Join The Key Players Club and Support TKP

Turn up to 💯 × 10 The Key Players Club members and support top-flight Virginia Tech Hokies coverage.

[Mark Umansky]

It's your every-so-often The Key Players Club progress report. Hey, it's December. Happy holidays, Hokies.

At the time of publish, TKP's benefactor group was 357 Hokies strong. 👏 Although, November and December's signups lagged behind August–October's, and the club is still 643 members short of its launch goal.

TKPC was conceived with the best intentions. Those with the financial resources who value TKP's content and community could support the website in order to enhance its offering for the benefit of all. Based on TKP's gaudy audience size, absurdly high engagement (y'all TKP hard), and an educated guess on spending power, I thought the community would break 1,000 within a month, tops.

That has not happened.

Let me backup. I enjoy building things. I blame Legos for an early age addiction. TKP has afforded me the opportunity build a readership, media platform, slick software stack, a community (with a lot of help), and a business. Yet, I am not complacent and the latter, entrepreneurship, is what interests me the most. Time is a limited resource, and my family and full-time job account for most of my daily 86,400 seconds. On an average day, the rest of my "free" time (and much of the aforementioned allotted) is dedicated to TKP (and sometimes sleep). However, it's becoming more apparent to me if I want to build a successful business, my time investment in TKP is an unwise one given its current business model. That realization made me sad because TKP is my baby.

These are all possible scenarios moving forward (not inclusive).

Maintain the status quo and see what happens. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. (No matter who said it, it's the truth.) This does not seem like a valid solution.

Invest time in a new side hustle. Not my prefered outcome by any means, but it's among the most realistic.

Completely redefine TKP's business strategy. TKP could become a premium content website. Or perhaps it becomes a subscription email list that publishes only during the football months.

Exclusive articles for The Key Players Club. Every so often TKP's most valuable and unique content is only available to TKPC members. My hypothesis is there are a lot of folks who read TKP who don't know about TKPC and would support it, but the only way to get them to notice is to put a barrier in the way. Additionally, there are people who value TKP and have the means to support it, but only when nudged. This will no doubt alienate those who believe they have a right to content online, but it's otherwise minimally invasive.

None of the above is what I envisioned the outcome of The Key Players Club would be 10 months ago, but business/life/... isn't always sunshine, rainbows, and wins over UVA* (*unless you are 13-years-old and younger). It's about dealing with change, the unexpected, and adversity.

Virginia Tech athletics is poised for exciting and memorable times ahead. I believe Hokies deserve coverage that exceeds their love of the maroon and orange. My ultimate hope is TKP can self-fund its first full-time reporter, which would only serve to help finance subsequent coverage. This would spiral into something magical. However, TKP needs your help to realize the next step. Those of you who can afford it, consider joining The Key Players Club and supporting The Key Play.

Tags: 
Section: 

Comments

Personally, I would say that I spend about 2 hours/day on Netflix/Xbox Live and another hour or so on TKP (easily). Netflix + Xbox Live is $20/month; TKP is $7. It's a great investment to keep this site going the way we know and love it. Christmas gifts & bonuses, I think most of us can scrape the cash together for this. HELL, go to Starbucks 2 times LESS a month and it's covered!

Will membership grant accurate responses to genuine inquiries about any and/or all current meanings of acronyms, inside jokes, and modern internet nomenclature that an old fashioned person may not understand??

I think what you're saying is if we get 100 key Players Club members, then Lawson won't transfer...

We put the K in Kwality

If you're reading the above post and thinking, "is this guy serious?!?," you can safely assume I'm not.

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)..

Do IT

I can imagine no more rewarding a career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction:
“I served in the United States Navy"

KCCO

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

Wait...not knowing any of the history of this gif, I've seen it probably a dozen times and this is the first time I've noticed dude has a pony tail hanging over his shoulder.

if I recall correctly it was part of a short film / visual art project for an art college in England. He participated from LA and read lines for multiple student artists. The green screen was intentional and made meme-ery very easy

Isn't the correct term memefication - if not, it should be.

So the ponytail is real? And...like...intentional?

Question: I'm not in position for this yet, but for those of us capable, what about sponsoring membership on behalf of those that are unable to pay yet?

#FUENTEenFUEGO
Waho's suck
Uva swallows

Meta question, Joe:

If I'm reading through a thread and want to make a comment, but I haven't gotten to all the "new" comments yet, is there a way to make the "new" tag stick longer? (or have you already secretly done this, because I could have sworn I posted yesterday and everything was still yellow...I just can't get it to repeat).

-I already know that I can use the back button after posting to get back to the unrefreshed page.

___

-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.

Just open the "Reply" link in a new tab. Then you can post your comment, close the new tab and go back to the original screen. In fact I'm doing this right now.

Unfortunately there is not, and it's not trivial to implement.

The majority of us make more than $150K? That can't be right.

The same algorithm that decided that also says we like Hummers and Hybrids.

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

Well I like Hummers, can't speak for everyone but I definitely like Hummers.

Technically, that's a plurality, not a majority

How do they know everyone's household income? I feel like I avoid checking those boxes when encountered in questionnaires. That information should only exist between me, my wife, and the government.

You need to click on "Composition", you are looking at the "Index" view which is TKP's traffic relative to the rest of the Internet. (Compared to the average website, TKP's readers are ballers.)

Over 34% of TKP's traffic makes over $100,000 according to Quantcast.

That is household income not individual. My best guess then is the average here is $80k since the majority of us are men and we make 20% more than the equivalent woman.

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

we make 20% more than the equivalent woman.

Not to open a full on political debate, but define "equivalent woman". It is a fact that women make 80% of what men make. When controlling for job type (e.g., men are far more likely to be in high paying tech jobs), the difference is closer to 5%. Still not acceptable, but not as egregious as many who beat the 80% drum would have you believe.

Um... I see no users in China. So either fernley is a lying whore or he has to access via some sort of vpn to get around the great firewall...

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)..

great firewall

Take your damn leg. And China shows up if you click "View details."
Also, everyone should join TKPC!

"That move was slicker than a peeled onion in a bowl of snot." -Mike Burnop

I'll take lying whore for a $1000 please alex.

Yes, its something i continuously have on my list but have been globe trotting since Aug. It's no excuse and I need to wear the cone of shame.

I deserve to be called out and I best be getting it done so i can get out of the cone of shame and just be a lying whore.

EDIT: The Cone of Shame is officially off

fernley hokie finally making a contribution to the site. freeloader/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)..

this made me laugh. you're awesome

I just try to inject a little sunshine into the doldrums of the offsea...holy crap it's game day, what the heck am I doing?

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)..

Not for him. It's already tomorrow there. DON'T TELL US HOW THE GAME ENDS IT IS THE ONLY THING I HAVE TO LOOK FORWARD TO TODAY.

I knew it!

TKP is where I can share my (OUR!) love for 1985 Hybrid Hummers!

Either make it pay or don't.

I love this place as much as the next guy, I also love pizza. One of my favorite foods. If a man was standing on the corner everyday with boxes of pizza, giving them away, would you take one? Then one day, he said "hey I know you get pizza for free everyday, but sooner or later your gonna have to pay." You can eat today for free though" - would you pay for free pizza?

That's pretty much where we are at with this. We are less than halfway to the goal, with a lot of people not putting in an opinion, is there going to be a sudden change in everyone's mentality? I dont see it.

Will I pay if this becomes a pay site, fuck yeah, in a heartbeat. This site was create as a free site, with great content. I don't know how it was thought to continue it, especially at the rate it grew, but that model doesn't work anymore. I don't pay, because I'm not required too, and because neither is anyone else. I'll pay for my pizza if I can't eat for free, but I'm not gonna pay for pizza when the guy beside me gets the same thing for free.

So, run an ad, make it pay, or shit it down. I would hate to see the site go, but hounding me to pay for content, that others would be able to get for free....

Yeah but if your neighbor mowed your grass or walked your dog for you, even though you'd never asked him to, you'd never kick him a few bucks for his efforts or even give him some water once in a while?

That's cold-hearted, dude.

@2n1, I understand your perspective, but disagree with the "cold-hearted" comment. Why should some people pay for the same content that others consume for free? It works both ways.

Also, a website that provides content for free, but every person in a forum that doesn't have a key next to their name is bugged about joining....that's not in the spirit of a "free site".

I also understand some people saying "well, my financial situation is my business". Valid, but that doesn't entitle you to free things. If this site goes behind a paywall, perhaps there's a process in which you can get access for a discounted or free price (assuming you are willing to divulge some of that information and satisfy Joe's criteria).

Think of it more as paying it forward. If you can afford the pizza, go ahead and chip in so that the guy can keep handing out slices every day to people who can't afford it but still enjoy it. The perk is that, since you're paying for it, you don't have to feel guilty for taking a slice every day when you walk by. You're also paying less for that pizza than if you went and bought your own. You could have 30 slices (1 a day) for 7 bucks or you could buy your own 8 piece pizza for 16 bucks. And eventually that guy is going to disappear and you're not going to get your free pizza. But you can go and buy your own pizza (even though it's way more expensive per slice) to enjoy by yourself (or with your friends/family) but all those people who enjoyed that pizza but can't afford it are sitting in the cold watching you enjoy your pizza by yourself.

If a tree falls in Scott Stadium does it make a sound?

In this case, the "Pizza" isn't free. It isn't in your example either. He's just not charging you. Here, the "pizza" costs money to host online, time and effort to write the software for, and time and effort to write and edit articles. The site and community have grown to the point where it is beyond a simply hobby. It has a staff of writers and at least one software developer, and it has a significant online community. People like TKP precisely because of the significant amount of effort put into it. The reality of the situation is that this costs money. Why should you donate? I did it because I'm a software developer and appreciate the effort that goes into all of this. I genuinely think it's the right thing to do, regardless of whether or not someone else donates as well.

What I've witnessed over the years is efforts to earn operating costs without charging the community through sponsored ads, sponsored amazon links, paypal donations, and now a club of donors. The fact that people complain about not being able to consume content that other people have spent time and effort creating without some sort of compensation absolutely boggles my mind.

The fact that people complain about not being able to consume content that other people have spent time and effort creating without some sort of compensation absolutely boggles my mind.

I think somehow people miss this very significant point. Especially if you maintain a frustrated or angry stance when the content is taken from you. Money, and sometimes even more importantly, time, is spent to create this content and maintain this community, content, and website. It really speaks to a societal issue overall where people often feel like they are insufficiently compensated for the work they do, but still think so much work that other people do, should be provided to them for free.

I hate that it comes across as "hounding". I have even been told it's begging. (Sidebar: Not directed at you, but I'm a proud person that's paid my own way in life that hasn't begged for a thing.) It's really an effort to be transparent with y'all, and a gentle reminder and notice that TKPC is a thing. I really appreciate your feedback, and the model of TKPC has to account for the product inherently for sale.

It doesn't sound like hounding to me. People have to be made aware of fundraising initiatives, they don't just magically know this stuff exists. The posts work as it appears that there is a boost in TKPC membership every time you make one of these posts.

This is the same kind of attitude which leads to our horrible Hokie Club numbers.

Maybe I am unique, but I feel like there should be a decent wave of people joining after the December credit card statement gets paid off.

If I win the lottery I will make sure TKP is taken care of. I will also buy pie for every member.

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

Yeah, so I definitely don't want TKP to go away.

Please people SIGN UP

If you can afford it, of course.

Even if you can't, still sign up.

I see the "First Down Sports Bar" banner ad, but what about other display ads for revenue? Particularly during football season, I'd think some other Blacksburg, Ronoake, Richmond, or NoVa businesses would be interested. GobblerCountry has Rivals.com, so maybe some other recruiting sites? Fanatics?

I am reaching because I don't want TKP to go away, yet I also don't have an easy solution to propose.

Get well!

Lee Suggs!!

One would think, but I actively search out TKP sponsorships each year and thus far First Down is the only one to bite. Although they've sponsored TKP for 4 seasons in-a-row, so they realize the value.

Considering there's ~3,000 unique visitors from Richmond, I'm a little shocked that a bar like Home Team isn't bending over backwards to get TKP sponsorship...as of right now, the young alumni (22-35 y/o) typically go to Home Team for big games (I was there for the Clemson game, it was packed with VT alums), I'm shocked they're not trying to get even more people aware that it's literally the best place in Richmond to watch Virginia Tech football games...and hokie bombs.

But in Home Team's defense, why would they want to pay the money for a sponsorship? They are already getting the VT draw so it would be a net loss for them.

I feel like a place with a less established gameday crowd would be the one that would look to seek out a sponsorship. I know the owners of Triple Crossing Brewery and I did bring up the idea of hosting TKP viewing parties there but their private room at the new location is still a ways off from completion.

But in Home Team's defense, why would they want to pay the money for a sponsorship? They are already getting the VT draw so it would be a net loss for them.

Mainly because Home Team is only packed for the big games (e.g. Clemson, UT) and isn't nearly as packed when we're playing a lesser opponent. They could have a strong Hokie contingent weekly if they play their cards right.

It was absolutely smashed for the Syracuse game

their private room

Based on TKP's gaudy audience size, absurdly high engagement

I want TKP to succeed as much as the next guy, but there are less than 300 users with more than 1,000 turkey legs. I obviously don't have access to post counts and people do receive varying numbers of upvotes per post, but I'm going to use turkey legs as a measurement of user involvement. I wouldn't call 300 active users "absurdly high engagement". You have a few power users that absolutely dwarf everyone else (10 users with 20K+ turkey legs), with only about 280 'modest' users. Commenters are not even close to any kind of representation of active readers, but you have more Player Club members than 'modest' posters.

My first thought was "he's not going to reach 1,000 members without a subscription service," but that goes against your wishes when starting this site. I then thought about limiting "premium" content to members, much like that "whoopsie" post a few weeks back. I stopped going to 247 because not reading some articles and being excluded from some posts irritated me and disrupted the flow of conversation.

I'm not sure what the best option is. Perhaps go with the "Premium Content" option. Give those who register a TKP account with a VT.edu email a stark discount. Maybe limit the VT.edu email requirement to their paypal registration. Give every new account 10 free "Premium Content" views so people can at least taste what kind of content their money is buying. Limit "Premium Content" posts to threads behind the "Premium Content" threads. Don't block select comments in free threads. Don't go crazy formally restrictive on cross thread chatter as the paying member base would naturally limit premium content cross chatter.

Edit:
Instead of going all-in one way or another, slowing make changes if needed. Go premium content and if that doesn't generate enough members start having ALL comments from article contributors be blocked, even in free threads. If that still doesn't generate enough Players Club members, go to a subscription service. If a subscription service doesn't work, well, you did everything you could before shutting down the site like you are toying with anyway.

I'm not sure what the best option is. Perhaps go with the "Premium Content" option. Give those who register a TKP account with a VT.edu email a stark discount.

I get where you're going with this, but that's not going to have the intended result. Yes, I know the thought is that we'll be able to reach students better if we present them an easy discount like that...

but...

You don't lose your vt.edu email address upon graduation. In fact, anyone who is an alum, even if you graduated before the internet boom can go back to the school and get a vt.edu address if they really want it. (I highly recommend doing so, if only for online storage. With your .edu email address, you can get unlimited online storage through Google Drive as long as the email address exists, and considering VT allows you to keep yours for life.....) And considering most people on here are either students or alumni, a discount like that would essentially be an across the board price cut.

"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

Yeah, good point. I guess I was hoping that that those capable of spending the full price would understand the intent of the discount and not exploit it. Joining the players club felt more like a donation than pay for service to me. It's an unfortunate reality that you would have to plan around dishonesty on a Hokie board.

With that said, 450 members at half price beats 200 members at full price. Sprinkle in a few honest people and you net even more money. I'm not a business person, but I have to imagine there are ways/studies that could be done (time, money, blah blah blah) to generate some equation to project ideal price point for maximum money contribution. When people create a product, they have to know how to price it to sell the ideal number of units for maximum profit.

Turkey leg totals are a narrow view of engagement on TKP. The active portion of any online community is about 1% of the total audience. The other 99% lurk, and can still be very engaged with the content.

Consider the last 30 days of traffic according to Google Analytics from users who accessed TKP when not logged in. The average session duration was 00:03:48. A session is a period of engagement with no more than 30 minutes of user inactivity (viewing different pages). In total, those "anonymous" users accounted for 313,465 sessions and 98,599 unique users. Only 24.26% of those sessions were new (ie repeat visitors and high engagement over the last 30 days.)

Google Analytics also offers a Frequency & Recency report which helps to gage stickiness (the regularity in which people return). The below chart is absurd. By an order of magnitude, anonymous users have had 0 days since their last session.

TKP has a very, very, very engaged audience. Either the message of The Key Players Club is not reaching these folks, or they are not motivated to join.

Can confirm, I checked TKP almost daily for a few months before actually creating an account and engaging in conversations. When I was reading the content on a daily basis, but didn't have a created account, I would certainly still call myself "engaged" and I was consuming the content the same way I do now.

I agree with Joe. I don't think you can judge the level of one's engagement by turkey leg count. For years, I've been using TKP as my Number 1 source for information on VT sports, recruiting, even general campus news. I am on this site many, many times/day from several different locations. However, I have very little to add to the site's content as I graduated in 1979 and have lived on Cape Cod for over 20 years. I have only been back on campus twice in the last 15 years. Frankly, I don't even know how many turkey legs I have (I know where to find that out, I honestly just don't give a rat's ass).

Therefore, I essentially use this site to learn, not to teach or to inform. It's the best site out there, Joe, and I will support TKP to the best of my ability however which way you decide to go.

FYI - you have 536 legs :)

I just gave him a leg

This made me laugh out loud and gave me the motivation to actually log in and sign up.

*Dusts off hands*

Obligatory

they are not motivated to join.

That's it. I applaud the unique approach you've taken to keep TKP free and lean on the generosity of users. That said, you're largely fighting the same battle the Hokie Club is fighting. Throughout its history, folks have generally viewed Hokie Club donations as transactional (I give you money in exchange for access to better tickets & parking). People also generally view pay websites as transactional (I give you money for content I can't get elsewhere). A website that takes optional donations is a paradigm people just are not really used to. I can pretty much guarantee that 99% of the non-TKPC members who are lurking and reading this comment thread are asking the same question "What do I get for joining that I don't already get?" (Again, very similar to the question a lot of people have been asking about the Hokie Club.)

I hate to be a pessimist, but I'm just trying to be realistic with you, Joe-- I seriously doubt you'll ever get near 1000 members if the membership money doesn't give access to content you can't get otherwise. Good luck with whatever direction you decide to go. I enjoy the site a lot.

Culturally, a lot of people definitely just think they deserve to have free stuff, especially on the internet. I know several dual income married couples who use their parents' netflix because they don't want to spend $10 a month...

Speaking as a full-time engineer who still uses his in-laws' Netflix account... it's not that we don't want to pay $10/month, but they give the ability to upgrade from 2 simultaneous streams to 4 simultaneous streams for only an additional $2/month so why bother? It's a waste of $8/month at that point (which is more than enough to pay for a TKPC sub, btw) to have 2 separate $10/month accounts.

I think the general point was more what I was going for than suggesting there are no individual examples where it makes sense.

In general, I agree with your point. File-sharing has really changed the entertainment industry, good in some ways and less in others, and one of the (probably worse) ways is that general sense of entitlement that things on the internet should be free.

However, I think that sharing accounts is a different issue, and one that at least Netflix and HBO are on record as saying isn't a huge problem. Netflix charges a base amount for having access to a single stream at a time, and charges more to increase the number of simultaneous streams. HBO, at one point if not still, actually said something along the lines of "be careful, if you share your account credentials you may not be able to stream due to restrictions on the number of simultaneous connections", essentially giving their consent for you to share as long as you are aware of their technical restrictions on it.

Yep. I have a lot of friends who have "cut the cord" and then borrow their parents/friends/ex-roommates login for Xfinity, Netflix, etc.

If there's a way to get something for free, people will do it. If the only way to get something is to pay, then you force people into a cost-benefit analysis. But to be perfectly blunt, trying to convince someone to pay for something that they can get for free is a battle that will never be won on a large scale.

Still the only reasons I haven't "cut the cord" are that internet connections are still expensive and adding TV to make a "double play" is usually not much more, and it's really hard to stream live sports without paying for cable TV. SlingTV is one alternative, and I've considered going that route when my 12-month promotional period on my double play being only $30 more than just internet, but I've also heard terrible things about the quality of their service.

I realize I could borrow someone's cable account credentials for streaming sports on ESPN, FOX, and NBC, among others, but CBS is still holding out and only allowing you to stream live sports if you subscribe to CBS All-Access (and I don't know anyone that subscribes to the service).

I cut the cord and did Sling TV for awhile, but to me, the amount of money I was saving each month wasn't worth the lower picture quality (esp noticeable for live sports). I went back to cable.

If live sports on CBS is your only hangup, you should be able to resolve that (at least in most areas of the country) by getting an antenna for ~$20-30

It's not the only hangup, just the only one that isn't solved by means of dubious legality. I'll see if I can get this "introductory price" extended, which was never a problem with Comcast, but TWC may be different. If not I'll consider other options.

Also, I have an antenna connected to the TV, used it for a week or two until I got around to adding TV to the cable plan (the wife lived here for a while and doesn't really watch cable). I have an interesting video from that time of me standing up from and sitting down on the couch, showing the TV signal cut out every time I sit down. It's only an FM antenna, so a full VHF antenna would probably work fine.

I have been using Playstation Vue and I highly recommend it. I have never noticed the quality being any different and I love the cloud DVR feature. I believe Vue is the only streaming service that offers Comcast SportsNet which was a big decision point when evaluating the different options.

Just moved back to the Valley and good ol' Shentel. Took me five minutes to want TWC/Charter back.

If you've never lived outside the footprint, it's a whole new (modern) cable world out there.

BTW, I mentioned the odd internet data limits to the contractor, and he said Shentel blames Radford/VT students for sharing the bandwidth.

___

-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.

Congrats on moving back south! I hope life allows me that luxury again someday.

Also, Shentel is the example I always use when someone complains to me about Comcast/TWC/Verizon/etc. I had their internet service for a year, and it was by far my worst experience with a telecom company. For starters, it was cheaper for me to spend $60/month to get DirecTV with all the channels I wanted, a DVR, and NFL Sunday Ticket than for me to add the cheapest level of Shentel TV service that included NFL Network and ESPNU to my Internet bill. Then, after that, I had to put up with shoddy internet that would crash almost daily, sometimes repeatedly in one evening, for at least 10 minutes at a time. I would call them almost weekly, and every time they said it was an equipment issue on my end. Four times they sent a tech out to replace my modem (spoiler alert, it never helped), and never once admitted that it could be anything upstream from my modem (the wiring in the house, which they had installed, or the wiring upstream from the house).

For comparison's sake, I've been a customer of Verizon Wireless (in VA, IL, and NY), Comcast (in VA and IL), and TWC (in NY). VZW has made some business decisions that rub me the wrong way (such as their attempts to kick people like myself off of their unlimited data plans, but even with the price increases it's still worth it to me), but otherwise their customer service and signal quality has actually been fairly top-notch.

I never had any huge issues with Comcast, either. I only ever experienced a handful of short outages, and my internet speeds were consistently 50-100% higher than advertised. Worst thing I've personally experienced was when my brother signed up for service, specifically requested an SD receiver with no DVR, but was given an HD-DVR and charged for it accordingly. He tried for 3 months to get them to take it off, and each time they said they did, but it kept popping back up on his bill and he was getting back-charged. He never had the backbone to threaten to cancel service and stopped caring, so he's still paying for it 1.5 years later.

TWC is a little worse, but not as bad as Shentel. My wife moved up to NY 1.5 years before me (long story, mostly job-related), and got TWC internet when she moved in. The connection would occasionally cut out (though not nearly as often or as long as with Shentel), and whenever she called they'd give her a similar runaround as Shentel would give me. However, as soon as I moved in and made the call, pointing out that my wife has been dealing with it for a year or more, they popped to attention, sent a guy out, tested the signal, found an issue with the external wiring, and fixed it. Not sure if it's a sexism thing ("obviously she's not doing something right...") or if I just said the right thing, but that was a little shitty. At least they eventually got it to work.

Sorry for the novel.

I accept that turkey legs are a narrow view on engagement. At the time, I was viewing active engagement as discussion participation and figured that participation, in part, could be vaguely represented by TLs. It appears that site engagement encompasses more than simply commenting.

Or it's too expensive for the content provided...

Eye of the beholder I'd say. i'm a binge Netflix user and I still spend more time on TKP than Netflix. There's community here that I appreciate far more than facebook. I can interact with people who love Hokie football and respect keeping NSFW content and volatile subject matter somewhere else on the internet. Joe has sought to keep this place free of a lot of what makes the internet suck and I respect that. I've chosen to forego eating lunch out once a month and it has more than offset the cost of my TKPC membership. Totally worth it, both for the official content and the community sourced content.

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)..

Oh, I agree it's in the eye of the beholder. Personally I love the site but I feel like in the past year it's lost some of the funny and lightheartedness (made up word, I know). It's gotten more serious, from the staff feeling the need to increase content and make this into more than it is, to many of the posters taking things too seriously.

I love the stats articles during the season and French's stuff is good, the forum community is good but losing it's luster to me. I just think I can get generally better VT articles with real sources and insider info for cheaper at TSL. TKP is an awesome supplement but I always viewed it as a place to laugh about VT related things and remember it's all just a game, not a place for "serious discourse" if that makes sense? But it's just not that anymore.

Not trying to start an argument or anything, just giving my input. I don't think this is worth $84/yr. If the cost were around $50/yr like TSL, I think it's absolutely worth that and would very much consider subscribing.

So, if it was $50, could we get 1680 subscribers?

Immaterial. Joe has set the price at $84. Frankly, I'm surprised so many people think this is too much.

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)..

I don't know how many subscribers you could get with that price point. I get the reasoning for the price, I just think it was a huge jump from $0. I don't know much about pricing online material but would make more sense to me to start low and then gradually raise the price as you want to increase quality/quantity of the content.

Maybe it could be free with in-app purchases or obnoxious ads that lock up your computer til they're done playing? I so hate the business model that seems necessary to survive today. I'm hoping for an NPR-esque resolution here rather than an App Store one

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)..

I broke off the reading of the rest of the new comments on this thread to say that your perspective is really valuable. I suppose that I have to take a bit of blame for the lack of serious discourse for sure. $50 a year isn't unreasonable I don't think.

And as a fellow supporter of pie I'd encourage you to indulge in a few crab cakes as well.

Couple of quick things, Hokieman32:

1. Lightheartedness actually is a word, you are way more verbose than you give yourself credit for

2. I am sorry for "Well, actually"ing you. I will wear the cone of shame today

3. Crab cakes are good, but wouldn't you rather have something better, like:

Damn, did they melt some cheese over mashed potatoes over the meat filling? That's like a Shepherd's Pie INSIDE A PASTY. SOMEONE JUST INVENTED THE FUTURE.

I've never seen this before. If I come across it in real life I'll give it a shot. But only if it isn't up against crab cakes.

I feel like we've made a breakthrough, HOAT. This is the first step on our journey together to eat the best foods possible. I'm sorry I implied I wanted to cook and eat your relatives on another thread. That was probably unnecessary.

Water under the bridge, fellow TJ alum. What do you call that thing with the meat and cheese in it? Where do you get one? Can I get it with a pizza crust on the outside instead of a pastry crust?

That is a modified Cornish Pasty. You can get lots of different kinds at Pure Pasty Co in Vienna (that's the only place I know of in NoVa that specializes in them), although I will admit I've never seen one with mashed potatoes and cheese before. The traditional has ground beef, onions, carrots and rutabaga or potato, but they've got a Moroccan one, a Chicken Cordon Bleu, Chicken Masala, Sausage Rolls...actually, you can look here.

http://www.purepasty.com/menu/

I think if it's got pizza crust on the outside, that's a calzone. But don't worry, the crust on these isn't sweet, it's savory and buttery. Now I'm hungry.

You almost have me wanting to drive out to Vienna...almost

TJ Alum?

Not the god-forsaken high school named after the man who founded that other college I hope?

Hokies United l Ut Prosim

The very same

Interesting.

I'm class of '06 -- there were so few TJ->VT people in my class (35 if I remember correctly) that I'm sure I know neither of you but hi anyways.

Hokies United l Ut Prosim

TJ Class of 2000 had either 28 or 32 I think. So yeah we don't know each other unless you had an older sibling I knew

Class of 98! Hammer, you wouldn't happen to have an older brother named Mike Hammer that played lacrosse at...shit, Robinson? South Lakes? I can't remember which.

I don't. My username was inspired by the happy hour at the Cellar that myself and my roommates attended all too often.

And man, you guys are old!

Hokies United l Ut Prosim

Maaaaaan, kids these days. Y'all got no respect for your elders.

This is amazing, I'm going to attempt to make this

I just think I can get generally better VT articles with real sources and insider info for cheaper at TSL.

I don't know about that. I would argue French's film reviews and Alex's (I think Alex? sorry if this is inaccurate) recruit interviews alone provide significantly higher quality, more serious content than the alternatives, which are essentially regurgitating the same press quotes over and over (or "insiders" speculating on recruiting and calling it info).

Will and Chris live in Blacksburg and have longstanding connections to former players, coaches, and people in the Athletic Dept. They've been around for a long time, I trust their sources more than the handful of people on here who pop in from time to time to provide "sauces".

And again, I love french's reviews and alex's interviews but that's not the majority of the content and I just can't see the value in paying $84/yr for articles that come out 2-3x a month.

It's not that I don't appreciate or enjoy this site, I'm purely talking about value.

Koma's writing is some of the best I've seen on a sports related site, that kid is gangbusters.

For a brief bit during its infancy TKP tried to leverage its inside info as its draw, but then quickly pivoted to outstanding content. For what it's worth, I have #sauces, and from time to time I will drop a nugget of information, but I wanted to differentiate TKP from the rest of pack by its technology platform, community, user experience, and original content. If you want to pay for inside for, that's not TKP's jam. However, I think combines the aforementioned four better than any other website that covers Virginia Tech.

I sincerely appreciate the feedback.

Hey Joe, that's great to know I guess I didn't realize that. I appreciate the reply.

This answers the question that I had in the other thread yesterday. Thanks!

I love the stats articles during the season and French's stuff is good, the forum community is good but losing it's luster to me. I just think I can get generally better VT articles with real sources and insider info for cheaper at TSL.

Oh, my friend, I've been to TSL. I came up through the TSL ranks as a lowly Padahokiewan honing my craft and learning the skill. I have been down the TSL subscription path, I've read their articles, and read their breakdowns, and believe me when I say, TSL is no TKP. They have good writers, and they put out great opinion and state of the program pieces, but they don't have anyone that works for them with the ability to break down highlights like TKP has with French. And while they do have some good things that you can get with some insider info on their paid forums, the discourse over there is far, far inferior to what you get over here.

And believe me, if you think you're going to get funny and lightheartedness over at TSL, you're sorely mistaken.

"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

Alum07 right now

Image result for bane i was born in the dark gif

"We judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their behavior" Stephen M.R. Covey

“When life knocks you down plan to land on your back, because if you can look up, you can get up, if you fall flat on your face it can kill your spirit” David Wilson

Damn right

Now I just gotta get to work on crafting the plan to annihilate Heinz Field for being the crap hell hole home of the Nard

"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 agree that French's reviews are great but they have added some people over there recently to provide similarly in depth articles from time to time, pretty sure he's a former player. I also agree that the community is better here but I personally think its sliding into the TSL realm and I'm feeling a void. I'm torn because I think TSL is worth the $55/yr and this is not worth $84/yr to me. I think making it a subscription only site will bring this atmosphere further down the "too serious" (for lack of a better term) road. But I also just want it to either be a pay site or not, because it divisiveness is getting annoying.

I guess my opinion is that it's good content, but it's not $84/yr good to me. As I said before, I think it's right around the $50/yr value. And based on the membership, I'm betting many people agree.

Side note: are people currently paying for "better" things to come and a bottle opener? Or for maintaining the status quo? I'm honestly not sure what "better" things would make me want to pay that money.

I gladly pay the $84 because I love what TKP is about. I love the community and what it brings; I don't have enough Hokies to interact with on a daily basis without it. For me, it was never about "what is the value of each article that gets published on the site?" I believed that giving the $84 to help Joe keep the lights on was important because I see how people come together around here, learn, discuss, and have fun. I want that to continue. That's why TKPC is a group of benefactors, people who believe in the site and want to keep it running. I don't view my contribution as transactional. Sure, you can break it down into whatever it winds up being, like $0.23 per day or something similar per post, but that doesn't matter so much to me. I come here every day, multiple times a day, to take breaks from work or when I've got some downtime at home. I value the interactions with the other members of the site, who are some of the smartest, funniest, and most interesting people I've ever "met."

It'd be a damn shame if it couldn't continue. But that's just my $0.02. Or, I suppose, $84.

I gladly pay the $84 because I love what TKP is about. I love the community and what it brings; I don't have enough Hokies to interact with on a daily basis without it.

This x1000000000, this is my only interaction with Hokie fans on the majority of days, and that is invaluable to me.

The rest of this post is just awesome as well.

Yep, and I fully believe that was the original intent of this whole deal and I love that you and others are willing and able to do it. This isn't directed at you or anyone in particular but I very much dislike the ones who are continuing to pressure others to contribute financially. $84 is not a negligible amount, and people can break it down to the $ per whatever time frame you want but the fact is that it's an $84 cost at one time. I'd say most people if they have a significant other, discuss that size of purchase. Or at least be ready to answer the "um babe, what the hell is this $84 charge for?" question. It's not even really a purchase though, or a donation. it's just a contribution I guess, I think most people, despite our level of income; are not in a place to give away $84 for a non-traditional "good cause".

And we don't need to get into people's income, spending habits or financial management capabilities. It just feels like that line is being skirted pretty consistently.

I very much dislike the ones who are continuing to pressure others to contribute financially.

What do you expect when the owner of the site has repeatedly stated that he's contemplating shutting down the website for good if the people who use it aren't going to be able to help him out enough financially to make it worth it anymore? People like this site, they don't want it to go away, and we're essentially seeing a bunch of (my apologies for the lack of being able to find a better word here) freeloaders make every excuse in the book towards why they are unwilling to help. The threat of TKP closing down for good is very real, and it seems like people aren't really realizing this. We get thousands of unique visitors every day for this site, and right now we have a benefactor list sitting at 363, far less than the 1000 member goal that was presented earlier this year, which the analytics of this site say should be easily attained by the reach this website has.

And really, what else would you have us do? Sitting on our ass and hoping for the grass roots funding to happen has failed. Membership has stagnated and it was becoming very clear we wouldn't reach our goal for multiple years at the rate it was growing. One accidental button press making one article earlier this year accessible to only TKPC members brought on a sitewide meltdown of people losing their minds because suddenly not everything was free anymore. Ironically, that day saw the single highest spike in membership adds since the push during the leadup to the football season.

"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

Sitting on our ass and hoping for the grass roots funding to happen has failed. Membership has stagnated and it was becoming very clear we wouldn't reach our goal for multiple years at the rate it was growing.

Wait, are we talking about the Hokie Club or TKPC?

To get people to contribute, you have to remind them a lot and give them a reason to want to give. Whit was uniformly applauded in his latest Drive for 25, pending a strong marketing campaign. I don't see a lot of stigmatization on this site at all, and hardly any pressure aside from a couple of Meta threads and scattered comments reminding people (often when they are asking for things or complimenting a particularly awesome article) that TKP requires help to keep going. If people can't pay (broke students, people out of work) that's totally understandable. We're hoping that 1% (I did the math in the previous Meta thread) of the people who read TKP can give some money to it so we can keep going. The fact that our donation rate is 0.4% of the monthly readership is alarming. Everyone thought the 2% Hokie Club engagement was bad...

Wait, are we talking about the Hokie Club or TKPC?

Yeah, seems to be a pretty standard issue we have throughout the VT community. Even Academic fundraising struggles pretty much across the board.

I mean, I agree with you, if you can't join TKPC for whatever reason, so be it, but don't get angry and turned off when people are soliciting for new members and putting a little bit of pressure on those without the Orange key to their name. But when you see that 99.6% of the readers on TKP seem to have whatever excuse to not contribute, then you have to wonder what buttons need to be pressed to change that.

"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

Yeah that's the big point. I know there are plenty of people who genuinely can't afford or justify the contribution. But I definitely don't believe 99.6% of the readership can't, not for one second.

Right, if it's a financial issue then just make the decision (with warning) that it'll be a pay site from this point forward. If $84 happens to be the number for a membership for everyone (which I find hard to believe) then so be it. I honestly think it could be done for cheaper if Joe decides to make it subscription only, and as I've stated previously. If it's $50 or less then there's a good chance I'll be a subscriber.

As a business decision, it just seems curious the way it's been done. At this point I think its clear that enough people will pay to some amount to subscribe to this website if "forced." The competition for this website says that it's not $84, this is of course with no background knowledge of how everything works only looking at the products. To my knowledge 247sports is what? $150ish? (which i've always thought incredibly high, but its a bigger operation) TSL is $55, I think this site is more in line with TSL in the intent and quality of the content.

Why is $84 so hard to believe, do you have calculations that suggest otherwise? His goal is to hire someone full-time. He's not going to pay them 84k a year, but there are costs associated with hiring a full-time employee that go beyond just what they will be receiving from a salary.

I understand that number for the benefactor way of doing things. I just don't think as a subscription only (or mostly) website it would need to be $84 because everyone has to believe there would be more than 1000 subscribers.

I think it was done this way so those who felt comfortable giving could pick up the slack for those who had new families, student loans, problems working out how to budget $84 dollars a year, etc. as VT has always been a community that takes care of and helps its own.

Those currently supporting are already supporting themselves on the site and then some as you imagine and do it out of their love for the community. If you only want to give $50 bucks, I'm sure Joe would still take it.

Outspoken team cake advocate. Hates terrapins. Resident Macho Man Gif Poster. Distant cousin to Dork Magic. Frequently misspells words.

i mean im sorry but everyone needs to take a step back and look in the mirror. ive got a wedding in june, and am in grad school. i dont have a ton of money to throw around atm but for christs sake its affordable. i really think the fact that its a flat rate of 84$ shouldnt deter someone all that much considering how much time people spend on here

it seems like it may be an issue though so joe would it be doable to break it down to a monthly payment? and if that doesnt work hokieman do you have any advice for how to approach this?

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

I think drop the price and make it subscription only, or at least for the majority of the content. As has been discussed throughout the thread, people will pay once they have to.

At this point, I think we are all well aware that you personally do not think it's worth it.

I personally think it's worth $84/yr for the community and the content. I would even be willing to pay more than $84/yr. I certainly get more enjoyment out of this site per month than I do from one meal at CFA (a month) I'd have to forgo to pay for it.

I used to donate $10/month via PayPal when donations were pretty uncommon. Then Joe reduced the price on me! I offered him more, to stay at what I was donating, because I felt $10/month was a bargain. He declined, and said he believed the combined engagement of the community would be able to supply the $84/year. I'm hoping he'll be right in the end, but overall turnout is, so far, disappointing.

Well I thought so too but some keep contesting it's value to me. And yes, it is my personal opinion. This thread just feels like a good place to provide feedback on the situation. That's all I was trying to do, not trash the site or anyone on it, or start any arguments.

What would you value the content of this website at? $84 a year is 23 cents a day.

Did Joe ever say how he came about with $84? I know the only other similar service (for VT fans at least) would be the TSL Pass which is $50, but I would be curious what other similar premium sites charge for a yearly sub.

see above, kinda answered this in my other response by accident.

Instead of going all-in one way or another, slowing make changes if needed. Go premium content and if that doesn't generate enough members start having ALL comments from article contributors be blocked, even in free threads. If that still doesn't generate enough Players Club members, go to a subscription service. If a subscription service doesn't work, well, you did everything you could before shutting down the site like you are toying with anyway.

I know that thought comes from a good place, but ain't nobody got time for that. I prefer an iterative approach to problem solving, but I don't have the time or desire to invest in that approach (which includes plenty of software development). I am burnt out trying to make this work, and that's a signal to maybe it won't work. At this point I am content with moving on.

I love the website and the articles. There is a very real reason I've chosen this site over the others and contributed money. I don't want to see it end.
If you were my friend, I'd remind you to figure out what makes you happy and move forward. Everyone can see how much work this is and how much of a strain it is on you. I work to live, not live to work. If I had to choose work or family, I'm choosing family 100% of the time. Hobbies are meant to be part time and enjoyable, but The Key Play appears to have transitioned to work for you.
I feel like I read one time that you have a young child. Find someone willing to take over duties and relinquish full control. It's their responsibility now.

Calvin and Hobbes puts it into perspective right there. The idea of TKPC is to bring on someone full-time to handle the day to day reporting and free me up to spend more time with my family and focus on the aspects of TKP I am good at (software, business development, and long term strategy).

I'm a lurker. If memory serves, I've probably posted more on this thread than any other (we're at two now). I enjoy the commentary by the community but often don't feel the need to respond. The number of turkey legs you've got isn't necessarily reflective of your engagement. I visit the site several times a day for news and updates. That's a sort of engagement you're transparent to, but Joe is likely very aware of due to the site's visitor traffic. I've got absolutely no problem contributing financially to perpetuating something I enjoy.

Oh cool, you can search based on traffic per day over the past year... lets see here... Wait, that's a curious spike, lets look into that

Huh, well that's odd, October 28th seems like a random day. Let's look to see what happened around that time... Oh, ok, we had a game the night before... which could that be?

Fuck you, Nardouchi

"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

How do these numbers work? I'm wondering how much of a true representation they are of actual individual readers.

When I come to the site 7 times a day, does that count as 7 views? What about when I open 4 tabs each time, do those count as individual views? What about when I refresh those 4 tabs to see if there were any new posts in the time I was reading? In that above scenario, I could be 1 view, 7, 28, or 56. Does it track based on IP address? If so, you have many members that check TKP on work computers, cell phones, tablets, and laptops. That would be 4 different IP addresses, correct?

Edit:
Fuck the douche

I see now where they have Uniques, Visits, Views, and People tabs. Perhaps those filter the numbers and answer my above questions.

It depends on whether that Uniques tab means unique visitors or unique views.

Unique visitors is what it sounds like: the actual number of individual visors the site received.

Unique views is a Google Analytics tool that measures page views within a session, but doesn't count reloading the same page multiple times. A session is basically a visit to the site, and I think a session is considered to end 30 minutes after the last page on the site was loaded by a user.

So in your example of 7 visits in a day, that would contribute one unique visitor, and 7 unique views of each page you viewed during each visit, if at least 30 minutes passed between the end of each visit and the beginning of the next. Additional reloads of individual pages during your visits wouldn't inflate either the unique visor count or the unique views.

"I mean, you know, fuck them, but good for them." -Too Druck to Funk

Unique visitors is what it sounds like: the actual number of individual visors the site received.

Fedora was here?

Come on and join boys!

"And guess what, you've wandered into our school of tuna and we now have a taste of lion." -Allen Gamble, The Other Guys
@Doooougie07

"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

Lol oops

"And guess what, you've wandered into our school of tuna and we now have a taste of lion." -Allen Gamble, The Other Guys
@Doooougie07

You aren't getting there with a free/donations/TKPC breakdown. You're just not. I appreciate the mission behind TKP. It comes from a great place and it's where I can go waste some minutes, especially in football season, and see the chatter going on about Virginia Tech athletics. I occasionally read a recruit article because it s phenomenal access. Currently, I'm able to get it for free. So I will continue to get it for free. You can call that a terrible attitude to have or whatever.

Similar to how major newspapers are putting paywalls behind their content (10 free articles a month or whatever) once I hit the limit, oh well, I won't read the post anymore this month. As much as I would hate it, I think going pay only is the way to go. You'll probably lose me, and a lot of the audience, but I also think there are 700 other readers who would fork over the money, to get you to your goal, if they had to because they really enjoy the content.

What's more important...bigger audience/little financial backing or smaller audience/bigger financial backing? That's the question.

Always choose joy.

No pressure to answer, but what's your reason for not joining?

Most of my time here is on the forum side of things. I see it THE place to go for Virginia Tech chatter. Best on the web for sure which is why I come back. I personally, don't see the reasoning to spend $84 dollars on that. For most of the big ticket items on the site, I rarely read them. I'll go to the comment section, but won't actually read the content. Again, recruit articles are a little different, that access is great so I read...and unlike other subscription services it's free.

I wish I had a better answer than "it's free" but I don't.

Always choose joy.

I think it would help your cause a little more when you are trying to push sales to not seem so disengaged. I am reading your comments (as I do everyday) and the gist of your responses is you are burned out and don't want your site anymore. What is the point of joining if you are just going to shut the site down and my $80 bucks is down the drain?

You had to know what was going to be involved as you were continually upgrading and making TKP an extremely desirable destination for anything Hokie. What you have created is extremely impressive and I am grateful for the hard work you have put into TKP.

I enjoy the Forums. It's the interaction with people that have the same love for the Hokies as I do that brings me back everyday. The culture that has been created here can't be duplicated. I am so used to TKP being free content that is hard for me to add the expense. I wish I had a good solution for you but unfortunately web based business isn't my forte. I am sad to see that this is the crossroads you have come to.

Will people joining TKPC light the fire for you again? Or are you done? Can the site be sold? Do you want to sell it?Are there other revenue options?

I hope this didn't come of as condescending. This is sincerely the thoughts I have when reading through the past couple threads. I hope it helps. Good Luck and GO HOKIES!

Football season is a grind. I am burnt out. After the Belk Bowl I will have a chance to recharge my batteries. I tried to take a break twice this season and it resulted in about two days of downtime. It's hard for me to quit this because I don't like quitting on anything worth pursuing. If we got to 1,000 TKPC members I'd be the happiest motherfucker because I know that would the beginning of taking TKP to the next level.

Even if I ceased my involvement with TKP, I wouldn't sell it (have had plenty of reasonable offers). I'd leave it online for the community to enjoy.

After reflecting on my own post and reading yours $84 is a more than justifiable expense for what I get from your site.

I'm digging my fancy key.

GO HOKIES!

Joe, I think I recall you mentioning that Eleven Warriors has an equivalent to TKPC, what do their membership numbers look like compared to the unique visit statistics you've shown here for TKP? I poked around their website but wasn't able to find a membership number tracker like we have here.

I'm sure you've already thought of this, but that number would be a good thing to compare to. If their ratio of paying members divided by total unique visitors is significantly higher than ours, what are they doing differently? This ratio should control for the sizes of the fanbases (Virginia Tech's being smaller, I assume). Are they advertising it differently? Or is it the same problem that the Hokie Club is facing, where VT grads are for whatever reason particularly non-forthcoming in monetary matters?

I know there's no way to answer those questions, but again, the 11W statistics, if available, would be a good measuring stick to compare to.

My Mama says that alligators are ornery because they got all them teeth and no toothbrush

11W does an order of magnitude more traffic than TKP and I am sure the rest scales accordingly: https://www.quantcast.com/elevenwarriors.com.

I've made the joke that if I was an Alabama fan, TKP-Alabama would be massive. The size of the audience/fan base definitely is an important factor.

The situation here is related to the well known "tragedy of the commons" (see https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons)

Essentially, it's in the group's interest for people to join TKPC, but it's in the individual's interest to keep using the site for free and let others pay. Most people will act in their own interest rather than the group's and not join, so you will never get enough club members to support the site.

This is why I am reluctant to join... I don't want to put money into a plan that seems unlikely to succeed.

Newspapers have already dealt with this problem for quite some time. Some limit the number of free articles per month, some plaster their sites in ads and leave it free, some sell it to wealthy benefactors who care more about producing good journalism than making a profit, and some go out of business.

My free, unsolicited advice is to limit free views to 3-5 per month with a subscription for unlimited access. You don't have much competition, so it's not like people can hop around to other sites to avoid paying. Another advantage is that new users get a chance to try before they buy, which keeps the site from stagnating. Ads would be my second choice because it sounds like the site has demographics that would be attractive to advertisers.

I wish you the best of luck and I greatly appreciate your efforts to support and serve the community of Hokies sportss fans.

5 new members today. Excellent.

One more option that I haven't seen anyone mention: time-limited locks for TKPC members on certain articles, possibly a day or two or maybe a week. That way, everything is eventually available for those who aren't paying members to read, but to participate in the conversation as it's happening you need to be a TKPC member.

Since you mentioned wanting to follow an iterative approach, maybe this is a decent first step?

Leg for the original post and this reminder. Now that I've seen it I remember having read it, so I'm sorry for stealing your idea.

Also, I guess I'll be grabbing a cold one when I get home from work today...

I'll be grabbing a cold one when I get home from work today

Just today?

Pain is Temporary
Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever
Let's Go Hokies!!

Okay, okay, you got me. An extra one, then. For the repost.

Just kidding. Merry Christmas. Crack a cold one for that celebration too!

Pain is Temporary
Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever
Let's Go Hokies!!

Keep in mind i'm a software engineer, not a businessman, but I really think it would help not to require the full year sub up front and allow TKPers the option of a monthly payment. It's a model that works well for public radio at least!

That being said, I'm sure this was considered and there is probably a good reason for it that I'm simply unaware of.

My two cents aside (no pun intended), it is WELL worth the price for the awesome content you guys give us every week.

"These people are losing their minds!"

They've explained that previously.

Essentially, when you're trying to bring on someone full time, you need to be able to guarantee them a salary. If you allow month to month subscriptions, you cannot guarantee a hard salary, and as such, you can't really hire someone full time. This is why they're going with the 1 year subscriptions, because it allows you to have a better idea of the funding level you will have for the duration of that year.

"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

Makes sense. Also, you'd have to have someone on staff to call people when their credit cards expire, etc which I assume would be a huge pain.

"These people are losing their minds!"

Hello fellow software engineer. There are two main reasons why the term is yearly.

1. I want to have at least a year's salary for whomever I hire in the bank. It would be dicked up to hire someone, and tell them 6 months in they didn't have a job because they money wasn't there.

2. I wrote all the commerce code TKP uses. To add monthly payments would require more coding, and more importantly testing. I don't have the cycles for it now. Also, one payment plan keeps it simple.

I'm in.

Let's go! Hokies!

Stick it in! Stick it in!

Although I joined, one of the main reasons that I rarely post and don't consider myself part of the community is that despite the general civility, it's so clearly a sausage fest in here. Although to be fair, that mirrors my real life experience at Tech. I don't find it actively unfriendly, it's just like I don't really need to be part of yet another predominantly male community.

We have plenty of female commentators, Jugs, HokieESQ, lady who hates Tenn. I'm sure I'm not the only male poster who would be ok with some threads that might interest you if you would post them. Especially with a name with Pie in it.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Everyone forgets about me now *sigh* Though admittedly I don't talk anywhere near as much as I used to...

Achievement unlocked: All of the Fullers

"Sam Rogers is a college football icon" SB Nation

Thanks Frank!

Your one of the OG TKP members. I just hate that a woman feels like her thoughts and opinions are not valued here. I trusts Jugs and HokieESQ more than I do that mod guy running around.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Watch it or you'll find yourself in my electrified net.

Bring it

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

In the same vein of "WTF DID I JUST WATCH"

"Weird"

"Better"

"Best" buuuuuuuut probably not SFW, soooooo "risky-click." It's worth it, though.

It's a firefighter Harlem Shake video.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

I would certainly hope no woman has felt like that here! I never have, though at times things get a little borderline 'frattitude' - there's definitely been times I've rolled my eyes, gone "ugh, men", and moved on *shrug*

Achievement unlocked: All of the Fullers

"Sam Rogers is a college football icon" SB Nation

Thanks Frank!

You should definetly feel free to comment! The site is predominantly male for sure, but that doesn't mean the dudes dislike the females on here. Or at least I've never felt unwelcome before. When I went to VT I knew what I was getting into and I prefer to hang out with guys. My girlfriends don't really understand my love for football, so I feel at home and like a regular TKPer here. Gender doesn't seem to matter as long as we're talking Virginia Tech. Keep joining ladies!

Please note: wasn't meant to be a feminist rant! I just want people to sign up! I need this site to still be a thing in order to make my workday bearable. :)

I need this site to still be a thing in order to make my workday bearable. :)

Underrated point here. For me, the amount of work I have during a day or for a portion of the day varies significantly and somewhat erratically, so ingesting some VT coverage and engaging in the TKP community adds a lot of quality to the slower parts of my workday.

I appreciate you feel that way. I've want everyone to feel welcome on TKP. Unless they are an egregious asshole.

Egregious assholes certainly get their own form of "special" treatment. I'm all

and then Joe's all like

I agree, too many guys. Please, bring on the ladies. Evening out that ratio would be no problem with me.

So I've been trying to think of a way all night for us to get to the 1000 member goal and I don't think it will happen without a swift kick in the ass. Things for me are a little tight right now, I've been saying I'm going to join TKP club for a while now, but something else always comes up. However if forced I will end up figuring out a way to find the money. (I'm sure I'm not the only one in this boat)

So here's my idea, come Jan. 1 make the entire site subscription only. Non members can still see the titles of articles and brief synopsis, but can't access them and don't get access to the forum. Once that happens I think you will have a flood of people joining. The next step is what I think makes this a good idea, when you reach your goal you give every paying member the chance to vote on whether or not you open the site back up to everyone or if you keep it subscription based. If the members want to be generous then that's great, if not then so be it.

I think this would get the money flowing that you need and still leave the chance for your vision of everyone having access to come to fruition.

Things for me are a little tight right now, I've been saying I'm going to join TKP club for a while now, but something else always comes up. However if forced I will end up figuring out a way to find the money. (I'm sure I'm not the only one in this boat)

^It me. I love this place, but $84 is a bit much for me to spend on it right now, and will probably be for at least another month. If it does become sub only, I will endure a forced hiatus until I can swing it.

But if that ends up the case, mark my words. I shall return. In glorious fashion, with no pants.

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.

I still don't get the thought of not offering monthly payments. Sure it doesn't guarantee that people will stay for a year but I think the numbers will balance out. I have also seen sites do a monthly payment with a 6 or 12 month promise.

You could put aside 7 dollars a month for a year then pay it all at once. Congrats! You have made your own TKPC monthly payment plan.

Outspoken team cake advocate. Hates terrapins. Resident Macho Man Gif Poster. Distant cousin to Dork Magic. Frequently misspells words.

First, that doesn't answer anything. Second, that will never happen. No one is going to save $7 a month to join in a year.
I'm not just talking about myself. I have seen numorous posts from people asking about it and the answer is always that it's not in the long term plan to have it. To me that makes no sense. If people want to give money, take it. Especially for this site that is trying to make the money to fund itself. I just feel that there's a lot of lost money by not offering it and the site is way short of its goal. Also, sinse the site is free, a "help keep TKP alive for only $9 a month" sign looks a lot better than "help keep TKP alive for $84."

It sounds good in theory. In practice, it causes more problems than it solves.

If you go monthly subscription, you open the door for seasonal membership, where people only join for the football season and then drop the rest of the year. You might think that's great, but when the goal is to bring on a full time staff member, you need to be able to guarantee that person a full time salary, and in order to do that you need to have a full understanding of the finances you will have over the course of the entire year. This is the primary reason we're sticking to the annual payment, to be able to guarantee that kind of salary.

It also opens the door to the need to track monthly subscriptions and to have someone in place to chase people down when they lapse on their payment. Also opens the door for a sharp increase in monthly communication between Joe and the paying members when transactions don't go through properly and something needs to be chased with the bank. As you can imagine, that alone would be a part time job, something that Joe can't do, and can't afford to pay anyone else to do.

So yeah, I mean it sounds good in theory, but we're not at a point where we can implement it.

"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

Perhaps. Why not give it a shot? If it truly is the worst case scenario then you can simply stop doing the monthly option (or shut down). That will definitely be easier for folks to swallow than to donate $84 for a year and suddenly have the website shut down.

I really think if it went subscription only and opened monthly payment that we would meet the goal.

Perhaps. Why not give it a shot?

Because you kind of have to plan for the worst case scenario when it comes to this. You can't just start up a monthly subscription and then take the scrambling about erroneous payments and scrambling with the bank as it comes without having the support in place to handle that. Unfortunately, we don't have that ability right now. That's part of the reason a full time employee for the site needs to exist, which, is partly why we can't go the route of monthly subscriptions, because you have to be able to pay that person and that person is going to want to have a guarantee on their wages and not work not knowing whether or not TKP will be able to pay them on any given month because we're operating on a the razor thin margin of monthly subscriptions.

"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

Could they not just start the subscription stuff (monthly and yearly option) and then hold off a few months before hiring someone?

The worst case scenario is this site shutting down. Which seems the most likely result at this point. People are saying they will pay monthly.

Or offer monthly but at a higher yearly rate. Aka $7 a month or $50 for a year. That type of deal that gives an incentive to pay up front but also allows for monthly payments.

And then the idea is that your monthly cash flows allow you to have a reserve that where you have a down month you have enough to pay the employee.

If this site is still alive with 1/3 of its goal I still don't see how opening monthly option and hopefully greatly increasing the current cash flow is such an untenable idea.

Its been answered multiple times... No, it doesn't make sense to do that with the current situation we have with TKP.

I understand these are suggestions of trying to help, but its really not helping, because its been stated numerous times in the past that its not a feasible avenue to go. There's too much time and effort needed to set that up for someone who doesn't have the time and effort to dedicate to it.

Not going to lie (and cd8, I'm not singling you out, just adding it to my thought here) the constant hand wringing over the costs is tiresome on here. If you can afford a $9 a month subscription, you can afford to join for the year. If you're living on a budget where that $9 is going to make or break your finances and send you under, then you really can't afford that $9 to begin with and your money is better saved than spent. But enough of the excuses. If you can donate, do so and help out the cause. If you can't or are otherwise unwilling to do so, own it. We really don't need to hear what other purchases or investments are more important to you than helping this site out, and it actually comes off as a bit insulting to have that shared. Personally, I think a 1 time gift of $84 to Joe every year for the volunteer work he has put into this site since 2010 is a bargain for the content we have been provided over that time, but I understand that some can't afford it. That's fine, but don't flood the threads with the reasoning why you aren't going to give when Joe and others create threads or posts asking for donations, because all that does is embolden others who might be on the fence to not give.

"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

And this is the kind of response or attitude that turns people off from it and creates the divide. I think he, and many are saying "make it a pay site or don't" Not what is currently happening with the "donate please, and if you don't you'll be considered either selfish, a poor money manager, poor, or just a jerk." I know it's not everyone who feels this way about non-donors but it seems like the majority with how vocal people are about it.

People are just trying to contribute to the discussion and provide solutions, forgive us for not remembering every suggestion in every thread on the topic for the past year.

Okay, I think you are seeing frustration boiling over. People just want to ensure the future of TKP.

forgive us for not remembering every suggestion in every thread on the topic for the past year.

Forgiven. But multiple people asking why it is not a monthly subscription in each thread is getting old. Forgive us for getting chippy. I think every TKPer here would say they want as much traffic as possible to the site. The little key doesn't make us any better or different. From what I have seen, a lot of the people in TKPC are tired of everyone turning these threads into a litany of why they won't donate. If you won't donate, cool. You're good. We still love you. You're not a jerk, we don't think you're poor, and if you're poor, there is nothing wrong with that. I've been there myself.

But what I will threaten, for everyone who comes in just to say that TKP "isn't worth it," I will be making 1 Dwayne Lawson transfer joke. You've been warned.

Outspoken team cake advocate. Hates terrapins. Resident Macho Man Gif Poster. Distant cousin to Dork Magic. Frequently misspells words.

Haha I love it. See I appreciate this response and attitude towards the situation.

Sorry for coming and saying it's not worth it in my opinion, I was simply doing so to provide feedback to Joe and co. Other than "y'all are awesome everything is great and everyone should donate!" I saw Joe ask one person why they didn't donate and I took that as an opportunity to give my 2 cents, maybe I was off base.

Nah, you're good. I just get riled up sometimes and see a lot of negativity and feel terrible for Joe. We still love you around. And it is important your voice is heard.

Outspoken team cake advocate. Hates terrapins. Resident Macho Man Gif Poster. Distant cousin to Dork Magic. Frequently misspells words.

From what I have seen, a lot of the people in TKPC are tired of everyone turning these threads into a litany of why they won't donate. If you won't donate, cool. You're good. We still love you. You're not a jerk, we don't think you're poor, and if you're poor, there is nothing wrong with that. I've been there myself.

Nail. On. The. Head.

From what I have seen, a lot of the people in TKPC are tired of everyone turning these threads into a litany of why they won't donate. If you won't donate, cool. You're good. We still love you. You're not a jerk, we don't think you're poor, and if you're poor, there is nothing wrong with that. I've been there myself.

Thank you. That's what I meant but you put it more eloquently than myself. Appreciate it.

The little key doesn't make us any better or different.

Speak for yourself!

/s

"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

pfft, you're on staff, you disqualified from the contests.

"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

Alum07:

Good thing I have an electrified net. Thread within a thread: threadception.

Unfortunately, I can't find another gif that can accurately express a reply

[ mod edit: irony is when the mod fixes your busted link accusing him of being smug in this comical back-and-forth about irrelevant metrics of awesomeness ]

"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

? - busted link? Both gifs worked fine for me when I made the comment, unless I'm missing something 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

Broken image on the first one. Not sure if it was missing for anyone else, but it was not showing up for me so I adjusted the formatting.

Really? Odd... Worked fine for me when I originally posted

"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

Still not working for me mod. :/

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Great. Now we're reached the point where the mod and Alum07 are comparing the size of their...leg counts.

Glad the rest of us don't even care about such trivial things.

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)..

Outspoken team cake advocate. Hates terrapins. Resident Macho Man Gif Poster. Distant cousin to Dork Magic. Frequently misspells words.

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)..

This could possibly be my favorite gif that I've seen in a while. Wish I had more than 1 leg to give.

ok well instead of making it 1000 members why not make it a dollar amount thats updated every time money comes in. man if more people wanted to only pay seasonally thats fine their money is still good and theyre still trying to contribute. every penny counts for saving this site

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

Joe already tried that, remember?

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)..

First, that doesn't answer anything.

Yes, budgeting solves not being able to pay $84 dollars for something you enjoy.

Also, sinse the site is free, a "help keep TKP alive for only $9 a month" sign looks a lot better than "help keep TKP alive for $84."

Joe doesn't work in University Advancement, he's not a fundraiser. It's been stated multiple times that TKP is more than one can handle as a side project when it now has people demanding full attention. Asking for money month after month sucks, I've done it before. I don't think Joe wanted to have to ask for money in the first place. The idea was that we would all jump on board and help contribute and be proud of the place this is and havea new full time writer.

About 350 of us have done exactly that. There are a lot who are just enjoying lurking. We love you guys by the way, keep being awesome. Then there is this vocal minority saying it makes no sense to help fund the site, that $84 dollars is too much and that upfront vs monthly is make or break for them. That's fine. You are not on trial. Just don't come banging the drum every single time to rain on the parade.

This is cultural. VT's Hokie Club isn't too hot in case you've missed the memo because people don't like the price, don't want to pay up front, and don't see the value when their sports aren't going away. A financial investment is one way that people show their appreciation for the school and for the athletics they claim to be fans of. If that's not you, that's fine. Same goes for TKP. You're welcome to still contribute, watch, laugh, argue, make fun of UVA, and hope for a very bright VT future with the rest of us.

What a lot of people that are in TKPC are trying to say is "Hey, there is a problem and we can do something to ensure that problem is resolved or we can kick the can down the road." We will always push for more TKPCers but coming in and asking the same questions thread after thread is getting to me. I apologize if this comes across overly mean. I just want to see things I love grow.

Outspoken team cake advocate. Hates terrapins. Resident Macho Man Gif Poster. Distant cousin to Dork Magic. Frequently misspells words.

The question gets asked time after time because people simply don't understand why. If it gets to you it gets to you but I'm sure there are also a lot of people that are annoyed because they want to help but can't and there is a solution that they can do but isn't being implemented.
And yes, budgeting is a great way of purchasing things you want down the road but you are kidding yourself if you think anyone would do that to join a website in a year. That isn't a knock on TKP. It's just the truth.
I'm in the same boat. As you may see, I live in Russia and $84 has a value of probably about $250 here. I can swing that but I am pretty sure that my girlfriend would kill me for it. I could easily do $10 a month. No questions asked. And that gets to me.
This isn't raining on anyone's parade because clearly there is no parade. It's just a lot of people voicing that they want to help.

So...can't do $250, can do $357 (10x12x250/84).

It's not the money, it's just a mental hurdle people seem to have where they're more willing to spend larger amounts of money, provided it's done in smaller pieces.

#thingsiblamethemvsfor

It's actually $840 for 10 years but I broke it up in 10, yearly $84 payments.

Oh and here I was thinking it was a 100 year payment plan for $8.4k

"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

It's not a new phenomenon:

Car ad #1: "Hey, buy this cheap car! Only $18,000!"

Person: "Wow, that's too much money. No thanks."

Car ad #2: "Hey, buy this car! Only $3,000 now, and $300 per month for the next 5 years!"

Person: "Hey, yeah, I can totally afford that!" -Proceeds to spend $21,000 to buy said car over the next 60 months

Except from what I've seen this model is falling out of favor as more and more people are "leasing" cars for slightly less per month and having to buy or lease another car after two years. A better recent example is phones... people see the sticker price ($720?!) and freak out, but tell them that it's only $30/month for two years and everything becomes so much better.

Except from what I've seen this model is falling out of favor as more and more people are "leasing" cars for slightly less per month and having to buy or lease another car after two years. A better recent example is phones... people see the sticker price ($720?!) and freak out, but tell them that it's only $30/month for two years and everything becomes so much better.

Low mileage leases are becoming increasingly popular, particularly in growing cities. Additionally, another factor that is lessening that appeal is the "Dave Ramsey" style approach to finances that is/has gained a lot of traction. Super anti-debt type stuff.

Never heard of that guy, but my dad has always been a huge anti-debt guy, pretty sure the only loans he's ever taken out (aside from credit cards paid off in full each month, which don't really count) have been mortgages, and that rubbed off on me. I also look at those lease agreements and cringe, but then again that may be because I put 20k+ miles on my car every year. I also sought out the cheapest car that met my needs, with no added frills, and looked for the shortest term loan that I could afford at the time (3 years) to pay that shit off quickly so I wasn't in debt on it any longer than I had to be, so maybe I just have a different perspective on money than others in my generation.

Talk about a microcosm of the problem facing Virginia Tech Athletics in general with respect to donor funding.

I think this is important for anyone or any organization attempting to garner funding from VT alumni. Like it or not, we have collectively been bad at contributing to VT related things.

Made this same point and got a lot of flack for it. Not sure why people are surprised.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

was that per chance when you wondered if there was something inherently wrong with people from Virginia?

haha...I honestly can't remember what fireman said but this does kind of drive home the point that it's all about how you say it

If a tree falls in Scott Stadium does it make a sound?

Yep and the point still stands look at the Hokie Club and TKPC numbers and tell me there isn't an issue.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

ok i'll bite...

an issue with virginians? i find that hard to believe, so just to offer some alternative reasons, here we go:

starting with the hokie club:
-virignia has large regions and populations that are not thriving economically
-it's possible that a large portion of students don't actually care about athletics enough to donate
-people still in debt from going to school, notably VT
-alot of families have ties to multiple schools in virginia
-and the final reason i'm going to list: the hokie club wasn't good at raising awareness of their purpose of funding scholarships for student-athletes and options of joining, most notably the student hokie club. so basically the hokie club hasn't been very good at their jobs

as for the TKPC, im sure there are a variety of reasons, but mostly im going to guess that people just like free stuff

virignia has large regions and populations that are not thriving economically

I'm guessing but I'd imagine a plurality of VT alumni live in the DC area, which is historically one of the highest income areas in the country.

it's possible that a large portion of students don't actually care about athletics enough to donate

Possible, but VT football fans travel well and Lane Stadium is usually all but full.

people still in debt from going to school, notably VT

VA public colleges are always among the 'best deals' in the country

alot of families have ties to multiple schools in virginia

Doubt this is any different in other states with multiple schools with D1 athletics programs

and the final reason i'm going to list: the hokie club wasn't good at raising awareness of their purpose of funding scholarships for student-athletes and options of joining, most notably the student hokie club. so basically the hokie club hasn't been very good at their jobs

Would have to imagine its mostly this issue.

VT alumni aren't economically unique -- and VT football gets plenty of support in terms of butts in seats, people purchasing swag etc. so I'm going to guess its the way the VT AD has been going about fundraising.

Hokies United l Ut Prosim

An issue with Virginians specifically ones that support VT. For some reason UVA and VCU don't find this apathy when it comes to donors.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

I think this basically answers your own question. If Virginians who go to other schools donate to their respective athletic clubs, I would suggest the issue isn't with Virginians but rather with how the Hokie Club went about raising money in the past, as compared to the other schools you mention.

Concur... Unfortunately Whit is having to play major catch-up in the fundraising side of the house. I have no doubt he'll get it to where it should always should have been, but it's going to take time. That said, the amazing hires he's made so far and the re-emergence/ elevated performances of football, mens & womens bball, wrestling, and mens & womens soccer will hopefully accelerate it a bit. Everyone likes winning!

VB born, class of '14, Semper Paratus

But it's not just the athletic department it's all giving to VT, sports, clubs, academics, band etc. that then comes over to TKP. There is no rational reason for this based on numbers of alums/users and income levels.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

a)TKP is a very unique situation in my opinion because it's a high quality website that started out for free and the model being attempted is unique; it's a fact that people like free stuff, it just is

b)

There is no rational reason for this

maybe like the athletic department, VT in general just hasn't been good at raising money. I don't think I've received one piece of mail from them other than to maybe my parents' house where i haven't lived in 2+ years. I signed up for the alumni group in richmond, haven't heard anything other than the occasional event, which means that they have my contact info they just aren't using it

When I graduated from Clemson, they give you two two-dollar bills, one is meant to be your first alumni donation to IPTAY, and the other is just a random keepsake for you to have. Outside of that, I have received no mail, emails, or communication otherwise from IPTAY encouraging me to donate to athletics. South Carolina has lots of very poor areas, there is a whole documentary about an entire stretch of highway in the low-country called "The Corridor of Shame" because the schools are so bad and the towns are so poor, and that doesn't stop IPTAY from having twice the donors as Hokie Club. Clemson is also a smaller school than us, so it's not like there is a significant difference in living potential donors.

they give you two two-dollar bills, one is meant to be your first alumni donation to IPTAY

That act alone is extremely powerful though. They don't need to do the mailings because they created a culture of giving. That's actually an amazingly simple way to start it off. They are non-so-subtlety creating the expectation to give back. It's actually rather brilliant.

"We judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their behavior" Stephen M.R. Covey

“When life knocks you down plan to land on your back, because if you can look up, you can get up, if you fall flat on your face it can kill your spirit” David Wilson

FWIW, I don't know anyone who graduated with me (2015) who is giving back to IPTAY at the moment who isn't a trust fund type kid/from wildly wealthy family. I think the new Hokie Club 25 announcement was a really great option because it advertises amounts that new grads would be able to contribute.

Genuinely curious- against what are you comparing TKP donations in order to determine they are irrationally low? For example, comparing Hokie Club membership and annual dollars raised against fellow ACC schools was a pretty fair comparison. I'm looking for a similar comparison for TKP and the struggle I've had is there aren't many websites or companies that offer their product/service on a "free, but pay if you want" model. Especially if you eliminate non-profits. Curious what you're using as a comparison.

Eleven Warrior is a good one.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

OK, cool. There are some fairly significant differences between the sites, e.g. site maturity (10 years for 11W vs 6.5 years for TKP), volume of content (13 articles published today for 11W vs 1 for TKP), as well as some interesting user demographic differences (interestingly, 11W's largest demo is 65+ whereas TKP is 25-34yo) but let's set that aside for the moment, since I agree, overall it looks like a much better comp than anything I've come up with.

I see they have 1.9M monthly site users vs 95K for TKP. What are their annual donations? I can't find that number. Using TKP's $31K in donations as a basis and scaling as a function of site users, the equivalent for 11W would be ~$600k in annual donations. I would expect they're getting more than that since they've been around a lot longer and are generating more content (which I understand is a chicken & egg problem ... start-ups are hard), but are they bringing in a lot more than that?

If I had to guess, the most significant factor is volume. I think even with your directly scaled estimate, 600k annually would be enough to pay a few staff members to produce the extra content. Unfortunately, we will never have the alumni base or fan following of Ohio State, so we will need to collect more for a smaller volume. It really does go back to a point Joe made earlier, TKP-Alabama would be huge, and Joe would probably be bringing in so much revenue that TKP would be his full time job, and a lucrative one at that.

Yep, that's exactly my point. I don't believe the donor rate here is anything odd. On an average donation per user basis, I'm not sure we are doing worse than 11W (I cant find their donor #s, so maybe we are... but my hunch is we are not). The big difference is # of users. More users equates to more donors. Btw, 11W was once much smaller too. According to this article, 5 years in, they had 40k users a month. Now they're 10 years in and have 1.9M users last month. Maybe our fanbase is too small to get TKP to 1.9M users per month, but it can certainly grow to a lot more than 95K per month. It just takes time and the hardest part is getting enough momentum going in the early stages when you don't have the resources ($, staff) to get it to the point where it becomes self-sustaining before you burn out.

IMO trying to get 1000 TKPC members at 100K monthly users under a "pay if you want" model is not realistic. The real options are (1) making it subscription based where a higher % of users will be incentivized to donate, or (2) keep it "pay if you want" and increase the # of users, which will bring along more donations in proportion. TBH, #1 is a much easier approach, which is why it's far more common. #2 is a hard, slow grind, but if that is the preferred approach, rather than having current TKPC members trying to sell, sell, sell current users to start paying, the far more valuable contribution would be for them to generate more content for the site (the article I linked above briefly touches on this, where the 11W guys focused on delivering new content everyday of the calendar year ... 5 years later that has grown into a lot of content every single day). Getting to 1 article every single day for a month would be a big step. Then get to 2 per day, then 3, then 4, and on and on. More content will drive more users, which will translate to more donors. But Joe and the other staff can't do that on their own, and it requires volunteer writers and editors at this stage in the game since TKP can't afford to pay people.

Anyway, just my 2 cents.

My overwhelming takeaway is most people on the fence would like to know they are getting exclusive content in exchange for their TKPC membership.

Joe, thank you so much for starting a site that provides phenomenal coverage, community, and outreach to Hokies worldwide. Sincerely, its kick ass, especially for Hokies like me so far away from VA. That said, you gotta do whatever you think is in the best interest for the site and you personally.

OT, but also shouts to my VT classmate Alex Koma, for producing killer articles while retaining other jobs too. He was always a tremendous journalist and great dude in my Comm. classes. Happy Holidays to all y'all TKP-ers!

VB born, class of '14, Semper Paratus

I've enjoyed my exclusive TKPC bottle opener. Thanks, Joe!

I just wanted to comment and say how lucky we are to have somebody like Joe and co. Thanks for all y'all do.

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

Side note, with the preview now automatically showing up below the comment box, tabbing once to get to the Post button now highlights the first link that you put in the comment. I only know this because I just opened my default email client with a blank message addressed to someone named f@ck.

I was waiting for someone to notice that (the comment preview that is). There are some bugs to be worked out for sure. I will fix the tab issue when I have the time to get back into that code.

I noticed. I think it is great, especially when making sure my gifs and images work correctly.

I will be using my Christmas money to become a key player. It has hurt me to sit by and not be able to contribute. Since August we have put our kid in daycare and bought a house and had unexpected medical bills, but now with some fresh cabbage about to be in my pocket not earmarked for the family coffers I can pull the trigger!

I definitely noticed and I really like it, thanks!

Just wondering, with that now in place, is there any need for the 'Preview' button anymore?

"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

Seems like the "preview" goes away if you start a second paragraph.

Not entirely sure why that is.

Note: that behavior was on Windows 7 using IE (my only choice on that machine).

On my phone right now it shows multi-paragraph previews.

If you changed something, then well done! If you didn't, well, I've now given slightly more information about a slight problem that probably isn't very high on the list of priorities.

Dude haven't I told you I'm 11 years Software QE?!?!

Also, I am the keyboard expert at my company. Ask Joel, he used to work there...

They just let me make the call when it comes to keyboard use.

Eh. Just put the Post button above the preview, default tabbing should work out.

The scene opens to a dark room lit only by the glow of a computer monitor. Joe starts putting together a funding plan for his beloved website , but keeps deleting it all and starting over. He starts mumbling to himself.

"We've tried selling merchandise, but that hasn't been enough. We tried corporate sponsorship and google ads but those are falling short, too. PayPal donations were inconsistent and fell far short of what we needed, even when we posted that funding progress bar and raffled off tickets. I guess people weren't satisfied with the dollar sign and gold star next to their names. I was sure that a single entry level benefactors' club would do the trick, especially since we've increased the quality and frequency of our coverage and original content and ballooned in usership."

He sighs and buries his face in his hands.

"This can only end in tiers..."

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)..

Started reading, checked username, and thought

Skipped to the bottom of the post and, yup,

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)..

369

Joe & staff... The content you provide is some of the best, despite the opinions of a few on this thread. Your time, energy, gifts and content are all valuable and worth every penny of the $84 annual "cost". I love the site! I love what you guys are doing! And I'm happy to invest (and I happen to think $84 per year is very reasonable, even for the tightest of budgets)!

With all that being said, you only get your family once... You only get your kids once... I don't know you (or any of the staff) personally, but I'd rather your site "fail" and all of us be forced to go somewhere else for less substantial content than for you to get into your 50's and realize that your wife and kids were second fiddle to this gig.

Sorry to be so sentimental, but I wanted to encourage the guys (TKP staff) that we aren't the priority.

Is it football season yet?

As an old guy with grown kids, I can't agree with this more. I greatly enjoy this site. I personally find it far more interesting and valuable than TSL and others, but I would hate to think that any of the people who support the site infrastructure or major content contributors is doing this instead of important time with family.

Just joined the club. How do I turn off the auto-renew?

If we hit 400 today I will buy everyone all of the internet beers.

And Round 2 of internet beers will be on me.

Joe won't come out and say it, so I will - today is his birthday so let's celebrate and give him the gift of a few more supporters. Think we can hit 400 today? Sounds like a nice, round number. And that's actually his age so there's nice symmetry there.

Joe, don't kill me. You said on Twitter that you're getting old and the joke was just too easy.

As an added incentive, I will do a special offseason thread if we hit this goal, something everyone can have fun with.

a moderator free GIF fest?

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)..

Uhhh, I don't think the intrawebs can handle that.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOE!

It's a statement of fact.

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

Happy Birthday, Joe! At least yours isn't tomorrow on Bowl game day... This will be me all day...

"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

Only 8 more to go to 400!

Reach for Excellence!

VT Football: It'll get after ya!

Proud Hokie since 2004.

393

How about 530 by 5:30 tomorrow to celebrate Joe's birthday and our bowl game.

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)..

Joe's 530?

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

Well holy shit we are at 400. Not a bad boost in the last few days.

Apparently doing something that everyone is "against" will spur them to actually join. Imagine that.

I'm late to the party on this one, but I'm going to be honest. If I'm making a contribution nearing 100$ to a VT athletics related thing, I am giving it to the Hokie Club, not to this site.

Maybe it's a harsh thing to say, but as someone that has been around for quite a bit of time, I've seen the site grow from something that was just a part time hobby of a dedicated Hokie fan to something that has just become way too corporate/consumer based. Most of the articles on the site do have some quality content, but now it's become about producing content rather than writing about the Hokies out of enjoyment. When Joe first started out, there was maybe one article a week, sometimes less. But every article written seemed to be written purely out of fandom for the Hokies. Now we have series of articles that are guaranteed to come out every week that often times discuss the exact same thing, with just a different opponent in the title. To me, that really isn't unique, and I don't see much value in it. It's more repetitive than anything and it has turned me away as a user. And it comes to no surprise to hear that Joe has had times where he has completely burned out on it. It's not being done for enjoyment anymore. It's content that can't be related to on an individual basis. It feels more like a news outlet such as ESPN or CBS than it does a fan site. It's all about deadlines and producing for the consumers. Three or four years ago, if I had the means, I absolutely would have contributed (I even remember starting a thread asking about how to make donations). But now I have the means and really don't frequent the site all that much anymore due to the above reasons. The 84$ price tag to access content that (for me at least), has started to go stale just isn't worth it to me when I could be contributing to the Hokie Club directly.

The goal is 1000 TKP Club members. That is $84,000. That is $84,000 that could be going to the Hokie club to provide athletes with scholarships. At the end of the day, that is the only way to have an impact on the success of the school. The Hokie club only has about 10,000 active members. Having 1000 people make similar contributions to the club rather than TKP is a huge number that could go to directly improving the school's standing in the collegiate athletic world.

Those are just my two cents about the whole thing. Sorry it comes off harsh, but I'm an engineer so I can only be so good at creative writing.

Logan 3:16

I'm going to go out on a limb and say a good number of us TKPC members are also in the Hokie club.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

I'm sure they are. But those 84 dollars that you gave to join TKP club is 84 dollars that could have gone to the Hokie Club instead, and you know, actually improved the school's atheltic funding issues. If you have the means to contribute to the Hokie Club (which being a TKP Clubber signifies that you do) then why would you give the money to anything other than the one thing that can improve the team's on and off the field performance?

408 people are able to spend 84$ on VT football. But instead of going to the school, and improving things, it goes to something that has virtually no impact on the team's actual performance. See how that's counterproductive?

Logan 3:16

If you are going to go there, then you shouldn't even be browsing the internet. Your ISP payments should be given to the Hokie Club. Add to that all other money that you spend that doesn't go to one of life's real necessities (rent/mortgage above $500, sell your car and drive a bicycle, other entertainment like movies, cable, eating in restaurants), since all of those expenses are counter productive to VT's football goals.

Really? That's your argument? LOL

Do I really need to lay out how all of those things you just mentioned have no correlation whatsoever to Virginia Tech Athletics?

Do I need to point out how TKP is a site created for the sole purpose of discussing Virginia Tech Athletics? As in, if Virginia Tech Athletics weren't a thing, neither would TKP? The internet, automobiles, rent, and entertainment are in no way the result of Virginia Tech athletics, unlike TKP.

The discussion regarding financial contributions to the Hokie Club is completely valid.

Come on now.

Logan 3:16

Bruh, what are you even talking about? TKP is a hobby. Just like biking, going to the movies, fishing, etc. I'm not telling you how to spend your discretionary money by joining TKP, don't tell me how to spend mine.

We are the Hokies. We will prevail. We will prevail. We will prevail. We are Virginia Tech.

Ayy bruh.

Not an argument at all. Just pointing out how absurd your suggestion is. As was pointed out by others, TKP is a simply entertainment. Instead of doing things like video games, I TKP and want to support that activity. Suggesting that the 400+ people who decided to financially support the site aren't doing the right thing for VT football is asinine, so I took it to the extreme. Too bad you didn't see it for that intended point.

The discussion regarding financial contributions to the Hokie Club is completely valid.

Your points aren't valid, to anyone except you.

I hope when you tailgate you only buy food in the stadium as opposed to buying it from a third party and bringing it in. If so shame on you for doing such a poor job of supporting our athletic programs...

/s

Sometimes I like to leave off the /s just to mess with people.

He also better only buy tickets through the school and only park on school paid lots for games.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

And when buying Hokie gear only buy through school owned outlets.

Go Hokies!

Just got my first paycheck from my promotion today. Figured now is as good as a time as any to throw money at my favorite site on the interwebs (well...other than porn.) Go Hokies! Now where is that TKPC members only Drew Harris discussion thread? /s

I found TKP after two rails from TOTS then walking back to my apartment and re-watching the 2012 Sugar Bowl. I woke up the next day with this username.

For the record, you are in my top 5 TKP names of all times. Welcome aboard! Drew Harris and the Secret Sauce Recruiting thread passwords should be emailed to you shortly.

Outspoken team cake advocate. Hates terrapins. Resident Macho Man Gif Poster. Distant cousin to Dork Magic. Frequently misspells words.

And I'd like for 2017 to be the year we host the first TKPC meetup / event.

Holy shit if that happens, I may actually head down to DC for it.

Outspoken team cake advocate. Hates terrapins. Resident Macho Man Gif Poster. Distant cousin to Dork Magic. Frequently misspells words.

Living in Albany, it's a bit of a hike, but depending on timing it may be able to influence the schedule of my next trip home to VA.

I'm down! Where do I sign up?

Yeah, if we do this, I'd definitely like to know when/where so I can ask off in advance. That'd be awesome.

“Also, a microwave has never danced it's ass off to Jackie Wilson.” - AssPocketFullOWhiskey

Definitely had a dream last night we were up above 700 members. There may have also been a National Championship in there too. Also I was set to perform a gun duel at some point.

Make my dreams come true (well, the football-related ones).

paging TKPC member #420. Can I get a 420?

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)..

TKPC member #420 here! I've been a fan of the site and decided to finally join!

Welcome and thank you for joining.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

#420BlazeItBrokie

“Also, a microwave has never danced it's ass off to Jackie Wilson.” - AssPocketFullOWhiskey

love gardening, particularly growing my own herbs
-LaInerVT2004

it checks out

RIP Stick It In

I'm assuming that this is LalnerVT2004 and they're trying to keep a low profile
.

I found TKP after two rails from TOTS then walking back to my apartment and re-watching the 2012 Sugar Bowl. I woke up the next day with this username.

Welcome to the SIX new members today. Anyone else want to join the movement today?

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

People getting their bonuses/doing tax returns perhaps?

Such was the case for me.. hello bonus.

-@no1hokie86

I suspect French's film review being locked down had a lot to do with it.

I don't even notice when they are locked down, it's a great benefit to being a Key Players Club member just being able to read all the great content.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Same here. I'm happy to see there wasn't a thread created just to complain about it this time

The charter members of TKPC just celebrated their renewal as well.

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

I actually came here to gloat about being old school as shit and having my first TKPC renewal.

Jk. I love you please don't leave.

Outspoken team cake advocate. Hates terrapins. Resident Macho Man Gif Poster. Distant cousin to Dork Magic. Frequently misspells words.

Blacksburg-centric #460 is just on the horizon for the taking.......

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

Welcome Key Player number 450. We are so close to 500 guys. Let's get this to 500 before the spring game.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

So do I get a cigar and hat?

I don't know about that, but

"That move was slicker than a peeled onion in a bowl of snot." -Mike Burnop

Outspoken team cake advocate. Hates terrapins. Resident Macho Man Gif Poster. Distant cousin to Dork Magic. Frequently misspells words.

Hi fellow Hokies, I have a question here about joining TKPC. I am ready to pull the trigger, but would appreciate some genuine advice. If I joined now, would I then make my payment for next year in January, thus only getting 16 months of coverage for a two year payment? If that is the case, do you think the exclusive content coming with the season justifies that expense? Thanks and appreciate your insight!

Of course I talk to myself, sometimes I need expert advice.

As far as I understand, you pay the $84 on the original date every year.

When you join later tonight, you'll get charged again on August 4th, 2018.

I think. Somebody confirm for me.

Confirming for you, I joined today and was billed $84. Will be billed the same in exactly 1 year.

FIRST DOWN, HOKIES!

Plus, there is NEVER a wrong time to join the TKPC. If you believe that supporting their cause and what they do is right, then it doesn't matter if it's off-season or not. Join. It's worth every penny.

Mine renews on August 14th. I got it on August 14th. Also, use an invalid email so Joe starts a whole thread trying to find you Inna year. #benefits

Your The Key Players Club membership renews on your anniversary date each year, not on January 1. Register on 8/5/17 and it will renew on 8/5/18. I'm happy to answer any other questions.

Joe, 3 Q's -
1 - It auto renews and doesn't require any action on our part, right?
2 - Is there somewhere I can see my TKPC renewal date? I believe it's in October but not sure beyond that.
3 - Is there a way to confirm what cc is on file? I might need to change mine before my renewal rolls around.

1. Correct. It auto renews, but it will automatically send two emails before the renew date with cancelation instructions.

2. Check the very bottom of: https://www.thekeyplay.com/the-key-players-club.

3. I sent you an email.

How long does it usually take to ship/receive our key chains?

I love the tickle of Dickel in my belly

Your expected delivery date is Monday, 8/7/17.

If someone joins on a February 29th, does he/she have to pay four years up front?

We'll overlook it considering you're willing to subscribe in the absolute dead of the offseason.

If you're reading the above post and thinking, "is this guy serious?!?," you can safely assume I'm not.

Without the code in front of me, it would either renew on 2/28 or 3/1. As a software engineer, accounting for date, time zones, and "savings time" nuances is the worst thing ever. Eliminate time zones and have the world use UTC or GMT time.

It's 3/1. I joined on 2/29 just to see what would happen. It renewed on 3/1.

GUYS I DID IT!!!

Of course I talk to myself, sometimes I need expert advice.

Outspoken team cake advocate. Hates terrapins. Resident Macho Man Gif Poster. Distant cousin to Dork Magic. Frequently misspells words.

Sorry to be a

everyone. But I have to let my TKPC membership lapse in a few days. It's just bad timing. Mrs. APFOW and I are trying to close on a house at the moment and all $$$ is caught up in that. I'll be back ASAP though.

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

Good luck closing on the house. I hope it is in a good location for your commutes.

Thanks. Had the inspection today and there were some...um...concerns. We'll see how negotiations go from here.

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

At least the inspector found them. The worst is when they don't find them and they pop up. Those dudes skirt by with no liability, even if they miss something glaring.

Very true. I'm upset that they're there, not that he found them.

The inspector was awesome BTW. VT engineering class of '74 and distills his own bourbon. Needless to say, we hit it off immediately.

Haven't tried it yet, but it will be my next bottle.

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

Holy shit, that's amazing. I hope it is good!

Come on guys another exciting new season of Hokie football ahead. Anyone NEW who joins between now and Sunday morning I'll see if I can get Coach Fuente to answer a single REAL question of your choosing during my meet and greet.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

If you want to chip in to close on my house, I'm happy to stay.

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

You are still in as far as I can tell and I get priorities that's why I'm hoping new people will step up.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

I won't be come Monday.

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

In a vacuum, yes, there are four less members of TKPC today than there were on Tuesday. However, turnover is expected, life happens, but the very encouraging news is the turnover has been extremely low, about 3%. Moreover, what's really been cool and unexpected is all but one TKPC member who had to leave the club sent me an email to explain it's only temporary.

The overall trend and growth of TKPC has been very positive. I said this before, but I do not want there to be a divide in culture among those who are in TKPC vs. not. Reminding TKPers who may have had an unfortunate or unexpected financial circumstance that they are no longer TKPC, implicitly or explicitly, is a net negative for the endeavor in my estimation.

Changed.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Will we reach 600 members today?