Our site has been around for barely one day, and the response has been extraordinarily strong and enthusiastic.
We launched quietly — no press conference, no traditional advertising campaign. We had been running the site without making it visible beyond our own staff for a while, and then overnight Tuesday-Wednesday, we simply went “live” without fanfare.
Our first wonderful bloggers (you’re welcome to join them), who had posted material on the site even though they knew nobody would be able to read it right away, were central to spreading the news initially that we were out there. And as the sun rose over wintry Israel on Wednesday morning, our staff began emailing and Facebooking and tweeting and doing all the things you couldn’t have done a decade ago to get the word out, and the effect was instantaneous.
Traffic in the first 24 hours was truly remarkable, with unique users on the site well into five figures. And the reception — the tweets and the FB posts and the comments posted on my own introductory article and other content — was overwhelmingly positive. For much of Wednesday, there was a fresh tweet enthusiastically linking to our site from someone, somewhere, almost every minute.
As I’ve said in that first article, the site itself — the platform our design and development team built for us — is truly a work of elegance and functionality, real Internet art. It means that our content displays very effectively, and an appreciation of that has been a feature of this initial, so-positive response to our site.
All of that, of course, is just day one. All of us here are, frankly, somewhat staggered by the speed with which word has spread, and especially by the warmth of the welcome — which has also included coverage in Israeli Hebrew, Israeli English, and overseas news reports, on TV and on the radio.
We’ll now be working to meet the high expectations — to do justice to our goals and to the evidently immense interest in The Times of Israel.
Twenty-four hours in — okay, a little more now, since all kinds of news has been unfolding while I’ve been writing this — let me just end with a “thank you.”