Ten years ago Hooping.org spun our way onto the world wide web and we’re so grateful to be celebrating our first decade online with a brand new site design and a relaunch. Can you believe we’re still here getting the world spinning ten years later? Happy 10th Hoopiversary everyone and welcome to Hooping.org 6.0 – now with bigger videos, bigger photos, a platform that translates well across all kinds of devices from your computer to your smart phone. Longtime readers will surely remember our online magazine years and with 6.0 we’re kind of going back to the roots we loved the most, only slicker and more solid than ever before. Thank you everyone for all of your love and support because we couldn’t have made this amazing milestone without you. After all, 10 years in real time is probably 80 online. I mean we were here before Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, even MySpace, so when we say we couldn’t have gotten this far with you we mean it with all of our hoop love filled heart.
Every two years we’ve made major changes and the Hooping.org 6.0 experience is pretty revolutionary. We’ve said farewell to our community groups and forums (for now) and all of the challenges and restrictions associated with keeping and maintaining them. Our larger visual content and our ability to be mobile are gifts that came from their loss. We’re also saying farewell to our Video of the Day, in favor of simply having all of the greatest hooping videos out there. So as we continue to scour the web so you don’t have to, you’ll be seeing a lot more from us sooner, faster, fresher. We’ve disolved our internal timeline so don’t be surprised if there’s fresh content going up even in the middle of the night. After all, we’re the world wide nexus point for hoopers around the globe with an international staff of amazing volunteers and it’s always daylight somewhere. And for those of you want to simply follow along with whatever is freshest our blog page will keep you right on track.
A little over ten years ago Jason Strauss handed me this awesome home-made hoop at a blogger party in Oakland, California. A DJ was spinning some terrific trance music and I hooped for the very first time, feeling the hoop circling my body to the beat of the music, watching the towering Redwoods and the stars above them, feeling as if this plastic ring was somehow connecting me to bigger things, yet all the while bringing me back into myself. Ariel Meadow Stallings and Vera Fleischer and I talked endlessly and we hooped the night away and when Jason offered to gift us hoops of our own, he did so on one condition – that we promised we’d make good use of them. I totally ad-libbed, “Well of course we’ll make good use of them Jason. Don’t you know Vera and I are the co-founders of Bay Area Hoopers?” Vera, right on cue, chimed in with, “Yeah, don’t you know we hoop every weekend in the park?” Amy Leblanc overheard this exchange and when she expressed interest in joining us, much to our surprise the world’s first hoop group was born the following day – and is still going strong.
After that first wonderful day spent hooping in the park I went home, got online and discovered very little information about this thing called hooping. I perused Jason’s Hoop Making Instructions, found a woman in Los Angeles named Hoopalicious, discovered that hooping had health benefits from Betty Hoops, and that’s just about where the trail ended. So I told my new hooping friends I was thinking about starting a website so that we could spread the joy of hooping to everyone around the world. And with their enthusiastic support I went home, bought this domain and ten years ago we launched.
Back in 2003 the site featured a simple hooping blog, a photo gallery that anyone could upload pictures to, community forums that soon became the nexus place for hoopers far and wide. People with names like Baxter, Spiral and Stefan found their way to Hooping.org and a real hoop community began to take shape. Thinking back on those days though I have to wonder if any of us really had any idea of where we were headed and all that was to come. Could anyone have guessed that we’d have our own special holiday, a film, Hoopcamp, Hoopie Awards, Hooping Idol… And yet, we now have all of that and so much more.
When I think back over all the spins and turns along the way I’m truly left with such a tremendous feeling of gratitude. I’m grateful for each and every one of you who show up here each day that are as enthused about this thing called hooping as I am. I’m grateful to have such a tremendous team of awesome people supporting the site who are as equally enthused about sharing that hoop love as I am. I’m grateful to have friends around the globe that I treasure deeply, that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and knowing online and off, all simply because of a plastic circle. It’s something that never ceases to amaze me. I’m grateful for all of you who have shared your photos, videos, tutorials and stories, grateful for our advertisers who truly keep this thing online and afloat, allowing us to remain a totally free service entirely owned and operated by and for hoopers. I’m especially grateful for people like Hoopsie Daisy and Bonnie MacDougall for so graciously giving of themselves here in an editorial capacity.
Over the years I’ve been fortunate enough to get to places where I’ve heard what Hooping.org has meant to you, but I rarely have the opportunity to take time out to simply say how much you all mean to me. So on Hooping.org’s 10th Anniversary and with the launch of Hooping.org 6.0 I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for joining me on this incredible ride and welcome you to a new experience. Thank you for ten magical and revolutionary years! You’re the most amazing community anyone could ever hope for.