“Yeah, Rupert!!! Weeeeeee…. I’m hungry.” (AJ, slightly off-topic)

As you know, Ice Cream Man operates by the motto “For the fans, by the fans”, so we decided to give you an exclusive look “behind the scenes” of our website for this first edition of Grintastic!

All of us staffers are huge Rupert Grint fans from all over the world (in case you want to know more about us, go here) and all of us are doing this for fun.

This means we are forced to juggle working on the site with our private lives, which happen to include work/school and family, so occasionally one of us has to take a few days off because a kid is ill or because an exam is coming up.

It also means that we’re doing this not only for free, but actually have to pay for things like our host, new layouts, travels and also for some of those high-res pictures everyone enjoys most.

Being fans also means that we’re forced to switch between the fan-mode (“THUNDER THIGHS!!!”) and professional-mode (“Inquiry: Interview with Robert Sheehan”) when we are writing official emails while browsing the forums at the same time.

As all of us live in different places and time zones, we have the advantage that we can almost always have a staffer online; but it also makes things difficult when the person you desperately need to talk to is asleep.

When you’re a staffer, one of the most important things is, of course, posting news. So, whenever you’re online, you need to simultaneously
– check your emails regularly for “Submit News” emails,
– browse the forums,
– read the comments (in case someone posts news there,
– browse our partner websites, and
– google for news,
because you never know where the news might appear.

Once news come up (and it deserves a “New Post” instead of an “Update”), the panic begins (as Neglo put it once, “I was literally shaking when I typed that up!”). Sometimes, when we decide that a news piece is not too urgent, or needs checking, one staffer will prepare the draft and then someone else will take over and publish it later.

The staff exchange about 127 emails a day (!), not to mention PMs, text messages, and an occasional panicky phone call.

“Jo you made me a mod, I think. But I don’t see any of the controls or anything like that. What does the plus next to people’s names mean?” (Dove, on being a forum moderator)

Aside from that, we’re also busy reading the forum threads, posting ourselves and answering questions, PMing and giving out passwords. You all know how busy the forums are, so imagine you are almost obliged to read everything to capture news, keep track of discussion, calm people down, dismiss rumours, set things right, or try to help people find links or pictures. Sometimes you can even pick up ideas for things you might do in the future on the site (and be assured, some of things you are/have been talking about are currently in the process of coming to life).

ICM fan convention at the LA OotP premiere

ICM fan convention at the LA OotP premiere

Next are the regular updates on the site. These include: redoing the Gallery (which went slightly wonky during the Berlinale frenzy and eventually crashed a few weeks ago), updating the Rave Reviews (whenever a new review appears), updating the Media Section (and converting the files into different formats so that everyone is happy), keeping the pages on the main site up to date and making sure that the Rupert Facts now include Bill Murray as one of his favourite actors.

Our other sites also need to be up-to-date, so we regularly have to work on our three Myspaces (ICM, Cherrybomb and Wild Target), Live Journal, Facebook (shamefully neglected), and now even Twitter! And from time to time, we also post our news on Popstar (We should mention here that someone actually submitted our own Popstar post to ICM as a news tip… thanks for that!)

Then there are of course the “big events” we are working on, like the Cherrybomb screenings in Berlin, Dublin and Belfast, or the Preview of the Harry Potter Exhibition. That does not just mean booking the train/plane and getting a hotel, but also scheduling the time there, organising interviews (or filming location tours) and coming up with good questions, getting tickets and background information, having technical devices (camera, camcorder and dictaphone) at the ready, and making sure that the staff at home is up to spending the day online to post news and upload the images/videos as they come.

ICM girls in Belfast, with BLAG

ICM girls in Belfast, with BLAG

We have already started planning the Half-Blood Prince coverage, and with three events in three consecutive days, try to imagine our current dilemma of having “only” nine staffers to cover the Japan, London and New York premieres, plus having someone online 24/7. Any ideas? Help is always appreciated!

Furthermore, we are constantly working on new things. As you can see, we have now launched Grintastic, which has been in the works for exactly a year (lol, we’re slow!). Not only did we need a layout (and had long discussions about what it should look like), but we also had to decide what to include in the first issue, and finally write up the damn articles!

A number of other things are currently in the works, none of which we can talk about just yet. These are things that take time to be set up and need a lot of organisation on our part. We don’t want to rush them either, and with the “other things” going on, those new things sometimes do have to wait. Stay tuned, though, and you’ll be in for some surprises in the future.

“Karma is a b*tch.” (Ivana, re: someone-who-must-not-be-named)

To give you an impression of how we work, here are some scenarios that have happened in the past three months:

1) 6am, you have just gotten up to go to work and you go online before even taking a shower. Tired as you are, you check if any of the bands from the Cherrybomb soundtrack have replied to your emails yet, and there is indeed a message, from none other than David Holmes: “Call me tonight at 7pm Belfast time, and I’ll do your interview”. That’s less than 14 hours, and you’re gonna spend 9 of them at work. Send message to staff: “HELP! I need questions!”

2) It is 10am on a February morning, you’re in the middle of a hospital ward round with Senior and Chief Consultant. Your mobile beeps (embarrassing enough) no less than 3 times. All of them texts from Jo, who is trying to secure tickets for the Cherrybomb World Premiere:
Text No1: “Site’s down! Can’t order tickets!”
Text No2: “All sold out! Didn’t get tickets!”
Text No3: “DID YOU GET THAT!!!”

3) It is 10pm, February, and you have only slept four hours total for the past three nights because you were doing stuff for the site. Jo sends a message to all staff: “Unfortunately Rupert won’t be able to come to Dublin because he’s filming, but GUESS WHAT!!!! RUPERT JUST FINISHED A PHOTOSHOOT AND INTERVIEW!!! And we’ll get more information on that tomorrow, including a PICTURE!”
A few hours later (after almost no sleep due to excitement of the upcoming news), you’re at work. A helpful text from Jo, whom you had asked to text you about the news as soon as they come up: “THE PICTURE!!!” And this is supposed to help you spend the next five hours WITHOUT internet???

4) After a web-free weekend in April, you’re back online and read the exciting news Ivana posted: One of us has been invited to the Preview of the Harry Potter Exhibition! Michelle manages to get off from work, and see all those Harry Potter objects before anyone else. You’re tempted to jump across the Atlantic just to hug her for this amazing opportunity.
Then you read that Michelle wonders what to wear…

5) You’re at the Belfast Film Festival and have just seen Cherrybomb with the entire (well, almost) crew in the same room. In the foyer, the Cherrybomb crew is still around and you get to talk to David Holmes and Glenn Leyburn. Some minutes later, you leave the cinema about to burst with excitement, because David and Glenn have just invited you to join them at the private aftershow party. By 2am, you and the rest of ICM girls are in the middle of the Cherrybomb crew, dancing and singing: “Hello daddy, hello mum, Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-CHERRYBOMB!!!”

ICM_LAMany of you have little idea of all the hard work done behind the scenes, because you only get to see the final product after weeks or months of work. In a way, it feels weird, because you, as the members of “ICM Street Team” and “Rupert’s Army” contribute more than you might realise to help with what this site is, and what we have been able to do. That is why we owe you a big THANK YOU!

We hope you continue to enjoy visiting ICM, and any ideas, thoughts and criticism are always welcome.

Stay tuned for what’s to come, and don’t forget to Keep Calm And Carry On!

Your Ice Cream Team

This post was written by:

- who has written 16 posts on Grintastic Online.

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  1. Himera says:

    Karo, that was fantastic!
    Girls, you’re working so hard. Thank you for everything you’re doing for us and for Rupert!

  2. WJo says:

    This was so exciting and interesting to read. The amount of work and dedication you put in to the site is incredible! Good job girls, ICM rocks 😉

  3. Laura says:

    ICM rocks. Simple as that.

  4. Val says:

    Amazing Karo!!
    Im getting familiar with all of this and I totally love it!!!

  5. Carolyn says:

    This is hysterical. LOL! But really, I got stressed just reading that. You gals work so hard. Thank you!!!

  6. aquarian says:

    Madness within indeed! But we all appreciate your hard work so much. It was interesting to see what goes on behind the scenes, and I’m so anxious to see what’s to come in the next few months!

  7. Lilly says:

    Karo, this was amazing!
    I had an idea of how much work you should have, but reading this now I know why Tao gave to a future doctor a staff member status. 😀
    How much stress you may pass all the days, even more now, next a new premiere. Take care of your blood pressure, girls!
    I hope that Mr.Grint could read this himself just to make sure (again) how much he’s loved here, and well, “keep in touch”. 😉

  8. FugitiveStar says:

    I seriously don’t know how you guys do it. You must sleep two hours a night. All this and you still have to deal with “real life.”

    Have you guys all got Time Turners or something?

  9. Ronja says:

    my god you girls work so hard! =O I respect all the work you do for us, it’s amazing

  10. Sabine aka galadriel12 says:

    I already know you ladies were amazing and worked super-hard, but I didn’t really have an idea HOW overwhelming and stressful being a ICM staffer is. Thanks, Karo for sharing that with us. And it was wonderfully and humorously (sp?) written.

  11. LollaGrint'MRNS' says:

    that was awesome:D u work really hard karo , u and the other girls ! i wish i can do anythin’ to help:)..thanx for all u have done;
    all this is to our beloved Rupert:D

  12. Andrea says:

    Gosh, only reading this article makes me dizzy. You are all bloody brilliant!
    Thanks all of you for those huge effort and passion.
    Hugs and kisses! We always support you guys and our Rupert!
    Love XXX

  13. Mex-girl (Lau) says:

    OMG first of all congratulations for this new site is amazing, and thank you girls we really appreciate all your hard work, I had no idea. XOXO

  14. brittany says:

    i appreciated you girls and all the work you did. but my appreciation just went up about 4000 points. i wish i could be of help. thanx ladies. ya’ll are awsome.

  15. jesi says:

    “Ice Cream team” I love it! ^_^ Just wanted to give a shoutout to someone and hope she sees this… I haven’t been able to answer your email coz I’ve been sick then swamped with stuff, I’m terribly sorry.. but will get in touch soon =) great job here at ICM to the whole team =) congrats!!

  16. rOse says:

    WOW..you gals are so great..wish i could also attend the ICM convention of HP DH (if there is) though my country (Philippines) is a thousand miles away from yours…

    good luck..great job karo,,thanks for sharing it:)

  17. fernanda says:

    me hubiera encantado estar ai pero como soy de chile es muy dificil

  18. Amu says:

    Girls, you’re working so hard. Thank you for everything you’re doing for all of us and for Rupert! This is passion and dedication unlimited.

    If there is anything, anyway I can help please let me know! I would love to help in any possible way.


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