4Chan creator Chris Poole (known on the site as Moot) has issued a rare status update in the wake of his site's billionth post, revisiting the site's history and discussing its future. Besides numerous server changes and a 2010 battle with spam, the site has faced major distributed denial of service attacks, leading to the changes he discussed last month. Poole says that he still doesn't run 4Chan "in a way that any sane business person would," but a 2009 advertising deal apparently allowed the site to start breaking even, though it's unclear if that's still the case.
We've also gotten a look at some site numbers. So far this year, 4Chan has had 134 million unique visitors (compared to 190 million for all of 2011) and has been visited by 500 million people since 2008. It's served 4.5 billion pageviews so far this year, 7 billion in 2011, and 7.5 billion in 2010 (though it only had 130 million unique visitors that year.) Meanwhile, he's given talks at ROFLCon and met in person with 4Chan members, who he calls "awesome."
Now, Poole is also making a concerted effort to engage visitors online as well as off. In the post, he announced a new /q/ board, meant for discussion of the site and regular question and answer sessions with administrators. He's also opening applications for "janitors," demi-moderators who can view complaints and delete posts but not ban users. Overall, it sounds like there's going to be greater overall emphasis on making administration transparent and responsive. Despite spending his entire adult life running 4Chan (which he started at age 15), Poole has posted only one other official news update since 2008, so we'll see if this marks the start of a new era.