By Bennett Conlin
A thank you is in order.
One year ago today, Jack Fitzpatrick and myself launched JMU Sports News. At the time, we only had a newsletter and Twitter account. Now, 365 days later, we have a newsletter, Twitter, podcast and website. We’re also planning on adding a Facebook account in the coming weeks.
We’ve come a long way. Slowly but surely, we’ve gained followers and credibility.
We’re up over 800 Twitter followers as of this week, and we’re averaging about 3,500 website visitors in each of the last three months. Those numbers aren’t staggering, but we’re proud of them.
We added Nick Stevens as a JMU baseball contributor. We’ve landed interviews with former JMU athletes like Jailyn Ford and Vad Lee. We also got rejected by UCLA’s student newspaper when we asked if they wanted to be a podcast guest. Everyone needs a slice of humble pie sometimes, right?
We’ve written some form of content via the newsletter or website about all 17 of JMU’s athletic programs. We plan on continuing this as we aim to comprehensively cover all of the Dukes, not just the football team. Do we cover JMU cross country as well as we want/should/could? Nope, but we’re going to do our best to live out Olivia Viparina’s Twitter bio by remembering the “boring” sports for as long as JMU Sports News exists.
We wrote about the best athletes in JMU history, which sparked an interesting discussion among fans. “How could you forget _____?!” was a common retort that left us laughing and wondering, “Wow, how did we forget _____??” We wrote about JMU softball’s mid-major plight, which received some strong positive feedback. Those days make every negative comment worth it.
We’re far from perfect, and we’re overjoyed that so many people have enjoyed the product despite our many flaws.
Most importantly, we’re having fun doing this. We love the JMU sports community, and it’s a blast to play some small role in the JMU sports online conversation. We aren’t breaking news or consistently writing feature stories, but who knows, maybe our annual update five years from now will tell a different story. We’re excited to see where this journey takes us.
We want to thank everyone for their support during the first year of JMU Sports News. It’s been an absolute blast to talk about JMU sports over the past year, and we’re thrilled that a few hundred people have been with us for the ride.
We’re also excited for what’s next. We plan on continuing to grow our product. We’re likely going to shift some emphasis away from our newsletter and to our website, podcast and social media accounts. We’ll discuss that more later, but we’re trying to find the best way to juggle full-time jobs and an exciting side hobby. We’ll figure it out eventually. If you ever have suggestions, send us a note at JMUsportsnews@gmail.com. Nick Stevens did that, and now he’s our baseball contributor!
To summarize this stream-of-consciousness article, we’re excited. We believe there’s a need for more JMU sports content, and we’re pumped to play a small role in the JMU sports online community. We hope to improve as the JMU sports content across the internet expands and improves as well.
Thank you for coming along for the ride. Here’s to Year 2.