Happy new year and new offer

The 2020 season, with its meticulous schedule and fanless stadiums, was not the kind of launch I expected for the Sox Machine as a full-time job.

The 2021 season was more like it, although with the uncertain start, the omicron variant, and the lockdown, it would be nice to have a year where big plans can be made with a sense of certainty, rather than fear that everything is. annihilated by circumstances beyond our control.

Still, with the full season, a real playoff series, and a real hatchback in the middle of it all, I’m more certain it’s sustainable, and it’s all thanks to the Sox Machine community.

Thanks to everyone who supports Sox Machine on Patreon. I’m especially encouraged that we’re gaining supporters during the lockout, which is all the more generous as work stoppages have the power to drain all enthusiasm for a sport. For those who do not support Sox Machine, please do not complain about advertisements or select posts that are subject to a paywall.

The revenue balance is about 65/35 between Patreon support and ads, which sounds healthy to me, and not just because I want to be right on the subject. I could put most of the site behind a pay wall and reward those who sign up, but besides being tough on readers who can’t afford an extra subscription, it makes it hard to get ideas out and get through. community growth. Athletic is considering loosening up their paywall despite the collection of branded talent that makes a subscription an easy decision, and obviously the Sox Machine isn’t as ubiquitous.

At the same time, we all know that relying on ads to increase revenue usually ends up turning the screw on readers, turning visitors into strangers. Therefore, “advertisements for some, miniature Sox Machine pennants for others” will be the idea in the future. But if you are having a suboptimal experience in any way, let me know.

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On the podcast, Josh and I discussed our New Years Resolutions, and I got one for Sox Machine. I mentioned that I would like to use the Sox Machine less far away, because while I’m naturally introverted and keep things close to the vest, I might have ways of helping people looking for a way in.

I was hesitant to position myself as someone who can give wise advice because I might not have had to give. Much of the Sox Machine experience is forged by showing up every day for 15 years with mostly negligible teams, and blogs have fallen into disuse for quite a while, at least the way they do. were previously managed. I also didn’t post any calls for help, as I didn’t have a clear idea of ​​how to organize it in such a way as to provide fair compensation or experience, and I didn’t want to perpetuate a operating model.

But after seeing online media revert to the flexible form and direct connection through newsletters, I am confident that I had the right read, or at least the right one. Blogs don’t have to compete with the media. Most people would rather read an article than watch a video version of it. If you have a site with a good comments section, don’t let those good reviewers navigate a tornado of ads to stay engaged. Perhaps this approach just couldn’t be whipped with great mass profitability, at least without violating the labor laws that resulted in decent class action settlement control, but there was never anything. wrong with the format at its intended scale (see former SB Nation writers as Tom ziller, Spencer Hall and Holly Anderson for their independent disclosures and testimonials).

Anyway, if you are a student or recent graduate looking for experience, please feel free to contact me (jim on soxmachine.com) or Josh (on soxmachine.com) if you are interested in audio . It’s always worth talking to see if there’s an adjustment, and even if there isn’t, maybe we could point you in the right direction. If you are already in the content mines and feel like you are at a dead end, then it is possible that I am in this position and can help you get out of it. If you see something else we’re doing and you’re wondering, “How can I do this?” ” Do not hesitate to ask. Or if you think “I can do better” I would honestly love to see you try.

Good year!

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Amanda J. Marsh