Given that we’re in the United States, and it’s that day when it’s customary to sit down and think about what we’re thankful for, we want to take a moment to do that.
We were completely unprepared for how quickly Rachel and Miles X-Plain the X-Men took off. When we started the podcast in April, our threshold for ridiculous, unfathomable success was 50 listeners, not counting our moms. Seven months later, we’re averaging around 10,000 unique downloads per episode. Thanks to your support, the podcast and site have become a significant chunk of Rachel’s job.
But while we are thankful for those things, they’re not really what we wanted to talk about here. What we want to talk about is you.
When we realized how big we were getting, and how fast, we got really worried. We know the Internet; we know what happens when you tip over a certain size or a certain level of visibility. And we sat down and worked out rules for comments moderation, and contingencies for some worst-case scenarios, and generally kind of braced ourselves.
So far, we’ve had to use none of those contingencies. None. Think about that.
On the website, we’ve deleted or stopped maybe a dozen comments. Of those, all but two were accidental double-posts; and despite containing content we decided not to let through, the remaining two were polite and obviously well-intended. We’ve never needed to block a Twitter account. We’ve never gotten an e-mail that didn’t make us smile. (Even the corrections. Especially the corrections.)
Ten thousand listeners.
Two blocked comments.
Listeners, you are amazing. You are passionate and engaged: at our site and on social media, we loved watching you dive into involved, challenging, and universally respectful and civil conversations. You make us think. You make each other think. You share information and resources and recommend books. You make art. You send us wonderful, heartfelt notes that make us mist up at work.
We know a lot of people who podcast; who make art, and write, and work on the web. We’ve never seen anyone with a fan base as universally awesome as ours.
So, we’ve been thinking a lot about what we’re thankful for, in context of the podcast. We thought about characters we love and identify with, comics that have become touchstones and security blankets. But when it comes down to it, listeners–if we had to choose just one thing–we’re most thankful for you.
Rachel & Miles