Exponential Growth: ARMY Magazine’s Journey So Far and the Road Ahead
As we’re moving into summer, ARMY has a lot of events coming up. BTS is on tour, and Festa, BTSiversary, and ARMYversary will follow in quick succession. But for those of us on staff at ARMY Magazine, the end of this summer will be an important landmark for our team, specifically. In September, we’ll be celebrating the magazine's one-year anniversary, the first of the month being the release date of our original special edition which we created for Jungkook’s birthday exactly one year ago.
To say we’ve come a long way, both as an organization and as a team, since those early days is an understatement. When I joined the ARMY Magazine staff in late 2018, we were at under 5K followers on Twitter. We had only just decided to do monthly issue releases in hopes to expand the spectrum of content we deliver. Now, we have reached 20K followers just a few short months later.
Every new landmark we reach is exciting. Every time we see positive comments on our issues we’re motivated to do even more. Every issue shows growth in our team members from every department and function. Do we stumble? Certainly. Do we struggle? Of course. But, with each subsequent issue, we grow. We grow as a team in numbers and abilities. We grow as an organization - which includes not only the staff but also our readers.
It really is humbling to think about the number of people who read our magazine, those people who enjoy our content and comment on it and retweet it and talk about it. If we didn’t have dedicated people reading our magazine and opening discussions with us, we would be a ship with no wind in its sails.
Thank you for your support. It truly does mean a great deal to us that there are so many who come to us for all things BTS. We are so grateful for your constant engagement with us and your dedication to our magazine. Thanks to your support and dedication, we’ve expanded our platform to include a blog - thank you for visiting, by the way - and the content we cover in each issue.
We hope that you’ll stay with us as we continue to grow and continue to expand, bringing you what we hope will be exciting new things for you with each subsequent issue and post. As a special feature for reaching 20K followers, all of us on staff broke up into teams and discussed our favorite issues, reflecting on our past as we prepare to move forward. We’re stepping into the unknown, and we hope you’ll step with us!
Coming from the Design Team, this is a pretty significant choice - since it’s their job to take the rest of our work and make it beautiful! According to Eli, the Design Team manager, this was their most loved issue because “it was the most cohesive one.” The color palette, layouts, and articles meshed well together, creating one smoothly-flowing piece.
According to the Translation Team, this issue has a special place in the hearts of their team. “The HYYH edition brings up some old stories like BTS’ first win for I NEED U in The Show or their musical evolution; we love to recall the way BTS used to be, and see how they are and where they are now,” she says. “It’s really pleasant and fills us with pride to see their development and the way in which everything started to be better and new in different ways: their music, HYYH Universe, theories created, a different sound and of course, their first Daesang.” The team also recommends you bring some tissues with you when you check out this issue!
“First of all, Skool Luv Affair is one of my favorite eras,” says Avi, the only member of this team aside from the managers. “...I think our writers capture the message really well! I especially love the album analysis article because everything I feel about the album is written there! Second, and my main reason, is the design. The design is really, really, really pretty. I’m a big fan of pastel colors and I think the overall design really matches the album’s concept. This issue of the magazine looks like a school notebook!”
Social Media Team, Facebook Division
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe…
The Facebook division of our Social Media Team is a small division, with only three members at the time of this writing. With such a small pool, it’s not surprising that it was hard to find a majority vote. In fact, Miranda, the Facebook Social Media Manager, tells us each member chose a different issue: Skool Luv Affair, HYYH, and Re;view. The reason behind the choices, though, makes perfect sense. “For us, the issues we picked were because we learned the most about BTS at that time period. Each issue fits our style aesthetic,” Miranda said.
Social Media Team, Twitter Division
Lee from our Twitter team says, “I choose the 2018 Re;view issue because 2018 was my first year as an ARMY, but it was the year where the much-deserved accolades for BTS were finally beginning to be realize. Seeing that happen in real time was so unique! It’s a feeling I will never forget. My favorite part of 2018, of course, was the UN speech. The joy and pride that overflowed from ARMY that day was palpable even though we were all around the world in different time zones. The fandom just buzzed with emotion. For those 7 mins that RM spoke, our ARMY family collectively stopped, held our breath, and watched our men with pride and joy. And once that 7 minutes ended, the emotion just overflowed on our timeline It was a beautiful moment in time, and one I will hold in my heart forever.”
Nasty, Writing Team manager, explains the choice:
“While we got votes for every issue, Writing Team was, in the end, especially torn between HYYH and Dark&Wild. The former is the first issue we worked on - even before Jungkook's special edition, our first release - and the issue which gave us a great start. For these reasons, a lot of us are particularly fond of it. We obviously have our own favorite article for each issue, too. We love to write about topics such as youth, love in all its aspects, and the way our boys inspire and connect with us. So why Dark&Wild? During Dark&Wild era, BTS had their "American Hustle Life" experience, something that profoundly affected their personalities, mentality and that they still take with them. We too hope to take this experience with us always, as we reach even higher places, and become better and better for them and for you, our lovely readers.”
We don’t have one, either.
As the team in charge of plotting out the course of all our issues, this might seem like a cop-out. But in reality, we don’t have a favorite, because we haven’t found it yet. Every issue is bigger, bolder, and brighter. We keep improving with every plan we sketch out, with every spread we design, with every article we write. Every issue is our favorite, and yet none of them are - because the next issue might be our favorite instead. We’re still searching, still exploring what we can do and what we might become. Our new favorite might be just around the corner - come with us, and perhaps you’ll find your new favorite issue, too.
Written By: Anna Moon, Planning Team Manager
Edited by: Marcie Bridges