As you can see, this year’s Cake Day message is not as elaborate as last year’s. But this year, I did my best to draw out IW’s logo. I got better drawing materials this year, which is why I was somewhat able to accomplish the feat. However, I don’t think I’ll be joing Buddy’s staff on Cake Boss anytime soon… (Anyone watch that show? If not, you should, ’cause those cakes are AMAZING!)
This year, johpan took a nap during cake baking time, so there’s no collaboration cake this year. The candle was so heavy that it kept falling over. So it’s being propped up by a toothpick. XD I did record myself singing “Happy Cake Day” to IW, but I didn’t realize that the compact setting on my camera was as compact as it turned out to be… So no video. XD
Anyway, as I said, a lot has happened this year with IW. We conducted our first round of open applications for writers to join the team. There were some hits and misses with that initiative, but we were glad to add a few more regular and semi-regular writers to the IW staff. Writing for IW does take time and dedication, and I appreciate every single one of our writers who keep the site going. The writeups are generally only 1 to 2 paragraphs, but to get those few paragraphs, most of us read through a blogroll/opml feed of 200+ blogs. We all volunteer our time to IW and when I see my fellow staff members writing, it motivates me to keep up my writing for the site (hey, even the admins need a boost to keep morale up).
In addition to the new writers, lots of changes happened behind the scenes of IW, with a sort of changing of the guard within the administrator ranks. The changes that have occurred within IW’s administrative ranks kind of feel Morning Musume-esque to me. XD We have 1st gen: Ray Mescallado. 2nd gen saw the addition of Nicole (formerly known as pengie) of 23ji no ongaku (formerly unchained) and Brian (formerly known as broomhead) to form IW’s first Troika. A few months later, I was added into the mix as a 3rd gen admin and the four of us formed a short-lived Quoika (at least, I think that’s how we spelled it…) before Ray “graduated” and handed the reins on to Nicole, Brian and myself to form IW’s 2nd Troika.
Time passed and eventually Brian decided it was time to “graduate” as well and we added 2 new administrators to the team – 4th gen CK and Amy – to form IW’s 2nd Quoika. Finally, Nicole “graduated” late last year to bring the admin member composition to the current Troika of CK, Amy and myself. 3 sets of member additions and 3 graduations within a 3 year span. Funny how I just thought of this analogy as I was writing up this post… Also, I’m 3rd gen. I’m the Goto Maki of IW!! :O *starts planning her jump to the Avex of j-music metablogs… wait… is there one? XD*
Anyway, now that the history lesson is out of the way (sorry to bore anyone, but I thought that was interesting ^_^), I really do want to thank my fellow admins (past and present) and all IW staff (past and present) for making IW such a great site. I really believe that we help to keep bloggers motivated to write. It always gives me such a warm feeling when I write up a new blog on IW and the next day, I see an post from that blogger being super excited to have been featured on IW. I remember when Ray first wrote my fledgling blog up, I was ready to pass out. I’m proud to be able to spread that happy feeling around.
And of course, you can’t mention IW’s success without mentioning all the bloggers out there because without the blogs, there would be no IW. I love how we are all able to share our enthusiasm for Japanese music and culture this way. Thank you to all the bloggers who write so many articles that I enjoy immensely! If you couldn’t tell, I’m a sappy person who loves warm tingly feelings (*smacks anyone who turns that dirty*).
So, with that sentiment… HAPPY THIRD ANNIVERSARY IW!!! Here’s to a great 4th year and many more to come in the future! ^_^ And as always, photo documentation of the making of the CAKE!!