How many websites are formed every day? And how many more of them are left neglected and wanting? And how many of those are about anime? Website members who enjoy the privilege of contributing to discussions on affiliation requests from other websites will understand when I say that there's plenty out there for anime fans. In fact there's probably too much, which is maybe why affiliation requests are often turned down, even though the website in question may be quite good.
So what's Anime-Source.com still doing here? Created just over a year ago by social outcasts Frundock and Kaiser, it arrived on the scene, one might say, rather late. There were already plenty of well established websites offering similar content things to fans as us, so shouldn't we have crashed and burned long ago?
This is what I wondered as helped myself to another slice of fruit cake and sat at my computer, trying to write a maiden editorial for our latest endeavour, the new Ezine; yet another sign of Anime-Source.com's expansion due to ever-growing popularity. What is the secret of our success? When I first joined Anime-Source.com, a couple of months after she was launched, there were about 500 registered members. Just a few weeks later membership had more than doubled. I was so intrigued by this sudden boom in interest that I decided to plot a graph of new members against days and sure enough, just after I joined, there was a massive surge in registration. Well, what can I say? I guess I'm just a really great guy! Actually, those who can remember that far back will know that I contributed an article about it at the time and a year on, I find myself doing the same thing.
This website's success has been remarkable. We had to move to a new server to keep up with demand on the bandwidth, and since then we haven't looked back. In fact our current features are so well established and successful now, that we're currently developing new ones: this Ezine for one, an anime database for another... we're even trying our hand at fansubbing!
For those who are interested, we now receive some 100 unique hits a day and I wonder (as I did a year ago) where all these hits come from. I figured most new visitors must come here via a quick search in google, so I made one. I went to Google.com and typed in “anime,” expecting to find the website straight away. Let's say the top 20 to be generous. Four pages later I decided that the top 40 might be more realistic. Eventually, after passing references to Winamp skins (not to mention getting repetitive strain injury from all that clicking “next page”), I decided to rethink my strategy. Obviously I wasn't typing the correct words, so I tried again; this time “anime releases.” That seemed sensible enough; we have a new releases section after all... nothing - not a sausage. By this stage my hopes were beginning to wain a little. Perhaps I should try “anime reviews.” We have plenty of those; that should do the trick... (sigh). I tried just about every combination of “anime” and “some other website related word” I could think of and literally the only thing that brought me to a reference to Anime-Source.com was by doing a search for “anime source” and even then the reference was on the second page.
Well, clearly searching in google.com is not best way to find Anime-Source.com after all so I decided to ask the members directly how they found us. Interestingly, most (91 of the 418 who voted) found us by linking from another website. Even more interestingly, the second largest majority (79 members) heard about this website from a friend. Like so many other things on the Internet, people seem to be hearing about us through word of mouth (remember that wonderfully tedious dance track featuring the memorable lyrics “All your base are belong to us?”).
But this doesn't really help in answering my original question, what is the secret of our success? A year ago, I put it down to a friendly atmosphere and the launching of I's manga. It's the only thing I could think of. Now I'm not so sure; on reflection I suspect that it's mostly due to some lucky development on good, solid foundations. Kaiser had a clear vision of what he wanted and he had the determination and loyal support of a few others, most of whom are still with us, to follow it through. A year on that team has grown and grown and includes not only staff, but also all of the regular contributers who have made our forum the wonderful and friendly place that it is (and, in my opinion, the best anime forum on the net).
So what's the secret of our success? Well, I don't know... that's what makes it a secret! But I think you guys might have something to do with it.
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