Courtesy of Curtis Pharmacy

Site Stuff: Don’t worry, we’re working on the story

I have never seen a day as busy and news-filled as the one we had here in Pittsburgh on Thursday.

DALI KOVACEVIC / DKPS

I’ve been in the business for more than 25 years, having started working at the Tribune-Democrat in Johnstown when I was still in college. Yet I have never seen a day as busy and news-filled as the one we had here in Pittsburgh on Thursday.

We went into the the day knowing the Pirates would be playing in the afternoon, followed by the Penguins in the first game of their second-round playoff series in Washington. And, by the way, a little thing called the NFL Draft was also taking place Thursday night.

Then, the Pirates announced Jung Ho Kang had been cleared to return to the United States. Then, the Penguins came from behind to beat the Capitals — but that was expected. Then, the Steelers traded Martavis Bryant after months of saying they weren’t going to do so. Then, to top everything off, the Steelers had Ryan Shazier walk to the podium in Arlington, Texas, to announce their first-round draft pick.

Needless to say, it was a busy day here at DKPittsburghSports.com. How busy? Well, we had 153,825 page views on Thursday, then 159,830 on Friday. Those figures are roughly 40 percent more than what we typically have for an average day and, remember, we’re a subscription site, so this comes from the same base of actual readers.

We like being busy. We like having stuff to report on. But this was a little over the top.

For me, it meant trying to keep a live file going while writing three different stories, doing interviews and everything else involved with a draft night. It certainly made me thankful that we don’t have deadlines.

But one thing people need to understand — and this was apparent when Kang’s reinstatement was announced — sometimes we just aren’t near our laptops to report on something.

When Kang’s status was sent out, Lance Lysowski was in the locker room, interviewing the Pirates following their 1-0 victory over the Tigers on a walkoff homer by Corey Dickerson — which got lost in the hoopla of everything else that happened. He couldn’t write the Kang story right away because he was otherwise occupied.

But that doesn’t mean we don’t care. And it doesn’t mean we aren’t on top of the story. It just means we’re working at that time, including pitching in to help Lance from wherever we are.

We strive to get things up as quickly as possible. But we’re also not a web site that simply aggregates what other people write while sitting in an office or on our couch. We’re out in the field getting stories, talking to sources and players.

So if the story isn’t there right away, take it easy. We’re working on it.

ONLY 25 LIFETIMES LEFT

We are at 475 in the Lifetime Lunatic category, with six more sold in the past week. Once we hit 500, that’s the end of the program forever, so only 25 remain.

It has been amazing to hear from so many of you who have bought Lifetimes about wanting to stay involved in our site and continue helping in other ways. I will share more with you about this in the weeks to come, once we come up with a good plan, but we would love to do that. Stay tuned.

For now, here is part of an email sent to us by our great friend and new Lifetime member Donnie Mason, now based in Moscow, Russia:

True to your claim, your coverage has kept me more connected than I ever could have dreamed possible here in Moscow. While having to miss out on so much in America in order to live here and do what I do here — humanitarian aid work with Central Asian migrant workers — it helps so much to have access to your site. It’s also pretty cool to feel like a movie star with my kids as we drive to school each morning listening to Morning Java and you read one of my “What’s in your cup?” questions!

I don’t need to do the math any longer to see if I’ll ever get my money’s worth by upping to a Lifer Lunatic. I long ago got $250 worth of value out of my subscription. I feel like I’m ripping you off by taking this plunge. So, I’ll sign off and go grab one of the final 27 spots … gladly.

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. — Dali Kovacevic

HEADLINE STREAM

One tech/site/app thing we’ve implemented in the past week was a steady headline stream near the top of the home page marked THE LATEST. It’s exactly what it sounds like, offering readers at a glance the latest content we’ve got. That will usually be straight news, but not always.

It’s worked out really well in the early going, and I say that mostly because of heightened page views on topics that otherwise might get lost, in particular a couple of Matt Grubba’s pieces on Pitt and Duquesne. The one on the Dukes floored us, actually, with 2,148 views and counting, way more than the norm.

We’ll also present variations of this format to collect our coverage of the Stanley Cup playoffs. One is up there now. — Dejan Kovacevic in Washington

APP CHECKUP

We updated the Apple and Android apps earlier this month to allow for smoother-loading videos and GIFs, and the response so far has been really positive. We’re also undergoing a comprehensive analysis of both apps — logins, crashes, the whole deal — to make sure they’re absolutely optimal moving forward.

If you have a specific issue with your app, please email — and I can’t stress enough that email is what’s needed — to Help@DKPittsburghSports.com, including your device, platform and operating system. With your assistance, we can make the app the best it can be. Now is the time.

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

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BACK TO BUSINESS

• Subscriptions are at 38,478. That’s minus-27 over the past week.

• We had 680,597 page views, according to Google Analytics. Our most-hit article — exempting live files — was DK’s Game 6 column from Philadelphia at 14,689.

• We’re at 28,657 (+270) followers on Facebook, we’re at 28,341 (+78) on Twitter, we’re at 8,709 (+25) on Instagram, and we’re at 637 (+16) on YouTube. These figures are just for our official company account on each platform, not for us as individuals.

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

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