In 2006, when we started this site, we were just…having fun. Our aim to support entrepreneurs and the cool things that women were making and sharing online was serious, but the way we originally built our site was kind of hilarious.
It’s not our fault entirely that for a category name, we referred to kids’ clothes as kidduds (it sounded funny to us at the time) or that we have post urls in our archives like mompicksprod.wpengine.com/please_hold_this_post_for_something_good_liz. We were making it all up as we went along; but really, we never could have imagined that we’d have more than 7,000 posts one day. Or that anyone out there would ever actually want to search for one of them!
We also couldn’t have imagined that we could have found so many absolutely brilliant contributors who really care about the quality of their writing and the integrity of their recommendations. Or that there’d be something called social media and our readers would ask for big, pretty pictures that they could “pin.” And we certainly couldn’t have imagined that millions of readers a year would come visit us here. No way, no how.
In fact, we vividly remember doing a huge happy dance the day our Sitemeter showed that we had hit 1,000 visitors, several of whom weren’t even related to us.
If we could have seen the future from the beginning, we wouldn’t have named our site Cool Mom Sh*t which, yes, was the original name of our site for about 48 hours.
Then we realized it looked like “cool moms hit” in the url (among other issues, of course).
[See, we weren’t joking!]
You can learn more about that one of these days (when we’ve gotten a little more sleep) from Kristen’s fabulous TedX talk about how our site started–scary logo and all–and why mothers reinventing themselves has been the key underlying theme of this site since 2006.
[We weren’t kidding about the ugly logo.]
So now, here we are again. Reinventing.
We get super emotional when we think about all of it, as you can imagine. (Deep breath, fanning eyes with fingertips…)
So, today is the day that our site grows up, just like our readers have. We wanted Cool Mom Picks to have a look befitting of the tireless effort that so many incredible people put into it each week. We know some of you won’t like it; you’re entitled. We have trouble with change too. Hey, we’re still insisting on having a blogroll, old school style. (Scroll down to the bottom of the page. There it is!)
More so, we wanted to make our categories seem like they were not created and organized by monkeys. We wanted a search function that actually works. (More than you can imagine!) We wanted more space for content and less for blinky banner ads. And above all, we really wanted to give more credit to our writers with more prominent bylines so you know a little more about each one of them on every post. They deserve a whole lot of kudos in this age of keywords and SEO and gratuitous traffic-baiting Kardashian references, because these mamas are the real deal. They care about the quality of their writing. They care about signing their names to products and features that they can really stand behind.
(Pass the Kleenex again, please.)
Now we have a site that does all these things.
Yes, there are some bugs. Hey, what would a relaunch be without bugs? You might see some pictures double up or a dead link somewhere, and we’re working on that. But overall, we really really hope you like our new look and feel, and we hope it makes it easier for you to enjoy what we do here.
And hey, if you find some crazy error or something else we should know about, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org any time. You can also write us to tell us you really like it. Just saying. Either way, it helps us make our site better.
Thanks so much to every one of you. We feel like through Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest, through the comments here and the nice emails you send us every day, we’ve gotten to know so many of you. You really are the coolest. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.
-Kristen Chase + Liz Gumbinner
Much-Deserved Credits: A huge thank you to Jon Armstrong, our brilliant content strategist and developer who is officially an honorary cool mom after all his tireless work. Even if he’s really a cool dad. We’re so lucky to have found him. Thank you to our chic-geeks-behind-the-scenes Jaelithe Judy and Kari Dahlen whose brains need to be preserved for science. Thanks to Julie Marsh who has been with us since the beginning, keeps Kristen and Liz sane, always has time to smile and say something nice, and yet is probably too busy working to even read this right now. And of course, thanks to our content editor Jenn Mattern and each of our truly phenomenal editors and writers for bearing with us as we changed the launch date oh, six times. No thanks to Mercury which went into retrograde at totally the wrong time.
Update: We know a few posts are missing and our share buttons sort of…come in and out, and we’re working on it! Meanwhile if you read us through RSS please update your Cool Mom Picks RSS feed to the right address. Thank you, the tired management.