A List Apart turned twenty last week without any fanfare from what I can tell. No parades of accolades from old designers now turned executives, IPO millionaires, goat farmers, and those still doing the Lords’s work in the thick of it all. ALA turned twenty just like it did every other year, it published the next edition.
No matter what your experience is to ALA, we should all take a moment and consider this milestone for a moment. While publications are crashing all around (that pivot to video — pfffft). While journalism is currently in a fight for its existence. We should appreciate that an independent magazine focused on the advancement of a new medium outlived many other publications, digital fads, and horrible startups with budgets “ten-thousand-X” of what ALA has ever had to work with.
We have lost a few great publications of original web content in this time including High Five, Swanky, Dreamless, Feed, Suck, Digital Web Magazine, Hot Wired, k10k, The Fray, Gawker, and The AWL
The longevity of ALA is a testament to what can be done when you have a smart, talented, and humble publisher who puts the interests of the community-at-large over those of his own. Jeffrey Zeldman has — many times — passed on an easy sell-out for the sake of the readers, creating a lasting beacon, a shining resources for aspirational designers to hardened veterans to come together to share experience, knowledge, and opinions on the future of our medium.
Having said that, you can’t get to a publishing milestone of twenty years alone. Our community would not have an accolade like this to celebrate without all of the editors, writers, designers, and developers who gave a lot of their time and expertise to keep the magazine running like clockwork all these years.
Congratulations Jeffrey, nice work my friend! And thank you to Erin, Eric, Fred, Brian, Ethan, Ryan, Jason, Tim, Mike, Kevin, Sara, Jenn, Yesenia, Mica, Aaron, and so many others for your time and hard work publishing every issue all these years. I would not be where I am without A List Apart. It connected me to a community of folks that inspired me in so many ways to get to where I am today.
Here’s to another twenty years of ALA!
PS — Here is, to date, my only contribution to A List Apart. I’m still proud of it because the title cracks me up and I was able to bring something I learned studying advertising to the web.