The new year came and went like it was just another day in my part of the world. No seriously, no countdowns on the local TV stations or anything. No pre-empted programming or specials, just business as usual before midnight. It was kind of weird. Hopefully the leap into 2016 was more exciting for you.

Anyway, this year marks the 10th anniversary of this site. January 30th is our official birthday by the way if you want to mark that on your calendar for some reason.

As I have said in previous Letter from the Editor articles, 10 years for a site such as this is an eternity. Especially considering that J-Pop and to an extent K-Pop are niche markets outside of their home countries. Granted, an English language site covering those types of music isn’t exactly new and there are many out there to choose from.

But one that survives almost exclusively on opinion pieces and reviews is probably somewhat more unique given that news aggregates, artist specific information sites, fan subber sites, forums and those sites with major funding behind them get the majority of the love.

So in my mind, the fact that an independently funded (meaning all server costs and such come out of my pocket) site that is all over the map in regards to content can still hang around when there are admittedly better places to visit on the Internet is admirable. Or at least it could be considered admirable. Or maybe it’s more a case study in persistence and/or futility. xD

Humble Beginnings

I think I told this story before but whatever. The short version of it is that it was part of my now defunct personal blog along with the dj mixes. During that time I had submitted my site for review to International Wota (later to be rebranded as Idolminded) and once I discovered that the music section was getting a decent amount of traffic thanks to their referrals and some word of mouth, I bought my domain and server space, migrated the data and created the site you are visiting now.

Of course back then the layout of the site was simpler and not as elaborate as what you see now and as time has gone by there have been several cosmetic and functional changes. Some good and some bad but always sufficient enough to get the job done until I found something else that worked better.

Given that the traffic of this site has grown significantly since its inception I also had to suck up some additional costs and buy my own dedicated server to host it on 2 years ago. Moving everything from a shared server to a dedicated one wasn’t fun and I did get in a bit of hot water with my ISP for the ridiculous amount of data I was transferring. One does what they have to do to make sure everything is running smoothly and in the end it’s worth all the trouble to have a better user experience.

That of course is the short version of how this site came to be and a little bit about its inner workings. I don’t want to bore you all with anything deeper than the high level overview.

From One to Many

When Selective Hearing first started it was just me by my lonesome. Eventually I started to open the site to others as a way of getting fresh content and different points of view across to our readership. There has been cast of contributors that have passed through these lands. Each of them adding their own bit of flavour to the topics of the day. Our very first contributor is still with us and has been the second in command here for quite a few years. That would be our reliable friend ToZ.

The rest of the contributors have come and gone to real life endeavours and other types of projects online. I would like to send a very big thank you to everyone who has contributed to this site over the past 10 years, regardless of how many articles, photos, videos or whatever it is you added during your time with us.

All of it helped to building the foundation the current version of the site is currently standing on and you are very much a part of the history of Selective Hearing.

To our partner sites, thanks much for putting up with us. =) It’s great to work with many like-minded individuals online and in person. Collaboration is a two way street that strengthens all of us who are part of the strange and wonderful world of J-Pop and idols. I am thankful to have received assistance from all of you and I am also happy to have lent a hand to you in whatever manner I could.

Love and Hate

Over the 10 years of this site’s existence there have been a few dust ups and perhaps controversial opinions expressed by myself or one of the other contributors. For better or worse that has given Selective Hearing a small reputation of being comprised of opinionated assholes.

That might be true, but then again the interpretation of said opinions also counts as well. If you are unable to take off your wota blinders and see the world as sunshine and unicorns you’re very much entitled to that point of view. Just as we are to poke holes in your rose coloured logic and drag you down to reality kicking and screaming every once in a while.

It’s only fair right?

Regardless of what you personally think of our opinions as a whole or dislike those of certain contributors not much will change. You may continue to disagree vehemently or ignore completely as you see fit.

To infinity to beyond, or something like that

So now that we’ve hit double digits in age what is in store for the future? I honestly don’t know. I didn’t necessarily have a long-term plan as I didn’t think I would be doing this past the 5 year mark. But hey, life is a strange thing and somehow this project has snowballed into what it has become now.

I’m not going to pat myself on the back or do a self hi-five or anything like that. There’s still a long way to go in regards to what I feel the ultimate goal should be for this site, which is to be a credible media outlet. Obviously that’s kind of a far fetched ideal to reach given the state of the site as it is now. Considering our history, where we are now as media is a hell of a lot better situation than what we were in before. I’ll say it again, I feel we are very fortunate to be in the position we are in and for those rare opportunities that come our way.

One final shout out

Lastly I would like to thank those of you who continue to visit this site for whatever reason. I guess you have found something of value to keep you coming back. So to you loyal few, you have my sincere appreciation for your support through all the ups and downs that this place has gone through. I can only hope that we continue to lower the bar even more in the next 10 years and beyond. =)

To everyone else who visited the site on occasion and may be reading this out of curiosity. Thanks much for stopping by.

Yeah. That’s it. I don’t have anything particularly special planned for January 30. No contests, no giveaways, nothing at all. It will be a quiet entry into the next decade and beyond for the most part.