Meta/Ask TKP: How to improve?

In the spirit of resolutions and improvement for the New Year, what's a way TKP could get better in 2019? That can be content based, a thought on how TKP could cover the Hokies better, a stack/software improvement, anything really. Are there any specific articles you'd like to see in the offseason?

Here are a few technical projects I've had in mind for a while now (all come with the caveat of I need to find time to do them):

  • Searchable ticket board with a contact function, not a glorified mega-thread.
  • Private forum for TKPC members to connect.
  • Searchable job board.
  • Improved image uploading and embedding.

For those TKP regulars on the fence joining TKPC, I want to here from y'all too. Is that something you plan on eventually doing, if not, what's holding you back.

Forums: 

Comments

On mobile, if you are holding in portrait, a button appears to advance to the next new post. This button isn't available in landscape, my preferred way to view. Can the button be available on both? And maybe it shows up on the phone in landscape? I only use an iPad in landscape. Can't imagine trying to read this on a phone, but I know people do it. Is a button possible on a desktop?Already exists. Not as blatantly obvious as the big yellow button on mobile.

And I'm one of those fence people. Just working out the how the finances play out after a bunch of recent personal life events.

I'll second the "next post" button. I wasn't sure why sometimes it's there and sometimes not, but it's a key (and helpful) feature.

Ive wondered the same thing about desktop for a long time. I do get the buttons on landscape on my phone though.

My wife takes the kids and leaves the house while I watch my Hokie games.........nuff said

I believe pressing the 'N' key does the same thing on desktop.

it does, its mostly how I go through old posts just mashing the N key. Also a good feature most people don't use is the collapse button (aka the little downward pointing arrow) for posts that spurred a 20 comment off topic discussion/fight/argument.

Come to Blacksburg and see what the Hokie Pokie is really all about

Already there.

Well, would you look at that.

"What kind of person would throw away a perfectly good dog?"

Searchable ticket board with a contact function, not a glorified mega-thread.
Private forum for TKPC members to connect.
Searchable job board.

These three things are fantastic ideas Joe!

Is it basketball season yet?

I like the private TKPC forum & the searchable job board. This might sound stupid, but an easier way to upload personal (but SFW) photos onto a thread (i.e. my Hokie Empire t-shirt I got for Christmas).

Waho's suck
Uva swallows

I would join today if there was monthly pricing available. Financially I'm back in school getting my masters and just can't justify throwing 90 bucks out, but I can make $9.99 or $10/month work. Yes I know that's more money but it's easier to fit in.

Also I think you could make the forum oEmbed format. It would make posting things just a tad easier when it comes to gifs or pictures etc.

What's
Important
Now

I've said this for a couple years now.

"I liked you guys a lot better when everybody told you you were terrible." -Justin Fuente

Also I would love to help with your marketing strategy and pricing strategy. It's what I'm in grad school for and my services would be free, and if your need a reference ask Pete from the 2 deep.

What's
Important
Now

I'd literally join today, if I could pay monthly.

The doll's trying to kill me and the toaster's been laughing at me.

It would take a substantial rewrite of the code to allow for a monthly plan. I understand that people want a monthly plan, but on top of that, the dependably of money upfront allows TKP to accurately plan and budget for content and server more reliably.

On another note, every time I get this feedback, I think I should write a budgeting app.

Ok so right now 8 people have liked my suggestion and monetarily wise that would equate to $90 more dollars in your pocket and $90 more next month and so and so forth.

Now if you're walking on the street and see $100 bill and there is no one around for miles are you just leaving that money there? No you're picking it up and pocketing and not thinking about it.

You're essentially leaving a ton of money on the table because your lone price point is not something people are comfortable with. And your users are telling you this and you're essentially ignoring what they want. People are willing to pay more for a more comfortable price point per month. You'll retain residual monthly income and you can also still offer a yearly price that there is a already a market for. The people that are already paying for the current price point will probably stay exactly where they are.

There is also the time value of money. Economically $1 today is worth more then $1 tomorrow or a month from now. So by ignoring the monthly crowd your actually making less money in the future when they can meet your price point.

Microtransaction pricing works. Fortnite is the first Billion dollar video game company because of it.

What's
Important
Now

Again, the engineering isn't free. I have to code it up. You're discounting that in your analysis. I have a full time job and my cycles with a family are limited as heck. My hope to to make the value prop for the yearly plan convincing enough.

question, could you not just setup a patreon account for those that want to pay monthly?

I don't care so much as I have no issue paying yearly so just throwing a suggestion out there

Tricky part would be integrating Pateon into the flow of access to TKPC articles.

You constantly ask your people why they don't contribute monetarily and this is something that comes up every time. People want to pay, just not at the only price point you offer.

You want to convert us and we tell you how, but it's ignored. Your goal should be to convert us.

The monthly rate is a pretty standard model in the freemium price modeling that exists out there with digital businessses. Digital consumers have already been conditioned to it being the norm via the more prominent News Media outlets and one could argue they provide more premimum content more consistently at a lower price point.

You're the business owner, so you can do what you please. The sacrifice of engineering part of the site to help it make YOU more money is a sunk cost of doing business that is your choice to make.

What's
Important
Now

Joe, how difficult would it be to make certain articles buyable for nonTKPC members? Instead of adding a monthly subscription feature, make it so that people who don't pay the upfront fee might be able to pay 3 bucks for access to a film preview?

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Ideally you would do both. Each step is another step to converting someone to a member and eventually a yearly member.

The free side is key to getting people involved in the community and to see the value.

Then converting them to paying members in anyway.

I wrote a whole case study on how the WWE has used digitization to tier all their content to maximize profits. They produce houndreds of hours of free YouTube content to get people interested in their product to convert them to the next part of their marketing funnel.

What's
Important
Now

You're dependably at about 65% of your stated goal with your current model.

Decide if you want to take the next step.

"I liked you guys a lot better when everybody told you you were terrible." -Justin Fuente

I get what you're saying, but there's nothing to guarantee that gets TKP there though.

Why not throw a poll up to see what your audience thinks? That would mitigate part of the risk. You would have a better understanding of how many conversions you are likely to gain if you were to reengineer what you needed for a monthly membership. If the poll numbers are bad then it makes sense not to do it, if they are good then it would make sense to invest the time.

What's
Important
Now

I realize that was a really dickish way to say that originally. Let me try to rephrase more diplomatically.

There is no reason you aren't at your goal yet except for sticker shock of requiring a full year membership up front. Leave the cheaper yearly membership with the keychain, because I'll keep doing it that way, and most current members will. But I guarantee you will increase your revenue stream by adding a monthly option.

"I liked you guys a lot better when everybody told you you were terrible." -Justin Fuente

Ooooo, are we about to hear the semi-annual lecture on personal budgeting?

Please...by all means...tell us more... /S

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used."
- The BoD

There'$ ju$t one thing keeping me from getting back into TKPC, and it's a me problem, not a site problem. On my fuzziest scraggles, that is the truth.

21st century QBs Undefeated vs UVA:
MV7, MV5, LT3, Jerod Evans, Michael Brewer, Tyrod Taylor, Sean Glennon, and Grant Noel. That's right, UVA. You couldn't beat Grant Noel.

The ability to tag specific users. TKP is well behind the curve on implememting this functionality. Mentions are an integral part of any social media platform.

"I liked you guys a lot better when everybody told you you were terrible." -Justin Fuente

I never really envisioned TKP as Twitter, where you could tag specific users. However, I think it would be useful to know when there are new replies to a comment. That's something I ommitted from the original post.

I'm not sure if there is a Durpal version, but wpDiscuz has the @ commenting ability. Maybe you can use some of the code?

What's
Important
Now

Can I jump to my personal comments that have unread replies? Not a critical feature but sometimes I wonder if I missed something multiple pages back during peak posting season.

___

-What we do is, if we need that extra push, you know what we do? -Put it up to fully dipped? -Fully dipped. Exactly. It's dork magic.

Click on comments then your comments then just scroll down them for unread replies.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

I know, I was thinking more historically (like page 12 type stuff). Why I say it's not a critical feature :)

___

-What we do is, if we need that extra push, you know what we do? -Put it up to fully dipped? -Fully dipped. Exactly. It's dork magic.

I am posting this truly out of the spirit of my personal recommendation for improving TKP and what would get me to join. It's my personal preference and opinion.

What would get me to join is if more articles were behind the paywall from Skutt and Koma - the articles that they post are what I enjoy most and have a true story/purpose of the article. Don't get me wrong, French does a great write up of x's and o's and breaking the film down, but my personal preference wants to know the storylines from the team. Bitter moving to the Athletic pushed me over the edge to join because his writing style is what I enjoy reading the most, and I think Skutt and Koma deliver similar stories on TKP. Just using their writing style as an example of the type of articles I enjoy most.

Something I don't understand, if you (and others) already appreciate their work (and a variety of others), and TKP at-large, why wouldn't you proactively join to support TKP?

Joe - I obviously have really loved this site and was a TKPC member for a year, but for me personally, I didn't see where the perks of paying were worth the money for me for a second year which is why I cancelled my membership. Let me be clear, this isn't because I don't think there is high quality content on here because I do. However, other than not being able to see French's film reviews, I can see just about every other regular column that I enjoy and keep up with all of the bantering in the comments section that I also really enjoy. Therefore, I can still see 95% of everything that I want to without having to pay. I've told others that if this site decided to go 100% paywall, I'd probably hop back on the TKPC train because I truly enjoy this community and the hard work you've done, but I can't justify another $84/year for just a few paywall articles, especially when I'd be paying each month during the offseason when I'm more intermittently logging on. You've done a fantastic job of providing transparency about the need for more paying members to keep the quality where it is and I personally think you should probably just make it 100% paywall. For a few years, I thought it would happen and am actually both surprised and impressed it hasn't happened yet considering how much time you and the staff put into maintaining this off of relatively low revenue. Maybe I'm in the minority in this line of thought, but I thought I owed my candid thoughts to you at some point considering I've been in the club and now out and am on the site just as much.

"What kind of person would throw away a perfectly good dog?"

I see it differently.

It's like the Hokie Club. I'm not a member because I get stuff, but because I want to support the program and the community.

But I do understand the perspective that people are reviewing the value proposition.

I really appreciate this line of thinking. At its core, that's what I always hoped TKPC would be. People who enjoy TKP who are financially able to support it do so. That was overly idealistic. I'd prefer no content is exclusive, and it's not optimal that a lot of feedback boils down making more content premium.

Would have posted this if I wasn't beaten to it (TKP harder, I know) but will second it instead. I rarely ever comment, and sometimes I'll go a few days without looking at the site, esp. during summer. TKP, love it as I do, produces fewer articles than TSL, so I probably spend less time on TKP articles than TSL articles.

However.

I support TKP and Joe as a TKP subscriber because I value the site, his (and other contributors) efforts, and ultimately, this community. I have my own opinions about certain posters and their level of mental competence, and the willingness members show to get in a fight with a stranger over something as absurd as the merits, and identity of VA, and number of rappers and presidents it has produced relative to other states. (see Dec Recruiting Part III)

But all of those things demonstrate the sense of community this site has. Those are Thanksgiving arguments with your in-laws, or your dumb racist uncle. Unending, senseless, useless arguments that one can never hope to win. They are however, the fights you have with your family. This site is a FAM.

Consider the money a donation, consider it a sunk cost to Hokie fandom, consider it your paywall access to LAH and BAG, consider it an altruistic act for Joe, or a selfish act for yourself (everyone loves binge shopping online) but if you enjoy the site, pay for it. Nothing on the Internet is free. Nothing. The site may be accessed freely, but Joe's time isn't free, TKPs servers and writers aren't free, and I'll be damned if I don't do my financial part to ensure its future successes.

Here's to more TKP members and memories in 2019!

The Cup is going nowhere Mikey!

Well said. And for your information I wasnt fighting over the identity of VA, I just dont know the famous people from va.

Just to be honest with you, that's not enough motivation

Recruit Prosim

This kind of attitude is why the media we have grown to know is dying fast. People just think if it's on the internet, it's their right to consume it for free, and as such major media companies are laying off staff by the dozens every year. And then when it goes to somewhere like The Athletic, or they start to host ads on the site we get bent out of shape because of an inconvenience.

There's going to be a bit of a revolution in the coming years when content on the internet goes behind paywalls en masse to protect and financially stabilize those creating it. You've already seen it with sports writing, you're seeing it with streaming networks and you're going to start seeing it everywhere else. The era of getting quality for free is dying which is why I dont mind supporting Joe and Co for the work they've done on this site to keep it running.

And make no mistake keeping this thing afloat is a major task in itself and for nearly 10 years they've done it essentially for free. Servers aren't costless. The hours spent designing and implementing changes to this site aren't free. The time spent away from family and kids to edit and product daily and weekly content isn't costless. And this is for a very highly regarded site within not just VT football but by and large a lot of college football, as you see major articles reference content generated here by people such as french all the time.

To be frank, if I were them, I'd be a little pissed seeing me basically volunteer years of my life to this site and to hear people say "that's not enough motivation" when I ask for some financial support to keep the lights on. It's the kind of mindset that would push me toward putting the entire site behind a paywall to cut off freeloaders, and if the site dies, then at least I'll have more time to spend with the family. That's why I donate, because I don't want to see this place get to that point. I don't mind chipping in so that the next person can enjoy this site until they're able to chip in. We are essentially paying it forward, and I expect nothing in return other than the lights to remain on.

I understand some just don't have the means to donate and that's perfectly fine, but be honest with that. This whole 'I expect to get ____ before I give' when you're already getting a heck of a lot comes across as a bit selfish and unappreciative for the work that is already being done here.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

Regular post-loss content from dcwilson

/s

Personally, it come to TKP to read and discuss VT football in the forums. I'll read some of the content not behind a paywall, but not all of it. For that reason, I haven't joined TKPC.

I don't feel I would have a return from what I pay. I watch nearly all Hokie games (FB/Basketball) so post game write ups don't do anything for me. I don't quite care too much about Xs and Os so didn't really read French's articles to begin with.

I just mindless read the forum and Halfwits and Wagers because I like that series.

Just some feedback on why I personally don't join TKPC despite the fact that TKP is one of my top visited sites.

Always choose joy.

can you add the ability to type the "M" key so that it jumps to my own comments in a thread, similar to how "N" jumps to the next newest comment?

The "T" button does that for me. Doesn't it for you?

/s

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

Seeing how many legs I have per comment in the "my recent comment" section

Well, since your asking....

Feature Requests:
(For reference, typically I scroll through the Tracker/Active Discussions, click on anything that interests me, then navigate to my comments to see if anyone replied to me).

  • Hotkey 'M' to skip to comments posted by 'me' (same feature Fernley suggested above)
  • Currently, when adding a new comment, a preview of the comment is displayed as you type. This functionality is not available when you create a new forum post. Could you add this there?
  • When navigating to 'My Comments', it would be nice if I could see how many legs each comment got, without navigating to the thread.
  • Easier way to create tables in comments - at least half of the time I spent writing this post was figuring out how to format tables. I understand that this would probably be pretty complex, but it's definitely a wish list item.
  • Another complex wish list/nice-to-have feature - I'd love a notification that tells me if anyone has responded to a previous comment of mine. Right now I navigate to my comments, then ctrl+F for 'unread'. Some sort of notification feature would be great.
  • I think the job board idea would be a waste of time. Why not just create a TKP group on LinkedIn?

EDIT: new bullets that I think of throughout the day/week

  • Ability to lock threads. I know this was discussed in other meta threads, and I believe it entailed a pretty big change, but thought I'd list it while we're brainstorming.
  • Ability to sort comments/posts by # of Turkey Legs

Content Requests:
Ideally, I'd love for TKP be to be a 'one-stop-shop' for all things Virginia Tech Athletics (although, if that varies too much from your current mission statement, I understand). A few ideas:

  • Can we add a 'schedules' or 'future football schedules' to the top ribbon? It would be nice if I could go straight to TKP to look up the teams scheduled for the 2023 season.
  • I'd love the same for recruiting - a simple table that lists targets for each year, stars, status (offered, committed, NLI signed), and links to any pieces about the recruit by TKP staff.
  • I'd like to see more 'inside baseball' when it comes to HokieClub and budgets and how it translates to hiring and recruiting. I find this stuff fascinating, and extremely relevant since it appears to be the number one challenge that our program faces.
  • A potential new perk for TKPC players would be AMA's with former players, coaches, etc. The AMA with Shayne Graham was great. I'm sure Bill Roth would be willing to do one (if he hasn't already).
  • I really like the Hokie Tracks pieces - it's a good, high level summary of relevant news. Keep it coming.

Finally, as someone who worked in software consulting, I understand the work that goes into this and the challenges that certain features would introduce (such as changing TKPC billing to monthly). Obviously, I think the site is great, and I appreciate that it works so smoothly despite your limited budget (both in terms of time and money).

Twitter me

Can we add a 'schedules' or 'future football schedules' to the top ribbon? It would be nice if I could go straight to TKP to look up the teams scheduled for the 2023 season.

There's already at least two sites that keep track of that.

HokieSports.com - future schedules

FBSchedules.com - future schedules

Hence the comment:

Ideally, I'd love for TKP be to be a 'one-stop-shop' for all things Virginia Tech Athletics (although, if that varies too much from your current mission statement, I understand)

Twitter me

I have a sister company that does dedicated / vps hosting. Would you be interested in sending me an email with some info and I can see if they can help you guys save some money?

Save money or simply reduce expenditure? Despite the similarities, the 2 are not synonymous.

Waho's suck
Uva swallows

okay, I'll bite......... how are they different?

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

While I understand & acknowledge not everyone shares this perception, (& this has actually been discussed before) but I believe one truly doesn't "save money" unless they either break even, or actually gain capital. From a business standpoint, spending cash (even at a discount/reduced rate) is still operating at a loss & not a gain (which, at times, can be better than paying the full price. The only caveat is that sometimes you get what you pay for in terms of quality). Those are my thoughts.

Waho's suck
Uva swallows

This is the "They're 18, they aren't kids" of financial arguments.

New comments on top would be nice.

I disagree, the N button lets me scroll through new only, but if the new appeared on top I would just be scrolling past them to find out what/who they were replying to and would be just going up and down all the time. Oldest first is a better organization

Come to Blacksburg and see what the Hokie Pokie is really all about

A few thoughts...

1) I would like to see some interviews of former players...someone like a Billy Ray Mitchell...who is very interactive with fans on Twitter, and also has a podcast, so he would probably be willing. Topics I would like them to discuss...the recruiting process, a college athlete's study/practice schedule, current thoughts on state of the program, and how they would recommend VT improve their recruiting.
It doesn't have to be football, could be any sport really.

2) I have been downvoted for saying something like this before, and probably will be again...but I would put game threads behind the paywall. I know a message board doesn't have much of an effect, if any at all, on a program...but I am sure recruits, parents, players, etc...read them, and our game threads are a bad look. I get as upset and scream at the tv as much as the next guy, but don't post those comments in a game thread. Some of the things said in those game threads are a bad look for the program. And yes, I know fans for all programs are the same, we are no different. But that is just my personal opinion.

3) As far as joining...probably this Spring. Just need to determine best time of year for that charge to occur. Tough to justify to my wife, since out budget changed. We built a house, and then she had to quit her job when we learned our daughter was special needs, and we couldn't keep up with her doctor appointments when we were both working.

4) I think someone else mentioned it....put more articles behind the paywall, like recruiting articles.

but I would put game threads behind the paywall.

That wouldn't change anything. The non-paying members can just as easily start their own game thread.

I try to stay far away from the game threads.

I have been downvoted for saying something like this before, and probably will be again...but I would put game threads behind the paywall. I know a message board doesn't have much of an effect, if any at all, on a program...but I am sure recruits, parents, players, etc...read them, and our game threads are a bad look.

I actually really like this idea. Perhaps rather than a 'paywall', you create a 'membership wall' (you must have a username & be logged in to view). This, combined with the ability to lock threads, would eliminate most of the potential embarrassment of the in-game threads.

Twitter me

An idea for game threads - lock them shortly after the game is over.

I don't go too much into game threads because I can't keep up with them as the game is going on. Most of the 1000 replies in a game thread aren't relevant by the end of the game anyway. And then when there is some good post-game conversation going, it gets buried. Or it becomes yet another thread that carries the conversation once we add the vent/FAM thread and some other postgame topic.

Make it so you can collapse a chain of comments from the bottom comment, upwards. I'm usually 5-10 comments deep and realize I don't care, then don't feel like scrolling up to collapse the whole thing.

This 1000%. Being able to skip the 20+ posts about mayo would be very nice when clicking on a post and expect to read something about not mayo..

Bleeding burnt orange and chicago maroon

I LOLed. I wonder if any other school message board has that problem.

Right there in your hand: Transportation of illegal alcohol across state lines for the purpose of distribution.

Well I don't know what this looks like to you, officer, but this is not distribution this is consumption!

I will say, one of the biggest things that hold me back from joining TKPC is because of those chains. Make a OT topic post about it, fine, no big deal. But too many times I click on a post and they go on tangent topics that aren't even remotely close to the OP.

I know some people will just say "Well, that's TKP for you! TKP harder!! It's a message board, what you do expect?... etc." and thats fine, but for me personally, that annoys me more than those people who say that and it makes me not want to join TKPC and pony up the $.... just my .02

Bleeding burnt orange and chicago maroon

- Rename the 'Member since...' portion of the user profile to 'Time of Possession' and make it a count-up clock

- Allow other software engineers to contribute to the code if they're willing to put in the time for no money. @Joe, you've said a few times that new features have to fit into your schedule/engineering cost, but I'm sure there are others who would be happy to contribute technical skills as a side/passion/fun project. Reviewing pull requests take less time than new code!

- When tapping the new/top buttons on mobile, if there is a link, like a twitter video or any regular hyperlink, behind the button, the link gets clicked, it's still hit test visible on my phone (Android) or tablet (Kindle Fire), I forget which, but they're both Android-based at minimum.

- A reddit-style organization of comments that are resorted based on turkey legs counts would be awesome - though I think you've said in the past that this would require a significant rewrite to the CMS. See my second suggestion.

- French's articles are great, but I generally don't take the time to read through them - there is a LOT there to digest. Why not break this up into multiple articles and release them throughout the week instead of all at once? The first film review will get out sooner and there end up being more articles to view with a tighter focus in each.

- Once or twice a year, we end up with another Hokie meme, like horse on a treadmill, buzzketball, decade of dominance, etc. A few pieces of TKP merchandise a year I think is a good idea, though I understand there is additional development/distribution complexity there. Crowdsourcing ideas on TKP is usually fruitful (see: this thread)

Things upthread that I want to echo:
- Seeing how many legs are on my posts is in the My Comments section
- Augmenting the My Comment section with sorts/filters for 'Comments with unread responses' and 'Sort by Recent/Number of legs' - sometimes I get a little vain and want to go back to my favorite comments of my own and bask in the glory of all those legs.

The job board idea would be a great way to connect people professionally, but I think it's outside of the core concept behind TKP, so @bar1990's suggestion about a LinkedIn group would be my vote if any time/money were spent on this initiative.
Also, I'm not sure I'd want to be notified every time someone @'ed me in a post of some sort, but if the Comments page could get another filter for 'Comments where I was @'ed', I'd use it for sure.

I'm gonna let this simmer in the back of my mind for a while, I can't seem to pull a few previous suggestions out of the memory banks at the moment. Thanks @JoeLanza

Allow other software engineers.

I like this idea. I would definitely help.

The job board idea would be a great way to connect people professionally.

Some kind of advanced way of communicating with each other would be great. VT Grads have snubbed me on LinkedIn when I invite them to connect. Basically, I see they viewed my profile and did not accept my invitation. It just seems like we don't help each other as much as other alumni groups. I think that because TKP is a smaller, more concentrated group, we may be able to start forming those connections that help us all.

The best thing about TKP is the Fam atmosphere and (for the most part) how the site as a whole stays positive and solution focused. I truly do not want to see this board moving towards what HH or 247 turned into. With that said, I wouldn't mind seeing a little more coverage on wrestling, womens bball, and those sports that don't draw as much interest as football and men's basketball.

1) An option for those members who are able to contribute more. People of lesser means are asking for ways to pay less but the way any club works is those who are more than able contribute A LOT. Maybe they get a special shout out or something or a different colored key icon based on the total payment.

2) More basketball content.

3) front page side bar graphic of football and b Ball schedule and results. Just for the current season.

I've considered trying to sponsor a TKP user as a TKPC member in the past. This would help. A lot.

I floated this idea a while back and got laughed out of the room.

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

Honestly, a system similar to what Reddit has wouldn't be terrible. They have "Reddit Premium", and you can buy coins to use to give other Redditors premium for a week or a month.

This would obviously have to wait until Joe gets a monthly subscription option, but once that's in place (assuming it's actually a thing that might happen) this would be a way to show appreciation to other TKPers.

Might be trivial. But.

Comment Hall of Fame. A running tab of the most uplegged comments.

At the very least, a quick link to see all of the comments that have gone plaid.

Yes

Also, an 'Arnie Bender Memorial Wall of Shame'.

"What kind of person would throw away a perfectly good dog?"

With a specific subsection for posts that have made This Week in Schadenfreude.

Can a link to in-game stats be a part of the game day thread?

Ut Prosim Ad Dei Gloriam

ESPN's team stats during the gamecast show you the current time of possession, if that's what you're looking for

Not sure if this is a tongue in cheek tribute to the importance of the Time of Possession argument or not. In any case, I was looking for more in depth stats for individuals and the team, e.g., number of first downs via pass or individual yards per carry. I just looked at the ESPN Team Stats during the Texas - Georgia game and they have the information for which I was looking. Thanks.

Ut Prosim Ad Dei Gloriam

ESPN has the same running team stats for every game that has "gamecast".

IIRC, there's a meta type thread that includes a lot of TKPisms (source of "Dragon" Travon's nickname, etc) as well as instructions for embedding tables, images, tweets, etc. I believe that we used to have a link for it at the bottom of forum pages, but it doesn't seem to be there any more. It was a great resource for those new members and those of us who don't remember all of the technical details for adding useful stuff, like tables, to our comments.

FYI that thread is stickied at the top of the Off Topic forum.

Team milkshake.

Should fire two or three employees to shake things up. /s

You've mentioned the work required to re-configure the site to allow for month-to-month membership. I know this site is your baby, but would this be something you could farm out to a current CS undergrad? I'm sure someone would step up if you offered a free TKPC membership, and it would be a great resume builder.

While the membership format is being changed, would it be worthwhile to include a reduced price student membership? Might be a way to draw in a larger audience, although I'm not sure how you'd verify student status

There are websites/applications that have software that do verify employment status/student status by forcing a log in through the company/school website I think. There is probably a cost to their services though.

This isn't an improvement. It's a thank you.
If I wander over to the 247 board, half the damn posts are VIP only. Not threads. Posts. (they do have VIP threads, much like TKPC threads here). A whole VIP thread is fine. But having to sort my way through a whole damn page of blocked out posts is irritating. There are threads over there you might only get to read one post in three pages. It's absolutely ridiculous.

So thank you, Joe. Thank you for not doing anything like that.

not sure if BAG and LA or anyone else with inside recruiting or program knowledge would be down but let those guys do monthly thread on their own for TKP members only. Im fine with the way they currently put out content little hints here and there etc. but this is pretty much content that only TKP offers even if it is not from TKP staff and from its members. im not sure if they are already TKP members or not but offer them a free membership and let them have their own threads from time to time. Youd lose $180 from those 2 but I think would gain some more people on the back end that would pay for their content as they put out PREMUIM content for FREE as It is. they deserve some rewards and perks for doing so and if we want them to always do so lets make it worth their while.

#Bapn ain't EZ

Wanna win put boobie in! Let boobie spin coach!

I want to echo the request for a monthly membership option. It seems as if you are putting most of the articles behind a paywall nowadays and I don't want to drop 90 bucks at a time. I'd be more likely to subscribe during football seasons since that is when the majority of the content is posted.

You do understand that this is one of the reasons against a monthly subscription? A monthly and/or football season only package would likely cannibalize the current revenue from TKPC. Obviously it varies by the numbers, but it's more lucrative to have 650 people pay $90 annually than it is to have 250 people pay $90 annually and 750 people pay $30 for just football season. The former will net an additional $13.5k.

If Joe offered a 'football season package' for $50, and could still keep 250 full time TKPC members, while acquiring 750 'football season only' members, then he'd see an increase in revenue, although that increase in revenue likely won't be enough to justify the development time.

Twitter me

yep Mike just hit the nail on the head why monthly could potentially be disastrous for TKP. Cash is king and having the stability of annual membership money will ALWAYS be better than the instability of people potentially opting in and out all year, even if that means you may be leaving money on the table from members who would pay monthly all year long.

especially when he's been up front saying he needs to guarantee funding for 12 months to be able to bring on someone full time and actually pay them to keep bringing in excellent content or to have a full time member moderating the forums.

Monthly subscriptions where people can opt in and opt out as they see fit (read: football season) pretty much negates the ability to do that because you can't guarantee a salary, and who wants to work someone where your salary can't be guaranteed. Not only is that unfeasible for the employee but it makes the employer look bad as well.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

Don't offer a month-to-month subscription, then. Offer an annual subscription paid monthly. Similar to signing a one year lease for an apartment with monthly payments rather than it all due up-front. Doesn't matter if you move out, you're still on the hook for those payments.

1 year paid upfront for $90, or 1 year paid monthly for a total of $120

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

that I am good with but that decision lies with Joe and the amount of time he has.

One counterpoint though is that I see Joe from time to time trying to contact people who's payment could not be processed for whatever reason. Personally I HATE to chase people for money, and I can't imagine Joe likes it either. That takes time and just isn't fun to do. I definitely would not want to be doing that for a large subscriber base.

That's part of owning a business, any business for that matter. I talk to be people all the time that are shutting down their business just because they don't want to chase money anymore.

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nah, chasing money is a fools errand. My companies no longer do that. I have restructured everything to be valued first not later. No money, no work. So while I get why you think this way, it definitely does not need to be this way. And Joe can make that determination based on his own value set which he has repeatedly explained. No harm in that.

Never said he would have to do that, but its part of business. The good thing is, being a subscription model there isn't much chasing that has to be done.

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I get what you're saying, but that's not practical. What if someone cancels a credit card or changes the number? Are you going to sue them for $70 (7 non-football season months)?

Not to mention that leases are broken all the time. Leasing agencies will evict you if you stop paying, and replace you with someone else. TKPC members are not easily replaceable, nor is being 'kicked out' enough of a penalty to convince someone to pay the $10/month.

I think you have to go at least $20/month, or $50/football season to not cannibalize the current revenue. And, again, that calculation doesn't account for time spent on development.

Twitter me

I wonder if it's worth trying to come up with a fluctuating monthly pricing structure that makes sense. Like, maybe $10 for January through March for basketball, $5 for April through July, back to $10 for August as the season is winding up, and $15 for September through December for football season. That would mean a total of $120 for the entire year, with $60 of that being for football season and another $30 for basketball season.

Ding, ding, ding!

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I understand the point, but there are probably diehards like yourself that will buy a yearly subscription, no matter what, to support the site. I'm willing to pay more per month to have access during football/basketball season.

Offering a monthly option would allow Joe to receive money from me and I would get to enjoy the paid content on the site, but it is what it is. Given the inability to reach the goal for TKPC, I would think he would want to offer different pricing options to get up to 1000 subscribers, but its not my job to run this business, so he can do as he wishes.

I've been hemming and hawing for a year or two about joining. My hang up has always been that I read TKP the most during football season. Now that Buzz has got the basketball team functioning nicely, I continue to check in during basketball season. Where I struggle is between March and August because I have never been an avid follower of recruiting so I don't check the site as often.

Something I would like to see is some more coverage of the non-revenue sports. Like most I can cheer for the Hokies in any sport and it is nice to see a tidbit about the soccer team advancing in their tournament or how the track team is doing. I dont think there needs to be a large in depth article like you would do for football or basketball, but a paragraph or two on the main page would be nice. Maybe a longer article going into the conference tournament.

you need to read TKP during the offseason my friend, it's the only time where this place is nearly universally positive about VT football.

Counterpoint: Offseason 2018.

Since you asked:

My biggest concern, not unlike how some are reacting to Fuente I suppose, is I don't know what you're trying to accomplish here. I know what I would do, but it's unclear what YOU want to do. Do you intend for it to always be a side project? Do you want to bootstrap it or invest? What's the editorial mission?

Let me preface this by saying what's been created here is fucking glorious. It's far and away the best VT sports community, the best product for commentary, and the best UX. This is not debatable.

I want to see TKP survive not just because I love what you've built. And not just because I'm all for anything that's good about Virginia Tech. But also because I want to see people succeed in a frankly really shitty business. (By way of background, what I do for a living is create, run — and now consult — on media sustainability, emphasizing digital subscription and membership organizations.)

My concern is that I've offered to provide pro bono help to you on this repeatedly (for more than two years) and yet we've never spoken. Which makes me wonder about how serious you are about taking TKP to the next level. I understand how hard it is, by the way, balancing a FT gig, family, etc. So this is tough love, but with emphasis on the love.

There are plenty of tactical things you could pursue to get to sustainability. Two very obvious ones:
Ask more. I've been a member for years and have seen, maybe, two or three email appeals. Perhaps you have a deliverability problem. Or you're worried about unsubscribes. But the level of email asks is painfully low. And not just by email — social and site CTAs (calls to action) are few and far between.
Optimize for $$. As many have stated above, you have a single price point. Meaning your audience is either in or out. Instead, you need to focus on optimizing for the demand curve. What I mean by that: Some are willing to pay a dollar. Others $1000. The holy grail is to capture every user at his or her optimum give rate. Now, that takes a lot of time and effort and you'll never actually be that efficient (or effective... sorry dcwilson). But it's starts by TESTING things like the aforementioned monthly option. You're making a huge assumption (which could be right but I highly doubt it) that such an option would be bottom line negative. Other ideas that have been tossed around in this thread alone are worth testing: gift subscriptions, sponsored membership, chip-in campaigns, even crowdfunding of specific needs (my team once raised $100K at a small news org just to fund live-streaming equipment). I know you're a software guy, but the implementation of many of these DOES NOT require custom builds.

Bottom line: You're leaving money on the table that would help you turn this into a more sustainable enterprise. But you've gotta be wiling to leverage the community to help. And develop a a plan for where you're going and how you're going to get there. It really comes down to whether you're ready to be a Big Dog. If so, you've got to separate "Joe" from "The Key Play." You've got to professionalize some things. You've got to ramp up the sophistication in some areas, including membership acquisition.

This is why I haven't joined, honestly. As with the complaint I hear about the Hokie Club (and many other orgs/causes): Some folks don't want to give until you have confidence that money will be spent wisely.

My concern is that I've offered to provide pro bono help to you on this repeatedly (for more than two years) and yet we've never spoken. Which makes me wonder about how serious you are about taking TKP to the next level.

For full transparency for the rest of the community, this is not accurate.

You reached out to me during the football season a couple of times. I responded to you and we had a back-and-forth conversation and tried to schedule times to talk. I followed up with you, you followed up with me. It didn't work out because of timing issues on both ends. The impression from the above is I 'hung up the phone on you' and that's simply not the case. Both of us have families, I have a full-time job, and football season is TKP's busiest time of year. I was upfront about that. My No. 1 goal during football season is to make sure TKP runs smooth and delivers outstanding content. My responsibilities range from editorial work, to moderation, to site ops. During the football season, I get up at 6:00 AM, work on TKP, go to work, mostly ignore my family in the evening (to the detriment of arguments with my significant other), work on TKP until 10:00 PM - midnight. That's the level of my seriousness and commitment. I do that all football season.

If you don't want to join TKPC, even after your effusive praise of the site, that's fine. I don't judge you or anyone else for that decision. But please do not question my level of commitment ever again. Thanks.

I never questioned your level of commitment, Joe. Quite the opposite. I know how hard you work on the site now.

I said I wonder how serious you are about taking TKP "to the next level." Getting there (institutional sustainability) is hard, and it's time consuming, and it's a grind. It takes years, it takes being open to new ideas and criticism and help. You asked for opinions on how to improve. I gave you a few and an opportunity to help more deeply. Not sure how anyone would get the impression that "you hung up on me." We also emailed back and forth numerous times outside the football season, but that's not really the point. Your response answers my question perfectly. Happy New Year!

you can't be serious.

I got the impression that you generously offered to work pro bono and Joe ghosted you. Your comments, given context with what Joe is writing assuming it is accurate to which I have no reason to believe otherwise, are disingenuous.

As are your comments about the commitment it takes. Joe literally started this himself and built it to what it is today. Explaining that it is time consuming when he literally just explained the time he commits and how it negatively impacts his family life is obtuse and flippant.

I'm not really sure what you're getting at here. Is it that I didn't really offer to help? Because I did, many times. It's not about football season... happy to schedule time in, I don't know, June? And, again, I totally understand the commitment it takes because I've done it. There are no silver bullets to this stuff. I'm suggesting it's going to take a lot of DIFFERENT effort -- including, perhaps, embracing volunteers from the community -- to take it to the next level. Joe doesn't have to do this. He doesn't owe me or anyone else anything. Just offering advice which can be taken or not.

(emphasis my own)

My concern is that I've offered to provide pro bono help to you on this repeatedly (for more than two years) and yet we've never spoken. Which makes me wonder about how serious you are about taking TKP to the next level.

and yet you have spoken. multiple times.

Joe's comments on commitment:

During the football season, I get up at 6:00 AM, work on TKP, go to work, mostly ignore my family in the evening (to the detriment of arguments with my significant other), work on TKP until 10:00 PM - midnight. That's the level of my seriousness and commitment. I do that all football season.

to which you reply:

I said I wonder how serious you are about taking TKP "to the next level." Getting there (institutional sustainability) is hard, and it's time consuming, and it's a grind. It takes years, it takes being open to new ideas and criticism and help.

I mean... do I need to spell it out more?

I'm not privy to your conversations with Joe and the timing issues. But it seems you did in fact talk. It also seems like he doesn't need a lecture on the kind of commitment that is necessary to take TKP to where he wants it to go.

And here's something I know from running multiple companies: people offering to work for free often take up a lot more time than they are worth. Not saying you don't know what you're doing or you couldn't do the things you say you can. Just mean that running a company is about keeping it afloat at all times and headed in the right direction to the best of your abilities. Joe, in his own words, is at the point where it is consuming more time than his family wants. Can you imagine if someone who works for free accidentally causes an issue during football season? They have no real stake in the site and even if they offer to help fix the problem it will be easier, and in his own mind safer, if he fixed it, which would mean even more time away from his family. Precisely what he doesn't want to happen, as he has explained.

Don't get me wrong. I love the sentiment with offering to help, but you miss-characterized what actually happened when you contacted him and then questioned the man's commitment on wanting to take things "to the next level" (whatever that is) without actually thinking about the problems offers like this could cause. That is why your comments are obtuse and flippant.

and yet you have spoken. multiple times.

Not sure where you're getting that. Joe and I have never spoken.

Totally agree that sometimes taking help is more trouble than it's worth. And sometimes offering help is more trouble than it's worth.

Appreciate your great perspective on this site, always. Leg to you.

"spoken" vs "communicated" is probably splitting hairs

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

bingo

You keep suggesting Joe take this site to the next level. Have you considered that maybe he doesn't want to? What would the next level be for this site, something that takes a full-time job to sustain? I know I wouldn't want that, I like what I do for a living. Maybe consider that there isn't a lot of interest to put more time and resources into the site than are already being invested.

Not everything has to be about growth. Sometimes a stable equilibrium is desired. I don't know why people don't understand this.

If you're not sure if my comment warrants a "/s", it probably does.

Have you considered that maybe he doesn't want to?

Yes. E.g.:

Do you intend for it to always be a side project? Do you want to bootstrap it or invest?

and

Joe doesn't have to do this. He doesn't owe me or anyone else anything. Just offering advice which can be taken or not.

Ok, this whole tree doesn't seem to be getting anywhere quickly.

If you think you can help, type up a proposal with what you bring to the table, what you propose to do, how it's going to look as an end product, and any cost associated with it and send to Joe. Ball will be in his court. He can review. He can make decisions based on that...instead of a few emails back and forth in between TKP, work, and life. Be proactive, help yourself, help Joe, help TKP.

Happy New Year. Go Hokies!

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

This comment right he is why I just joined TKPC. I've honestly never given much thought to what you put into this personally and sacrifice so we can enjoy what you've created. Thank you Joe! I know it's only $84 but hopefully it helps.

TKPC being ad-free is awesome and a nice perk for the paying members. I don't know that there's a suggestion here, but I thought it was worth mentioning again.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

If enough people are clamoring for the month to month subscription, then maybe bring in a lower tier of TKPC that comes with some benefit, but not the full allotment. You'd (Joe) would be taking the risk of not having guaranteed funding for a while, so make it worth it to become a full annual member where everything gets opened up, but allow a lower tier where you can still read a lot of the articles, but not everything.

First off, at this point, given the reactions above, I think most (if not all) of french's articles should go behind the paywall from here on out. Those seem to be the ones that really provide the most in depth information, and as such, there should be a desire to pay to read them. Maybe introduce a vesting method for monthly subscribers that allows you to access content based on how long you've been a member (1 year fully vested, 8 months 75% vested, 4 months 50% vested, start off with 25% from the second you join, and your vesting resets if your membership lapses). And then maybe split some of the long articles to roll out in 'Part 1/Part2/Part 3' over the course of the week, to take advantage of these vesting limits. Then, bump up the monthly subscription to effectively tack on a premium fee over the course of a year (20%?) for the risk you're taking, and to encourage annual members. And fully vest all annual memberships to get all access immediately.

Its not ideal, but it sounds like this might be something that everyone is clamoring for. But you still need to make it worth our while to join annually for your own financial stability. I know this would necessitate a major coding change, and if its not at all feasible, I completely understand. I'm just offering a suggestion based upon the feedback above.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

make the hypothetical lower tier subscription still have ads to double-dip on that revenue

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

I thought about that, but assumed enough people have ad blockers to make it effectively irrelevant

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

A person who pays for a full year on a monthly basis would actually pay more. I don't know why they should be docked any features.

Now if there were some football only membership or a model where you can pause or end it at anytime then I get what your saying.

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A month-to-month member could cancel at any time, after any month. Am I misunderstanding what you're saying here? There's no feasible way to do a full year membership over a 12 month period (installment plan). At least, not one I can think of.

I'm not saying that you do the month to month, cancel anytime thing. It's a model that exists in the digital market that Netflix, Hulu, WWE, FantasyPros.com, etc. all employ. I'm just saying its a model that exists in the current market.

A full year membership paid monthly, is doable, with an option to purchase the entire year for a 1 time fee at the $90 price point, is a standard pricing model. People pay more to per month to be able to pay on a monthly basis. The benefit of purchasing at $90 today, is that you save $30 over the year.

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Netflix, Hulu, WWE, FantasyPros.com

What's the annual cash flow of these companies? What's the annual cash flow of TKP? And based on those differences, how do you expect Joe to provide the tools to offer this amenity?

And by doing monthly subscriptions, TKP will gain how much?

You speak as if resources and money are limitless. TKP isn't a million dollar idea. It's a site for VT fans run by a few resource-strapped VT fans.

TKP annual revenue from subscriptions is literally less than the average annual salary of a VT graduate. (Source).

🦃 🦃 🦃

I'm not saying that you do the month to month, cancel anytime thing. It's a model that exists in the digital market that Netflix, Hulu, WWE, FantasyPros.com, etc. all employ. I'm just saying its a model that exists in the current market.

Like it says in the quote. It's just a pricing model, and I was never suggesting to move to it.

A contract where you are locked in to pay $120 by the end of 12 months at a $10 price point is feasible and quite the norm for most freemium subscription businesses.

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I'm just saying its a model that exists in the current market

So, TKP and those companies are in the same market? A website that receives $60K in revenue from its subscribers is in the same market as the hundreds of millions to billions of dollar streaming services or online gambling markets?

A contract

TKP has legal team?

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yes. have you seen the chris Clarke, mook, Dwayne Lawson, CJ reavis, etc. threads?

#Bapn ain't EZ

Wanna win put boobie in! Let boobie spin coach!

I would hope that there is some form of contract that goes along with my purchase of $90 subscription, so Joe can keep his money, and I don't get screwed if I want to end my subscription. Doesn't mean their needs to be a legal team, but there is a contractual agreement being made.

I used those companies as examples because they kind of set the bar for digital subscription models.

Since your not being to friendly about this, the Roanoke Times would cost me $8.95 per month for a digital subscription.
That is a direct competitor of this site. Roanoke Times

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I would hope that there is some form of contract that goes along with my purchase of $90 subscription, so Joe can keep his money, and I don't get screwed if I want to end my subscription.

You are asking for a warranty for a single purchase, not a contract. There is no warranty for this site (click). A monthly subscription plan would be a contractual agreement (consideration on both sides to perform an action at a future date).

Roanoke Times

The Roanoke times has an estimated revenue of $7.3M and an estimated 76 employees (link). Joe is a single individual with a full time job and family and has a computer.

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Having a contract like this, or any contract with liabilities, would require Joe to retain lawyers not just for its creation but for its defense and enforcement. That would take TKPs budget. This is why I suggested patreon above as it is a middle man where users "support" content creators.

We understand you're looking for monthly payments but you're not understanding the financial and logistical headaches that come from it. Why would he want to do that?

There are sooooo many ways to manage pricing. 1) Annual one-time. 2) Annual recurring (auto-renew). 3) Monthly recurring. 4) Annual commitment, monthly billing. 5) Single one-time contribution. Etc.

Imagine a retention curve that plots annual retention and monthly retention. In Month 13, retention is typically higher for monthly recurring subscriptions/memberships than when an annual sub renews. But if you're worried about the cannibalization (annual members downgrading to monthly) and retention (monthly members cancelling after football season) risks, test with a reasonably small controlled sample and look at results.

But if you're worried about the cannibalization (annual members downgrading to monthly) and retention (monthly members cancelling after football season) risks, test with a reasonably small controlled sample and look at results.

There are literally 655 TKP Club members. What test sample size are you looking for? The entire population is already tiny.

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This. There's not enough of a user base for statistical significance. And I'm not defining user base as only TKPC members.

Instead of a monthly membership would paying for a yearly membership in 3 or 4 installments be beneficial to either side? Would cutting the price into thirds (or fourths) make people any more willing to purchase? If they cancel after any payment they would forfeit any money they paid and their membership. You could even add a small convenience fee each installment. Maybe $1. Doing it this way would prevent someone just joining for football season and then bailing. They would already have their yearly membership paid for by the end of the season. This is not necessarily what is keeping me from joining. I'm just trying to take each side's valid points into consideration.

As previously mentioned, there are engineering costs with implementing this.

we should get the bowl commit to set this up am I rite?

#Bapn ain't EZ

Wanna win put boobie in! Let boobie spin coach!

In regards to a lot of comments made about non-TKPC members not coughing up the money because they don't want to support the site, there's an element missing in making these accusations which is simply how people view this site and therefore to what level they wish to support it.

I don't view this site the same way I view donating to the Hokie Club. I don't view this site the same way I view donating to the University. I don't view this site the same way I view donating to the College of Engineering. I don't view this site the same way I view donating to my local charities. I don't view this site the same way I view donating to my Church. It's not right or wrong either way, it's just a personal choice in how you choose to allocate your money.

I completely understand where people are coming from when they say 'that's not the point and you should support the site just so we can all enjoy this great content and effort put forth to keep the lights on', but it just doesn't matter if people don't view it that way. I mentioned previously that it's valiant that Joe has kept this free for so long, but I'd recommend it being a paywall site to eliminate all of this ambiguity and contention which would be a 100% fair business decision. That's what I would do if I was busting my butt keeping this afloat pretty much pro bono.

With that said, I think it's a bit unfair to pressure people into paying if they don't want to. Nobody here is "freeloading" unless they're logging into their buddy's TKPC account. They're simply using it how they feel suits them with the current setup. For example, I use the Athletic ($30 a year) for the majority of my sports news and this site for keeping up with the banter (and good beer). That's the business decision that I've made.

I truly hope no one takes this the wrong way as my intent wasn't to ruffle any feathers but show that there's always other thought processes and opinions that go into something like this. I really do get the points made on the other side of the fence but I don't think it's fair to nag people about joining with the assumption they're not doing so because of one or two reasons you may think they're not doing it.

"What kind of person would throw away a perfectly good dog?"

Here's something I would like to see implemented - some sort of ajax functionality to allow you to see that new replies have been posted under a particular node and a link so you can load them without refreshing the page.

I have a general aversion to subscriptions. I have far too many already, and I'm reluctant to keep adding to my pile of autopay services. But I understand the TKP problem. I'm actually amazed that TKP has been able to do so well as it has. It's beautiful. I love it.

However, it is a risky move for TKP to put more behind the paywall. First, I don't think there are enough authors like french60wasp to be monetized. Second, if you put more content like game threads behind the paywall, and perhaps recruiting threads, or more, you could destroy the main value of the free side. I always thought the comments were the best part of TKP anyway. The articles are discussion starters, but sometimes I skim the article, then skip right to the comments to find the pulse of Hokie fanbase, the real passion, the scuttlebutt, and debate about new ideas, the humor, good and bad predictions, etc. If you put most of that good stuff behind the paywall, you may find your total audience shrinking, even with higher paid subscriber revenue, and that can't be good for TKP.

All things considered, I'll probably suck it up and pay the subscription. But you will need large numbers of us to make the same decision.

Some sort of indicator on the front page to show if a given article is TKPC-only.

Now that you mention it, I disagree. No indication on the front page, if you try to read the article, it has a paragraph and then cuts you off saying you need permissions to read further. Suck people in, make them know they are missing out, get them on the hook knowing they're missing out on something they want to read, and that should help get more support.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

Don't get clickbaity, but I agree, I think this would push about 200 more people over to the TKPC side. I also think recruitment info being only available to TKPC would push a number of people as well.

Come to Blacksburg and see what the Hokie Pokie is really all about

If someone is going to base a subscription payment on availability of recruiting information, this isn't the site for that. 247 has far more inside information than appears here. TKP has to have a niche, and can throw some other things behind the paywall with that niche. But, taking someone else's niche and trying to monetize it isn't going to be all that successful.
I'm not really sure what TSL's niche is supposedd to be, other than bulk generic articles. I know they have a paywall recruiting section. That could have info in it, but I'm not sure. Can't stand the layout over there.

Speaking of TSL, I've tried to convert my father from TSL to TKP. He said he hated the layout and I couldn't figure out why. Then he started saying he couldn't tell what was new, what was old, that sort of thing. Where he doesn't have an account, each thread is posted like it's all either new or old. You can't tell what's been clicked or read previously without being logged in. Account creation isn't all that difficult, so that would fix his problem. And I don't know if there is or should be a fix outside of that.

Putting TKP recruiting info behind paywall wouldn't solve anything because users can literally talk about anything in the comments of other posts and/or create their own non-paywall recruiting post. While I love articles with new recruits I don't see TKP posting insider info on recruits which is what I feel most people would want to pay for.

As much as I respect that, and mostly live by it, the Hokie Club and TKP may be the two exceptions for me.

I don't have to pay into either, but they both support VT athletics, which is a cause I believe in. I do get a great bit of enjoyment out of VT athletics, and contributing money to support scholarships via the Hokie Club directly supports the success of VT sports. Less direct is my support of this site, as well as contributing my perspective in the threads here. This is a gather spot for VT fans, and also a great source of information about the program. It provides value to the community.

The way I see it, if I spend time on this site, it also makes sense to spend the relatively small amount of money requested to help support Joe's efforts to keep it viable. I get more than $85 of enjoyment out of this site a year.

Joe could go to a more pay-oriented site, in which case we'd lose some valuable contributors, and even more occasional viewers. For me, that would be a shame.

Joe,
Is your vision of TKP the same as when you started TKPC?

It seems to me that there have been some behind the scene upgrades to the site. For one, as a mobile user, posts seem to be able to get quite large without slowing down compared to recent past. Has the majority of the membership payments gone to that kind of maintenance or are you bank rolling for some of the staff hires you had envisioned?

As for me joining, I guess I am on the fence but reluctant to make my tight ass make the leap. I have never paid for content before and there seems to be a lot of outlets available for general hokie updates. I do very much appreciate the community discussion though. I see the value in the original content but that isn't what really excites me. I hope this honest feedback helps. Keep up the good work and maybe one day I will take the plunge.

"with all due respect, and remember I’m sayin’ it with all due respect, that idea ain’t worth a velvet painting of a whale and a dolphin gettin’ it on" - Ricky Bobby

The ultimate goals are to publish great content, foster an outstanding community for discourse, and run on an awesome technology stack. Those have not changed. And yes, TKPC was directly responsible for the beefy server upgrade in September 2017, and I anticipate a move to more powerful iron come 2019.

Here you go. This seems to be more powerful (or at least more expensive).

If you're not sure if my comment warrants a "/s", it probably does.

One quick thing while I noticed while browsing on mobile just now - is there a way to jump down to adding a new comment? It's quite a long scroll otherwise.

Also, can I customize the color for html links? I can't make out the maroon font from the black body text due to color-blindness. I'll get a TKP membership for this small quality of life.

I'm sorry to hear about that. I did some digging for you this morning and fortunately there is an off the shelf solution that will work with Chrome. Check out the Stylish extension.

I created a quick style to turn all article links (comments and articles) burnt orange.

Change #ff6600 to whatever HTML color works best for you.

Well I was really trying to hold out for #669, but I guess #661 will have to do.

I'm not trying to be insensitive, but I can't get over how you mentioned you are a color blind hokie fan and your avatar is a dog in a VT hat. 'Cause, you know, dog's are colorblind.

WELCOME TO THE CLUB!!!!

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

TKP doesn't discriminate. We accept all peop...um...species that are Hokies.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used."
- The BoD

well at least we don't have to worry about him looking through maroon and orange goggles :)

#Bapn ain't EZ

Wanna win put boobie in! Let boobie spin coach!

okay, I so agree with the poster about the link color (and I have some color blindness as well). I have a question on how to make this stylish extension work. It will help me in so many other websites as well (especially the vt.edu website). I am not sure how to make this work, as I am more about food and beer, and less about 'puters and software.

I downloaded the extension, and searched thekeyplay.com for styles, but it came back with 0 results. what am I doing wrong?

Okay, I think I am understanding this. I write a style on my own. When I try this, I am not getting it to work and I think it's because I cannot get the code correct.

what is the figure in front of "important" in your lines?
Here is what I have so far:

1 article a {
2 color: #ff6600;
3 }

What goes after the #ff6600;? The window capture posted earlier is not clear, is it a :, a ! or what?

Thanks!

right click on image, open in new tab. you'll get Very Big Full Size

it's

1 article a{
2 color: #ff6600 !important;
3 }

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Thank you, that did it!

I'd like to add my 2 cents here at a penny a piece.

1. I joined TKPC merely because this site and its community make my life more enjoyable and funnier. If it were to cease to exist, I would be very sad. If my $84 helps keeps this place open, then please, take my money. I am on this website more than I am on any other website or social media platform. I love it here. The good and the bad.

2. I have heard firsthand from a Washington Post sports reporter (who is a personal friend) that their staff comes to this website first when researching for Virginia Tech articles.

Game threads -- Can the game thread be changed to a live chat format? As in, you click on the typical game thread link, and it opens a continuously scrolling chat page à la Andy Bitter's mailbag before he went to the Athletic. Otherwise, scrolling through 1,000+ one-line comments gets a bit tedious as the game wears on. It's kind of annoying to post and then keeping refreshing things to see everyone else's take on whatever just happened in the game.

Recruiting -- I am 100% behind bar1990's request to have a recruiting table that will help sort out the absurdity of "Smarch Recruiting Thread Part XXIVII".

"You know when the Hokies say 'We are Virginia Tech' they're going to mean it."- Lee Corso

Can the game thread be changed to a live chat format?

For instance, ESPN has used Disqus in the past for trade deadline/draft day chat-with-the-experts features

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

YES, THIS!!

"You know when the Hokies say 'We are Virginia Tech' they're going to mean it."- Lee Corso

Maybe a way to get more people involved in TKPC would be to increases how members can engage with the community.
Some idea's for added engagement:

  • Discord
  • Video Gaming Groups
  • Professional network
  • meet-ups/tailgates
  • TKPC Poll for football/basketball

All of this things could be done without require new engineering on the site by using other existing platforms. They would require some form of moderation or curation but that could be farmed out to members of the community.

As far as technical improvements to the site

  • Markdown option for post/comment formatting
  • Native image hosting

And now it's time to show the world
That victory is ours tonight

I have an inexpensive idea to increase quality content. If the staff would put out a potential list of investigative or opinion articles, perhaps ideas that the busy staff writers just dont have the time for, it may challenge posters to take on the challenge and produce a great article. This already happens on its own, but something to encourage it more often could increase the total content. If Joe thinks the post is worthy, it could be pinned to the front page. The initial ideas could be crowd sourced.

"with all due respect, and remember I’m sayin’ it with all due respect, that idea ain’t worth a velvet painting of a whale and a dolphin gettin’ it on" - Ricky Bobby

I notice you have taken the suggestion above to make more content TKP only. I have a question. If I make a cash donation of $84, does that qualify? Or do I need to give my credit card info and agree to automatic renewal?

Doesn't matter if it's cake or pie as long as it's chocolate.

Unfortunately, payment needs to go through TKP's system via credit card. That's how everything is reconciled on the back-end, including how the CMS denotes TKPC members and provides applicable access.

The system automatically provides opt-out email reminders weeks and days from the renewal date.

And to be clear, it's not a "donation" in the 501(c) sense. TKP is owned by Orange and Maroon Media, LLC, which is a for-profit business entity.

So, have you given up on the idea of hiring a full-time reporter and decided to instead allocate the money for better hardware and current staff contributions? I would completely understand given the inability to generate enough money for a competitive yearly salary.

"Sooner or later, if man is ever to be worthy of his destiny, we must fill our heart with tolerance."
-Stan Lee

"Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing."
-Ron Swanson

"11-0, bro"
-Hunter Carpenter (probably)

I'm basically copying atlhokie

I don't know the solution but the Game threads do get to be little hard to actually follow, especially since its the only time I'm on the app from mobile.

I like the idea of some sort of organization to the recruiting threads, possibly a little more enforcement on those staying on topic. They tend to go off the wall much faster than any other thread.

Also this thread reminded me to finally fix my payment for tkpc so I'm back now.

It would be cool to see on the Turkey legs board, Green up and Red down arrows that are auto-updated weekly, make getting Turkey legs feel more like an accomplishment and reward higher upvoted posters

You put those words together, those are my favorite words, Popeyes and bahama
- Mike Burnup

Let me get this straight, you want to feed Alum07's ego?

*His ego in relation to turkey legs. I can't speak to his actual ego.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used."
- The BoD

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

I'm giving this a leg. Just know it's Jack's leg, not yours.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used."
- The BoD

Yeah buddy!

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

Right there in your hand: Transportation of illegal alcohol across state lines for the purpose of distribution.

Well I don't know what this looks like to you, officer, but this is not distribution this is consumption!

You used to be able to see this per comment but people got pissed whenever they got downvoted and posts were constantly getting subverted with "why did i get downvoted?" conversations that went nowhere, so Joe made it a cumulative tally to get rid of the noise. It's better this way.

Sorry took a while to get to this

For technical improvements:
- A second active discussions list that only have threads i have commented in
- I agree game threads could be improved. With the replies it makes it harder, but starting at the new comments instead of the top of the thread would help.
- Easy way to find my last comment (other than searching for my username)

Logistical stuff:
- I can never find the technical aspects of this site. I didnt know to make a table blog_statistics until some one told me after I posted a crappy looking table. Or how to post twitter posts. I could look it up and figure it out, but I'm lazy. I would love a reference page for this type of thing.

Paying for TKP:
- I (read: my wife) has a hard time justifying $87 so that I can argue with people on the internet, what she thinks i use this site for (she's not wrong). At the same time I do feel for you. You have to pay for bandwidth, servers, etc. that I am not contributing towards. It's not the actual price as much as I can argue with people on the internet at other sites for free. I don't know what the price point is for my current level of use where "donating" money would help TKP.
- I know people have wanted monthly paying and i see why that is an issue. I am not suggestion you do that, however if you do, then i would look at multiple schemes, not just monthly.
- How can people like me contribute other ways? This season I wrote two parsers to mine data so I could post on this site. I am working on improving my play calling parser to would give (run or pass) per down/distance/quarter/score. Right now I can produce run or pass call on each down for each quarter for any game since 2003 (untested for anything older than 2016) with in a minute, I don't have it autoposting to TKP yet, still dealing with inconsistencies in the websites I'm pulling data from. And by the response to the data that opponents get called for less penalties when they play us, I might not know the best topics so letting me just go out and data mine stuff isn't going to fill this site with the content other people want. That isn't stopping me from doing it, but i wouldnt turn down suggestions.

Perhaps articles could be identified with a special icon in the tracker? Sometimes it gets confusing when I see two topics about the same breaking news, because one is a thread started by a member and the other is an official story from the main page. (Especially on the phone when the original poster is not identified.)

For that matter, perhaps we could have icons or something to identify the forums in the tracker. For instance, I saw this topic in the tracker: Cameron Roseman-Sinclair to UNC. Since I don't follow recruiting very closely, I didn't know who this was, and why I should care. Even clicking on the topic, it took almost to the end of the post to figure out it was actually about football.

I come to TKP because of the community on the comment boards. I don't care much for the articles that get published - rarely read them. I'm sure they are well-written and require a lot of work. They just aren't of interest to me.

I would love to see changes made that further foster this sense of community. I'm sure this would be too much work for you, but a newsfeed page that quickly let's me see posts that are receiving the most engagement and let's me see what those I "follow" have posted would be sweet.

Also, you have mentioned all the sacrifices you have made for this site. While I appreciate the work you've put in for me and the other TKP users, I kind of feel like I have blood on my hands from the way you talked about spending no time with your wife during football season. I know I don't speak for everyone here, but if you are choosing between this site's users and your family, please, choose the family.

I'd like to see a podcast.

Once things are in order personally, I'm joining TKPC

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

A delete option when editing posts for users like me that continually reply to the wrong post would be relatively useful and save the mods/admin some trouble.

You know, for those times your drunken sibling hijacks your TKP account and tries to burn the message boards down...and stuff.

I know zero about coding or managing a website, so I'm not sure how difficult this would be to implement, but...

What if game threads has the newest comments at the top? It would be more convenient then scrolling through the whole thread every time you refresh.

That's the worst feature twitter and Facebook try. I want comments in order they are posted not reverse. You don't read a book backwards.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

I done know the tech stack used but couldn't be that hard in a flat post situation, what do to do with replies? move thread to the top? nor very good ui.

Self serving...sorry.
Any chance to have a thread to link to all plaid comments?

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

type 'p' for plaid comments... 'penis' for anything about Paul Johnson

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

This might be picking nits, but it's something that set off a pet peeve of mine.

In the article about the 2019 schedule, which is posted on the main page of TKP:

The Hokies are scheduled to face a pair of I-AA opponents

Division I football has been classified as FBS and FCS long enough that most folks reading TKP should know what those mean. I get that people are still going to throw those terms around in the community posts, but an article on the main page of a site that gets credentials to cover games should be using the proper terminology.

might

I saw we fight the power and keep using I-AA

How about we do a politics board?

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used."
- The BoD

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

start The Key Party and let's vote Joe/TheFifthFuller as our presidential ticket

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

French could be the Ambassador to France and get exposed to all of their fine cheeses.

"Sooner or later, if man is ever to be worthy of his destiny, we must fill our heart with tolerance."
-Stan Lee

"Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing."
-Ron Swanson

"11-0, bro"
-Hunter Carpenter (probably)

This is a movement I can get behind

Now why does it HAVE to be Joe/TheFifthFuller? What ever happened to democracy? We all know French would make the best VP.

/s in case it wasn't obvious.

Joe/TheFifthFuller

#NOTMYPREZZZ

Right there in your hand: Transportation of illegal alcohol across state lines for the purpose of distribution.

Well I don't know what this looks like to you, officer, but this is not distribution this is consumption!

I'm the only senator here. The greatest wealth of political experience. I'm the obvious candidate.