Google Analytics records August 8th. 2008 as the first day traffic accumulated here at Midwest Sports Fans, the sports blog for which I have been Editor ever since.
There were officially ten “visits” that day (though there is a good chance that all ten were me, as I knew not, at that time, the process of banning IP addresses to discount your own visits).
Since that first day up until right now as I begin writing this — April 14th, 2013 at 8:45 pm Central Time — there have been 21,670,938 pages viewed at this domain.
Twenty-one-plus million. Twenty-two million if we’re rounding up.
Please forgive me if I step back for a moment and say, “Wow.”
That’s a hell of a lot of pageviews for a site that started on a lark as a way to learn WordPress for work.
We’ve reached those numbers for two reasons: 1) the amazing group of writers that has accumulated over the years, and 2) the consistent patronage of readers like you. Thoughts like that make me feel an overwhelming sense of pride and humility, simultaneously.
Now here is a prediction for you: this domain will serve up 21,670,938 more pageviews, and then some, in the coming years.
I will love watching it. And I will continue to love contributing to it. But I’ll be doing so a few steps removed from my current role.
New Leadership for MSF
It is with great excitement and confidence today that I pass the reins of MSF over to Ryan Phillips, my trusted partner on The Assembly Call, formerly of Bleacher Report, and the founder of Rumors of Rants.
Ryan is prepared to give MSF his complete attention, which I can no longer do.
He is enthusiastic about bringing new ideas to the table, which I have not been doing recently.
And he is confident — as am I — in his ability to steer MSF in a new direction, one that will bring growth while not compromising the values that have made this site a special one for those who write for it and who read it regularly.
I’ll still be around helping to manage the business side of the site, providing advice, and contributing the occasional article or two. But from this day forward, the day-to-day operations of MSF are Ryan’s to manage. Editorial decisions are his. And he’s going to do a fantastic job.
In three months, MSF will be better than it’s ever been, and I’m going to be watching with great pride and enthusiasm as it takes place.
MSF will always hold a special place in my heart, and I will always strive to make decisions that are in its best interests, to give you and our writers the site they deserve. Right now, unequivocally, the best decision is to step aside so that Ryan can steer this ship in a better, more focused direction.
And Ryan will.
He is, frankly, overqualified for the job. But he’s humble, he’s hard-working, and he appreciates what MSF has always stood for. So he’s going to be great, and you will appreciate what he brings to the table.
Not Goodbye, But Thank You
In closing, just know that this is not goodbye. Rather, it’s an opportunity to say thank you that I couldn’t pass up.
Thank you to the writers who have made MSF such a joy to manage. And thank you to the millions of readers who have inspired me so many times to sit down at the computer and type.
Like I am tonight.
This is what I miss doing. Purging my thoughts honestly into a blog post. It’s what having a blog should be about. No fear, no pressure … just putting honest thoughts out there to start a conversation.
MSF was built on that philosophy. It still is. But it’s time for fresh leadership and a new direction, both of which are coming.
I love this site. It’s a place where kind, decent, informed folk can get together to discuss sports in a way that is kind, decent, and informed, as well as entertaining. The web needs more places like this.
I’m really proud that I can type that and mean it. And that won’t change.
But the audience will grow. And the content will get better. And this site will reach new heights that it hasn’t known. I can’t wait to see it.
Ryan, you’re up buddy. I can’t wait to see MSF reach new levels of success under your leadership.