I’m always looking for input on the site, whether it’s something you like, something you don’t like, something you’d like to see more often, etc. I’ve seen other sites do surveys to get this information, and it’s always something I’ve considered, but just never got around to it (mostly because there was already a contact form, and I already got suggestions via that form).
Below you will find a survey form, which can be used to contact me directly. This is the time to submit your input for what you’d like to see on the site. Maybe you want to see more player interviews. Maybe there’s a particular feature you’d like to see more often. Maybe you want to see different images on the site (I’ve got about 5000 on my hard drive that haven’t been edited/uploaded yet). Feel free to include any comments with what you like, dislike, would like to see added, etc. Obviously I can’t promise that every change will be made, although I will use the information to try and improve the site for as many people as possible.
The ultimate issue here is time. My time is split between providing the majority of the posts to the site (right now I’m averaging 5 posts a day in the month of June), handling all of the web master duties, doing radio interviews, promotions, and any other miscellaneous jobs. I’m also constantly keeping track of eight minor league affiliates (AAA all the way to the foreign rookie leagues), including the promotions, demotions, injuries, hot streaks, cold streaks, contract scenarios, and anything else that I need to know. That doesn’t even include the major league roster.
That doesn’t mean I can’t make changes to the site. It just means that not all requests are guaranteed, and some requests might take some time.
SITE GOALS AND UPGRADES
I’d also like to bring up another subject which I’m not really comfortable talking about, but which I feel might be necessary. Last week was the biggest week in site history, with day two of the draft being the biggest day in site history. Each of the last 11 days have ranked in the top 25 overall days in the site’s 3+ year history, including five of the top six days. That’s obviously great, and I’m overwhelmed by the response to the site and the draft traffic.
To prepare for this traffic, I upgraded the servers not once, but twice. I upgraded so that the site could handle three times the amount of traffic it sees on the busiest days, and within an hour of Josh Bell being selected in the draft, the server was overloaded, which is just amazing. Because of the upgrades, I’m now paying more per month than I would have previously paid over three years time. If the traffic continues trending upward (and I hope it does), I’ll have to upgrade again, which will pretty much double the current price.
Now server costs aren’t massive, but they do limit the site’s resources. For example, I’d like to cover the State College Spikes this month, getting a look at pitchers like Stetson Allie, Ryan Hafner, and Nick Kingham, as well as position players like Exicardo Cayonez. That would also give me a chance to add additional coverage for Altoona. I’d also like to see West Virginia at the beginning of next month, when they have seven home games in a row, which would give me plenty of opportunities to see pretty much everyone in the pitching staff. Of course with all of these trips, you’d be getting live game reports, prospect videos, photos, and interviews.
The downside of the traffic surge is that I don’t get paid by my ad networks until the end of August, meaning I’m paying for the upgraded servers for two months without getting paid for the increased traffic. The minor league season will be almost over by then, which means that any coverage of the teams will be limited to the season ending tour in early September.
I’m not really comfortable asking for donations to the site, but at the same time the only way I can expand coverage right now is through donations. Even if half the people who currently read the site donated $1-2, that would be enough for me to cover most of the games above.
I’ve listed two options below for a donation. The first is the Pirates Prospects product page. There you can find the triple pack (the hard copy and digital versions of the 2011 Prospect Guide, as well as the digital version of the 2011 Annual) for a mid-season sale price of $17 + S&H. All book sales go toward helping the site grow. The second option is a simple Paypal donation, and any amount would help the cause.
I get a lot of comments from people who say they enjoy the site, with some even saying it’s their primary destination for Pirates content. I’m honored by those comments. I spend probably 80+ hours a week working on this site to try and provide the best coverage I can provide. Ideally I’d like to keep the site free, with as much content provided as possible, but unfortunately there are limitations to the coverage I can provide. If you enjoy the site and the coverage, you can reduce those limitations by purchasing a book or making a donation.
Here is the survey form. I’ll be reading and responding to each submission. Also, if the CAPTCHA field is showing up without an image, ignore it. I’m not sure what’s going on with that plugin, but you can submit the form without entering anything in the field.
[contact-form 2 “Survey”]