A Year in The Barrel

Today marks the one year anniversary of us throwing the Big Red switch that opened the floodgates to allow the whole world to stare down our Barrel. I will always remember with great fondness this time last year, with everyone that we could cram on to one Skype call, excitedly counting down to the moment we pressed the Big Red go button!

To be entirely, brutally honest (the tendency to be so has often my biggest problem in life) it has been a tough year. There are not many members of the BRB staff that will tell you we have had an easy ride this year, and while there has been the odd issue with the blog itself, the bigger issues have generally beset people on a personal basis.

Given that we formed from the ashes of another community, we have always been lucky enough to have a large roster of staff that has helped offset the constraints of being volunteers with limited time available. We lost some good people along the way last year, but we were also lucky enough to make some great additions and am very excited to have a number of new people to introduce to you very soon, including the first person promoted solely on the basis of his actions as a member of the BRB community.

During 2012, many of the existing staff went through some individual issues and growing pains. Many of our contributors have found difficulty in the changing demands of their jobs or families and some, myself included, have just had a tough time lately.

I do not like to hide behind excuses and am not going to start to now, especially given that there were as many positive distractions (especially for me in the early half of the year) that were just as much of a factor in me being less proactive than I could have been with regards to all things BRB related. I am not looking for any sympathy, I am not even doing so by way of an explanation, but I do want it to adequately frame the context of my gratitude.

Despite not quite delivering everything we set out to achieve, I am still very proud of what we have done and I am very grateful for everyone that took the time to help make BRB what it is today. I will be the first to hold up my hands and admit that we have made mistakes this year. There is (almost) nothing about the blog or podcasts that I do think could be done better, to a higher standard and we will be looking to improve in all areas of everything we do – except one, the people. Most blogs will tell you they need a higher quantity of people and, whilst we’ll be looking at growing the staff roster,  we honestly couldn’t have a higher quality of people that make BRB what it is and 2012 proved that to me.

Most of the members of the BRB staff have proved to me beyond a shadow of a doubt that they more than deserve to be in a group of people that I will happily list among my lifelong friends. It is always nice when people take the time to comment on the blog and podcasts, but I saw a level beyond that last year. On a personal note, I wanted to take the opportunity to say thank you. The number of people that took the time to message me via Twitter, the BRB forums, email, PSN and XBLA, was surprising, humbling and not easily forgotten. Considering how little detail I shared about what I was going through and that I was a nothing more than someone who prattled on about “basically gaming things” on a weekly basis, the kindness of almost virtual strangers (or digital friends) has amazed me to a point that I am almost lost for words. “Fortunately” not quite (as, let’s face it, I hardly ever am), but thank you nonetheless.

2013 looks like a Big year in gaming and Big Red Barrel is just about to start rolling at full speed at just the right time. We all thank you for being here now and we hope that you like what you see and hear going forward. The people here are of a quality that I wish to see the content aspire to and I look forward to seeing the fruits of those efforts.

I appreciate that this is not the normal “Happy Birthday, thanks, have some cake!” kind of post from a gaming blog, but then I like to think that Big Red Barrel is not exactly your “normal” kind of gaming blog. And the cake was a lie anyway.

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  1. blazblueneko

    happy one year anniversary hope you guys have many more

  2. RidcullysHat

    Happy birthday big red barrel! You got through a year but your all the better for it

  3. Diarmuid

    Congratulations on reaching a year. To many more.
    /raises glass

  4. Cheers, guys!

  5. X88MPH

    To another great year!

  6. Marauder

    Happy anniversary guys! have a great one, you so bloody deserve it.

  7. 2013 is looking good. I’m excited about a lot of projects. I’m also very proud that the staff has been able to overcome so much in 2012…without needless drama of any kind. We may not have hit all the high notes we wanted to, but when I look at the articles and shows we have put out, there’s a lot of really great material.

    I hope people keep an eye on us moving forward because I’m as exited to see what the other staff have up their sleeves as I hope our community is. And I hope 2013 gets christened the year of the PolarBear

  8. The_Toaster

    Happy Birthday!

  9. Link90

    Happy Birthday BRB, its a cool little site, you just have to step up a lot more in order to stay relevant.

    Try posting more for example, or try to not forget that Nintendo exists. Seriously its still called the Nintendo WII in your forum, this is Slowpoke level kind of slow.

    Otherwise i am exited to see what you are up to in 2013, it only can get better 😉

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