It’s funny how a protracted labour dispute in the NHL will put a damper on an NHL blogging Network. Assuming you define “funny” as brainshatteringly annoying. Who wouldn’t want to read an up tempo article like that right?!
THE LAST FEW WEEKS
The Lockout obviously has a massive impact on the Nations, with no hockey there is nothing fresh to write about. Check that: in Edmonton you can take your pick of a variety of topics. Current Oilers getting in dustups in the bar, the Arena that is ripping the City apart, political intrigues and whispers of corruption.
Take your pick – but we digress.
The Lockout also impacts our ability to increase revenues. Our existing advertisers have been awesome sticking with us during all of this but new advertisers are taking a wait and see approach to spending. The Lockout is the 900 pound gorilla in the room in every sales call and it has essentially put the brakes on all revenue growth until hockey is back on the ice.
With our hand forced by no end in sight, we have been hard at work with Kent Wilson putting the finishing touches on a partial pay roll back for Nation writers that ensures everyone who is paid by the Network will continue to received the majority of their pay regardless of how long the lockout ends. This was the worst day in the history of the sites.
We have also worked out a plan content wise to focus on the history of the game in each market with player bios and season by season reviews as the legendary Lowetide has recently begun. The 6 site crew of writers will continue to pump out articles as though a long Lockout is the greatest thing to happen ever – just changing our focus a bit and watching Dangle on the KHL highlights.
Although our revenue is flat our traffic has remained amazingly strong. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who continues to come to the sites despite the fact that NHL hockey has all but disappeared. And I really appreciate all of our fantastic writers accepting these terms and working with us through a storm that is raging all around.
Everyone involved in writing and reading about NHL hockey – except the players and the league naturally – are truly awesome.
Is this lockout going to last forever? Is it over in a week? How long does one wait around in the hopes things are going to be fixed? We can’t get a read on things despite reading 99% of the depressing news. This is an entrenched battle between two heated camps and could go on for a long time.
Of course the last time we got to watch this shit show the whole season was lost. Our business at the time was a sports bar and it took a whole lot of fighting just to keep the doors open and the lights on. We have since learned to bet on hockey doing whatever it can to cut off it’s nose to spite its face and so just like last time, longer term provisions had to be considered, old plans scrapped and new plans made.
The Nation Network turns five later this month and is closing in on it’s 10,000th article published. It’s funny that this milestone will fall smack dab in the middle of one of the more frustrating times in company history but that’s what being 5 years old is about. Being kicked around by the bigger kids, throwing temper tantrums in public and occasionally having the odd accident in your pantaloons.
We have put together a new five year plan that will see the Nation Network increase its visibility in all of our markets. We will be moving into new markets as well during this time, focusing on teams that have established blogospheres and top drawer writers. We will also have an increased focus on raising money for deserving local charities and will be launching a variety of initiatives to help bring attention and funds to organizations that may not get a lot of love currently.
We will also use the next few months to further develop the fourth version of the Nation Network platform and are working on the development of two new games for us all to play. And finally we have been helping Kent on a couple of site acquisitions that should go through by the end of the year that will increase the Nation Network dramatically in size and content.
The lockout may be winning the battle at the moment but we will win the war. When hockey does return we will be ready and will continue with this circus for years and years and years to come.
Consider your ol’ pal Wanye the Ricky Bobby of business. Dimwitted, loud and always wanting to go faster. There can only be one direction: forward. And one speed: faster. And anyone or anything that gets in the way of that gets run over 100 times out of 100.
With this here lockout we can’t go faster. We have hit a wall personally and so we have come up with a new plan here too. As some of you know we recently went to Nerd Camp in Palo Alto a few months back. We saw what the Big Leagues looked like for one glorious summer and want to be back there in the worst way. This Lockout has put a lid on Plan A and so we will switch to plan B.
And so we will begin building a whole new company – something we have wanted to build for a long time and what we would consider to be our best idea ever. It will be an immense amount of work, there is a 1% chance of success, the pay is literally $1 per year and it will involve shuttling back and forth between San Francisco and Edmonton for the forseeable future and living like a scrub with 100 roommates in both Cities to keep the bills paid.
But let’s be very clear: we would never move away from Edmonton. It is not only the non-transferrable location of the pizza box filled Wanye Manor but is also home to 90% of our ex girlfriends. Who doesn’t want to run into one of them every few weeks right? But in the desire to go faster we have to take things up a level and that level involves splitting time and being gone from home for half the year.
As they say: time is short and Tom Cruise is shorter.
And because we basically use the Nations and Twitter as our diary we will keep everyone up to date on our adventures whether they like it or not. Ironically we will have way more free time to tweet and blog and yell at the interwebz as we will be entirely alone on the road. And we will stick only to vintage hilariity, name calling and what not. No more think pieces we promise. Oh and you may hear us on the old Radiola in the near future. If that isn’t the bad news straw that broke the camel’s back we don’t know what is.
And so next Monday it is back to Silicon Valley for 30 days to begin the next chapter. Back and forth we will go 180 days down there and 180 days up here per year over and over and over until someone tells us to stop.
Oh except when we are going to hunt for babes in South America in a few months. Then no work is going to get done at all.