Happy Saturday, everyone. Today is April 8, one week from when the formal transfer of ownership of PPP took place. As anyone who was around yesterday knows, the domain transfer began on Friday morning.
What this means is that PPP lives at pensionplanpuppets.com now. Hopefully, just going to that URL and using the site will be stable for everyone, but there might be some more DNS caches out there to trip you up. I did all the things I know of to speed this up, and we were lucky that it actually happened on a holiday Friday with no game.
A few other notes for you to sum up some things mentioned in comments:
The archive of old posts has been imported. Ghost did a lot of work on this, for which I am very grateful, and thrilled at how well it turned out. Posts do not have any images, however. The export included no image files, and the overwhelming majority of the top images at the head of posts were things we had no rights to display anyway.
I salvaged some images before the transfer. I focused on the T25 articles, and some other important things where the images in the post help it make sense. Getting them involved writing a script and watching it run. Uploading them into the correct spot in the old articles is a chore. I noticed that the post I did last September on heights and weights was getting a lot of traffic, so I did it first.
That work will take place over the summer. Some of the T25 images were vote tables, so that's important to have preserved for mocking purposes.
All comments from both versions of commenting at the old site are gone forever.
All the old tags came with the posts, and that's another summer project for us, to sort that out and make it work with the way things are organized at Ghost. Clicking on any tag in any post takes you to a page of articles tagged with that term. Some of those tag groups are sorted out on the front page, and there are links there to the full list. Some are in the main navigation menu. There's supposed to be a full tag list in the footer, but it's hiding until the list gets culled.
Tables in posts should display okay, possibly not great on mobile. Polls in old posts were converted to a table by the Ghost import, so they at least make a little sense as information. Most embeds, such as videos, tweets, instagram posts, etc. should be showing.
Ghost doesn't have some features that the old site editor did. There is no native poll application, so if we decide to put a poll in a post, we have to use some kind of embed. That means finding something that isn't full of tracking software or other things that will degrade performance or privacy.
Tables don't sort, but that is a feature I can build and will get to work on soon.
Most of you have discovered the ways the comment system functions, and in time, we'll develop methods of using it that compensates for the lack of z-key functionality. (I miss Shift-A a lot too.) I find I put the GDT on latest first, and leave the rest of the sections set at the default of oldest.
I'll be on the lookout for any new features that might make things work better here. To that end, I have a plan in the early stages of development (this means I've thought about it) to make a dark mode for the site. This is not a promise this will happen, because you never know what bumps in the road will appear, but the comment system can be integrated into it, and it can work based on your OS settings or a selector switch. Stay tuned for that, but one caveat: this might well be a paid feature only.
You can ask for features, you never know, I might be able to provide, but I'm not in charge of the comment code, so don't expect me to be able to magick up what you want there.
I did add an analytics service, however, and this is a conundrum faced by all websites that want this information. Analytics shows what pages are visited, what devices are used and what pages refer traffic to a site. It's a big help in understanding how you interact with the content. There's two basic choices: use Google for free and get the performance and privacy hit of this cookie-based system, or pay for a cookie-less system. At the moment I'm using a free trial of option two, which I like a lot, and the issue is going to be one of price. If it comes out to $50 per month, which I expect, I'll have to consider if that's a good use of funds since I'm doing my best to avoid paid extras if I don't really need them, but I want to pay others for their work when I can.
Some of you have asked about subscription rates, and want me to make that public. I'm very hesitant to do that, and I'll be blunt about why that is. A lot of people are really clueless about the real cost of running a business and the "it should be freeeeeeee" mindset rules hard when it comes to online content. If I give a number, any number, some percentage of people will consider that a massive amount, and how dare we expect more. It's also one week into the transfer, and that's a bit soon to be considering numbers as any sort of final value.
That said: I think we have our core membership here and we know what the core support is. It's very impressive, and more than I was truly expecting, and for that I'm extremely grateful. However, I've been realistic since day one back in January about the financial viability of this site or sites like this in general. I'm still feeling, not pessimistic, but realistic in my expectations.
As of now, we have enough revenue every month to pay all the infrastructure costs of running the site, more or less twice over. There's no risk of the site going away as there's easily enough funds to keep it on the air. The issue is writers. The very low level of compensation that people used to get to write here can't be met without a lot more money coming in. The GoFundMe will ease us into ongoing production, but it won't last forever.
I don't expect to ever get paid for the work I put in building this site over the last few weeks. I went into that effort assuming I was doing it for free. But I, and the rest of the writers here are not going to keep producing the site for free. This site is not the archives or the memories or the arguments about David Clarkson. This site is tomorrow's articles, the next game thread and this coming Top 25. The future form of the site is going to be shaped by the revenue, and the future revenue is, of course, shaped by the form of the site.
When I set up the subscription tiers, I called the $5 tier blackmail. It is, they all are. If readers pay enough then the content will always be ad-free for everyone. I'm not rushing to any decisions. Things take time to grow organically, and I decided in the beginning to wait until at least June 1 to make any decisions on adding ads to pay for writers. I am open to direct sponsorship deals, depending on the terms, but I can't make a site, run a site and be an ad executive all at the same time. This hasn't been my priority.
Right now, let's focus on the playoffs. We'll see where it goes.
/end Captain's Log.