It has been a while since I’ve gone meta and did a site update, so with BallinMichigan just hitting roughly its four month anniversary, now seems like a good time to give some updates on some things and see what readers like/don’t like. I’ll just do this in list form:
MOAR guest posts please: My basic philosophy with this site is the more voices the better. No one wants to repeatedly read my opinions and analysis every day, so the fact that we’ve had some entertaining and interesting posts from other authors is a plus. A rundown of those in case you’ve missed them:
- Brian Persky wrote about the Western-Central rivalry, albeit from a Western perspective. That’s totally OK by the way — that’s what makes rivalries so great, the create passion on both sides of the argument. So let me take this opportunity to invite any Central fan interested in writing a rebuttal on that particular rivalry with a CMU tilt, feel free.
- Matt Snyder also contributed to our Rivals series with a great look at one of the best rivalries in the country, Calvin and Hope.
- Anthony Sisson, who will play for Lawrence Tech and had a great view of Mott Community College’s national championship as a reserve guard, wrote an excellent, in-depth diary post about the team’s experience in Danville. I can’t express how much I would love to get more athletes willing to write about any of their experiences in basketball. Please, please, please contact me if you are a college, high school or pro athlete interested in writing about some aspect of basketball and your experiences in it.
- Ron Pesch, MHSAA historian, wrote an informative post about the Retro Mr. Basketball program and award.
- Jay W. Jensen continues to produce an astounding amount of videos that we are lucky enough to use on the site. They’ve added a great element to the site that, frankly, I didn’t think I’d be able to have because of my … uh … limited experience in video production.
The diary posts and rivalries posts are great recurring topics that are made for guest writers, but I’m also open to other suggestions for content or for a new series as well. Drop me a line at patrickhayes13(at)gmail(dot)com.
Submit your videos: Along with Jay’s great videos, the door is also open for any high school and college players with highlight videos to submit them to me. Several have taken us up on the offer already. Just send the link to patrickhayes13(at)gmail(dot)com. If it’s already out there on YouTube, why not send it along and let us help get your views up a little? It’s just another potential avenue that a coach or scout might catch a glimpse of you or learn your name.
Check out some of our profiles: I’ve had the chance to interview quite a few interesting players and coaches over the last four months. Check out some of their stories —
- Rashad Phillips passing on lessons to youth
- Jerod Ward passing down knowledge to players of all ages
- Jermaine Jackson has grand vision for community center
- Grand Rapids native Kyle Visser will impart big man knowledge
- Business, hoops go hand-in-hand for Desmond Ferguson
- Year at Henry Ford beneficial for EMU-bound James Still
- Hoops Ambassador: Teaching basketball through relationships
- Former Henry Ford C.C. standout playing well at Montana State
Also, a lot of great writers from other sites contributed some great analysis on players from Michigan trying to make NBA teams during the Summer League. Thanks again to Ryan Weistert, Darius Soriano, Nate Parham, Kris Willis and Bret LaGree for their contributions.
What’s coming up?: By late August, I’ll be getting to some of our college basketball previews. Also this month, without going into too much detail (I like to have surprises), we’re going to have a cool look at some of Michigan’s connections to the basketball advanced stats/analytics world. I’ll also be out and about this weekend at a few events that should hopefully net some interesting stories/photos for next week, so check back for that.
Comments: We don’t have a very active commenting community yet. I know people are out there, I see the site data, but right now, most readers are of the lurking variety, and that’s OK. In my experience, it takes quite a while for a site’s comments to catch up in volume to the content. But, for those interested in leaving their thoughts on our posts (and a few have here and there), you can either fill out the brief form and leave your comment or you can login with your Facebook account and do it that way.
I don’t have any real commenting guidelines, other than people who troll or are abusive to others will be quickly and unapologetically deleted. Other than that, everything is fair game. Criticism of the content or of the content of other peoples’ comments is welcome as long as it is civil and respectful.
I do read all of the comments that are left on the site and will continue to, so that’s another easy way to contact me with questions, suggestions, links to videos, etc.
Help us on social media: If you’re on Facebook or Twitter, make sure to like/follow BallinMichigan there. Here’s our Facebook page and here’s our Twitter page. Every follow helps. Particularly on Facebook, we’re looking pretty sorry there so far. Follow/like us, share our stories there and tell your friends! Also, I check both of those sites regularly as well, so if it’s easier for you to submit links/feedback through either of those sites, feel free. I’ll see it.
Last but not least … advertising: I’m not at the point yet where I’m going to do full-on NPR-style
begging fundraising drives, but I do have advertising space available and the site does have enough audience at this point to be of value to potential advertisers.
If you notice to the right and left of this post, there are a couple of gaudy placeholder ads which could easily be replaced with paid display ads from any interested companies, organizations, etc. Those ads can be placed anywhere in the side rails (cost changes depending on the placement). Interested parties can contact me through e-mail, patrickhayes13(at)gmail(dot)com for specific details on traffic/platform, but in a nutshell, it would result in placement of your brand/product/service as well as a link to your website on a statewide site that reached more than 5,000 unique users each in June and July, had more than 16,000 page views in July and currently has a social media platform of 600 combined Facebook and Twitter users. Additionally, the site’s page views and social media presences have shown consistent growth for four consecutive months.
That about does it for updates. My e-mail address/social media contacts are throughout, so if you have feedback, feel free to get in touch in any way you see fit, or just leave suggestions, criticisms or other info in the comments section below. Thanks for reading. Only a few more months until basketball season! Can’t get here soon enough.