As we approach the 2014 season I feel compelled to write a few words to you guys, those that have perused the site as well as contributed in one way or another, to explain where I’ve been that last few months and my thoughts about the site.
At the end of 2011 when Steve posted that he was shutting down the Inside the Rockies site, I emailed him to talk about getting a few people together from ITR to purchase and run it. I asked him why he was pulling the plug and he said that he wanted to, “just go back to being a fan”.
I didn’t understand it at the time, but boy do I now!
In deciding to build a site for everyone to transition to, I had no idea what it would ultimately entail. I knew I’d be watching every Rockies game so I could report on each of them. But, call me crazy (at the time) because that sounded like a lot of fun! Then i actually started writing before and after EVERY SINGLE GAME. 162 games a year is 324 for sure articles i needed to write, not to mention all of the other news going on with the team, all of the comments being posted that I loved reading and replying to. After 2 years that are almost 1,000 articles written on Rox Walk Off. I’m really proud of that number!
On top of keeping up content for the site I also have the site design, code, maintenance and expenses to deal with.
Thankfully Jeem and RockyMountainHigh eventually jumped in to help alleviate some of the game writing duties, and I can honestly say if it wasn’t for those two and the articles they took off my plate, I probably wouldn’t be signing up for a third year. At the end of the last two season I was burned out to be sure and they came in when i most needed it.
Now, a word about donations.
Bob in WV posted a comment a few weeks ago asking about donations to the site and wondering how many people were donating to the cause. In looking over the past two years I can honestly say that when I ask for donations I have seen money come in, and for that I’m very grateful. But, when I don’t ask/remind, nothing comes in. I haven’t seen a penny in donations in almost a year (last April). I know it is from lack of asking. It has been hard to ask for donations in the past, but I can’t financially keep the site going by myself, so I believe I will do more asking this season) I get next to nothing from the one Ad on the site, and I don’t want to litter the site with advertising to see if it will bring in more because I don’t trust it and don’t want to have ad’s everywhere. So, consider this the first “Donation Drive” of several this year.
I did like Bob’s suggestion of putting up a “Donation Board” that shows what amounts people are donating. He wanted to get an idea as to what was an average donation. So, I updated the DONATION page to include this information, and I added a counter for one time donations and monthly reoccurring donations. If a few people setup monthly donations that would be excellent! It is the same link, you can just check the box for monthly to have it trigger.
Looking back at the past two years (plus a few weeks if you want to be technical :-), I honestly think it was a very tough time to launch a Rockies site. When ITR started the team was just off a World Series and heading into an eventual Playoff season. Many people were on the site, talking about the team and it was so much fun! These last two years that RWO has been around I’ve seen a major drop in people coming by with every dismal series loss. I completely understand this, but it is a bit disheartening nonetheless.
There are other ways to contribute to the site other than donations. First and foremost, get the word out to your friends that love the team. Tweet, Facebook and shout from the rooftops about RWO. Every page has a twitter/FB link on it for you to share. Doing this will bring in more people and hopefully a better discussion bed, not to mention more donations.
Another way to contribute is to write articles. I’m not sure how much Jeem and RMH are looking to write again this year, but I can always use more writers. I’m putting up a CONTRIBUTION page with instructions on how to go about it all. It will make the site more diverse and immersive if more people put their words out there. Several of you have contributed to the SOUND OFF pages and I love that!
So, I’m sorry I took some time off and the site sort of became stagnant. October is just so brutal after the grind of a (losing) season, and I’ve noticed that I need to walk away to get sane again. But, I’m back and excited for Spring Training. I’m excited to get back into the conversation as a group and I have more ways I want to update the site. I hope those of you that have the means, and have enjoyed RWO, will donate and those that can’t monetarily will spread the word and keep your prose a flowin’.
Lastly I want to thank each and every one of you that come to the site. I love the group we have here. Your comments are so much fun to read and when the group is alive there is nothing better than hitting refresh every 10 minutes to see what else is being said. Love it!
Oh, and here’s hoping the Rockies actually crawl out of the basement and make a showing of it!