In internet years, it’s an eternity, but
six long years ago today this little ezine was launched at a $6,000
function for about 150 people at the Imperial Hotel, opposite
Victoria’s Parliament House.

Having claimed to help bring down
Jeff Kennett on jeffed.com (RIP), Crikey was going to change the world,
free from interference by advertisers, proprietors, editors or even
lawyers.

The Dow Jones peaked at 11722.98 on January 14, 2000
and the NASDAQ reached its record 5048.62 on March 10, 2000, so
launching an ezine on February 14, 2000, was almost the exact apex of
the great dotcom bubble.

Our launch must have had some impact
because The National Archive immediately started collecting Crikey.
Check out what the website looked like on February 28, 2000, here. By jingo, haven’t we come a long way?

About
30 people paid the $30 to subscribe at the launch function and for the
first few months they simply got a $5 t-shirt and the occasional email
with some links to new material on the website. Christian Kerr, aka
mysterious Liberal insider Hillary Bray, was our biggest selling point
from the outset but within a year there was two writs, sod-all revenue
and $100,000-plus that had evaporated.

Ironically, it was the
legal stoush with shock jock Steve Price plus a series of big stories
in 2002, led by Hillary’s demolition of the Democrats, that finally put
us on the map with a sustainable future.

There is no doubt that
our sixth year has been our best – Crikey has evolved from a website to
an ezine with the nation’s most powerful email list which has doubled
in 12 months to more than 35,000.

A small stable of often unpaid
and anonymous contributors has become a large professional team,
consistently leading debate, breaking stories and entertaining tens of
thousands of Australians every day.

However, none of it would
have happened without our loyal army of readers who to this day remain
a vital source of information and inspiration. So how about a hot
birthday tip in the great tradition of Crikey. In thinking what to anonymously email through, the old sign-off springs to mind – Do Ya Best.

Stephen Mayne and The Crikey Team

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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