I just wanted to give public thanks to one of our readers for encouragement given in reply to one of the posts back in February. Here is the reply to a comment left on the Feb. 5 post:
My apologies for not replying to this post sooner as it was stuffed in between an extraordinary amount of comment spam which I do my best to block so that it doesn’t go live on the site. Many, many thanks for your encouragement! You are very kind to express the understanding of what it takes to run a site which doesn’t receive any financial benefit from the teams or leagues… and I greatly appreciate your understanding of my staying away from the types of ads you don’t want to see on here. If I had “caved” and taken every private e-mail request from those types of ads, I might have earned enough to justify buying an independent team 🙂
As for other people’s comments, I take them in stride and actually do what I can to find areas in which to improve. Having been around independent baseball off and on since 1997, as well as following it closely from the 1993-1996 era before becoming a bullpen catcher with the Waterbury Spirit (there’s a name from the past!), I know that even “die-hard” fans will have varying opinions on their own team. That’s why I always defaulted to what I figured to replicate on this site that which was good for business when I was in uniform — information that was “family friendly”.
Still, some of the comments which may seem “harsh” at first are ones I take with the intent of improving the website and making independent baseball better overall. With so much fragmentation of the leagues, and with many of the current league executives having either sued each other or competed over markets for years, it would be VERY tough to do with MiLB has done — bring everyone under one “umbrella” organization and standardizing evefrything.
My vision for independent baseball is for it to one take take advantage of being INDEPENDENT of MiLB & MLB. While the on-field talent level always will be called into question by “purists” (and some of them are justified!), the business operations can do so much more to offer value to baseball fans AND non-baseball fans across the country. There are so many areas in which independent teams & leagues can offer benefit that MiLB and MLB is not doing. For example:
* No MiLB, MLB, independent, summer collegiate, or college baseball team is on the first page of the search engines for the highly-searched “how to” baseball phrases. An independent team can do this – right now – with its website authority. The question is on how to make money from it while still offering great value. Basic digital property marketing courses can answer this
* Each team’s website can better serve its local sponsors and become a stronger lead-generation vehicle in its own community. This means that a team can start to outrank competitors in the search engines (and other online starting points) for local business directory searchers; and the team can increase its sponsorship revenues quickly by driving more business to local merchants & service providers
* Each team’s players have 400+ friends on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and more. The teams now have access to technology which will give the players a selfish reason to share team-produced content where both parties can make money. This changes the business model tremendously
* Many other methods mentioned on this site and here
I do agree with others that I need to add more value to each post so that casual readers, fans of individual teams & players, and even the teams/leagues/players/coaching staff insiders themselves will have reason to share any given post on any given day. I need to add more “value” than just aggregating/centralizing content which, in theory, could be gathered from other websites. This is part of the business model change for the website; and I look to re-launch the site’s mission in the coming weeks. Yes, I have to find a way to make it more lucrative financially as I want to be able to pay a staff some sort of respectable compensation to get me unique content which is interesting to all parties at least 2-3x a week. I hope to be able to do this shortly, and without those annoying “pop up” ads you see everywhere else!
Feel free to PM me with suggestions on the types of ads which you think people would enjoy (or at least not mind!) while still maintaining the majority of any given post to be about useful content which is tough to find elsewhere. Also, instead of JUST aggregating/centralizing content to add value to readers everyday feel free to PM me your thoughts on:
* The type of commentary you and others you know who follow independent baseball would like to see about a particular news item. For example, if a team signs a pitching coach or hitting coach I would like to have interviews with that person. If a team comes up with a new promotion, would you like to see commentary on the economic impact of that promotion, its social media measurement, or something else?
* I am working on the technology aspect (RSS, iFrame, etc.) to bring all of the updates like transactions on one page. That way you & other readers have one place to go to get the most up to date player signings. What other hard-to-find information would you & others like to see?
Again, many thanks for your encouragement. It is appreciated more than you realize!
There are several good books about the independent professional baseball leagues. You are welcome to see a list of suggestions through this link: Books Get notified of upcoming independent baseball tryouts from either of these services: first service or the second service. Prospective players can find some helpful resources here We will be providing a growing list of possibly helpful tips and suggestions on various baseball information. This will range from "how to" information about baseball skills all the way to helpful information for casual baseball fans. Please click the link for more information: Tips And How To Information