Courtesy of Curtis Pharmacy

Site stuff: Who’s buying the Java?

With all of our organizational focus in February and March so far spent on long-term planning and budgeting, it left me no time to focus on selling sponsorships.

With all of our organizational focus in February and March so far spent on long-term planning and budgeting, it left me no time to focus on selling advertising and sponsorships.

Not that I do a ton of selling. We have a finite amount of inventory, and we’re very fortunate to have amazing partners who’ve been with us for years. And really, most of our partners started as subscribers who reached out to us, and my role was basically to customize packages that served their specific needs.

OK, so this isn’t selling, either, but I do want to call everyone’s attention to one signature advertising opportunity that might be a great fit for your company: Morning Java.

Remember this setup below from our very first episode Nov. 20, 2014?

Those of you who have been with us since the original year will remember that Dejan was the entire editorial operation and that Java wasn’t much more than him talking to himself once a week standing in front of his desk in our basement. Meanwhile, I was trying to hold the phone steady and create interesting camera angles, miserably failing at both. So much so, that my brother- and sister-in-law spent the entire holiday trip to Pittsburgh that winter — they both work in TV production in New York – shopping with me for equipment and teaching me basics.

Like how to get Dejan’s skin to not be fuchsia!

A few months later, when our subscriptions and budget increased, our friends at Mount Washington-based Phenomenon Post helped me pick out and set up professional lighting, and they created an Adobe Premiere template that not even I can screw up. We loved it so much we still use it today. Thank you guys for making me look like I knew what I was doing!

As the staff grew, so did the frequency of the show to daily. Then, we moved the set from our basement to our Highmark Stadium offices — man, was that a good day —  and last year, with the addition of Chris Benson to the staff, we really upped the production value. Professional studio, lighting, audio and a full-time producer … a real show!

But even with all those tools, we’re making a deliberate effort to not overproduce it. It’s still just a bunch of sports people casually talking about sports. We want you to feel like you could just walk in at any time, pull up a chair and join the conversation.

What does any of this have to do with sponsorships?

Well, this is my very long way of telling you that this show is very special to us, it’s our baby, so we want to find a sponsor who would love it as much as we do. We only have one of these, and we feel it’s a unique opportunity for promoting a brand, product placement and much more. Most important, it’s our only feature that’s consumed on all platforms, including all video and audio, the site and the app, even our emailed newsletter.

If you or anyone you know would like more information, including all related stats, please email me directly: Dali@DKPittsburghSports.com

BASEBALL OPPORTUNITY, TOO

With the Pirates’ season around the corner, I also have a few creative options available for baseball advertising, as well as more limited options for the Penguins’ playoffs.

Many thanks to all of our current sponsors and partners. Next to our subscribers, you make everything we do possible. We are more than proud to be associated with each and every one of you!

KEEPING COMMENTS CIVIL

No matter the news organization with which I’ve been involved, it always seem somebody gets ticked off because there is moderation on comments. For some reason, some feel they can put whatever they like in any forum.

Fact is, we have to moderate. We can’t allow personal attacks or bad behavior to take place on our commenting platform. We just can’t. It ruins the experience for everyone else. And that experience is one of the things that makes DKPS so unique. We enjoy the back-and-forth interaction this site offers. It gives a community feel, plus direct access to the reporters covering your favorite teams.

Sometimes, people occasionally step across the line. For the first time in my six months here — has it been that long? — I had to moderate some comments Friday. I didn’t do it flippantly.

We understand people are going to disagree with the opinions of others. That’s only natural. We’re not all going to agree 100 percent of the time on anything. But personal attacks, cursing at other posters or otherwise questionable posts cannot be tolerated. We just can’t do that.

We also understand people get fired up about sports. It’s what makes our jobs possible. It’s part of what makes watching sports so much fun. But if it happens that there’s moderation and you wonder why, email me directly: Dale@DKPittsburghSports.com

In the meantime, keep commenting and asking questions and we’ll keep answering. — Dale Lolley

ONCE IN A LIFETIME

We have 386 Lifetime Lunatics, with nine sold in the past week since we announced we’re cutting off that program once it reaches 500. If you’d like a Lifetime subscription for $250, they’re right here. You can upgrade from any level at any time. If you do, email us at Help@DKPittsburghSports.com and we’ll reimburse you for the time you have left on your existing subscription.

There are exactly 114 left!

PUSHING THE APP

Our recent push to promote our Apple app — through many forms, both visible and otherwise — is reaping instant rewards. The past four weeks of installations by new users — 94, 117, 103 and 125 over this past week — have been our biggest non-Christmas weeks since Patric Hornqvist planted that puck off Pekka Rinne’s hindquarters.

That’s extremely encouraging in that it puts us into people’s phones where, ideally, they’ll be intrigued enough by what they see to consider a subscription. There’s no scientific formula for this, obviously, but new subscriptions have been on the rise to accompany this trend.

Next week, I’ll have some info for you on the Android front in the same spirit. — Dejan Kovacevic

APP CHECKUP

Both of our apps are free and updated regularly. Get your app or update your existing app by tapping the appropriate button below:

itunes

If you’ve got issues with either app, please help us out by emailing specifics to Help@DKPittsburghSports.com, including your device, platform and operating system. — Dejan

BACK TO BUSINESS

• Subscriptions are at 38,505. That’s minus-10 over the past week.

• We’re at 386 in the Lifetime Lunatic category, with two sold in the past week. If you’re interested in upgrading to any level at any time for any reason, click or tap My Account in the menu, then click or tap Upgrade Subscription.

• We had 538,828 page views, according to Google Analytics, with an average page view time of 1:59. Our most-hit file was Dale’s Steelers free-agency primer at 18,356. Second was Dale’s analysis of the secondary makeover at 15,009. The next 11 on the list were from my coverage of the Penguins’ trip through New York and Montreal. And the next one after that? Last week’s Site Stuff!

• We’re at 27,715 (+90) followers on Facebook, 8,583 (+13) on Instagram, 27,963 (-23) on Twitter.

• Get our free newsletter with a simple signup! We send out a new one Monday-Friday at 6:30 a.m.

• We make mistakes. If you see one, email Typos@DKPittsburghSports.com.

• Anything you need, including lost/forgotten passwords, email us: Help@DKPittsburghSports.com.

31 Comments

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31 comments on "Site stuff: Who’s buying the Java?"

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Kevin Connors
Kevin Connors

Thanks for the sharing the stats on your “most hit” articles! If you really want to boost subscribers, maybe the next time you have an article that is widely interesting to readers, allow us subscribers to forward it on to non-subscribers? If there were a piece that could have big impact, it might be a timely one on the Steelers’ eventual 1st round draft pick? I would be curious to know how many share it and then how many of those who get it share it further … #growvirally #teamDKΔpghSports

Patrick
Patrick

Regarding your moderation standards: hooray! Back in the days before DKPS evolved there was a group of mostly Pirate fans who carried on some great exchanges. It was a fun sort of what used to be called “chat room.” The group was small enough that the participants could be termed “friends.” That atmosphere could not survive the huge growth in numbers, but I see no reason exchanges have to be overly hostile, too personal or profane.

JC
JC

Count me in as a subscriber who really enjoys the sense of community that the commenting section and the subscriber meet ups allow. I appreciate the comments being modified. Back and forth banter about a certain player, game, team can be fun and part of the enjoyment of sports, but those few who choose to make nasty, unnecessary comments will run the good people off.

btoconnell
btoconnell

Good morning! Is there an appropriate place to request a new feature for the mobile apps?

If the answer is”right here,” here’s my feature! Maybe I’m in the minority, but I do a lot of my catch-up reading at night, and even with my phone brightness at 0, the color scheme is pretty bright. Would love to have the option to switch to a”dark mode” (black/dark blue background, white/light grey text) to help or with the eye strain. As it is, I have to run another app to dim the screen, but that also lowers the contrast, so back to the eye strain.

Overall though, love having the Android app, especially now that the load time issue had been fixed!

BT Barons
BT Barons

DK seemed like he was Nostradamus in that first video of Java!

MarQ
MarQ

Yeah, I was about to comment on the same thing. Nice prediction, DK!

Dejan Kovacevic

Now I need to actually watch this. I have no idea what anyone is referring to.

BT Barons
BT Barons

Everything about the signing of Stanton, increasing the value of the franchise, selling the team, then trading him to NY!

JBUCN
JBUCN

I’ve figured out the delta with DKPS and Athletic is customer engagement. Both between management/customer and customer/customer. There literally is nobody commenting on Pirates or Pens over at the Athletic. I find that peculiar bit very interesting. Burning that seed money?

Dougie Keklak
Dougie Keklak

Maybe people just want content without “drama”. Also keep in mind there are more than likely many “lurkers” that enjoy content and rarely comment.

Dec Allen
Dec Allen

Agreed. I have it for the national baseball and college football coverage. But the national baseball writers do not write nearly enough in my opinion. And I agree there is no community there.

Ktmsmitty
Ktmsmitty

Enjoy all of the business info Dali. Can’t speak for anyone else but I feel like part of the family at DK. It’s great to read about the continued success. Which means continued excellent writers and segments.

Delbert
Delbert

Good Morning, Would really appreciate it if you put who was writing/contributing at the beginning of the segment rather than at the end. It just feels weird to read something then find out after I read it that the (written) voice was someone different than I thought it was.

Heart Soul Mind Strength
Heart Soul Mind Strength

Carter was excellent in his segment with DK on the X yesterday. What another treasure this site has. You may have your best assembly of talent since the inception of the site. I am not a big Pitt/Riverhounds fan, but the intro article by your most recent staff edition was so well written I find myself reading his work too. Thank you.

MarQ
MarQ

I typically don’t read the ‘X’s & O’s’ type articles, but Chris Carter is so enthusiastic on the various podcasts. Love his energy!

Dougie Keklak
Dougie Keklak

Totally agree! I wasn’t sure how I felt about CC at first. I questioned if the enthusiasm was fabricated “for show” or whatnot. But the more I listen to the podcasts of DK radio segments, I really enjoy him: both his personality and his analysis. I believe his is an underrated talent, not only on this site, but the PGH sports media scene in general.

kliuch
kliuch

Hi there! In one of the previous editions of Site Staff, there was a note that a constant login issue is happening if an account is shared with someone else. I understood it to mean that if the site is accessed from different platforms and IPs, it will keep happening. I regularly access the site from at least four devices/locations – home (computer), iPhone, iPad and work (computer). Does this mean I’ll keep having the repeated login thing for the entirety of my lifetime subscription? Because I have to log in multiple times every single day – cookies are enabled and no matter how many times I tick the “remember me” box…

TIM T
TIM T

Are you using the app you both Apple & android no problems never have to login

Login only an issue when using browser

PgherinLev
PgherinLev

I get asked to log in on the app, too.

Dejan Kovacevic

If you log in from a lot of different places on a lot of devices, you’ll have to do that with every site/app you use on every platform for all eternity. That’s the nature of moving IP addresses.

We’re working on ways to upgrade the process in general, but it’s not imminent. (Thumbprint, that sort of thing.) Probably a couple months.

vk
vk

This is not true. This site is the only one that makes me login over and over again on a browser. On all others when I select the ‘Remember Me’ checkbox, it always does. While I can’t expect you to have the resources of WaPo and NYT, I also have logins to several, small-ish entertainment forums and blogs, and they always leave me logged on as well. As a long-time IT person, I’ll tell you that if you’re being told that it can’t be done by the company doing the website, then it’s further proof they either don’t know what they’re doing, or they’re taking you for a ride.

Dejan Kovacevic

No, we know exactly what’s happening on all fronts. We also know that the cost of getting it to the next level from our existing platform — we’re not exactly starting from scratch — involves a complete overhaul of the foundation. That’s in the works. It won’t be quick.

kliuch
kliuch

Thanks DK. Well, I don’t have to do it with sites like Yahoo Fantasy, Gmail, ESPN, Strava (running app), Twitter, some of the other paid services I subscribe to – like New York Times or
HBR. I don’t know, it sounds a little strange – it isn’t as if people are expected to have a single point of access to their subscriptions.

ThumbPrint will make it much easier, but it doesn’t solve the problem…

I remember in the early days of the site, you had “device authorization”, with a token or something like that. I’d actually do that now.

Dejan Kovacevic

We’re not there yet. Look at the entities you just listed. Sometimes I wonder if people realize how truly small this company is. For us to have tech at the level of those entities, we’d have to double or triple our subscription costs. We’re not in a position to do that.

iacas
iacas

That’s not entirely accurate. If you raised the limit on the number of devices/IPs that can be logged in to one account, people wouldn’t have to log in as frequently. That’s a no cost situation. Just a setting somewhere.

I’m not talking about using thumbprints. Just logging users out when a new device logs on.

FWIW I don’t use the app because it doesn’t let me open a bunch of stories in new tabs for reading. Mobile site is fine.

Kevin Connors
Kevin Connors

Agreed! This is not a major technological challenge. It is something that is well overdue Dali / Dejan. I am a subscriber since your inception. I probably have had to type my login details over 1,000 times by now … let’s stop it there by your making this small tech enhancement please. Thanks #teamDKΔpghSports

JBUCN
JBUCN

^ Can’t wait for this fix. I’ve noticed when I go coast to coast I have to re-log in. Stinks but just a minor annoyance.

Dejan Kovacevic

It’s not really a fix. There’s nothing actually wrong. Changing IP addresses is an across-the-board thing. It’s not unique to us at all.

vk
vk

I guess we’ll just have to disagree on this.

alantig
alantig

About the only time I have to log in to the site is if I go to a public wifi and have issues connecting. Meaning the site doesn’t connect or the wifi doesn’t. But to switch from home wifi to cell data to, say, wifi at the Pens game, no log in. Even going from phone to iPad, no issues. That’s about as close as I’ve come to seeing any kind of regularity with the log in stuff.

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