HAPPY NEW YEAR!
I know it is cliche, but for me and the site setting some New Year's Resolutions for 2024 I think will help you all understand where my focus is for this LarryTheGM community. I REALLY want your feedback.
First, I was not even sure I would do my customary sharing of this post. Many of you really don't care about our goals for the site and even less about my role in those goals. I know this and that is fair. However, the world needs to see how different this site is from 90% of sports media and maybe these resolutions are part of the process for that.
This site is INDEPENDENT. We have no "sources" except what we can see or understand from the data we reference. However, this means no one is telling us what we have to say to maintain those sources. If you stay here long enough with us, I think you too will see there is something different about what we do. This site is also extremely transparent about who we are and what we want to do.
Let me be clear. My priorities for 2024 are:
This leads us directly to our first resolution.
Just as in 2023, in 2024, we will continue to and improve the ways we bring you objective data-based sports analysis.
That means the tone of what we do here is not focused upon making anyone happy. I am out to tell you the truth as I see it. I also TRY to separate things which are FACTS (performance metrics, statistics, etc.) from those things that are my OPINIONS. We provide DATA to back up our opinions. Frankly, this is rare in sports media which tends to even subconsciously intertwine opinions upon opinions without little data to back it up.
I suspect some will be very surprised by the tone of the articles this year. I believe that this year, even starting today, will be a good one for our teams:
Texas is in the CFP, and I THINK (opinion) they will surprise folks how well they will do in the SEC in the fall.
Texas is recruiting at an elite level, and I expect to chronicle how the wave of talent will continue to transform the team.
My Texas coverage has always been more cheerleading in nature, and I admit it. Expect my cheering to be even happier as the results dictate.
I will also discuss frequently the ever-changing structure of college athletics.
The Astros are being run professionally by their GM. I think they are making smart decisions and avoiding bad ones. While the team will NOT be a World Series favorite, a return trip to the ALCS seems very possible.
The Astros hired the right manager in my opinion. I think Espada will run the team very well, and I look forward to a manager that can logically explain his actions.
Maldonado moving on sheds the Astros of what I believe and have showed repeatedly was a significant performance drag. Without the black hole of batting, I think the offense will stun folks in 2024.
I expect the Astros tone to be more positive because I expect the actions taken to be more logical and to give the Astros the best chance to win.
I think we have fun stuff coming also in 2023 to track the MLB teams and maybe that will help you make a little money.
In 2023 we have launched Rockets coverage, and I would like to do even more in 2024.
I suspect the Rockets young players will continue to get better, and the team to continue to grow.
Other opportunities- I would like to expand to cover other teams- college and professional here too. I have a couple of people who have said they would like to jump in, but please feel free to join in too.
If you want to write for the site, let me know and submit your articles to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am committed to financial viability for this site in 2024.
I understand the state of media in 2024. Many websites like the Athletic are struggling financially. The most financially successful in sports media make it a habit to gaslight you with fake news and rumors often planted by sports agents with an agenda. Few verify anything. Few check the objective facts like statistics. Opinions run wild and the more outlandish an opinion one has, the more attention one gets. That is not what we do here. While I think what we do here is pretty rare, many of you have been sure to tell me it is not special. Here is the truth. I am too old to waste my time on creating content that is under appreciated. I retired from a career where I could make more in three days than I will make with the support I am currently getting in a year.
The customer is always right. So, if what we do here is not worth it to folks, then I will find other things to do. I don't expect to be rich doing this work. I won't accept getting weekly hate and disrespect for minor rewards either.
What are the options?
Turn the website completely into a pay-to-view site. I do not want to do this. It goes against everything I have wanted to do in this space.
Abandon written articles except for the Patreon subscribers and go fully to YouTube as the primary delivery mechanism. Younger people don't read. It is not a slam on the younger generation. If I was in my teens or twenties, I would be the same way. So, if few want to read, I will read for them.
Dive into Instagram and TikTok. This is probably coming anyway. I hope to learn more about making these channels an onramp to the content.
Shutdown and move on. This would probably please the propagandists the most.
Here is where we are today. There are two opportunities for you to support the
LarryTheGM.com website in January 2024.
PayPal- Direct one time or monthly support. This is NEW for those who did not want to or could not use Patreon. Several folks have requested this. Here is the link to PayPal.
Patreon- become a member and get access to articles before those on the website. Also, special opportunities for Patreon members.
Here is the site data.
Over 22,000 people visited the site in 2023- down from 2022
Over 62,000 pages were viewed- up slightly from 2022
We will do more in 2024 to grow our traffic and hopefully increase the return visitors. These numbers are still VERY good for a website in this category.
So, one of the questions from me for 2024 is if that many people visit the site, why do so few choose to support the site especially those who are returning visitors? This is the question I need to address in 2024.
In 2024, I plan to do more video content
I said this last year and we did for a lot of the year. This year, I am at a point of choosing video on YouTube over written content on the site.
One concept I am considering is making posts on the site video only with the written content only on the Patreon site.
Another concept I am considering is getting a regular cadence for content review. For example:
Monday and Thursday Astros Off-Days- Astros Content Review
Tuesdays- Longhorns Content Review
Wednesdays- Other Content Review
It is going to be a big year here at LarryTheGM. Please support the site and help spread the word.
If you have thoughts on any of this let me know.