The first reviews were written solely by Brad from CDs we had purchased ourselves. I wrote a few after awhile, but Foxy D was really Brad’s baby. The website was designed and built entirely from scratch, and each review page had to be built separately – all work that Brad did.
It took a few years before we found anyone else who was willing to write reviews.
At some point, I started to have to keep track of writers and the albums we sent them. At first, we had a few piles with each writer’s name on them. Then, we got a mail sorter. We outgrew the mail sorter in about 2008 – we had too many writers and got too many albums in the mail. Now, we have about 40 regular writers and at least 10 more occasional contributors.
Along the way, the website got more sophisticated, though it may not have been obvious to everyone else. We went from building each page individually to putting them in a database to using WordPress. Each step made things a little easier, and the last step achieved a goal that we had had for a long time but hadn’t been able to achieve before: giving the writers more control.
We may have started Foxy D as Brad’s project, but as more writers joined the team, we began to realize that it was more than Brad and I. The music community was what made it special. The musicians were already a well-known part of the community, and Foxy D helped to make label owners better-known, but Foxy D also made the third pillar of the community – the fans – more visible. Because that was where the writers came from: they were all fans first. If they hadn’t already been going to the shows, buying the albums, and doing everything else they could to support the community, the community would not exist. To give them a voice and a face through music reviews would help bring that full circle, and maybe even inspire others to support the community too.
And that’s where we stand now. Several people have told Brad and I how important Foxy D is to them, but he and I aren’t Foxy D anymore. The writers are.
In the past year, Brad and I celebrated our 10th anniversary. Digitalis has become more than we ever imagined it could, I have graduated from college, and we’re about to embark on a new adventure: parenthood. Thinking back over the trajectory of Foxy D, and forward towards our own future, we realized it was time to let go. That was the only place left to go. The writers have been doing a fantastic job, with very little direction from Brad and I. They have really made Foxy D their own. Their voices have become the voice of Foxy D.
So even though the website won’t be updated anymore, and even though we won’t be the nominal heads, I don’t doubt that Foxy D will continue. It will simply continue in a different form – hopefully (and I thoroughly believe) an even better one.