I recognize that this headline could be seen as a bait-and-switch tactic, reminding me of that time I was working at the publishing company that also owned Publishers' Clearing House and that poor family had scraped together money for train tickets to NYC to arrive at our offices and claim their Ed-McMahon-promised $10,000,000 or whatever the amount was. But in this case, you actually DID win this thing! You are the BEST COMMUNITY ON THE WEB. Yes, you are. And I couldn't be prouder.
I also give a lot of credit to Madeline (who instagrammed our/your trophy here). She impressed me a ton as an intern way back pre-launch when she talked about what Twitter strategies she thinks are most effective on here and she's been the community and social media manager ever since (she now also manages xoJane's partnerships with other sites -- the ones in that scroll down and to your right).
Here's what Madeline says about you all: "Our approach to commenters definitely vibes with our overall editorial guidelines -- to let our commenters be themselves and do their thing. We like the comments sections to unfold naturally and honestly, and we don't want to interfere too much. The most we do is interfere when comments violate our very limited policy. I like to keep our community stimulated by letting them know what the top comments are each week. We have at least two articles a day that exist solely for commenters -- the Open Thread and You Are The Advice Columnist."
For my part, I LIVE in the xoJane comments section and you all constantly move me to laughter and tears and other less precise emotions. Like last night, when I was standing in the kitchen reading the first paragraph of a comment in this post and BAWLING/GUFFAWING/SNORTING/HYPERVENTILATING so much that Charlotte came running out of her room yelling, "What's wrong, Mom??" You do weird things to me every day.
I also don't know how to separate from you -- though I have worked on that and come to a better, healthier, less co-dependent place with it. The reason I now say I can't separate is that, as Madeline says it, "So many commenters become contributors and so many contributors turn into devoted commenters. The comments on xoJane are often just as good of a read as the articles they're found on. People come for the articles, and they stay for the articles AND the community."
I feel right now like this is the best award I've ever received and means more to me than an award for any particular story. It reminds me of looking at your kid's report card and how you care so much more about the notes on how they interact with others, their kindness, their fairness, etc, than about their grade in Humanities (no offense to Charlotte's stellar Humanities teacher, ANDREW!).
We have been through a lot as a community. We've had some breakups. Some of our exes are now seeing each other in their own exclusive relationships that we are not part of! And I love that!! I love it all!
If you feel like bragging about yourselves (and sorry about the 500+ words I just handed you), tell me/us below what you like most about the AWARD-WINNING xoJane community, i.e. you.