Original reporting. It's what we strive to do here at DKPittsburghSports.com.
We don't follow the crowd of reporters in the locker room -- unless it's necessary. And we always try to come up with original ideas and subject matter that will both inform and explain. It's what we were built on.
I was asked a couple of weeks ago, for example, why I used the term "told me," in a story when quoting a player. I use that because it denotes something the player told me in a one-on-one situation. There was nobody else there. Just me and him. It's our way of taking the readers inside those conversations we have with players, coaches, anyone.
Places like Google are, apparently and finally, taking notice of this kind of approach to the news.
This week, it was reported the search engine giant was tweaking its searches to find sources of what it calls "original reporting." (See what I did there? I linked to the original story by Cnet.com.)
With so many different sites out there simply re-writing other people's original reports, it's a welcome change for those of us who provide those original reports. There's nothing more frustrating than breaking a story, only to do a search for it and find that your original reporting has been hijacked by 100 other sites that might or might not include a mention, let alone a link, to your original story.
So kudos to Google for finally catching up to the times. We appreciate it.
And we promise, we'll keep bringing you original reporting and breaking stories and maybe even getting more credit for them when we do it.
OUR TOP SEARCHES
Following up on Dale's lede, here are the top 10 search terms people use to arrive at our site in the past year, exempting the many, many ways that people type in our company's name:
3. Pittsburgh Pirates
4. Le'Veon Bell
5. Pittsburgh Steelers
7. James Conner
8. Pittsburgh Penguins
9. Antonio Brown
10. Vance McDonald
Yeah, the Vance thing threw us, too. But Dale had a quality newsbreak on Vance this year that brought us a ton of attention. And to stretch the list slightly, Sidney Crosby was at No. 11, Starling Marte at No. 12. The top-ranking search phrase was 'Mike Tomlin press conference.'
Our greatest area of growth on Google has been -- and this will surprise some -- the Pirates. We've risen from an average search ranking of 16 all the way to 6. One can only ever guess at these things, but we'd have to think that it's largely because there are now only two entities that cover all 162 of the team's games, just us and the Post-Gazette. -- Dejan Kovacevic
OUR TENURES HERE
As long as I'm in a listy way ...
Our company was launched July 23, 2014, with just me in the journalism role. Eight months later, in the spring of 2015, we made the decision to have an actual staff, so we've had a staff for four years and change.
I hear a lot about tenure here, usually only when a change is made. That's both annoying and unfair to the people who've been with us for a long time. Below are the start dates for our entire group of staff and contributors, from most tenured to newest:
Taylor Haase: Dec. 16, 2015
Matt Welch: March 1, 2016
Matt Sunday: July 12, 2016
Chris Carter: Aug. 16, 2016
Rob Ullman: Jan. 28, 2017
Bob Maddamma: Sept. 28, 2017
Dale Lolley: Oct. 18, 2017
Jarrod Prugar: June 9, 2018
David Golebiewski: Aug. 27, 2018
Hunter Homistek: Dec. 1, 2018
Jason Rollison: April 1, 2019
Dave Molinari: June 16, 2019
Alex Stumpf: Aug. 22, 2019
As anyone can see, half of the above have been with us for more than half the life of the company. One-third have been with us for three-plus years. In the world of startups, particularly one that was literally pioneering a concept that had never been tried anywhere on the continent, that's pretty damned impressive, if I say so myself.
And taking it further, if you count me and my wife Dali -- I mean, I know that's silly, but we'd count somewhere else, right? -- I'd match our retention level with that of any local media outlet of any kind. It's just ours is the only one that seems to get discussed.
I guess that's a good thing. -- DK
You'll notice something a little unusual on our site today: We've got a live file for Pitt-Penn State, with Jarrod covering from Beaver Stadium. He'll also file a full game article afterward.
We'll see how people respond. As I type this, it's a one-time thing, solely because the 100th and potentially final meeting between the schools is a news event. It'd be wonderful if there were a big response and someone somewhere wanted to step up with a sponsorship. We've asked before, though, and there was one six-month run to support Pitt -- very much appreciated -- and nothing more.
We're super-easy to reach if anyone's interested. That offer's never left the table. -- DK
THE BIG TECH THING
We're going to build an all-new app, an all-new site, as was announced here a couple weeks ago and, as we've continued to have more meetings and discussions. We're hoping -- expecting, actually -- to have that closed out very soon. -- DK
VETERAN COUNT: 315
Early this year, our friend Josh DeNinno at Moon Golf Club came up with the concept of pushing all of us to reach 1,000 full-year military subscriptions for the calendar year through his Veterans Challenge. And to back that, Josh is buying 10 a month himself for a total of 100, leaving 900 for everyone else. To date, we've sold and committed 315. That's appreciated. Here’s where to contribute.
BECOME A PARTNER
We're always looking to grow our base of business partners, and there currently are several very good opportunities available to take advantage of our unprecedented reach. Our 2019 media kit has all the info you’d want. Email me at Dali@DKPittsburghSports.com to set up a meeting.
BACK TO BUSINESS
• New subscribers for 2019 are at 771. You can track this figure daily at the bottom of the desktop and tablet versions of the site.
• Our daily page views, averaged out over the past 30 days, are at 88,584. The goal with this figure is to average 100,000 — a number we've achieved only during the two Stanley Cup runs.
• Our most-hit original article of the past week was Hunter's coverage from San Francisco of the Pirates' fighting relievers at 27,530. The Steelers accounted for 207,179 page views, the Pirates 96,492, and the Penguins 93,923.
• We're at 33,500 (+134) followers on Twitter, we're at 32,084 (+11) page likes on Facebook, we're at 11,410 (+21) followers on Instagram. These figures are just for our official company account on each platform, not for us as individuals.
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