A Letter From The Editor: Booooooom Membership

Today we’re officially introducing Booooooom Memberships, and I want to explain what this means, and why we’re doing it. It might not seem like it, but this may be the most significant moment in the history of our site. To put it all in perspective, I want to talk a little bit about the past, the present and the future of Booooooom.


The Past

When I first started Booooooom in 2008, I was freelancing as a graphic designer and living the good life aka living at home with my parents. I was creating things for various brands during the day and then working all night on the blog, as a hobby. What I loved about it was it gave me a reason to reach out to artists I admired, and I could actually give them something. I would send several emails each night saying something like “Hey I love your work, I made this post about you! If you have other friends making work let me know who else I should feature!” I was really naive about it, and I think that’s why it worked. Even really high profile artists would respond to my emails because they could tell I was genuinely excited about what they were doing, and I wasn’t asking them for anything.

It didn’t take long for the blogging to become more fun than the designing, but not because I stopped liking design work (I had great clients), I just loved spending all my time connecting with people. It was also really exciting to find unknown artists and shine a light on them, and I became kind of addicted to the whole process. I decided I would stop doing everything else and focus all my attention on Booooooom. Pretty soon after that the site exploded—traffic started to come from all directions. Kanye had a blog at the time and was reposting Booooooom content, images were regularly hitting the front page of FFFFOUND, and waves of visitors were coming in each week from a platform called StumbleUpon. This was me, around this time. The site grew quickly and became the highest-traffic art blog in Canada, and one of the most prominent on the Internet.


The Present

It’s crazy to think that I’ve had this job (a job I just sorta made up) for an entire decade. There’s a very talented team that works with me on Booooooom now, and together we’ve published an unparalleled collection of over 12,000 articles mostly featuring unknown and emerging artists from around the world! We’ve helped connect artists with galleries and festivals and commissioned creatives to work with us on campaigns for global brands. I feel extremely proud of the exposure and opportunities we’ve given these young talents, and would love for Booooooom to continue on for another ten years. It’s not quite that simple though. The Internet is changing rapidly and if we want to survive we have to change too.

You may have noticed many of your favourite publications becoming more and more like Buzzfeed-style “news” sites. Everywhere you look: Memes, and lists, and click-bait content. The reason this is happening is a combination of publications relying on revenue from banner advertising to survive (site traffic = money) and the fact that most people are consuming content through sites like Facebook. It’s a scenario that gives social network newsfeeds and algorithms (which can be skewed by paying money) a lot power to decide who succeeds and who fails, and which publication’s articles are worthy of being seen and which aren’t. The loudest voices, the people with the most money to spend on boosting, will always win. It actually encourages and rewards publishers that promote click-bait content. Publishers playing this game ultimately lose their identity and their once-engaged readers become passive ones.

We don’t want to become another viral content site chasing likes and reach on social media to survive. While everyone is making their content more broad to bring in enough traffic to feed their banner advertising, we want to do the opposite. We see this as an opportunity to make our content even more focused, even more relevant for our audience—and specifically our core audience, our OG users. We don’t care about likes, we care about loves. We want to be a platform that our audience loves—a site that serves them, and helps them get to the next level, whatever that may be. A paid membership allows us to do these things. Free of the pressure to appeal to a mass audience just to hit a certain number of page views to survive, we can focus on quality content that feeds and benefits our community.

So how’s this going to work? First off, we’re not going to put up any paywalls for our daily site content. Our archive of 12,000+ articles will continue to be free and accessible to everyone. Now there are two options for people who want to take this next step with us:


Booooooom Members

Art-creators who want to submit work and get feedback.

($5/month or $50/year)

Unlimited Submissions — Members can publish their work to our Submissions platform as often as they like! The best work submitted here is selected by our staff for our Editors’ Picks, Artist Spotlights and other editorial features. This is how our members promote themselves to our global audience.
Creative Grants & Commissions — We will be offering creative grants as well as opportunities for commissions which all members will be eligible to apply for.
Private Slack Community — Connect with our community of creatives and art-lovers for advice and support. This is also where you’ll be able receive personal feedback on your work, share ideas, participate actively in discussions and AMA’s, etc.
Exclusive Content — Access guides, resources and tips for reaching your creative and professional goals.
Discounts and Perks — Receive discounts on products in our shop and special deals through our various partners.

Member Sign-Up


Booooooom Supporters

Art-lovers who want to support and be actively involved in the community.


Private Slack Community — Connect with the rest of the Booooooom Community and actively participate in creative discussions, AMA’s and give feedback.
Discounts and Perks — Receive discounts on products in our shop and special deals through our various partners.
Supporter Shoutouts — We’ll shout you out in a monthly post! A small (but extremely heartfelt) way of expressing our thanks because we really couldn’t be doing this without you!

Supporter Sign-Up


The Future

A week and a half ago I got married in Hawaii, and a bunch of my friends at the wedding were people I met because of Booooooom. This site has connected me with so many amazing people and work opportunities over the years. One of my goals moving forward is to help facilitate similar connections for you guys. In the coming months I’ll be devoting a lot of my time to really getting to know our members and supporters. I’ll be hanging around on Slack and will be available to chat about your work, get your thoughts on the direction of the site, and hopefully help connect you with other members. I’ll be doing my best to make sure each membership is a worthwhile experience. This is a big shift for Booooooom, and I’m really excited for what comes next!


— Jeff Hamada, Editor-In-Chief


Related Articles

Secret Email Club

If you’re not a member of our Secret Email Club you’ve been missing out on a whole lot of stuff that we don’t post on Booooooom!