Columns

Looking Back At 2020: Column from the Editor

Above: A picture I took atop Mount Greylock earlier this year, which is the highest point in Massachusetts. It was one of my favorite moments of the year.

2020 has not been a kind year to anyone. From the massive death toll COVID-19 has enacted, to the economic, social and financial upheaval it has wrought, 2020 has been a year most people want to put behind them.

As an American, 2020 has been particularly embarrassing, as it has exposed just how ineffective many of our leaders are — especially in the Senate and the Presidency — as we’ve remained a hotspot for the virus throughout the year. I will never understand the anti-masker movement, and we shouldn’t forget the chaos they have caused this year, and that also applies to those that still freely ignore social distancing and other safety guidelines, especially as we continue to live in a holiday-driven surge of the virus. With vaccines here and an incoming president who believes in science being sworn in next month, I have hope that the country can turn this ship around in 2021, but 2020 must remain a critical point of reflection for the nation for years to come.

Personally, 2020 has been something of a test for all of us on this site, whether that means our work outside of here changed in some way, our social lives moved almost entirely online, or we’ve had friends and family struggle with the virus. Because COVID-19 cases were surging in my state, my family skipped traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings, which was for the best, as some of my family I haven’t seen in forever contracted the virus.

We started this year with four writers — including myself — and I’m happy to say that we’re ending it with four writers. While 2020 has been mostly unpleasant, InReview has definitely been a bright spot, as we’ve grown our readership far beyond my goals for the website. In 2018, when I started this website, we got about 500 views. In 2019, we got 3,000 views. In 2020, we’ve gotten 28,000 views, and we’ve been setting new readership records every month since June. While some might see this as modest growth, I am greatly encouraged by how much we’ve grown this year, and it’s great to see something I built from the ground up in 2018 start to surge this way. As someone who has written for and continues to work for already established publications, building something like this on your own and seeing it finally take off is very satisfying, but it takes a lot of dedication, patience and trial and error.

Aside from increased viewership, we also greatly increased our input. In 2018, we published 35 posts with two writers. In 2019, we published 73 posts with four writers. And with that very same staff — including this post — we published 200 posts in 2020. We joined the Large Association of Movie Blogs (the LAMB), and 2020 was also the year we started getting advanced movie screeners and review copies for games.

In one of the darkest years in recent memory, InReview has been a positive force in our lives, and we hope it was also one in yours, too. As we head to 2021, we aim to build off of the foundation we’ve constructed these past two years, offering more of what has worked, while also branching out (I would love to feature some game developer/filmmaker interviews in the future, and possibly some more guest columns). And if theaters again open, who knows? Maybe we’ll cover a local film festival.

Thank you for your readership and support. See you in 2021.

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