The 'Shroom:Issue 200/The Countdown Ends
Wowee zowee! It's crazy to think that The 'Shroom has reached its two-hundredth edition. When Hooded Pitohui (talk), Waluigi Time (talk), and Meta Knight (talk) invited me to submit something, I had no other thought than to accept. Over the past few months, I've considered what to write. In the end, I settled on contributing something small but meaningful to me: my observations of The 'Shroom from when I joined to now.
When I first wrote for The 'Shroom in Issue XXVI (26) – which was released on May 12, 2009 – the newsletter was a much smaller operation. I had returned to the wiki just months after the proposal to abolish the newsletter failed; this was something still fairly fresh in the community's mind and motivated the Director to drive improvement. There was a smattering of "main" sections, Director's Notes, Fake News, and Fun Stuff. That's it. Although Palette Swap (originally "Music & Artwork," "Art & Music," and any variant thereof) and Pipe Plaza came a few months down the road, Critic Corner and Strategy Wing were still years away. The Core Staff was not yet an organized team; prospective writers were required only to slap their names on the sign-up and tell the Director that they were joining. In fact, the first-ever special issue had just been announced for August 2009 to coincide with the wiki's anniversary, but it was pushed back subsequently to line up with the more sensible milestone of thirty 'Shroom editions in September 2009.
Fast-forward to Issue 100, which was released on July 18, 2015. In the years leading up to it, The 'Shroom had undergone immense structural changes. By this time, the Core Staff was organized strongly and consulted the Director on all major decisions. Prospective writers had to follow the Manual of Style and submit an application for approval before signing up. The staff and public Sections of the Month sought to inspire writers to aim for excellence in their sections. The forum board – the main one under General Discussion – facilitated community-wide conversations, events, and activities. The unveiling of Strategy Wing in Issue 100 finalized the newsletter's current line-up of writing teams. The one-hundredth edition celebrated a gigantic leap in quality as well as several significant events including the thirtieth anniversaries of both Super Mario Bros. and Rare, the Super Mario Wiki's tenth anniversary, and the establishment of Playtonic Games. When I closed the special edition, I remarked, "good job, everybody – something amazing has happened here. This entire operation is something truly special, and we have shown our absolute best this month. . . . The countdown to the 200th edition... begins now!"
Now, the countdown ends. In the eight years that have transpired, The 'Shroom is as strong as ever, and the days of worrying about the newsletter's viability and sustainability are long gone. This volunteer project is magical because of those who have supported it throughout its existence: the Directors, staff members, writers, readers, and those who participate in 'Shroom-related activities. It has blossomed from a three-section news bulletin established in 2006 to an interactive multimedia project that sits at the core of the Super Mario Wiki community. Congratulations to the current team for not only keeping this tradition strong but also building on it in ways I never even imagined possible. The 'Shroom is in good hands, and Issue 200 is a testament to your dedication, creativity, and effort.
So now we wait for the next major milestone. This time, it's Hooded Pitohui's turn to kick off the official countdown.
Until next time,