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Today, as I update this on October 31, 2009, the COW itself is over eight years old, opening in April of 2001. But the story goes back much further than the COW and the success of the COW is far from the "overnight success" many assume.
We actually started building media professionals sites back in 1995, and have now been at this for over 14 years. 14 years! Who'd have thought that our original effort would grow into this? The original 1995 site (the Media 100 Worldwide Users Group) grew out of the local Media 100 users group we helped start in 1994 in the San Francisco Bay area. That local user group was then hosted by Steve Whitney and Peter Rafanan of EISI. (Steve would later go on to work for Media 100 before leaving to become VP of Sales & Marketing for Puffin Design, makers of Commotion.)
In the beginning, we worked without search engines as they exist today, and we knew the names and many of the personal stories of nearly everyone who came to our site. Today, there's no way we could do that! Now, we often get more registered members in a single day than those who made up our original site's membership back in 1995.
Today, at the end of October 2009, Google Analytics reports show that Creative COW has exceeded over 2 million monthly "Absolute Unique Visitors" logging in, who make over 3 million monthly visits, generating over 8 million pageviews for the month! (Click here for our complete traffic report.) We now have over 40,000 print-edition subscribers of Creative COW Magazine and over 50,000 people around the world get the popular PDF digital edition. Our newsletters have grown to reach out to nearly 300,000 users from around the world. We have a series of CD-ROM and DVD-ROM training products -- the Creative COW Master Series -- and some of our podcasts are the top-ranked podcasts in their field over at the Apple iTunes Store. In fact, there are days when the iTunes Store's Hot 100 podcasts in the category of Technology: Software How-To has contained as many as 11 Creative COW Podcasts at the same time.
Recently, we added support for video reels and short films, commercials, music videos, trailers and many other types of videos, and the support has been overwhelming. This new section is quickly becoming a visual feast of projects from around the world. The quality of the reels is simply stunning and we hope you will take the time to visit or upload your own video files.
It's been an incredible ride to get here and we are indebted to our leaders, our contributing editors and our many sponsors. Many have become dear friends over the years we have worked together and we'd like to thank them all.
I hope this tells you a bit about us and what we are all about. If you have any questions about Creative COW, please feel free to write. We do respond to your questions.