism.” 

I wrote then: “We believe it’s time for a substantive, independent and intelligent voice to write about the business of entertainment. And we believe that voice should be at home on the web.”

It was in the midst of Sundance 2009, a week after Obama’s inauguration, on the cusp of the Oscar noms. For about two weeks I sat in my (broken) editor’s chair for most of the 24 hours of the day, with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches being brought to me so I could stay put.

Those were long days, but eventually we figured out a workable system. We found more great reporters and editors, we broke stories, we recruited Hollybloggers.

Watch TheWrap’s original birth-day video:

It’s been quite an adventure and I’m happy to tell you that the optimism was justified. Today we stand as a site a million-uniques strong per month, with a staff of more than a dozen in editorial and business, and many more enthusiastic contributors as Hollybloggers and commenters.

I cannot tell you how gratifying it has been to watch TheWrap grow and hear the resonance it has had in the entertainment community. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t receive an email or a call from someone new who has discovered TheWrap and wants to tell us how excited they are.

It has been thrilling to watch the editorial staff grow and flourish, to meet new bloggers as they contribute their voices, to get to know our readers through our screening series and events. 

It’s all new, and we feel that you are are inventing and reinventing the site with us.

So to all of your readers, I say: thank you, and keep contributing.

A reminder, if one is needed, that the Hollyblog space belongs to the community. Anyone with something to say may participate – once, or as frequently as they like.

And TheWrap is continuing to grow. Watch this space as we work on our next iteration of the site. Look for expanded coverage in television and in film and soon, music. 

But however big we grow, we will always continue to aim at the same basic target as on day one: to be the number one place for intelligent, lively conversation about the entertainment industry as it goes through its own critical period of transformation.

I look forward to more of your comments and suggestions. And I thank you for bearing with us through these moments of growing pains.