Today is an important day (at least for me). Today, April 1st, marks one full year of 8BitChimp as an actual thriving website. It may not seem like much, and in the big picture, it really isn’t. Many websites, companies, and business have been going so much longer than a year, but even though such little time may not seem so significant, this is exciting for me and my staff.
I’ve been blessed with an amplitude of writers surrounding me from the very beginning to support me, as well as each other, and strive towards greatness in this new journey we began. I cannot express in words how thankful I am of each and every one of them for what they do for me and for the site every single day. Knowing they are there provides me with enough will power to continue working diligently every day to improve this site.
Out of seemingly nowhere, the idea of 8BitChimp was crafted within my mind in September 2013. On September 27th, 2013, I launched the site on WordPress under their domain (meaning it was 8BitChimp.wordpress.com). I wrote there for 2-3 months, and like many others, I eventually ceased to do so. For whatever reason, I discontinued writing even though my love for journalism only grew with every waking day I actually wrote. After two months off, I decided enough was enough. I was going to actually try. I always have said to myself that I wanted to be different, and something unexpected. Creating a website and letting it fail isn’t different. That’s what thousands of people do everyday. What’s different is putting in the time and effort to create something especially unique; something that was mine. So, on April 1st, 2014, I restarted. I knew I needed a team to support me though. With no one around me in the immediate area feeling up to the challenge, I looked to the IGN Podcast Beyond and Podcast Unlocked Facebook groups for volunteers.
It seemed like such a strange thing I was requesting. I never expected anyone to accept my offer to write for 8BitChimp. I was essentially asking for people to work without pay, but what I found in these groups is that there are people just like me who are insanely passionate about video games, and are ready to voice their opinions. And so they did. At that time, I had achieved a team of 6 people to aide me in my quest, and we have now abundantly grown to 25 active writers. The fact that anyone believed in my site enough to write for it was astonishing to me, and I am and always will be eternally grateful to those who have written for 8BitChimp–even those no longer around.
The funny part is, even though I work for a company that does web design and graphic design, I knew next to nothing about how to run a website. In all actuality, they perhaps shouldn’t have believed in what I was doing. I was completely lost and learning what to do and how to do it myself along the way. But, sometimes life is about taking risks, and I knew that even though I currently didn’t know how to run a website, I needed to find out. I watched online courses (Thanks lynda.com), talked with those around me with experience, and with time, I’ve found an inkling of how to run a site. I don’t have it all figured out; no one does. But, what’s important is that we’re always striving to create better content and deliver it to you in the best way possible. We may not ever be perfect, but we can try to be.
When 2014 concluded, I compiled an article filled with some of my favorite content we produced throughout the year. Through this, I explored the entirety of our archives and what I found was limitless amounts of creativity and quality content being produced by our staff every single day, and it was at that moment, my eyes were opened. I knew why we, as a group, were doing this. Our team has a voice and we desire to be heard, and that’s what we’re doing together.
In reality, we’re just getting started, and we haven’t even achieved all that much when compared to larger sites, but I’m insanely excited for where we’re heading. In March, we launched two brand new podcasts, began streaming a couple times during the week, brought on a few new writers and even launched some purchasable shirts. It was by far our most monumental month of growth, and we couldn’t have picked a better time. This is just the beginning of 8BitChimp. We’ve done a lot in one year, but we can do so much more. Join us on this journey, won’t you?