What a Year It's Been

On December 29, 1999, when most people were worrying about whether the Y2K bug would spell the end of the world, we were more focused: we simply worried about whether our newly-leased computer server would blow up. That was the day a dozen of us stood around a keyboard, typed in a command, pushed the 'Enter' key--and made Beliefnet live to the world.

We've been reminiscing a lot lately--about all the building laws we violated by cramming nine people into an office meant for two; about frantically deleting the Chinese pornography videotapes that almost snuck their way into the Beliefnet e-store because at first blush their titles sounded Buddhist; about that guy who worked in the tech department who carried a big knife.


But our fondest memories are about the early days when


started showing up. For us, the real excitement came when "real" users (as opposed to our parents and college friends) arrived not just to read our articles but to talk to each other--and create prayer circles and memorials and use the meditations, and question our advice columnists. It was when Beliefnet became a community.

So on our one-year anniversary, we want to especially thank and honor those of you who have come to the site and participated. For old time's sake, we recently asked message board users to name the most interesting discussions--

and these are the ones you chose.



It's not to late to add your two cents.

It's really hard for us to fully convey our gratitude to all who have made this year possible. We're grateful to the investors who kept our doors open, to our advertisers, and to the many columnists and writers and artists who have contributed.

Or look at the



gratitude journals

, and you'll see people with a laser-like ability to remain focused on what's truly important in life.

I'm often asked, what do people do on Beliefnet? This being the web, the pattern is different for everyone. Some people treat Beliefnet as if it's a single-faith site, going, for instance, into the Catholic area, reading the articles, talking to other Catholics, setting up Catholic prayer circles. Others supplement their dominant faith with information from other parts of the site. And still others have no allegiance to one approach and are genuinely sampling a bit from each platter on the buffet line. Some use it to get information; others to get inspiration; others to get direct spiritual nourishment. (Our guided meditations are among our most popular features.) And a host of others use the site to share their faith--and their doubts and questions--with others.

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Steven Waldman
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