I’ve been running of fumes trying to pin everything down during this last week to notice anything else going on that wasn’t volleyball-related. When I got the e-mail for October’s blog numbers, I literally did a double-take to make sure my eyes weren’t deceiving me.
After September’s numbers came out — just under 22,000 views — I set the goal for October at 25,000 views, with “reach goal” of 30,000 views. … The October numbers are in, and they blew both out of the water.
Final calculations came out to a total of 35,416 views for the month of October — making it the seventh-most viewed blog of any kind on LoHud. And just based on the numbers we’re getting to start November, if we even remotely keep pace with that, we’ll blow October out of the water. With the field whittled down to just five local teams (six with the Suffern boys) — only four of which we cover (five with Suffern boys) — I’m sure traffic will go down since people’s teams are likely eliminated by now. Although, if they want to see how far the remaining teams go, this is the only place to find out. It’s going to be tough to judge traffic since we’ll have nothing until November 9, then after that nothing until November 15, then after states, just announcements of all-stars, all-county, all-section, etc.
For my “safe goal,” I would love to get 30,000 views this month — about 1,000 views a day sounds manageable. For my “reach goal,” I’m going with 50,000 views — figuring we get a lot of interest in the regional and state tournaments (and teams keep advancing). Hopefully November lands somewhere in the middle.
I really cannot begin to thank you all enough. The kind words many of you had at sections — even those from teams I didn’t cover as much — were incredibly heartwarming. There is no doubt that there is a thirst for volleyball in this area, and if nobody else wants to supply the information, I’m happy to take on the load. I promise to keep doing my best to make this sport’s coverage even bigger.
For those who think there is no care for the sport, try this on for size: My Twitter gained more than 100 followers during the section tournament alone, and is now up over 300 followers from the start of the regular season. I was getting tweets from family members of local players who live Washington and Florida, saying they were tracking their niece/granddaughter’s team via Twitter.
The crowds from Yorktown-John Jay, Ardsley-Hen Hud and John Jay-East Fishkill-Suffern matches were unbelievably loud and supportive. I cover girls basketball in the winter, and I rarely see crowds that big or loud. And, well, the blog numbers speak for itself.
While I have you reading this, I wanted to give some personal thank you’s to a few people who have really helped aid in the coverage, even if you — the readers — may not know it.
— Ruben Vahos, Chad Flayhan and Phil Theiller: I like to think of them as the “Three Musketeers” because I rarely see just one of them; it’s usually two at a minimum. As three of my most-avid readers, you guys have provided me with everything from schedule and scoring updates, to player analysis and overall small talk at matches and tournaments. Thank you for everything you have done so far; it is greatly, greatly appreciated.
— Rob Crispi: What started with a two-hour phone conversation in the offseason, to a semi-regular sighting at the bigger tournaments, you’ve probably taught me the most about the sport out of anyone. Thank you for being patient with me as I learned what it means to be “in-system” or “hit to the six.” I’m sure the ceiling to what you can teach me in the future is limitless, but I’ll have my notebook and pen ready. (By the way, Rob said in the preseason that Hen Hud was going to severe damage.)
— Rick Misrok, Janine McCarthy: Even with his daughter off to college, Rick still kept tabs on the Ardsley program and fed information from the various matches he attended. Same with Janine at Dobbs Ferry; although her daughter Gabby is still playing, she was one of the more Twitter-friendly parents out there in terms of scoring updates. I did not want you to think that your courteousness went unnoticed.
— The coaches: Seriously, did you think I would leave you out? I know not everyone reads, but I’m hopeful that the ones who do will convert them over. There were a lot of changes this year, and despite a bumpy start, we hit relatively smooth sailing much quicker than I had anticipated. For the coaches on Twitter feeding me score updates — Joe Felipe, Daniela Denis, Jay Melville, Katy Sherwood, Lauren Riccardi, Ellen Casey, Tom Rizzotti — plus everyone else, thank you so much. Hopefully more coaches embrace the blog and Twitter next year, but thank you all for getting (way) ahead of the curve!