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January Magazine has been publishing continuously since 1997. That’s a deliciously long time to have been doing anything. We have accomplished so much of what we set out to do in 1997. (1997!) In some ways, even more.
In many ways it feels as though we at January Magazine evolved the format that has become associated with blogging. A decade ago, when everyone else was still loading up Web sites with additions that offered a lot of sizzle but not much steak, we found ourselves almost entirely concerned with content: great writing, well edited; top art; super photos. At that time we envisioned a Web site about books and authors and reading that would grow more rich and intellectually valuable over time.
Another one of our early goals was a site that updated every day and a date at the top of the page that would give the reader a clear and honest indication that something new had been added on the date listed. Since those of us who hatched January mostly came from traditional print backgrounds, we knew that we wanted the material at the “top of the fold” to be the freshest we had on offer and that what came next — the newest stuff — should push the next newest lower on the page. Does that sound like a thought so simple it doesn’t require mentioning? And yet, when we began, these thoughts were so new, people laughed at us. Out loud.