InRO started, as an idea, in early 2007, when it went by a slightly different name and an acronym much too corny to reproduce here. Back then, InRO was to be the personal project of one aspiring film and music critic: A kid just out of high school, but gathering quite the cult following at the local Blockbuster Video where he worked, who wanted to create an outlet that would legitimize his voice more than just another Blogspot or a Tumblr would. By 2008, the first proper iteration (outside of a modestly patronized email newsletter) took shape in the form of a website hosted on the now-long-defunct iWeb platform. It became the perfect solution for someone with a background in graphic design but no formal coding skills whatsoever (at least, until Apple killed the app’s development outright and left InRO in a kind of painful backend purgatory for a few years, but we’ll save that for another time).
Also in 2008, InRO gained a co-founder: A salt-of-the-earth former potato farmer from rural Illinois, Luke Gorham became an essential foil to Sam C. Mac’s dilettante East Coast elitism, and a critical driver of the site’s ambitions in subsequent years, as InRO brought on more writers and expanded from its initial film-only focus to music criticism as well. [Editor’s note: Illinois is known for farming corn and soybeans, and Luke hails from a proud brotherhood of plumbers; we apologize for the obscene ignorance of InRO’s former EIC.] In 2019, Mac finally departed the Editor-in-Chief position that he held for an embarrassingly long period of time, and Gorham took the reins — which he still holds today! Over the years, InRO has been the temporary home of a lot of folks who’ve gone on to become renowned critics, editors, and programmers — Jordan Cronk, Calum Marsh, A.A. Dowd, and many others — and has continued to strive to keep reinventing itself, finding new ways to connect with its readers. That’s especially true of the outlet’s recent years, which have seen the site’s traffic and its volume of output both increase mightily.
That said, this new venture may be our most exciting yet. As of January 2023, InRO will be producing a weekly magazine of content, published each Friday (what can we say — we miss magazines). Some of the pieces therein will be published to the website across the following week, while other pieces will be reserved for Patreon subscribers for a period of time (don’t worry, it will all eventually be public after a short stint in the paywall ether). The goal is simple: our writers hustle and grind for love of the game, but we want to give our readers the opportunity to directly support them. Anything InRO earns from this venture will directly go toward compensating our writers and hosting costs for the platform, as well as affording the outlet the opportunity to source and accept more pitches. To begin, we’re offering 3 simple tiers of support: $1 per month lets us know you care; $3 per month lets us know you care and gets you immediate access to each Friday’s digital magazine; $5 per month lets us know you care more and gets you immediate access to each Friday’s digital magazine. Easy as that.
This coming week, as a belated holiday gift of sorts, we’ll be dropping our Top 25 Films and Top 25 Albums of 2022 (plus some Honorable Mentions) in our new magazine format as a preview of what’s to come. We hope it will give you an idea of where we’re headed in 2023 and inspire you to support us, whether via Patreon, social media evangelizing, or curated gift baskets. Thank you for your support these past 15 years, and we look forward to continuing to rock with you in 2023 and beyond.