State of the Blog: Season Six

Dylan Burkhardt
on

imageUM Hoops was founded in 2008 out of a simple love for Michigan basketball.

The Wolverines hadn’t been to the NCAA tournament in a decade and were in the midst of a dreadful 10-22 season but we believed there was a Michigan basketball community that needed a voice. Over the past five years the site has grown in lockstep alongside the basketball program. There have been more than a handful of memorable moments along the way.

Staying up until 3 a.m. writing in a hotel room about Michigan’s upset win over UCLA, with a job interview the morning after. The court rush after beating Duke or Michigan’s first win in East Lansing since the 90s. Every NCAA tournament has been special from the devastation (Duke, Ohio) to the jubilation (Clemson, Tennessee). And of course, watching Michigan’s Big Ten title share play out from an empty bar at Chili’s in State College, PA before the long drive home last March.

A Michigan program that was on life support when we started the site is now ready for what should be its best season since the Fab Five – and the future might be even brighter. John Beilein has all of the pieces in place from players to recruits to assistant coaches and facilities. Now it’s time to sit back and enjoy another journey.

Blessed to be a part of the ride, UM Hoops has made significant strides as well. Our traffic continues to increase with steady year-over-year improvement but we also want to strive to continue to expand. We’ve had a beat writer covering the team for the past two seasons and we’ve covered the AAU circuit with great ambition. Our goal is to provide everything that a Michigan basketball fan could want, in one place, for free.

We’ve provided first hand coverage from over 6 states, 11 summer recruiting events and 10 road or neutral venues in the last year. That’s easily as many, if not more than, our paid subscription-based competitors.

What was once an outlet to share our thoughts on Michigan basketball has developed into much more. UM Hoops is now not only an outlet to share opinions and analysis, it’s also a primary news source and the best online community to discuss Michigan basketball. Running this site has gone from a hobby to a responsibility to further the community.

This site would have been nothing without those of you that have liked, shared, retweeted or commented on any of our thousands of posts over the last several years. But we still need your help.

Traveling to games and AAU tournaments takes time and money. The number of hours that myself, Joe, Kevin, Josh, Dustin, and everyone else have contributed to this site are almost impossible to measure. And all of those hours have been burned despite other primary commitments from jobs, to school and everything in between.

We’ve also made some improvements to the site. Hopefully you’ve noticed at least a few.

  • We’ve refreshed the look of the site. Maintaining the functionality you’re familiar with but updating the background and shedding the hardwood look.
  • Joe Stapleton is on board as our day-to-day beat writer once again. We’ll have first hand coverage at every game as well as videos throughout the week from media availability and other team functions. He’ll also be hosting the brand new UM Hoops Podcast which will continue throughout the season.
  • Dustin Johnston will be photographing games so you can expect to see regular photo galleries once again.
  • All of your favorite features including previews, recaps and Five Key Plays are back for another season but we’ll add to the mix as well.

We wish it could, but advertising revenue alone isn’t enough to pay the bills. We’ve avoided – and plan to continue to avoid – a subscription model for as long as possible because we always intended this site to be free.

Simply put, we can’t continue without your support. Our call to arms this year is a bit different. We are setting a fundraising goal to support this season’s coverage.

We’ll be running our fundraiser over the next month and want to raise $10,000. This is significantly more than we’ve raised in past fundraisers but we want to accomplish more this season than we have in the last four years combined.

You can donate through our WePay page, or by using the widget below:

View Progress


Donate 

Whether you can donate $5 or $500, your contributions will go a long way toward keeping this site what we all want it to be. In turn, we owe you our continued, and improved, comprehensive coverage of the Wolverines wherever their travels might take us.

  • Andrew Weiss

    you guys do great work. Ive been coming to see site since 9th grade every single day. Instead of checking facebook or twitter, my first stop is always umhoops.com. Now finally a freshman at the University of Michigan, I hope to see you guys at some games. GO BLUE

    • http://www.umhoops.com/ Dylan Burkhardt

      Thanks for the kind words and your contribution.

  • MaceoBaston

    DONATE!

    • http://www.umhoops.com/ Dylan Burkhardt

      Thanks for your support, it’s much appreciated.

  • eddieben

    Donated. Keep up the great work!

    • http://www.umhoops.com/ Dylan Burkhardt

      Thanks! You guys make the site, without you guys commenting, participating and supporting the site wouldn’t be what it is today.

  • MarcO

    Dylan,

    I think I found this site back in 2008. It’s been an awesome run and you’ve helped a lot of us follow it. I’ve donated every year and this year is no exception. Go Blue!

    • http://www.umhoops.com/ Dylan Burkhardt

      Much appreciated! It’s been a long journey since 2008 but the next few years should be even better.

  • JimmyZ5

    I had this blog recommended to me in 2008, after a Maize Rager overheard my brother and I talking about the Manny Harris at BDubs (he also corrected our pronunciation of Corperryale). I’m a huge fan and am happy to donate. Keep it up guys.

    • http://www.umhoops.com/ Dylan Burkhardt

      Thanks.. crazy how many people have been with us since the start.

    • http://twitter.com/cedsed justin sedlecky

      I think this was my brother Sam.

  • Allen Harrison

    Didn’t you use paypal last time….?

  • gobluemd16

    I cannot express how much I love this site and the absolutely superior content that is posted. By far the best place to find Michigan basketball information, and is my most viewed website by far; I find myself checking it multiple times every single day. Dylan, you and the other contributors are truly committed to providing the best content possible for all of us, and are consistently adding new features and making improvements to the site. Although I am still a student and cannot donate as much as I’d wish, I implore all other frequent visitors of the site to chip in as much as they can. We will help in any way that we can in order to continue operation of the site. You guys are awesome. Donate and GO BLUE!

  • Tom G

    Dylan and company. You do an outstanding job covering all angles of Michigan Hoops. After every game you’re the first site I check out to get a great recap and accurate account of the game. It’s been a blast to watch the team and site grow in tandem the last few years. Keep up the great work!

    • Retiredat23

      Agreed and agreed

  • David

    Gladly donated to the best coverage of Michigan hoops on the web. Hopefully, this season ends with coverage directly from Atlanta.

  • Nick

    Donated. This site is a treasure to the UM community. Great job and keep up the good work!!

  • Andy Silverman, class of 87

    Hi Dylan, I was looking for this link yesterday and managed to turn up one of the old PayPal links and made my donation there. Hope you can figure out how to count it towards your goal. Love this site. I’m a longtime fan who moved to Texas in 1989 (season ticket holder from 1976 till 1989). For the first 10 years i was down here my father would send me MBB clippings from the AA news. Eventually that stopped, but now i have UMHoops which has far better coverage and the added benefit of not having to wait for snail mail. Thanks to you and your team!

    • A2JD

      Hey Andy- I grew up with your brother Josh. Nice to see a familiar name on here.

      • Andy Silverman

        That’s great! Not sure how well you know Josh, but he’s living in NYC these days, married with two kids and quite happy. Thanks again for everything you do to make this such a fantastic site for die-hards like me!

        • A2JD

          We haven’t kept in touch much but a little on FB. The last time I actually saw him was at your place in Austin. I’m Josh Scott and was there with Dan Shaw. Maybe 1998 or 99? This isn’t my site, by the way.

  • ChathaM

    This site is a daily stop for me from October through April, and it’s the primary authority on U-M basketball. I’m happy to donate, and I hope that the goal is reached.

  • MH_20

    The content on this site is second to none and I am glad to donate. Thanks for the great work!

  • Mattski

    We appreciate your work. Donation coming!

  • michfan

    great site and happy to donate !

  • Peter from Boston

    Thanks for all the recruiting information. I was able to see Stauskas and McGarry in New England Prep action. I’m so excited about this team and your site is where I go to keep up. Thanks.

  • jlustig22

    Done. I am happy to donate to this great site. For a diehard UM basketball fan like myself, this site is 2nd to none when it comes to the quality of its coverage. Great job Dylan.

  • gpsimms

    I think I was here just about at the conception (gross!). Only our roomate’s TV was hooked up to cable so I went in there when she was gone studying to watch games (what a creeper!). I was Hoosierine back then, because I lived in Indiana.

    But then someone assumed I actually liked Indiana because of it, so I decided to use a more creative name.

    Back then I had no money. And I’m still just a grad student, but now I have this sa-weet stipend for my research skillz. This wepay thing was nice and easy to use.

  • Kool Breeze

    Dylan, I stumbled upon the site about 5? years ago and have been a UMHoops junky since. To quote the great Greg Dooley “This site is money”, so I am more than glad to donate some of mine!

  • JPIG

    Donated earlier today. As a four year student season ticket holder in the mid-1990s and into the Ellerbe era, I saw the beginning of the downfall of the program. Very excited to see it back and a site that is reflective of the high standards Michigan represents. Keep up the good work and if you haven’t donated, please do!

  • Nick Stieber

    Keep up the good work!

  • RikWaero

    Happy to donate again. Anyone else donating from overseas? (Norway) Your coverage, along with the great strides the program has made since JB took over has made me fall back in love with college basketball. Thank you.

  • mikey_mac

    Definitely worth my donation! Here’s to another great season …

  • http://www.facebook.com/kevin.dale.777 Kevin Dale

    I have sent a donation. Keep up the great work please. GO BLUE!

  • Mac

    Check in pretty much every day. Love this site so much, will definitely donate. Keep it up guys!

  • http://www.umhoops.com/ Dylan Burkhardt

    We were actually working on T-shirts… But didn’t get everything squared away in time. Hopefully we can provide some down the line.

  • Jay Z

    Nice!