The New Year is a time to look forward. But it’s also a heck of a lot of fun to look back. Thanks to the archiving website, WayBack Machine, we can cringe together at what Ed2010 looked like in the early days.
When I started Ed2010 in the late 1990s with fellow magazine friends, you couldn’t buy domain names. Or at least we didn’t know how to. So when the group began (the back story is here, ICYMI), Ed earned a stealth, underground reputation: to access the site, you had to know the complicated url (www.geocities.com/athens/styx/5750). It’s one of the few things that I have memorized outside of my childhood phone number.
When you got there, you were greeted by an illustration of a ticking bomb with the year 2010— and some wacky illos. We didn’t have Google Images back then, but still, what were we thinking?
As bare bones as it was, the most popular page quickly became the job posting board where anyone could submit a Whisper Job. Before LinkedIn and publishing companies’ own job boards, there were few places to learn about editorial jobs. Word of mouth was crucial and Ed2010’s community acted as a loud speaker. A snapshot from April 2001. (Amazingly, I remember who ended up in the Health and the ME job — hi Wendy and Amy!)
In 2002, we lost the gloom and doom of the ticking bomb, replacing it with a logo with a ladder (a wee more inspiring). That’s also when the site got its own domain and we could incorporate all the things that Ed had grown to offer — events, campus chapters, a Q&A series, glossary, a mentor program, and even a volunteer staff of three (hi Sunny and Katie!).
Ed really took off in the 2000s — we expanded to 21 city and 35 campus chapters and the team grew too (too many people to thank; but many are now on Ed’s Advisory Board!). Our small army of volunteers in NYC and across the country ran events, managed the message board, posted Whisper Job listings, and answered questions from eager whippersnappers (which is the name I gave to hungry editor wannabees). A snapshot from 2007 (look how young we all are!):
When it first launched, Ed2010’s anonymous salary posting board was one of the few online and the only one that shared magazine industry pay. Incredibly, looking at this snapshot from 2001, you can see the salaries haven’t gone up much. In fact, many have gone down. (Accounting for inflation, $60K in 2001 is worth about $87K now.)
Before the spam bots took over (and nearly brought down the site!), we had a thriving message board with media gossip, roommate requests, and random questions about the industry and job hunting. Basically what we use Facebook Groups for now. A snapshot from 2006:
When we finally updated the site in 2007 (Still. So. Much. Text!), we at Ed2010 (at that point, a team of 50+) thought we were so cool with our subway stop nav bar. (Or at least I did. Ha.) This was also the peak of our content creation: We had two blogs (Ed’s Girl on the Hunt and Ed’s Intern Diaries) as well as Q&As with media leaders, news items (like the below on the intern who sued Hearst), and tons of practical job-hunting advice. This was also when we had Google ads and started charging for select job postings. We used that money to fund our scholarship program, The Ed2010 Trust Fund, which gave out more than $30K to exceptional editorial whippersnappers. A very busy (and orange!) homepage from June 2013:
Then in 2015, we refreshed the site again — this time with actual photos and a new logo. (Thanks to Sabrina Hall!) To keep up with the changing media landscape, Ed expanded beyond magazines to digital publishing and content marketing. We also went a bit too far down the “lifestyle site” path. But hey, that’s what all the kids were doing back then!
For those of you paying attention, the site was neglected for a couple of years (as I worked out my own career issues). Then in early 2019 I refocused Ed again, to meet the needs of our loyal audience of no-longer-whippersnappers (some going back 20+ years), providing support for those transitioning from traditional publishing roles to branded, content marketing, marketing, and adjacent industries. (Of course we will always support legit whippersnappers via content, events, and programs including our popular mentor Buddy System.)
I also launched Talent Fairy and added career coaching and recruiting services. My team is now down to two: me and my associate, Shaye, who, among other things, creates the awesome graphics you see on the site and our social channels. You can see her work on the site you’re on today.
Sure, we could use a redesign now too. And it’ll get one: It’s on the new year’s resolution list. Or at least the decade’s. Because Ed, with his expired name no one can pronounce, will be here in 2030. Who knows what the site — or heck, media — will look like in another ten years. But I look forward, with my fellow whippersnappers, to finding out.
Chandra Turner is founder and CEO of Ed2010 and Talent Fairy. She is a talent recruiter specializing in the content and media space. She also offers personalized career coaching for media professionals at all stages of their career.