As many of our visitors may already know from this earlier post, 2012 is what we consider to be our official 10th year of operation as a fansite. As the story goes, myself and my best friend Omar founded this website together in 2001, spending months of intense research (while downloading music videos on a 56k connection to get screenshots!) to officially open the site back in April 2002 as an Angelfire site. With only a fraction of what we see now; and with two staff members on board, Omar and I (at age 15) set a few somewhat unrealistic goals. I wanted us to one day become the largest and #1 Linkin Park fan-site in the world, and to be noticed by the band, and Omar wanted to reach 1 million hits. When he told me that, I thought he was crazy. Mind you my goal wasn't any less insane, but I had been involved in a few websites prior to LPA and none of them had ever reached a million hits. To me 1 million hits [back in 2002 before the true .com boom] was as unachievable as winning the lottery. It just didn't happen easily, and most tinier websites of the time never knew what it's like to accomplish that much traffic in a single month.
But we had dreams, and with those dreams we pushed hard to make The LPA the best website that it could be launching in April 2002. Within two months we got a lucky break and scored the world exclusive leaks of Enth E Nd, Wth>You and P5hing Me Aw@y which brought us 4,000 hits in a month. Looking back now, it's actually kind of funny how we both reacted. At the time, to us 4,000 hits was a huge milestone. Being young and naive, we thought 4,000 hits was unbelievably huge (Google gets that probably in ten seconds). We felt like we were in the big leagues, which made what came later even harder to believe. About a month later, former staff member Alex came on board and bought us the .com domain you are currently viewing the site on. We never had owned a .com before, and me and Omar were giddy with excitement. We worked hard with Alex to redesign the site entirely, gathering over 1,500 photos, and buying our first ever forums on Invision Power Board, all in time for the site's grand reopening in October 2002. By January 2003, Omar had got his wish. The LPA had achieved well over a million hits, going on to have (for us) an unfathomable 35 Million Hits in one year by the time we got to December of 2003.
It was amazing to think about then, and even now. To think, here we were, two 16 year old kids who had never been a part of anything really special, didn't hang out with the popular crowds, and now we had 35 million hits in a year. It was the highest point of our young lives at the time, and we both couldn't believe that we were finally experiencing the traffic of our idols PushMeAway (now defunct) and LPAlliance (also defunct).
But for us it was only just the beginning.
In the years that followed, all of our formerly unrealistic dreams and ambitions would be accomplished. Staff members came and went. The site went through multiple changes, and as for my unrealistic wish? Well, LPA got that shoutout and more in 2006 when we scored the first ever fansite interview with a band member; interviewing bassist Dave "Phoenix" Farrell in anticipation of Minutes To Midnight. An interview with Joe would follow a year later, with a joint fansite interview happening with Chester in 2009. Traffic records were broken, and our member base grew, to the point where we are one of the most respected Linkin Park fansites on the web today. And it was all made possible by Linkin Park's absolutely incredible and passionate fanbase.
Going into 2012 I was already proud of everything this site had accomplished to date. A Thousand Suns was a record breaking album cycle for the site, and I really didn't believe we could do any better than that. I was wrong. What you the fans have accomplished for us in just the first part of this year would be almost impossible to believe, if we didn't see it for ourselves in our server statistics.
From January 18th, 2012 (The posting of the "Mix Of Old And New" Kerrang Scans - First New Album Article) until now, our site has accomplished the following:
1,370 New Users
84,757 New Posts (13k of those coming from just two news threads)
1,716 New Threads
May 2012 Hits: 29,312,735
June 2012 Hits: 35,159,749 (NEW RECORD!)
To put things into perspective for those who don't work with numbers or aren't good with web statistics, the LPA has accomplished a total of 10,283 registered members over a period of 10 years (as of the date of this post). Almost 15% of our overall userbase has registered in just the last 6 months. When this year began we were almost 90 thousand posts away from a million posts. Five months later, and we only need to have approx 1,400 more posts to reach a milestone that upon opening these forums in July 2002, seemed practically impossible and something we'd never accomplish.
In addition to that, we've had several amazing things happen for us this album cycle. Most notably was Mike Shinoda himself approaching us to write not one but two articles for his blog, and LPA Admin Joe having obtained the rights to leak LIES GREED MISERY in FLAC/MP3 on LPAssociation.com. The amount of support that the band and Mike have shown us this album cycle in their social media accounts/blogs/official site and even in interviews is something we cannot begin to properly express our gratitude for. Running the LPA has been in many ways a labor of love, and a commitment towards the over 40 million Linkin Park fans worldwide, who continue to amaze us with their dedication to the band and even in some cases to the site itself. Your support has given us a renewed energy to continue to make the LPA the best it can be, and we cannot thank you enough.
With LPA already having accomplished it's best year ever in 2012, and 6 whole months left before 2012 comes to a close, we cannot wait to see what happens in the months ahead and we look forward to sharing this experience with every one of you. This August, LPA staff members Joe, Todd, and Myself [as well as many LPA regulars] will be on hand at the Summit to show our support for the band and represent the LPA. We look forward to meeting many of you there, and on behalf of the entire staff currently working for the site: Thank you to the band, Adam Ruehmer, Jessica Sklar, LPUHQ, and the fans for your unwavering support. We look forward to continuing to provide you all with the best in LP news/information in the years to come.
-Derek, Joe, Todd, Mark, Louis, Luke, Ree, Benjamin, and Jeff
Also thank you to Omar, Andrea, Anthony, Alex, Gary, Bryan, Ander, Keaton, Nikki and all of the other staff members who are currently no longer staff but helped contribute to the journey so far. We appreciate everything you did to get us to where we are today.