I've spent a lot of this space in recent weeks setting up our new app and, in fact, there's more on that once again down below. But our planning for improvements in 2020 goes beyond tech.
There's also the small matter of the actual content.
Start with this: We're happy -- and more important, our readers appear to be happy -- with what we're doing, how we're doing it and who's doing it. And that's ideal, obviously. We've seen the results in our retention numbers, as well as tangential evidence of word-of-mouth new buyers who heard about what we're offering here.
But everyone here, myself included, can always do better. And here are three things we've discussed that we hope will make your experience here even better in the coming year:
• More human features: I'll bluntly admit that we've gradually gotten away from these, and that was never our intent. Collectively, we've become too much about games, practices and news, and not enough about the people behind that.
We're still navigating how best to execute this, but know that it's our No. 1 editorial priority and that everyone on the staff, myself included, will be involved. We get to know these people, and you will, too.
• An everyday Grind: No regular feature here gets read like Tuesday Takes. And yes, as I've often written in the past, it's a feature that's forever frustrated me. It never feels complete, never frequent enough to establish a real rhythm. As a result, I've forever hoped to make it an every-weekday thing, albeit scaled back in scope.
So that's the goal.
No, it won't keep me from writing full-length columns. It probably won't even cut down on them. If that's what's warranted, that's what'll be written.
But it will offer me -- no, challenge me -- to produce material with a more regular, predictable rhythm. And I'm very comfortable with that, provided a support system's in place, meaning covering other tasks I currently perform. That's in the works.
• Possible expansion of colleges: This is the furthest thing in the world from a promise, if only because I'd rather not have a divorce forced upon me. But we've liked the early response we've gotten from Pitt readers to our basketball coverage, enough that we're encouraged about what it might mean moving forward for other schools.
We'd need to work out cost-effective ways to cover them, while at the same time not lowering our standards. That's tricky, regardless of how many associated gift subscriptions we sell at the outset. It's got to be a sustainable model. So there's still a lot to digest on this front.
Duquesne and Penn State would obviously be the top priorities, not necessarily in that order depending on the timing of a season. What we won't do is start covering any team mid-season, which means the Dukes are out for 2019-2020.
Oh, and a related matter ...
SPONSOR MY COLUMNS, DAMMIT
Or, as I should say, please sponsor my columns, dammit.
No, really, it's funny that for all the features we've had sponsored at our site, the columns have never had one. (Not fully, anyway. Takes once had a sponsor.) And this having the profile that it does, not to mention all the related social media, it feels like it'd make a fine business opportunity for someone.
So, before we put that out to the broader public, I'll broach it here: If you think it might fit your business, shoot me an email: DK@DKPittsburghSports.com
H2P COUNT: 899
As of 11:59 p.m. Saturday, exactly 10 weeks since the announcement that we're bringing back Pitt coverage, we've sold a total of 899 H2P Subscriptions. That includes 63 sold in the past week, which was pretty uplifting as things had really started to die down a few days ago ... and then yesterday brought a single one.
Here's how to get yours. Let's finish this.
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