The World's First Sober Social Network Turns 3

By Will Godfrey 10/07/11

Membership of "In the Rooms" has steadily multiplied in the past three years, despite initial predictions of its doom.

The power of numbers Photo via, the first and biggest sober social network in the world—and the only one that's unaffiliated with any other organization—celebrated its third birthday yesterday. But when we asked co-founder and CEO Ron Tannebaum how he was feeling, he said there was "no big fanfare," and exuded more of a sense of quiet satisfaction. "We are very happy we are still here," he told The Fix. He also has reason to be happy with the impressive growth of the site he co-founded with Ken Pomerance: "Before we launched ITR, everyone we spoke to said this would never work, that we would never reach 10,000 members, that people in recovery are not into the internet, were not reliable enough to depend on to come back to a site day after day." But not so: "Fast Forward to today, our third anniversary, we have 173,000-plus members in 111 countries." ITR also boasts the largest AA and NA groups in the world—over 77,000 and over 66,000 members respectively—and a new video meeting platform was used to run a virtual town hall meeting last month, which The Fix co-hosted. “We want people and their families to stand up and yell, ‘We are in recovery and we are proud of it!’’ Ken Pomerance told us, when we featured the network back in May. Members who were asked to post on what ITR means to them yesterday felt the same, and showed a palpable sense of gratitude: "I would never be sober today without ITR," was a typical statement. "My co-founder Kenny P and I are just living the dream and giving back to the global recovery community what was so freely given to us," Tannebaum told us, "the promise of being free of active addiction." Given all this, we feel that perhaps a little fanfare is justified.

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Will Godfrey is the former editor-in-chief of TheFix. He was also the founding editor-in-chief of, and previously co-founded a magazine for prisoners in London. His work has appeared in Salon, Pacific Standard, AlterNet and The Nation among others. He is currently the Executive Director at FILTER. You can find Will on Linkedin and Twitter.