Two Whole Years!

Hey, Tarro here! You wanna know something kinda crazy? We've officially been running this little magazine of ours for two years. More than that actually, but I'm forgetful! Anyway, I wanted to take this moment to pontificate a little bit about how things have been going, what's planned for the future, and some other dumb stuff. I also brought lots of numbers, so if you're someone who wants to know how many words have been published so far, or how many pages those would fill on a standard size, read on!
Before we get to all the fun stuff though, there's a couple of people that I really need to thank, so let me get that out of the way. Thank you so much to everyone that's written a guest article this year! At the start of this project, my goal was to have it function as basically a town square. I figured there's so many amazing people and voices in the community, and I wanted to create a platform to boost them up. I was imagining situations where maybe you feel intimidated trying to guest pitch an idea to ZooTT, but you could write an article, and we would be there with a team of awesome editors helping to make sure that your idea comes out in the best way possible. I honestly believed that after the first year I was going to be struggling to find time to fit in an article I'd written maybe once a month. Turns out things didn't exactly go that way. But still, for whatever reason I still have that image of the magazine in my head. And so anytime anyone actually uses it in that way, it makes me really really happy. We had some super excellent guest articles this year, from Vex telling us about the importance of internal and external activism, to Lav's amazing article about building our own spaces, to Soren's review of Baldur's Gate 3. We also had a ton of great interviews this year, shout out to HugDoggy for writing maybe the most chaotic article I've ever read. To everyone who's taken the time to clack some keys on behalf of the magazine, I thank you so much. Both for raising your voice for us, and for giving me a break!
Okay, let's do some fun number crunching now. If you had to guess how many words we've published since the start of the magazine what would you guess? A hundred thousand? Two hundred? 
Well, based on our estimations, we have about 325,775 words! That's a lot of words! It works out to about 655 pages in total.  For reference, that's more than the first two Harry Potter books combined! At time of writing, this is going to be our 208th article! Of that, 93 are mine, 30 are our editor-in-chief Alissa's, and 85 are guest pieces. 
A bit of an aside here. We've had some people say "Hey, you guys put out way too much content! I want to go back and catch up on all the stuff I missed but then I can't read the stuff coming out!" To that end, we're going to be starting something new called Throwback Wednesday! Every Wednesday, we're going to pick one of our favorite articles from ye old days of 2022 and "republish" them. Basically, we're going to take an editing pass on it, just for grammar and our current editing team's style sensibilities, and then post it everywhere we post articles. We like to think this'll be a fun curated way for newer readers to see some of our best content they missed out on, while possibly being a fun revisit for the longtime audience. I know I'm honestly a little excited to crack open the vault and see how certain articles aged. That'll be happening for the first time this Wednesday, so if that's something you think sounds cool, keep an eye out for that!
Speaking of the audience, is there anyone out there? Is anyone actually reading this? Well, according to the numbers, yes actually! Let's start with the easy ones. First of all, our Twitter account is "over 9000!!" (That's a reference for old people). There's two zoos already over the 10k line (Vex and Horsephile Zeta respectively), and I'm excited that pretty soon we're going to be able to join them in growing the community even larger. But it's not all about followers! How many people are actually reading the articles? Well, that's a little bit more complicated to figure out... There are a number of tools online that tell you how much traffic a website gets, but all of them gave us radically different numbers. I took the average to get to something useable, but take these numbers with a grain of salt.
Okay, maybe not that high, but still pretty good! Best guess puts us around 8,000-10,000 monthly visits, with around 3,000 being unique. That means that, assuming a decent percentage of those are people there to read, an average member of our audience tunes in for 3 weeks of content per month. Not too shabby if I do say so myself.
There's another couple quickie callouts I want to make as far as achievements go. First of all, we've officially reached a level of search engine optimization where a lot of AI are drawing from our site when it comes to answering questions about zoosexuality. I've seen screenshots from Copilot, GPT, and a couple other smaller ones all saying zoosexuality is valid as fuck, and if you look at the information that they're referencing it tends to be us. I honestly attribute a bit of our traffic to that. We've also been referenced by a number of other things as well! From various scientific literature referencing us, to less credited references like the ALDF podcast from a couple months ago. What I'm trying to say here is that we're not just growing for the fun of it. With our size we gain something much more important. Legitimacy. "Zoophiles exist" isn't a story people want to talk about, but "Zoophiles have a thriving community and are influencing the world around them" is something I think a lot more attention is going to be given to in the next year. 
We've also got one more Zooey Dot Pub thing that I haven't touched on yet: our Discord server! We've somehow managed to avoid getting banned another whole year! Our server is currently at 1,700 members, and we're expecting to definitely hit 2,000 by the start of 2025. I want to give special thanks to all the mods over there. Milk, Dogteeth, Kracc, Brass and the Madhu Crew. All of you are so important to the feel of that space. You're all so on top of things, much more than I am at times if we're being honest, and I don't know if I could ever possibly convey just how much I appreciate that. I really do think we've got something special in there. The vibes are immaculate, there's always something fun going on, and at this point we have a decent chunk of non-zoos in there too, who joined to troll or lurk or just see who zoos are, and now they have decided we're a pretty cool bunch to interact with. 
I also want to thank all our regulars who really are the lifeblood of that space. Without awesome people in the server keeping conversations going, there wouldn't be any reason to want to hang out there. It's legitimately so fun hanging out in there with you all, and outside of the personal satisfaction that I get from it I also just wanted to thank you on a more professional level, so yeah. Thanks!
I know this is starting to get like an award acceptance speech gone on too long, but there are three more people that I absolutely need to mention because without them none of this would be possible.
Firstly, Lykon. You all might not be too familiar with him, but Lykon is actually the person that came up with the idea of a zoo magazine! He's an incredible person with tons of really amazing ideas, and past that he was essential in helping set up the site in the first place. Lykon walked so we could write, and I very much appreciate him for it. 
I also want to thank Fawnly. They've been absolutely essential when it comes to helping us run all the technical mumbo jumbo on the back end. It's thanks to them that we have a dark mode on the website (and thank god for that), and they've become much more involved with a lot of other things going on as well. We've got some more features that they've been working away at that I'm really excited to share with you all in the future, but I just wanted to take a second to say that Fawnly is very deer to me (I would put a (colon three) emoji here but I had to promise to stop putting in emojis after last time, so please just imagine it). 
Last and absolutely not least is Alissa. It's hard for me to even find the words to describe just how amazing Alissa is. I legitimately would have given up ages ago if not for her. She's a source of so many great ideas, she has some amazing articles of her own, but also she's just so inspiring. The way that she lives her life so unapologetically and isn't afraid to chase the things she sees as important makes me want to chase alongside her. I doubt she sees it this way, but when I've been at my lowest in my zoo journey, she's always been the one to pick me back up and get me excited about the next step. I owe her everything and hey Alissa when you're reading this as you do every article I just want you to know that I have so much fun doing this whole magazine thing with you, and I couldn't have created a better partner to run this thing with if I got to awkwardly stictch together all of my favorite authors into some kind of Frankensteinian abomination. You're one of a kind and the fact that you choose to spend your time here doing this is amazing. Thank you. 
There's one last person that I want to thank, and if you've ever watched a Youtuber milestone video you know where this is going. It's you. Thank you very much! If you've made it this deep into this incredibly self indulgent article chances are you're probably part of our core audience, and so this paragraph is just for you. It's like a secret between us (nobody screenshot this and put it on social media). What's a magazine without readers after all? What's a Discord server without members? What's a movement without supporters? Being a zoophile can be really fucking hard sometimes. Not just because of the backlash. We live in a world that's actively hostile to the ones that we love. We have so much work to do to make things better for them. Sometimes it can be really overwhelming to think about. But I've met so many absolutely incredible people since I joined the community. We've got all the right ingredients here to change the world, all we've gotta do now is keep cooking. 
Thank you, dear readers, and we'll see you next week with two more articles!
Article written by Tarro on behalf of the ZDP team (June 2024)
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