Letter From The Editor: Let's Talk About The Next Five Years…
The War Zone turns five years old today! What a ride it has been. Now we want to hear from you about what you want from us over the next five years.
I didn’t even realize it until some folks on Twitter reminded me, but The War Zone turned five years old today. It seems like it has been so long, yet so short at the same time. In a media environment where it seems every outlet is on the ropes, I am so proud to say that TWZ—always the little afterburning jet engine that could—has never been more stronger. Our team is growing, as are the military publications in our company’s network. I have been spearheading that effort as our Military Vertical Strategy Lead. But what I am most proud of is the small and hard-charging team we already have.
Joe Trevithick has been with me for four of the five years the site has existed. We have gone through an immense corporate rollercoaster ride in the process, and he never blinked. Today, Joe serves in a Deputy Editor role, supporting virtually every piece of content we publish. Thomas Newdick is our newest addition and has come incredibly far in learning our massive back catalog and the background on the huge variety of topics we cover, including the sea, air, land, space, and cyber domains of warfare.
Our contributors are also amazing, giving us their unique subject matter expertise and conveying their firsthand experience in their own colorful voices. I am also happy to announce that our team will be growing soon. We are hiring a Managing Editor to work alongside Joe and hopefully, adding more team members in the future while also expanding our unparalleled contributor network.
While we all try to put the best program together for you on a daily basis, The War Zone is ultimately about our faithful readership. I am elated every single day that we have such a large, dedicated, and engaged audience. This year, TWZ is slated to do well over 100,000,000 page views, and a disproportionate amount of that traffic is loyal returning readers who hit our homepage daily for our unconventional and in-depth views on military technology, strategy, and how it all impacts geopolitics and the world around us. In a world where too many outlets aim for drive-by social traffic, fleeting viral junk and search-gaming garbage, we’ve built something real and sustaining.
The core of that group is our commenting community. They have stuck with me through thick and thin and they make this place so lively, funny, and insightful. I often hear from readers, "Hey, love the site, and you know what? I actually love the comments too! I read every one of them." That is an incredibly rare thing. What an accomplishment to be proud of for all those who partake in our unique little club of sorts. I know I am.
We have good news on that front too! Our new community manager has joined the team. Kyle Gunn comes to us from the Zero Dark 30 podcast, and here he’ll serve as our Military Social Media Editor and Community Manager. I interviewed him on Zoom and the first thing I saw was a Stinger surface-to-air missile hanging on a plaque on his wall. It was a done deal from that moment on. Kyle was a Marine with short-range air defense (SHORAD) experience, so he will fit right in here. Over the coming weeks, he will get more and more involved in the commenting community. Make sure to give him a warm welcome!
With all that being said, I want to hear from you! What do you like, what don't you like? What do you want to see us cover more or less of? What type of folks should we hire? What segments would you enjoy seeing on the site? What about a podcast? If so, what type of format?
Bottom line, how can we improve? What would excite you to see happen here at TWZ? Let us know in the comments below.
Above all else, thank you so much for continuing to support our operation. We are all intimately aware of how lucky we are to have the amazing audience we do.
To the next five years!
Author's note: Top shot was taken by our friend, TOPGUN RIO, and author extraordinaire, Dave Baranek. It's maybe my favorite F-5 pic of all time.
Contact the editor: Tyler@thedrive.com