With 2014 just beginning, I wanted to try something new today and give the Chive community the runway of events for the coming year. I’ve never done this before, so I’ll be in the comments below to answer questions in case I miss anything, or if I just suck at explaining this altogether.
Let’s start with a bit of history. Admittedly, as big as theCHIVE’s popularity has grown, we’re still a small family here. In 2009, theCHIVE had 4 editors: My brother Leo, Mac, Bob, and myself. Today, 5 years later, we only have 7 editors. In total, Resignation Media employs 42 amazing people across all 8 platforms, with 7 babies recently born or on the way right now (not kidding). To lend some perspective, most of our peers in the digital space average about 200 employees (per domain), and all are corporately owned. theCHIVE is, and will remain, a small group of misfits and pregnant women in a room.
We have branched out. There are some exciting things on the horizon, and I’ll get into that shortly. But I receive a lot of emails – some Chivers think we might be expanding too fast. I still read all your emails so let me address that now. First, I’m really proud that I can create a job or three. My brother and I came from humble beginnings with nothing but a dream and I love seeing that beaming look on a person’s face when I tell them they just got a job at theCHIVE.
But I also know that if you asked the average Chiver what they want from us it’s to shut up and blog. That’s what we are after all, bloggers. You want to open theCHIVE when you can’t sleep at 2am and see that Bob was up late posting the DMA. Then the rest of the day you want bonkers stories, heartwarming stories, Chivettes, and a DAR that isn’t too late.
I spend about 2 hours every day on the DAR. I love doing it. It’s a part of me in ways I’ll never be able to explain. It was the first post I ever did on theCHIVE back in 2008, and I’ve done it every day since. So I have a simple litmus test for our company expansion: If the day comes that I can’t sit down and post the DAR properly, that I’m distracted by other business ventures to the degree that I find myself rushing the DAR like an asshole, I’ll know that I’ve stretched myself too thin. That day has not yet come, but if it does I will reign it in, shut up, and blog.
We have a lot of cool things planned for 2014 on many fronts. Here is a first look at the runway of events and features.
theCHIVE’s new responsive site:
This is glimpse at what theCHIVE will look like soon. If you think it looks a lot like theCHIVE you know and love, that’s because it does. We’ve learned valuable lessons from those who stumbled before us (Digg) that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Wholesale website redesigns and overhauls are confusing and silly. However, in the interest of innovation we must continue moving forward so theCHIVE’s new responsive site will include larger photos, easier navigation, and an infinite scroll – all based on your suggestions.
theCHIVE’s iPhone App has become one of the most popular and highest-rated apps in the world. It is, however, not without its flaws. I’ll address some of your concerns here.
First, if you find yourself binge chiving in the women’s gallery on iOS you’ll notice that, while all current women’s galleries bring you an in-app experience, sexy galleries that are 24 hours old redirect to Chive Mobile. Obviously, this isn’t the most desirable user experience. It’s an agreement we reached with Apple to get the new version approved. I hope this changes soon, I expect it won’t be like this forever.
You’ve also asked for a paid app with no ads. We are working on it. I don’t have exact dates for you but I hope to soon.
We’re coming to Canada. I swear. In the spring. And we’re bringing the beer with us.
theCHIVERY continues to expand and grow with new product offerings. Here at theCHIVE we love t-shirts, it’s a passion of ours. Many of you have asked when we’ll be releasing BFM’s and KCCO’s again. You’re getting a first look at Bill O’Murray on Justina right now, and the Irish KCCO on the Stupid guy back there. There will be a pre-sale on Bill O’Murray and the Irish KCCO’s early next week! Details soon.
In addition to the new and exciting products this year, theCHIVERY is committed to improving the customer experience. Many of you notice that, if you call theCHIVERY, Patty or Justina actually pick up the phone themselves half the time. That’s how much they care, but we’re admittedly stretched a little thin. We are diligently working both internally and with our partners to improve customer service and communication by implementing a real time chat function on theCHIVERY. Now you’ll be able to talk to our customer service team right in the theCHIVERY website!
We are almost finished kicking the tires on the new site functionality and are excited to bring this feature to you in March of this year. This is just one of the many ways we are dedicated to making theCHIVERY experience even better through all of 2014 and beyond.
If 2013 was the year where Chive Nation took off and spread around the country, 2014 will be the year when we begin to recognize and foster the growth of outstanding Chive Chapters. More on this soon.
The new year started with the Maryland Chive Chapter shattering the Chive Charities donation record with over $30k from their new year’s eve meetup. Last month the Michigan Chive Chapter raised over $15k for a local boy name Daniel who has a rare and incurable neurological disorder.
Mac has actually never worked for theCHIVE. He started showing up every day 3 years ago and never left. He just sits in this chair all day doing god knows what.
As of yesterday, we’re proud to announce that Chive Charities is no longer 501c3 pending. We lost the pending and we’re now an official charity! The application process is traditionally long and intense, and it’s great to have our charity model validated like this.
2014 is shaping up to be a banner year at Chive Charities. We’ve expanded from 2 to 4 employees, allowing us to champion more underdog causes than ever before. Later this year we will also be rolling out our online grant application system to streamline the application process.
Chive Charities’ impact will continue to expand thanks to Chive Nation. With your help, our stories will shed light on causes in need of public awareness and inspire millions in the process.
As we talk to potential grantees, we’re amazed at how some of these deserving people actually heard about us. Specifically, we hear things like “Friends and family, of all ages, will call me and say ‘Hey, have your heard about theCHIVE? I know it’s just a website but it’s more than that. These people will help you.’” Still blows my mind.
We’re going to take paying it forward to new heights this year. But not just us – all the Chive Chapters out there are doing some phenomenal work. Not just for Chive Charities, but for local individuals and charities who need immediate help. Well done, all.
Resignation Brewery has taken huge strides with the release of the KCCO Black Lager this past year. There are now over 4,600 locations that carry the beer. Yes, we know it is largely sold out across the country but our next big batch is due out shortly and the KCCO beer will flow again like wine.
We know there have been a lot of questions on dates for future releases, so we wanted to give you a quick update on that. Our next beer will be the White Wheat. The White Wheat will officially be available this September. It’s fucking delicious. There WILL be limited opportunities to try the White Wheat before September. If all works out, you will likely be able to get the White Wheat in bars and liquor stores in Charleston, SC starting in June.
Charleston will be the only city to carry the White Wheat until the nationwide launch in September.
Lastly, KCCO Black is making its way to Canada! Canadians, you can expect to find the delicious misfit at a bar near you this summer.
For constant updates on all things beer related, follow Resignation Brewery on Twitter.
Official Chive Meetups:
If you’ve never been to an official Chive meetup, I highly recommend it. The energy in the room is electric. We have 9 official meetups scheduled just over the horizon. We have dates for some, but not for others. They are:
Dublin, Ireland – We’ll see all our Irish and European Chivers this Saturday! Tallahassee, FL – Thursday, March 20th Gainesville, FL – Saturday, March 22nd Bloomington, IN – Chive 5 returns! Late April date TBD. Can somebody from Kilroy’s on Kirkwood please get a hold of me? Caddyshack Murray Bros. Golf Tournament: St. Augustine, FL – March 27th-30th. theCHIVE, Bill, and all the Murray Bros. team up once again to raise some serious money for charity. We’ll be popping up at bars and random people’s homes across St. Augustine this week. Pay attention to theCHIVE’s and Mac’s Twitter for exact locations. Iowa (Iowa City or Des Moines) – Date TBD. Iowa is our largest Chive Chapter. You’re earned yourselves what will be one of our biggest meetups ever. Canada – We’re coming! Charleston, SC – Right now Charleston is scheduled to be the only city to carry KCCO White Wheat this summer. We’ll be making a huge trip to the city May 29th – June 1st and leaving you with all the beer.
As many of you know, we do try our best to keep up with special requests in the various cities. If you have Chivers or Chivettes who cannot make the meetup because they are sick, I do try to arrive a little early to make the rounds if I can.
I hope this helps provide a clearer picture of where theCHIVE is headed this year. theCHIVE has long outgrown our capacity to run it, and since we refuse to sell out and go on a hiring spree, it’s fixing to remain that way. We’re doing our best to keep it between the lines over here, but we’re definitely not perfect. That said, we’re genuinely trying to be better people every day over here.
…except for Mac. But he’s not a real person so he doesn’t really count.
As always, if you see us out and about, feel free to stop and say hello. On some level I know my life is changed now but we’re really the same group of misfits who tripped and fell into this amazing thing.
But enough about us. This is really just about you now. Beyond the website, theCHIVE community has chosen to collectively shift their focus toward something easily overlooked – the little things. It’s the beers you buy for the stranger across the bar, the stranger’s tires you change, the RAK’s, and the dollar you give to Chive Charities. In short, it’s the Chivers who are keeping their heads up to the world around them just a little more these days; looking to make a small difference in people’s lives. It’s the small things that turn out to be the big things sometimes.
If it all falls apart tomorrow I hope ours is the legacy of little things.
PS – I’ll be in the comments below to answer any questions that I might have missed here. Ask away and I’ll try my best to answer.