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.