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iW at 13 | Ten things I like about indieWIRE (hope you do, too)

iW at 13 | Ten things I like about indieWIRE (hope you do, too)

Back in January we launched the new indieWIRE website, after having re-imagined it internally over the course of 2008. One year ago, after we announced the sale of indieWIRE to SnagFilms (the new company founded by Ted Leonsis, backed by Steve Case & Miles Gilburne, and led by Rick Allen), we embarked upon a goal of debuting the new site in time for Sundance ’09. Six months after launching the *new* indieWIRE, we continue to develop the site, the foundation of our company.

Today, indieWIRE celebrates its 13th anniversary. For awhile I didn’t think our latest anniversary was even worth mentioning, thirteen doesn’t really seem like that significant of a number.

On the other hand, though, it strikes me that making it to a new year is in fact the perfect opportunity to celebrate. indieWIRE has not only survived during a period of great international economic challenge, striking media consolidation and tremendous change within the independent film community, but we also still have so much to do.

But, rather than re-cap indieWIRE’s history, which is nicely summarized here in our About section, I wanted to instead offer a list of 10 things that I am excited about right now at indieWIRE.com. I hope you are too.

1. cinemadaily
Two weeks ago I asked whether we are currently fighting to preserve a business or an artform as we launched cinemadaily, a new regular column aimed at delivering an aggregated snapshot of what’s happening in film, surveying the landscape of cinema on a daily basis (from an art rather than commerce perspective). Our aim at indieWIRE is to be an umbrella for both the art and the industry.

The column has been a popular experiment and we’ve received some great feedback. We’re off to a good start. And to really make it work, I hope you’ll send along feedback, ideas or links to cinemadaily AT indiewire DOT com or find us on Twitter: @iWcinemadaily. If you find a link, or have written something, that you think we should take a look at please share it with us (and tell us why it’s important), we’ll try to include as many as we can as we develop this new idea.

2. Calendar
We’re building a database of film pages, filtered by DVD and theatrical release date, for movies from festivals and in distribution. These pages — regularly updated by colleagues Peter Knegt, Andy Lauer and Bryce Renninger — include basic cast/crew information, release dates, links to other sites, trailers, photos and more. Each page also includes a place where readers can rate and react to films, as well as a direct link to a movie’s IMDb page.

I hope you’ll take a look at this month’s pages as a starting point and then dig deeper from there.

3. iW Feed
I love this rather hidden little feature. Brainstorming with our tech guru Albert Lai a few months ago, I proposed that it would be cool to have a Facebook style news feed that tracks the latest activity on the indieWIRE site. When one of the iW editors posts a new article or someone comments on an article, it’s tracked at the top of the iW Feed.

You can find it in the Feeds section of the site, below the fold under the iW tab.

4. Daily poll
My colleague Brian Brooks was itching to bring some interactivity to the site, so he and Albert developed this daily feature. It’s usually linked to a recent indieWIRE article. I love the instant feedback we get from our readers on a particular topic. My favorite are the weekend polls asking people which new movies they want to see. Got an idea for a poll? Just let us know by email at: iw AT indiewire DOT com.

5. Blog feed
A favorite feature of indieWIRE, according to many folks I encounter, is the front page blog feed that aggregates links to recent posts not only from blogs that we host, but from some of our favorite sites. An even richer way to experience this feed is on the indieWIRE Blogs page.

We’re thrilled to host such a eclectic mix of bloggers and also link to some of our favorite writers. After leaving Variety earlier this year, Mike Jones set-up a new blog and blogs from Reverse Shot, Matt Dentler, and Peter Knegt are among the most popular ones that we host. And, we’ll have more bloggers joining the crowd soon. Got a blog you love that you think we should include in this feed? Please let us know by email at: iw AT indiewire DOT com.

6. Quicklinks
In the main navigation bar of the indieWIRE website, we offer a way to quickly jump to a section of the site. The pull down menu offers quick links to various areas, including the Calendar, film festival coverage, our evolving festival guide, box office articles, and more.

7. iW To Go Widget
The high-tech indieWIRE widget is a whole other way to experience indieWIRE. While it lives on our homepage it can also be snagged and shared on any website, blog or Facebook page. You can also find it on the blogs we host and in a permanent spot in the Movies section of The Wrap.

8. Daily email and RSS
For those who want regular updates on what’s new at indieWIRE.com we offer a free, daily email newsletter (sign up here) and also an RSS feed that offers immediate links to our content anytime, allowing indieWIRE updates on Google, My Yahoo!, MyAOL, Newsgator, Bloglines, and other news readers.

9. First person articles
Still the most popular first person piece on indieWIRE was the transcript of Mark Gill’s widely read “The Sky is Falling” speech at last year’s Los Angeles Film Festival. Along the way, a number of other insiders have also weighed in, from Geoff Gilmore writing about the state of film festivals, to Peter Broderick’s look at The New World of Distribution, to a transcript of Ted Hope’s speech about “truly free film”.

Got something you want to say, drop us a line (at iw AT indiewire DOT com) and we hope we can include your voice in indieWIRE.

10. Our readers, the iW team and our sponsors
Sincerely, this site is what it is because of the hard work of a small staff, the support of our advertisers and sponsors and, of course, our many readers.

Brian Brooks, James Israel, Peter Knegt, Andy Lauer, and Bryce Renninger are the core group of folks whose names you see most frequently associated with iW on a daily basis, they deserve tremendous credit for shaping indieWIRE. There’s also the core team at SnagFilms (Ted Leonsis, Rick Allen, Stephanie Sharis, Albert Lai, Dan Balis, Andrew Mer, and Ross Koenig), as well a number of key freelance writers and loyal friends that we rely on. Way too many to name, but each so valuable.

Finally, and crucial to all of this, are our readers. We’re excited that our reach continues to grow and we value the input, ideas, criticisms and feedback. As I said at the beginning, we still have so much to do.


Eugene Hernandez is the Editor-in-Chief & Co-Founder of indieWIRE and can be reached on his blog, through Facebook or via Twitter: @eug.

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