I wanted to title this, “It’s been one week …,” but the moment I even think that sentence I’ve got Barenaked Ladies stuck in my head the rest of the day. You’re welcome for that. However, now that it’s the weekend, it means we have officially gone through our first week on the new website. I wanted to take a moment and thank everyone for the incredible response we’ve seen over the past seven or so days. I’ve been blown away by the outpouring of support, kind words, and all the amazing write-ups and tweets I’ve read remembering AbsolutePunk. I’ve compiled some of the articles from current and former staffers alike into a little round-up below, and put together some first week stats on the site as well.
From the Staff
Indeed, AbsolutePunk was the perfect place to develop my voice as a writer. Instead of being pinned down by assignments, I had the freedom to decide what I wanted to write about. Instead of dealing with deadlines, I could work projects on my own time and hone my reviews until they were precisely where I wanted them to be. Instead of being held to some bullshit standard of objectivity, I could be as blatantly personal and subjective as I wanted in my writing. Other publications around the internet might have had “better” writing or more “prestige” than we did at AbsolutePunk, but I fully believe that our staff consisted of the most honest and passionate music writers on the internet. And artists noticed.
As Jason shuts down the site and opens Chorus.fm, I really will miss everything that AP is. Somehow I ended up with over 200 reviews which have over 2 million views, so thank you – sincerely – to anyone who has every read any word that I’ve written. I’m incredibly thankful to still be contributing work to Chorus in addition to being a moderator for the site. Having been on the beta for the past few months, it’s been really exciting to see Jason’s dream of what a site should be the past 5+ years finally come to life here.
The community that AP.net fostered as a “home base” of sorts for pop-punk / emo / whatever genre of music will never be matched. It grew before, during and after the highest points for pop-punk in the mainstream and remained a reliable news source for every type of music up until its last day publishing news. This is a testament to Jason’s hard work and the dedication of an often-revolving group of core staffers, hundreds of whom contributed to the site over the years.
As odd as it feels to say goodbye to AP.net — a place that I imagine a lot of people assumed would keep posting news for the better part of eternity — it does feel as though the time is right in many ways. Seeing as how I spend two hours on the phone with Jason every week, it became clear a long time ago that he was ready for a new start. Collectively, I think the community will embrace something fresh as well.
As silly as it sounds, our slogan, “Music Mends Broken Hearts”, is a truism in my life, even to this day. AP.net connected me to an audience of thousands that felt the same way, affirming the universality of my feelings. I’m so grateful for those “Almost Famous” years of my life and still so connected to that kid who bought roughly 500 band t-shirts, got his knuckles autographed by New Found Glory, and learned how to code XML files so he could debut a new Punchline, The Dear Hunter, or Forgive Durden song on AbsolutePunk before anyone else.
It was the spring of 2004 and I was looking for information on the bands I like during a study hour at my high school. I was a senior at the time and lived and died by Tell All Your Friends. I’d read that Shaun Cooper and John Nolan had left the band and were starting a new one called Straylight Run so I wanted to find out some more information. A quick Google search led me to a website called AbsolutePunk.net and the site’s main page was featuring releases like Guilt Show and My Heart Will Always Be the B-Side to My Tongue – albums I really liked! Did I just stumble upon a website that completely catered to my tastes? You’re absolutely (see what I did there?) right it did. I became obsessed – checking the home page countless times every hour (which took forever because I had dial-up at home). It wasn’t till later that summer that my then-girlfriend discovered that this site also had forums. Holy crap – I can talk to other people who like the same music as me? This site just kept getting better! I registered under the user name “The White Pony” (duh) and started posting my incredibly shitty opinion everywhere on the site. I got to know some really incredible people on the forums from late night posting about and sharing of new music. It was really the only website I visited as I moved onto the next phase of my life at college.
Some First Week Numbers
In the first week we saw our forums pass 4,000 members, shoot up to 74k posts, give out 44k likes, and combine with the content side to surpass a million and a quarter page views while boasting a whopping eight minute average session duration. We sold out within hours of our AP.net logo pins (we will have a pre-order for a second edition coming on Monday), published a joint 145 stories, and I even had some time to squash some bugs and fix a few things around the site (still so much to do). Suffice to say I am extremely happy with the first week and I can’t thank everyone reading, and all those that have helped, enough.
A huge thank you again to everyone that’s signed up for our membership program, reached out to me in public or private, or has even just shared a link to the website this week. It means the world to me. It’s been a whirlwind of emotions but your words of encouragement truly reached me during a week that was … just a tad stressful. I haven’t been this excited about the website, any website, in a long time. Also, if you didn’t check out our podcast this week, there’s a lot more in-depth talk about everything there. We have also been continuing to roll out some of our favorite reviews into the review section and like last week we’ve got plenty of new content coming up. We’re still getting our feet under us, and there’s a lot of work left to do, but for now — here’s a celebratory cheers for the first week of Chorus.fm.