HeraChanReaders, we need to talk.

Over the past three and a half years, we’ve shared a hell of a lot of fun times together. We’ve talked about great shows (and terrible ones). We’ve discussed the latest news, and dug down into the world of business and marketing. I’ve spent god knows how many sleepless nights, scrambling to get that one last editorial done before I keel over in exhaustion.

We’ve changed logos, changed formats, and tested way more features and article pilots than I’m comfortable mentioning. Some of these became permanent features, like The Shredder or Your Bad Anime Night Needs. Others, like “This Day in History” or the “Herald Views” tweet reviews fell by the wayside. With each change and each failure, though, I felt that we were doing something right, that we were part of something big.

Alright, fine. Most of the time, it seemed like I was a crazy solo-writer with delusions of grandeur and a few amazing helpers. But anyway!

We’re getting to a point where we need to start making changes and tweaks again. If Anime Herald is to keep growing as an organization, we’ll have to find ways to keep bringing you the content you love, while accommodating for the realities of growing the organization.

Wait a minute, wait a minute! Don’t go! Hear me out!

I’m not going to overload you with ads. I’m not going to sell information or do anything that would alienate your trust in myself, my writers, or myself. Likewise, I don’t plan on pandering to you, or to some faceless advertising entity.

People feared that I’d start going soft on our industry partners when we disclosed screeners. How happy I was to prove them wrong.

Instead, I’d like to say a few words about what we do plan to do.

The Podcast, Nerdy Talk, is a start for us. It’s something that I, personally find value in, as it allows people of many of minds to gather and share opinions, which opens dialogue provides for some goofy entertainment in the process. It’s something that I’m quite proud of, just as I’m proud of my various staffers for stepping up to join Matt and I each time we record.

The 2014 Census is what I like to call a trial balloon. It’s a way of seeing where we’re lacking and where we’re doing well. I’ve already received some feedback that’s worth looking into, and I’ve already begun investigating these fixes and improvements. So please, if you have three minutes, take the survey, tell us what you want. We’re taking input seriously (unless you’re asking for a pony. Ponies are expensive!)

Similarly, I’ll be looking into other alterations that can be made, other ways we can evolve as a brand and as an organization. These are still in their trial phases, but I’d like to start rolling out some tests by this summer. These are still iffy, but I’m hoping that we can build up something cool in the process.

I want Anime Herald to be, well.. I don’t want to replace your sources like ANN, Japanator, or the like. I’d like to become a source for something a bit more. While we’ll deliver things like convention coverage and press releases, I don’t foresee it becoming our primary focus. Too red of an ocean. I’d like to instead step out of that bound, to bring you guys something fun, something unique, and something truly unexpected. This is long-term thinking, but I’m hoping that I can make these plans, these dreams, become a fun reality for everybody.

That said, I’d like to thank you for reading, now and for every time you’ve come here. Every time you’ve come to read our articles, you’ve helped us grow, little by little, into an established presence that attracts 500,000 hits and almost 90,000 page views every month. I hope you continue to join us as we continue forward. Without you, we have no Anime Herald, which is something that I don’t even want to think about at this point.