Courtesy of Curtis Pharmacy

Site Stuff: Bringing more analysis, columns is the goal

I’ve long believed that, whether they agree with them or not, people like to read and listen to the opinions of others. We like to argue — or sometimes think — and things that challenge us to do so are more engaging. After all, you can read the final score of a game in the box score. But the why or how that happened, that’s something you can’t get everywhere.

At least that’s what I’ve always been told and have felt. That’s what brought many of you here to DKPittsburghSports.com. You wanted to read Dejan Kovacevic’s columns. The rest of the coverage was a bonus.

But we’re always trying to be better. Be more engaging. Be more innovative. In many cases, we’ve succeeded. But that sometimes also means trying something different or ambitious and finding it doesn’t work.

So, for those of you who have been paying attention, you probably noticed we didn’t have a Midweek Reader two weeks ago, but did have a very good feature by Lance Lysowski in Bradenton, Fla., this past week on the Pirates’ young starting pitchers. It also had a new title: “In-Depth.”

That’s what we’re trying to achieve with that. We want to get more in-depth with those kind of features and bring you something special. But sometimes, it’s just not possible on a weekly basis. So we’ve decided to cut them back to a once-per-month thing.

That doesn’t mean we won’t still give you feature stories or analysis you can’t get elsewhere. We still plan on doing that, as well. In fact, it frees the staff up to do even more of that.

And, hopefully, that staff will soon be a little larger. While we have not yet made a hire for someone to cover Pitt, we’re in the process of getting that done. With the Panthers struggling mightily — I witnessed it with my own eyes Tuesday night against Boston College — we didn’t want to rush to make a hire. We want to make sure the person we bring in for that position is the right fit. You understand.

In the meantime, Dejan has been freed up to give you more of what you want — his columns — with additional columns by myself and others also sprinkled in. We started it back in November with our game stories that aren’t game stories as much as the thoughts of our reporters on site on the hows and whys of the games. And we’re going to continue to build upon that.

THAT VIDEO BOX

If you visit our site from a desktop or laptop, you might have noticed a new display box at the top right corner. It serves two functions, one as a way to anchor our regular weekly features and give them a little longer life, the other to display silent video ads.

Our venture has been based on both subscriptions and advertising from the very beginning, much like newspapers, magazines and other media ventures. The balance is needed because our subscription prices are still so much lower than everyone else’s. We like it that way, and we’re always working to keep it that way.

That said, the priority is, and always will be, your experience on the site. We will never accept any ads that pop up, cover your screen in any way, or autoplay with sound. A bad ad sometimes sneaks in there, so I really appreciate when you guys bring it to our attention. — Dali Kovacevic

PUSHING THE APP

We’ve been working for a while on a new promotion for the Apple and Android apps, and our Chris Benson produced this fancy ad that we’re showing in several paid locations:

If you haven’t downloaded your app to go with your subscription, tap one of those big buttons just below. — Dali Kovacevic

ANDROID UPDATED

There’s a new build for our Android app that’s been released. Tap the big Google Play button below to update yours, and we’re confident you’ll see a marked improvement in performance. The spinning circle is gone, the pages load much faster, other elements were upgraded, too. Also, after an extensive meeting with our developers yesterday at the offices, we’re taking broader steps to continue improving the overall site/app experience. – Dejan Kovacevic

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BACK TO BUSINESS

• Subscriptions are at 38,484. That’s a decrease of 33 over the past week.

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