Q & A: Dale North
Dale North was animeOnline's Associate Editor. Before jumping on the animeOnline bandwagon, Dale was an active editor/blogger on Destructoid/Japanator/NextLust. Aside from being an avid anime fan, blogger, and news editor, Dale is also a singer, songwriter, composer, gamer, frequent traveler, and, according to his old profile, a lifelong insomniac.
Please introduce yourself
Dale North: My name is Dale North, I am a freelance writer and musician. I was an associate editor for animeOnline.
How did you end up working for animeOnline?
Dale: The Editor-in-Chief, Rob Bricken, found my work via the internet, on the Japanese culture/anime blog Japanator.com. He called me, asked if I wanted the job, and hired me right away.
In your opinion, what was animeOnline's goal? What were you trying to accomplish?
Dale: animeOnline set out to be the first 'homebase' for anime fans, providing them with news, entertainment, and networking all in one site.
Some say animeOnline is owned by FUNimation, how did the deal work?
Dale: animeOnline was not owned by FUNimation. It was owned by Navarre, the parent company of FUNimation. FUNimation had almost nothing to do with our day-to-day operations.
animeOnline opened to the public in February, how long was the site in development before then? Were there any drastic changes made to the site before it went public?
Dale: I was not involved with the development before February, but I believe that work went on even a year before that.
animeOnline was the first major anime social networking site to debut in the U.S., what do you think of the reactions and coverage the site received? Did everything go according to plan? What worked and what didn't?
Dale: I felt that the reactions were very positive. I was linked to reactions and blog posts from all over the internet, and all seemed to be behind what was going on. I believe that animeOnline was well on its way, and may have become pretty big. Things ended far too early to judge what was or was not working.
Was there any major obstacle you encountered?
Dale: None, other than the closing of the site ;)
Tell us what's a normal day at animeOnline for you, how do you work?
Dale: animeOnline's writers worked in shifts, and my coverage began early morning. I would gather news from releases and other outlets to report on the site, much like any other news writer.
What's one part of the site you're most proud of?
Dale: The magazine style features were a great idea. You see very little of that on the internet today, and I think there's room for more of that. Also, the interviews with industry people, bands, and so forth were great.
Why was animeOnline suddenly shut down, what happened?
Dale: Parent company Navarre decided to pull the plug on the site for reasons that are still unclear to me. I would love to know exactly what happened, and how the decision to cancel something that just started came about.
According to the official announcement, this is the end of the Beta stage of the site; will there be a day when the site "officially launches"?
Dale: I don't know anything about a site re-launch. The announcement on the web page came as a surprise to all of the writers. Here's to hoping that we hear something about that.
What's your advice to someone who wants to start their own website, or, dare I say, a social networking website?
Dale: I'm not sure that I have any good advice for starting a site. I guess I'd say that you'd want to make sure that the rug does not get pulled out from under you right after you get started.
What does the future hold for Dale?
Dale: I have been a writer for the Destructoid network for some time. When Rob hired me for animeOnline, I had to cease writing for their Japanese blog Japanator due to a conflict of interest, but I continued to write for their gaming community site, Destructoid. From the very instant I stopped writing for animeOnline, I resumed my job as an editor at Japanator.
Destructoid is one of the largest gaming blogs on the internet, with over 2.5 million monthly readers. I am an associate editor, and I report news daily. I am also an editor Japanator, the anime/manga sister site. It is rapidly growing with readership numbers on par with what animeOnline's numbers were. This site is currently undergoing a remodel/upgrade for a relaunch.
What are some of the websites you visit everyday? Share your bookmark with us!
Dale: Since most of my morning is spent reading press releases and tips, I'm afraid that I don't surf much. When I do, I find that I check out smaller, less 'official' blogs like JapanSugoi, ikimashou.net, HiroIro, Fuckedgaijin, Siliconera, Wired's Gamelife, and the like.
Dale: Anime: I think School Rumble has moved up to take that position now. Manga: Yakitate Japan.