State of the Blog: Changes

Dylan Burkhardt

Season three is in the books. It definitely wasn’t as exciting or enjoyable as season two but I think that this community continued to develop nicely despite Michigan’s on court struggles. This season’s disappointing results prevented any sort of astronomical traffic growth but we still saw a nice bump in traffic and plenty of good additions to the community. More information about the plans for expanding coverage and how you can help the site out by donating after the jump.

Expansion is in the works. To this point, the blog has been almost entirely a solo effort mixed with various guest contributions. This year I managed to add in some recruiting & scouting content thanks to a contributor who went by the pen name Calvin Smith. Calvin attended and filmed a number of high school games this winter and I think I’m correct in assuming that the content he provided was appreciated and valuable.

Over the next year, the plan is to give Calvin an even bigger role on the site. Calvin is going to shed the pen name and go by his real name, Joe Stapleton. Stapleton covered the basketball team for the Daily last year and will continue his duties at the Daily next year (except covering the football team) but he will also cover the basketball team for UMHoops.

Having multiple contributors is a bit of a balancing act but several of our friends have been quite successful. Everyone from The Only Colors to MGoBlog to Inside the Hall. Why not join in on the fun?

The plan is for Stapleton to essentially be the UMHoops credentialed journalist (this has been OK’d by the hoops media guys). The one who watches the games from press row and attends press conferences and media availability (basically a hoops version of Tim from mgoblog). This is valuable content that I have wanted to include but didn’t have the means to include without reducing the quantity and quality of the other content that I produce. Adding Joe to the mix means that we can bring new content to the table and we have someone who already knows what he’s doing because he covered the team this year.

The second part of the plan involves ramping up the recruiting coverage. A lot of the recruiting coverage on this site has been an aggregation of content from the caverns of the internet. One of the greatest recruiting services that I think this site has provided has been the recruiting roundups which are basically a summary of recruiting statistics, scouting reports, and interviews. Recruiting roundups will continue as they were before but we are going to start providing more original content on the recruiting trail.

Joe is going to hit the road and try to make it to several AAU events this summer with a new camcorder in hand. Covering the AAU circuit will allow us to provide much more original content including scouting reports, videos, and interviews. Inside the Hall is a prime example of basketball recruiting coverage done right at the blog level that we will try to emulate.

Some of this might be shooting a little too high. There’s no guarantee on how many AAU tournaments we can make it to or even afford to attend but we are certainly going to do our best. Camcorders, gas money, and hotels aren’t cheap but we think we can make a valiant effort at the least.

Before and after each season I typically ask for your support through donations and this year is no different. Your support goes miles toward supporting the site and I can’t explain to those of you who have donated how much it means. That being said, maintaining the site and producing quality content is extremely time consuming and taxing. Advertising revenues aren’t enough to support this site, especially if we want to continue to grow. Your contributions are welcomed and whole heartedly appreciated. There’s a donation button on the side bar at all times but you can also click the button below:

In short, the standard content that you have received from me over the last 2.5 years will remain the same. We are just going to attempt to add a significant chunk of content to what we already have. The goal of this site has always been to be the best source for Michigan basketball content. Because of that, adding Joe to the mix was almost a no brainer; hopefully more is better.

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  • hutch

    Joe is a smart guy and a good writer and, therefore, will be a welcomed addition.

  • Adam

    Thanks for all you do. This truly is one of the best blogs out there.

  • intrpdtrvlr

    I come here as an MSU fan because you do a great job covering your team. That, and I’m definitely of the “Olive branch, inter-school, let’s talk Big Ten hoops respectfully with each other even with Wolverines” mindset. Any attempts to take your coverage to yet another level is pretty impressive. Keep up the good work.
    I’ve tried to push and help TheOnlyColors to compete with UMHoops in terms of recruiting but, Dylan, you’ve set a high bar.

    Any means to improve the comment format? The SBnation blogs have you beat on that.

  • On the comments, we are probably going to be making some major changes to the layout (finally) but I still don’t have a specific time frame for all that.

    The SBNation blogs have threaded comments right? Do those work well over there?

  • intrpdtrvlr

    Boy, Dylan, I don’t speak enough blog-talk to know the terminology. I’m basically referring to TheOnlyColors format which I imagine you’ve looked at. I really like them because posters can reply directly to others which clarifies and enriches the conversations. On top of that, the format is much more aesthetically pleasing, I’d say.

    So yeah, I’d say they work great and if you could snap your keyboard and make it so, it would improve the UMhoops comment sections significantly.

  • dylanb02


  • Guest


  • So speaking of comments… Time to try something new. I've added Disqus comments. Let me know any problems you guys have, they have been recommended to me and seem to have some really nice features. I'll be cleaning them up so keep the feedback coming.

  • As you can see, they are threaded which means you can reply to other comments. You can also post using your Facebook, Twitter, or Open ID, and also register a name if you want I believe.

  • So speaking of comments… Time to try something new. I've added Disqus comments. Let me know any problems you guys have, they have been recommended to me and seem to have some really nice features. I'll be cleaning them up so keep the feedback coming.

  • As you can see, they are threaded which means you can reply to other comments. You can also post using your Facebook, Twitter, or Open ID, and also register a name if you want I believe.

    It will take a while to export the old posts over to the new system so be patient.

  • MaizeNBlueJ

    Good stuff, Dylan. I really do like the comment system so far. We'll see how it goes.

  • andygoblue

    Will Joe also be taking on a similar role to that of TomVH over at MGoBlog, ie, calling and interviewing recruiting targets/prospects?

  • MGoTweeter

    the new comment feature is a great addition. Makes it much easier to respond to posts and hold longer conversations via the comments.

    Great job again Dylan!

  • Looking forward to seeing UMHoops this spring and summer at some AAU events. Great job with the site Dylan and from all of us at Inside the Hall, we certainly wish you continued success.

  • EchoWhiskey

    Donated. Thanks for maintaining, and improving, a great site.

  • I look forward to the improvements and additional content. Have always liked the thoughtful tone of this site, and the sense of a small community of like-minded enthusiasts. Mgoblog had some of that quality early on, although this place has its own unique flavor. . .

    Hope the place doesn't get too big, although you deserve the traffic, Dylan. As successes come for the team, they will come for the site. We'll all be able to look back and say we were coming here when. . .

  • Talked to Stu he said he doesn't kno anything bout whether we are getting sykes or zeigler . Isn't signning day comming up?

  • Brian W

    Dylan, good luck with the additions. I put money in the plate for the barn raising… Calvin did nice work, but it's nice that Joe can leave the witness protection program.

    Have fun on the AAU circuit.

    As a public service announcement for my fellow UM basketball info searchers, be aware that UM basketball info has gotten popular enough with search engines that some infected web sites are posting U-M basketball recruiting info. I had a “Dangerous Downloads” site pop up the other night in the search results when looking for stuff on Katenda. Just a heads up.

  • MusketRebellion

    Great to see the upgraded content. Keep up the good work Dylan and co. New chat system is no Uniscorn, but it works.

  • Giddings

    Good stuff, Dylan. Is there an option for a “Dislike” button in addition to the “Like” button? I'm anxious to shun the “FIRE BELINE!!!!!!!!111” commenters that flood the site after a tough loss.

  • Brick93

    Next time you see Stu, ask him who he thinks will start at Center next year Morgan or McLimans. He's one of the few people who actually got to see both of them play ball last year.

  • Ehab

    Congrats on the past two years and best of luck in the years to come. Love the site and it has been my #1 stop for keeping up on UM's hoops news!

  • AG2

    Nice upgrade. Just like the Arena and the Practice Facility, w're building.

    When when it rains, it pours. Evan Turner, Lance Stephenson, everyone at Kentucky, Xavier Henry, all gone. Plus, Dino Gaudio was fired by Wake. I can't say I'm surprised, his teams tended to quit in the postseason, like they cared more about the draft than the tournament.

  • AG2

    Oh, and if Durrell Summers really does go pro, you can pretty much pencil in Zeigler for MSU.

  • (DEEP DRAFT)Manny better learn so languages cause he might end up in europe with my all time favorite player sweet lou bullock . anyone kno if he still plays?

  • I AGREE , And if rumors were tru about him cheering for state when we played them at crysler than i don't want his a** anyway.

  • First of all Zeigler wasn't at the State/Michigan game in Ann Arbor. Second he tweeted a number of things that were pretty balanced during the game. I really don't think you can “pencil in Zeigler for MSU”.

  • WaymanBritt

    I worry more about UCLA taking Zeigler than MSU. If Zeigler doesn't sign on 4/14, it's going to be a long couple of days until he makes his decision.

  • steve h

    shane locke i do believe bullock is still playing in spain somewhere. there are some youtube videos of him. he had the purest stroke i have ever seen.

    Great new additions dylan

  • Chris in NC

    BAH! I keep meaning to hit the tip jar and forgetting. It's done. Sorry it's late. Dylan, you do a fantastic job. Keep it up!

  • Brick93

    I think that is a rumor from last year.

  • oldstyle

    Off topic but anyone else sick of MSU complaining about a rough game. They and Wisconsin are the roughest teams I see every year.

  • Brian W

    This is just a heads up. The commenting feature doesn't work with Internet Explorer on a PocketPC (Verizon/Windows Mobile phone). The comments display (not necessarily in sequence), but no comment form appears.

    I'd grown pretty pessimistic as far Zeigler goes, but I felt a little better this morning after hearing Sam Webb's recruiting roundup this morning. He's still pretty confident on U-M's chances and thinks it's between U-M, UCLA and CMU. He didn't say that he had a gut feeling on Trey, but he thinks that U-M still leads for him. We'll see what happens in the coming days.

  • Brian W

    David Brandon said that work on the practice facility will start as soon as President Obama leaves town. His vision of Crisler's renovations are intersting too: more space in the concourses, club-seating, better food options, etc.

  • Jblo

    Thanks for your hard work! I'm looking forward to the expanded coverage and I'm already enjoying this new comment system.

  • Disqus is pretty terrible. I frequent another blog and their commenting system is always going down always on the Disqus end.

  • MGoNovak

    MSU should not be complaining about ANYTHING. 6 Final Fours in 12 years gimme a break.

  • MGoNovak

    MSU should not be complaining about ANYTHING. 6 Final Fours in 12 years gimme a break.

  • AG2

    Well, if Zeigler isn't going to MSU, then I think we'll find that he picks up the decision making pace once his dad signs that contract extension.

  • toblav

    I think this is going to be better, if I understand it right we'll be able to develop a thread without all the leap frogging.
    Great site, getting better, I'm appreciative.

  • Is the site balky for other people? When it opens up it says that there are zero comments for the lead article, which is a paragraph in length. Then it reopens as a longer piece, and says there are 30-some-odd comments.

    It's always been a little odd for me–opens all blue, then shifts to a white background. Is this the case for everyone or just me. Ubuntu is my OS, firefox my browser. . .

  • The comment javascript is acting a little screwy… Still working some stuff out

  • MaizeNBlueJ

    It was wonky for me when you first implemented it, but now it seems to be acting a lot better, so I think you're on the right track here.

  • alyzen

    Thanks for all your work as always — this site is a daily visit (as in multiple times a day) for me.

    Looking forward to the additional recruiting coverage, that's good to hear.

  • I just joined Disqus. Looks like a good deal.

    Will it take an expanded field for UM to be dancing next year? You've got to think that the pipeline of recruits will make a difference. Go Blue!

  • Thank you this nice post

  • Thank you this nice post