The latest incarnation of PPP doesn't turn a year old until April Fools' Day, a delightfully appropriate birthday. An update on the state of the blog is a bit overdue.

In tech terms everything is ticking over fine. I like the Ghost platform, things don't break too often, and there's enough flexibility in how you can make a site look that my desire for control is satisfied. Their performance on mobile is outstanding, and they've built refinements that keep me from having to micromanage things. The story editor just keeps getting better. Active development continues.

In terms of cost, I've done some investigation on the concept of self-hosting and came to the conclusion that, given the amount of traffic this site gets at peak times, it's not a cost savings. It might also be difficult to get the performance Ghost's own hosting service provides. Putting up a blog on the internet is easy. Having it not crash in July when the Leafs sign some guy everyone hates is not quite as simple to do as it is to say. Also, I'd need to learn a whole new skillset, which I like to do, but I decided not to sign myself up for the job of permanent sysadmin.

The commenting plugin is not perfect, but the two other alternatives either have privacy concerns or are much more expensive. Like Ghost itself, the comment system is under active development. The two systems don't join together perfectly, but the glue holds.

As you may know (or not for new people), PPP is entirely self-supporting. And your support has been outstanding. It's more than I expected even in my most optimistic moments. The media business is tough. Digital media focused on journalism is struggling everywhere, and in sports, it's really struggling because the demand for coverage is still very regional. For a blog with no pretentions to journalism, no venture bro is going to come along and give us a million dollars on the theory they can pump it up and sell it to the New York Times.

PPP isn't just a blog, however, it's a community, and it's about fun as much as serious hockey talk.

Some of the choices we made when setting up the new version were seat of the pants guesses about what we should do. Okay, they all were like that. Almost a year later, I think some of those choices have proven to be absolutely correct. Chiefly that the content here is all free. Anyone can read the articles and comments. There is no paywall, and at this time last March when I was working all this out in the space of about three weeks (I still can't believe I did that) I didn't think this was the right kind of site to try to fund via a paywall.

Ghost is all set up to pepper subscribers with emails and newsletters and that seemed unhelpful too. I didn't think of it like this at the time, but that newsletter based system disrespects you and what you bring to the site. You are the site. It saddens me a lot that there was no legal way to import the old comments easily and no one with will to find a harder solution. I'm happy we kept the old content, but it's a shadow of its original self without you in it.

We crossed the 1,000 members mark around the New Year, and I'm so thrilled by that. And for the majority who aren't paid subscribers, that's okay. You get to decide how you spend your money and what matters enough to you to pay for it. No guilt trips are on offer. I appreciate every one of you. And for those who just never sign up and read anyway, I appreciate you too! That's what we're here for.

With our paid subscribers, we have enough funds to keep paying the fixed costs and pay enough to writers to keep a small group blogging here. Every additional dollar we get will go directly to writers. To get more content and more varied voices – which I think is critical – more paid subscribers are needed.

A person emailed me and rudely said that they hated our stupid photos and explained to me that a subscription to Getty doesn't cost that much. Oh, sweet summer child. How much income do you think one Leafs blog generates? And if we were to get a Getty subscription, which is very pricey, every single photo means fewer writers. Decoration vs content – the choice was easy to make. All the choices have been easy in that way. Writers first.

I have discussed with you in the past the idea of adding advertising to the site to add to revenue. I initially expected to have to do that sometime last summer. But the growth in subscribers proved me wrong on that. The kind of ads a blog like this can place on the page is a slowly withering business. The overly optimistic estimates of revenue from ad providers are not even enough to make it worth doing. The reality would be less than that.

I don't think advertising is bad in and of itself. But for a digital media site of any kind, needing advertising revenue affects how you blog, what you say and when. The blog stops being about its topic or its community. It stops being honest opinion, no matter how hard you try to resist it. The community matters less and the endless game of getting pagerank on Google matters the most.

To have the quantity of content the old SBNation site had at its peak, we would need to at least double our subscription revenue. As your subscriptions come up for renewal, I'm asking you not to cancel. You can be sure money to PPP keeps PPP on the air. If you click on Account in the top menu as a subscriber, you will get a page with a button to go edit your billing info. You can change or update the payment method there if you need to. Otherwise, you can just do nothing and yearly subscriptions will roll over. I know every service online is raising prices and cutting service, and it's hard to decide how to spend your money, so no hard feelings over any choice, but please give it some thought.

This has been updated to explain the system:

Everything you need to know about subscribing to PPP Leafs
Updated for 2024: You’ll find a Subscribe link floating around near the bottom of the page, and there’s a “Sign Up” link in the Navigation menu at the bottom of every page. If you’re not a member of the site, click a Sign Up or Subscribe link, and you’ll be

That's where we are. If you subscribe today, your money goes directly to writers, and a blog without writers is a place you used to go to. It's your support that keeps PPP a place you can keep going to.

We've had a lot of new members since last spring, and we don't pressure for subscriptions too often, but please do consider supporting the site if you can.

PPP Runs on Your Support

100% of your subscription $$ pays for the site