Courtesy of Moon Golf Club

Site Stuff: Chasing 1,000 new app downloads!

Nobody spends money in January and February, right?

Businesses everywhere experience that, small and large. Holiday shopping's done. Tax checks still stuck at the IRS. And even though our own revenues have been surprisingly really good over the first 18 days of 2019, we're generally no exception to this two-month slump.

So, what's the best thing to sell when few want to buy?

How about something completely free?

Thus, our next big promotional goal, after meetings/talks all week with mastermind Hunter Homistek, will be getting people to download our app. Which, of course, always has been free. And from there, ideally, the new user will be intrigued by what they see -- including our limited free content -- and become all-in subscribers.

Our numerical goal, because it's always fun to have one of those, is to generate 1,000 new app installs by March 28, Major League Baseball's opening day.

It won't be easy. For example, we've generated exactly 100 through the first 18 days of this month, or 5.5 per day. We'll need to more than double that pace to 13 per day to pull this off. But with some creativity and promotional boosts on social media and elsewhere -- including the new video above -- we'd like to think there's a chance.

There are three positive timing aspects to this:

• Believe it or not, the Pirates have traditionally been a great lure for us with app downloads. I'm guessing that's because they're the only local team that doesn't have their own app, but I can't know for sure. The lead-up to baseball season, including spring training, is gold.

• The lead-up to the Stanley Cup playoffs also is prime time for us.

• We just dramatically upgraded both our Apple and Android apps, with customer complaints at an all-time low. So we're hoping that existing subscribers who might have given up on their app at any point will give it a second try.

Here's where to get yours app:

itunes googleplay

ABOUT THAT ANNOUNCEMENT

Remember the big announcement?

The one I thought we'd be able to make the week after Christmas but couldn't?

Well, it'll still be the same announcement, same impact, same everything. But the understanding now is that it won't happen until late February or early March. That's completely out of our control, but, again, nothing's changed other than the timing.

BOWLING SEASON

I've covered five Super Bowls but have never attended the NFL's all-star game, the Pro Bowl. But Orlando is where I'll be off to this week.

With all of the Antonio Brown news, that's a good place to start putting my ear to the ground to see who might be interested in his services. Also, the Steelers will have six participants -- JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Conner, Alejandro Villanueva, Maurkice Pouncey, Cam Heyward and now T.J. Watt -- in the game, so there will be some story angles to cover from that end of it, as well.

It's all part of our continuing commitment to go wherever we need to find the stories for our readership. -- Dale Lolley

TWO NEW FEATURES

Hockey fans, check out Taylor Haase's new round-the-clock Trade Tracker, in which she'll keep up with everything related to the NHL's Feb. 25 deadline. That doesn't just mean completed trades. It means talks, too. Tap the big button below to get started:

That's taken a permanent place on our home page, part of an expanded Coverage That Connects section, alongside Hunter Homistek's Prowl. The latter, if you haven't checked it out yet, is another round-the-clock feature keeping up with all sports.

FREE RIVALS OFFER

Our friends at Rivals.com, the country's preeminent home for college sports coverage, reached out to extend an offer to all our current subscribers: Six free months to any site on their network. That's a $50 value, given that their annual subscriptions are $99.95.

Just go to their sign-up page, and apply the following code: DKRivals6FREE 

I've actually been a subscriber myself for years -- to Chris Peak's PantherLair.com, specifically -- and I can attest to its extraordinary value for the scope of what's there. In this case, the offer is open to our subscribers for any of their sites, not just those for Pitt, Penn State and West Virginia.

Thanks so much to these folks for doing this. -- DK

WE'RE LISTENING

• A few Apple users have mentioned not having videos play. The cause of that, as a couple readers pointed out to us, is having your device in power-save mode. That's a change Apple made. So, basically, just make sure your device has adequate power and don't use power-save mode.

• At the urging of many readers, I've added standings, statistics, schedules and rosters to the menu. These are available only on the laptop/desktop version for now.

• Readers have complained about the app killing whatever music you might be listening to. I hate this, too. It's on the list.

• Some readers also asked for a return of notifications of comment replies. This is trickier, to say the least. This commenting system is an outside entity we don't really control, so any customization is a massive pain.

BACK TO BUSINESS

• Our daily active app users, averaged out over the past month, are at 12,828, broken down as 10,167 on Apple, 2,661 on Android.  That total's minus-128 from the previous week, which is what I predicted earlier this month when all that Steelers news was causing a surge in app activity. The goal with this figure is always about a steady, gradual increase — first, to 15,000, a number we've never achieved.

• Our daily page views, averaged out over the past month, are at 77,865. That's minus-2,998 over the same rolling figure from a week ago. The goal with this figure is also about a steady, gradual increase, first to 100,000, a number we've achieved only during Stanley Cup runs.

• Our most-hit article of the past week -- exempting live files -- was my Grind earlier in the week on Antonio Brown, Penguins' trade bait and Pirates' treasure, at 15,074. The Penguins accounted for 123,457 of our page views, the Steelers 61,182, the Pirates 43,259. Side note: Taylor's hockey prospect readership continues to grow, with a full-week total of 3,175. (And that's with just four total pieces.)

• We're at 29,362 (-6) page likes on Facebook, we're at 29,688 (+75) followers on Twitter, and we're at 9,444 (+79) followers on Instagram. These figures are just for our official company account on each platform, not for us as individuals.

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

• This is our media kit. If you're interested in connecting with our large, passionate following, email my wife at Dali@DKPittsburghSports.com

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

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