A year ago, I was on my porch in my PJs while it was pouring rain, and I was having a panic attack. I couldn’t particularly feel my fingers, my stomach was a riot and my head felt like a beehive had taken residence.
I was about to click “Publish” on the first article “Why Literally, Darling” and throw out into the world six months of planning, agonizing and obsession. I pushed, prodded, needled and begged all my friends and their friends into a hazy idea at best and staked my reputation on it. And it all came down to one click of a button whether it would just be a big waste of time or the fruition of my vision.
That day we had 3,000 hits. Not bad, if I do say so myself.
Oh, the WordPress broke. I had no idea how to format images, the social media was a disaster and we had literally no idea what the hell we were doing. But we had posts the next day, and the day after and every day since. Some have worked brilliantly—Twenty-Something Tuesday will forever be one of the highlights of my week, seeing the machinations of our writers brains spitting out GIFs and advice; some were less successful—apparently Literally, Links and Entertainment Round-Ups just aren’t a thing people feel like reading. We’ve had as many articles go viral as we’ve had articles tank, and sometimes those that failed months ago are popular now as our audience has grown and evolved.
Now, a year later I sit on my porch in a panic. On our birthday we were hacked, and you’ve probably seen absurd spam popping up (sorry). It was chaos and yes, we cried at our own party, and threw cake instead of glitter. It wasn’t our finest moment, but in that abject failure I also saw every single one of my writers coming together to help out, fix the problem, reload articles, and keeping me from Hulk-smashing the world. So while it may not have been an ideal way to spend our anniversary, it was still a testament to what we’ve built over this last year.
While we’ve had countless new faces come and go, we have had a non-stop cycle of talented, clever, and insightful twenty-something women and men. Each one of them has a diverse perspective, helped us grow beyond our own definitions, and brought an expertise that has helped us all expand LD. They have become friends and colleagues and have made my life richer for it. And we’ve done it the Millennial way—we’ve met and bonded entirely over social media. We chat constantly, look out for one another and our readers, and have become our own little community of oddballs who like “Harry Potter” and “Game of Thrones” too much, squeal over Argan oil, and admittedly communicate largely through GIFs. It may not be the most professional way of becoming a respectable media outlet, but we live up to our motto: an exact representation of our exaggerated selves.
That does not mean though, that we are incapable of looking beyond ourselves. Over the last week we brought you a curated project to tell the story of our generation. On the Millennial Manifesto, we spent six months planning, researching, writing, and editing all so we could do our part to change the conversation about our generation. We wanted to define our ourselves and tell our own story, and if you missed it, you should definitely take a peek.
And if that wasn’t enough to celebrate our birthday, we’re also launching a complete redesign of the site. A new year, a new us, both of which are a little bit bolder and a touch more organized. We’re pretty chuffed by it and hope you are, too.
So without further ado, let us raise a toast and throw some glitter to the first year of many, to new writers and readers, new looks and manifestos. It’s been a helluva year, darlings, and we can’t wait to see what comes next.