[SOUNDSTAGE!] Marc Mickelson is the
Editor-in-Chief of SoundStage!
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Monthly Editorial by Marc Mickelson
December 2002

A Little Reminiscing

The end of each calendar year signals a special time for us here at SoundStage!. It marks the anniversary of our beginnings as an entity as well as the coming of the CES, which is the event around which the high-end-audio industry revolves. And these two things -- the creation of SoundStage! and the CES -- have become intertwined for us, as we've changed the way people around the world read about high-end audio and the way show coverage is done.

I remember my first correspondence with Doug Schneider. I was working as a technical writer and came across SoundStage! while surfing the 'Net one day at the office. At that point, the site was the equivalent of a handful of typewritten pages, and the soundstage.com domain was owned by someone else. But I read what was online, liked it, and wrote to Doug to ask about writing for the site. In those days, interest alone was enough to make you a SoundStager, and I certainly had that, having built a very good audio system from components that I thought deserved some added exposure -- the motivating force for many audio reviewers.

I submitted my first article, and a short time after that, I volunteered to copy edit the increasing number of articles we were publishing. SoundStage! grew steadily after that and finally got to the point where Doug and I had to try to make it into something more than a hobby or shut it down completely because the demands on our time were too great. As a stroke of luck would have it, this occurred just as I was getting ready to move across the US, and Doug came up with the idea of me becoming the editor of SoundStage!, at the time our only website. I agreed. That was in August of 1998.

Doug is quick to point out that the first real-time coverage of a trade show was done by Tyll Hertsens of HeadRoom in 1997. In 1999, I lugged my Toshiba computer and monitor from my home in Arizona to Las Vegas and we produced our first exhaustive live CES report. After that, we realized that laptops were necessary tools for show coverage, and we've lugged ours through airports ever since.

The 2000 CES was the show at which almost all of us were stricken with a wicked flu bug. I distinctly remember being sick and dead tired after a long day of walking the show and taking notes. We had dinner that night with Tyll Hertsens, and I put my head down on the table to rest. I awoke in the same position when I heard somebody near me ask "Should we wake him up?" I was asleep longer than I thought -- through our entree course at the Indian restaurant we were visiting.

Many interesting things have happened while we have worked to cover shows, but most encouraging to us has been the ever-growing popularity of our live coverage. For the week of CES, we will get over 100,000 visits to our show site, and we expect that this number will continue to climb steadily as more and more audiophiles come online. In fact, if we don't have our daily updates online soon enough, you write and let us know that you're waiting.

Over the course of time you've seen SoundStage! grow and the SoundStage Network come into being. You've seen our staff grow from additions and shrink as writers have moved on. Through it all, you have expressed your gratitude for what we do, and above everything else, this has kept us going, even when we're dead tired in Las Vegas but know you're waiting to read about what we've dug up. Thanks to you, SoundStage! has made it to eight years, and we look forward to many more.

...Marc Mickelson

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