Hornets247 Offseason Changes

By:
Published: July 17, 2012

As the offseason starts to resemble an actual offseason, Hornets247 will begin a period of change to get ready for the coming season and the coming era. 

It’s been a wild couple of years, and through it all Hornets247 has survived by proactively making the right changes both to keep up and to grow.

This process is continuing, and it starts now.

We can’t tell you all the things we are going to change, partly because we don’t know them all, but we can tell you there will be change.

Over the past year, asking only once for donations from readers, we took that money, put none of it in our pockets, and delivered the following:

  • Upgraded server: more speed, more reliability
  • Upgraded site: comment activity, recent highlights, more organization, more custom banners
  • Added: Writers, weeklies, season series, new original content
  • Season ticket giveaways: supports the team and the readers
  • Live text and video: reader interaction
  • Guests on podcasts: Hugh Weber, David Thorpe, experts on teams, players
  • Insider events: 9,000 STH event, lease announcement, ownership transfer, post-draft press conference
  • Media credentials: games and practices
  • Photos and video: game day, practices, and special events
  • Social media expansion: Twitter, Facebook
  • All-Star coverage: Mike was live in Orlando
  • Media invitations: ESPN, guest posts on blogs, various radio stations including WWL in New Orleans
  • Olympic and Summer League Coverage: Joe and Andrew Vivaing in Las Vegas

Plus: Watch parties, other social events, daily updates during the lockout, more in-depth features, more NBA-level coverage, more Hornets front office coverage, detailed ownership news, CBA analysis, first looks at the ownership candidates, TV deal, attempted Voodoo brand purchase, and Arena upgrades.

And more.

That’s not even getting into stuff that falls under Joe’s umbrella, which is extensive on its own.

Now we begin even more changes.

Our social media management will be changing. Our twitter management was designed around having only hundred fans who were interested in some dialog. Despite this, our Twitter presence has attracted thousands. To better serve the current and future followers, we’ll have more writers with their own twitter accounts, and the hornets247 twitter account will handle site news and information, some retweets from the writers, and opportunities for reader interaction, such as submitting questions, conducting polls, and hashtag of the day. We’ll also be using other platforms more extensively.

Michael: @McNamara247

Joe: @GerrityJoe

Mason: @WhoDatHornet88

Jake: @NOLAJake

Andrew: @DruProductions

James: @jsgrayson

We will begin the process of a site redesign. Now that the site is on a server with appropriate bandwidth to keep up with our voracious readers around the world, we can focus on the frills. With the changes to what we deliver and what readers expect, we will more clearly differentiate the various pieces we deliver to you. Also, we want make sure the site is at its peak technologically as the team becomes more and more in the spotlight.

We will begin to court sponsors. In order to continue to pay for things like our Olympic and Summer League coverage, we need more money than is reasonable to ask readers for directly. Thus, we will turn to sponsors. You will not be overburdened with ads, nor will our coverage be altered an iota as a result. This move is to expand our coverage, just as our last move was designed to do and accomplished.

We ask those that have been here for a while to reflect on how much the site has grown with so little capital, and how well those small funds were used. Let those answers tell you what to expect if we can land some sponsorship.

And if we do land it, it’s just as much because of our readers as our writers. We’re a good team.

There will be more, of course, and we ask that everyone give these changes time to happen and receive them with an open-mind. They are all intended to give you more of exactly what keeps you coming back.

Some of our writers will be taking a break, some will be shifting roles, and there may be other changes. It’s not goodbye for anyone, so don’t get too excited or too upset.

As always, we’re open to suggestions. Tell us how to get better. All suggestions will be considered.

73 Comments

  1. Jeff

    July 17, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    Going corporate. . . . hate to see that, but I love what you’ve become and like where you’re going!

    • jmbell

      July 17, 2012 at 10:31 pm

      I just hope you guys can draw a line. I know it will be tough to turn down a little more money here and there from just a few more ads than necessary. But the changes sound great.

  2. nikkoewan

    July 17, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    GOOD JOB!

  3. Josh

    July 17, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    When can we expect these changes?

    • Jason Calmes

      July 17, 2012 at 10:25 pm

      Depends on the change, right?

      You’ll see . . . or maybe you won’t!

  4. JD

    July 17, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    Y’all are awesome. Your writing is thoughtful, well researched and insightful. Fans of New Orleans NBA basketball are in great hands thanks to your efforts.

    Keep up the great work!

  5. diehard hornet from brazil

    July 17, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    Great! Looking forward to it all!

    Any contribuitions the Brazil fan base can get you guys, just let us know! We are daily readers for quite some time, and really appreciate your work and effort feeding the brazilian hornets with some quality info and special takes on our loved team! Our Hornets website in portuguese has a lot of influence of yours! The guys running it try to model their work after yours, which means QUALITY.

    Congrats again, We’d be glad to help you, considering you helped us so much!

  6. Josh

    July 17, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    When will the contests start?

    Jason, don’t forget you promised a shirt to nikkoewan and me.

  7. MaxJD_Nola2NYC

    July 17, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    I am very happy to see the progress of the site and all the wonderful additions that keep us feeling like we are a part of an inner core! Here in NY it’s tough being a hornets fan but you guys keep me excited even when times are down I just want to say thank you! -Max long time reader lifetime fan.

    One thing I would like is to have more guest appearances on the podcasts, I love them the way they are but it’s always nice to get an outsider and if possible even an acctual player?!

  8. uptjeff

    July 17, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    Big-league status. Well done.

  9. Ron

    July 17, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    Upgraded server: more speed, more reliability

    Congrats.

    We will begin to court sponsors

    Just don’t ask for my email address at the same time as my demographics.

    site redesign

    I hope not. The current simple and clean format is easy to read and minimizes bandwidth. Since the painful nola.com/saints Web 2.0 redesign, I’ve hardly gone back there, and I’m a much bigger Saints fan than I am Hornets fan. Just MHO, of course…

    A “post preview” would be useful, though.

    Note also that “Notify me of followup comments via e-mail” hasn’t worked for me since the beginning of last season. Neither did trying to register myself with the site. I did notice, though, that some time during the season you started using my WordPress identity.

    • diehard hornet from brazil

      July 17, 2012 at 10:48 pm

      couldn’t register on the site as well…

    • Jason Calmes

      July 17, 2012 at 10:56 pm

      The email has been wonky. Known issue.

      It’s a high offseason priority.

      It just hasn’t been as high as the covergage.

      Also, for those expressing concerns: you are being heard, and your concerns are understandable. It’s up to us to behave responsibly. Keep us posted on that.

      And keep up the comments, suggestions, concerns.

  10. NOS-3RD GEN

    July 17, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    I love this site and still love this city even though I’m living in San Antonio now (Since Katrina). ITS nice to C that no matter what different or same opinions what have of eachother views on things. Its great to know that we all can Agree on one thing…….. That this is an AAAAAAAWWWWEEESSSOOOMMME !!!!site to get HORNETS info on

  11. bob

    July 17, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    MOAR BANNERS

    In all honesty, podcasts and individual pieces are awesome. I started following the writers after the 10th rd pick tourney, and they provide a TON of material, THEN they post great articles.

    Have you considered premium content? For instance, sending the writers to Vegas to cover the Summer League, make the content for that behind a paywall that actually funds the writers’ trip. I think people will pay for that.

    Likewise, people who want exclusive videos are actually paying for the press credentials of the writers who are interviewing players.

    • okithor

      July 18, 2012 at 12:15 am

      Please no pay wall!

      • Jason Calmes

        July 18, 2012 at 12:20 am

        The goal is for readers to contribute their time and their time alone.

        This is to make the site and everything about it better, not make coin and the readers’ or the work’s expense.

  12. Josh

    July 17, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    A few suggestions from other sites I have visited (Valley of the Suns, Hornetsreport, At the Hive):

    VOS-I like how they have links to other blogs and sites about the Suns

    HR-I love how the Twitter feeds of players and writers/fans are organized.

    At the Hive-I like how they have a mobile site.

    Improvements to the site that I’d consider:
    -text/e-mail updates about new posts and follow-up comments
    -a Hornets247 app
    -more frequent polls
    -an ability to register (for free)

    Thanks. I love this site.

    • Jason Calmes

      July 17, 2012 at 11:20 pm

      So there is a mobile site, or a mobile theme. If you go to the bottom of the page, you can switch. The mobile them is a canned thing, is hideous, but works better when bandwidth or formatting are issues.

      We will look into these, of course.

      • Josh

        July 17, 2012 at 11:29 pm

        Thanks. I have used it, but I prefer not to because it is not very pleasing (I don’t know the word to use).

        The only reason I do use it is when I can’t comment on my iPod because the “Manage your subscriptions” link and “Post Comment” square get mixed together for some reason. It’s hard to explain.

      • Jason Calmes

        July 17, 2012 at 11:30 pm

        I have the same issue. It renders funny. You are right. and that mobile theme is hideous.

  13. Josh

    July 17, 2012 at 11:24 pm

    I just can’t stop thinking about this. I would like to get notifications like there are on Apple’s new IOS 5. Also, I like how you can know who is currently on the site and the number of people on it. This is a little unrelated, but it would be cool if we could have nonline dynasties in NBA Live (my preference) and/or NBA 2K with each other.

    • nikkoewan

      July 17, 2012 at 11:30 pm

      yeah, is there a way for us to be notified on comments on blogs that we’ve commented on? Would really like that. Similar to ATH

    • Josh

      July 17, 2012 at 11:32 pm

      Knowing who is on the site is something I like from HR (that’s who I was referring to, if unclear). My Kindle’s spell-check messed up (does that a lot). I meant to say “online”, not “nonline”.

  14. Ben

    July 17, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    I wish I could be a writer on this site and have a podcast #keepdreaming

    • Jason Calmes

      July 17, 2012 at 11:58 pm

      Having refereed fan posts (for quality, not content), is something I want.

      Plus, we added writers… it will happen again, and there is a whole internet out there. Keep dreaming AND working and you have a shot.

      • Ben

        July 18, 2012 at 12:15 am

        How “working”

      • Jason Calmes

        July 18, 2012 at 12:22 am

        On being an educated and dedicated fan.

        It all starts there, but it never ends.

        (no problem, I got what you meant)

      • Ben

        July 18, 2012 at 12:21 am

        Not trying to be a smart-a** or anything. I just don’t know how to ask it

      • Ben

        July 18, 2012 at 12:34 am

        Jason,
        I was on ddl a couple nights ago and talking with joe. He said there were a couple writers on this site who got 800 on one section of the sat. 1) were You 1 of them? 2) (side note just wondering) where did you teach?

      • Jason Calmes

        July 18, 2012 at 12:50 am

        I have done well on math tests in my day.

        I’ve taught at Tulane.

  15. edbballin504

    July 17, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    Jason,

    I’d love to be more involved with the 247 expansion. If there are any areas I could be a part of, please email me the details so we can talk. Thanks man!

    • Jason Calmes

      July 18, 2012 at 12:02 am

      I tell you what: noodle on that.

      At some point this offseason, we will take an inventory of our reader talent and we will use this barely tapped resource of ours.

      It’ll take time, but we’ll get there.

      • edbballin504

        July 18, 2012 at 7:17 am

        Sounds like a plan Jason. Keep me posted.

  16. Chuck

    July 17, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    This sounds like…change we can believe in? /I’ll show myself out

    In all seriousness though thanks for years of free and amazing quality work that I know will only get better!

  17. Josh

    July 18, 2012 at 12:00 am

    I don’t know if this is possible, but can we have push technology instead of pull so that we don’t have to keep refreshing?

  18. Andrew

    July 18, 2012 at 12:01 am

    Bring on the sponsorers. You guys deserve it, plus it will only add to the quality of the content when you guys start getting compensated for you contributions.

  19. Josh

    July 18, 2012 at 12:08 am

    What will happen to the name of the site if the Hornets’ name is changed?

    • Jason Calmes

      July 18, 2012 at 12:17 am

      We may change the site to something parallel, keep it the same, or go in another direction.

  20. Andres

    July 18, 2012 at 12:44 am

    The reason I started coming to Hornets247 for about 2 years now, is because If I wanted to get any quality info from ESPN I would have to be an Insider, which I am not. I then found this site through TrueHoop at ESPN. I was amazed with all the free quality information. I now come to this site everyday multiple times a day. I hate the idea of paying for premium content and hope that having sponsors will provide enough money to avoid this, but I am extremely dedicated to the Hornets and this website that I would pay for content. I honestly used to be a much bigger Saints fan but because of this site I am a Hornets fan 1st 2nd and 3rd. I look forward to all changes and thank you to everyone who is involved with Hornet247 from the writers to the followers. I believe the Hornets have the best and most knowledgeable fans in sports.

    In Dell We Trust

    • StefanC

      July 18, 2012 at 1:02 am

      Cosign!

  21. StefanC

    July 18, 2012 at 1:01 am

    Which writers are “taking a break”?

    I haven’t see as many posts from Ryan this year, and I want more “geeky” statistics from the man. I’ve been of fan of his since the only two writers on this site were Ryan Schwan and Ron Hitley (Niall Doherty).

  22. MontyForMayor

    July 18, 2012 at 2:02 am

    Out of nowhere…but what about the Krewe as a replacement name for Hornets?

    • Nate

      July 19, 2012 at 10:09 am

      As long as we’re going with that, we could call them the Motley Crue. Tommy Lee could be the mascot and do upside-down drum solos at halftime along with somersault trampoline dunks. 😛

      • Jason Calmes

        July 19, 2012 at 10:29 am

        Sold.

  23. Bee-Fense

    July 18, 2012 at 2:04 am

    I’ve always loved this site and have visited it just about daily since the 2010 summer league coverage. I’ve always liked sharing my opinion on a lot of things, especially basketball.

    I post under the same name on HR and do so quite often, so if you so happen to enjoy my intake on there and are looking for a writer down the line, I’d love to be a part of the site.

  24. dario

    July 18, 2012 at 3:08 am

    just want to take the moment and say thanks to you! i’m following your “blog” over the last couple of years! and i got used to check it – even before i check other sites on the net! is great for a hornet-fan overseas to get the coverage your doing! perfect and awesome work! i hope you’re not losing your fire and passion! hornets247 – my favourite site on the entire internet – keep it going!
    peace from overseas

  25. Michael McNamara

    July 18, 2012 at 7:19 am

    For those of you who are Twitter’ers, you can follow me at:

    @McNamara247

    @Hornets247 will be straight laced from now on- no opinions, commentary, etc. I will still give you the rumors I hear, opinions that you either come to love or hate, and no BS commentary over on my Twitter feed. I also plan on being very interactive there and will respond to most/all of your questions.

    • Josh

      July 18, 2012 at 12:04 pm

      I don’t have a Twitter account, but I still look up people’s accounts; and I googled “@McNmara247” but couldn’t find anything.

      • StefanC

        July 18, 2012 at 12:37 pm

        You spelled his last name incorrectly. McNamara.

  26. sean

    July 18, 2012 at 8:08 am

    For the most up to date and in depth info regarding the hornets, theres no doubt, this is the number 1 site to go to (world wide).

    Keep up the good work lads.

  27. jobie cantrelle

    July 18, 2012 at 8:53 am

    Never did post many comments. But LOVE this site and what yall do for the fanbase. I believe this site will be vital with our rebuild as a whole. So even thouvh I come two to three times to see whats new. I will try to post more and be more interactive. See great things coming for this site/team/community. And I couldnt be more excited 🙂

  28. br hornet

    July 18, 2012 at 9:49 am

    love the site, but can yall not drag out the podcasts. i rarely have 90 minutes to listen and i have a gut feeling that you could cut them done to under an hour and still have the same amount of info.

  29. Kimbro Slice

    July 18, 2012 at 10:03 am

    I honestly wouldn’t mind having to put up with ads if it means that the site continues to grow. I check this site probably three or four times a day, and will also try and contribute more in the comments.

  30. Kempleton

    July 18, 2012 at 10:37 am

    Guys, Just want to say that You are doing an amazing job! I am looking forward to the changes.

  31. Baba

    July 18, 2012 at 11:36 am

    Keep up the good work guys! I’m not worried about the ads spoiling the site or the podcasts because I’m sure you’ll know where to draw the line.

    Some feedback: I seem unable to register, I hope this is fixed after the changes are made.

    In my opinion, the site doesn’t need to be redesigned. It’s great the way it is now.

    If you could do the podcasts just a little bit shorter, that would be nice, thanks.

    • Andres

      July 18, 2012 at 2:06 pm

      I personally want the podcast longer

      • Ben

        July 18, 2012 at 9:24 pm

        Second that

    • coach44

      July 18, 2012 at 2:10 pm

      I love the podcasts. I also can’t listen to an entire podcast in one sitting, so I just write down the time I left and pick it back up later. I also love the site. I have been in heaven this summer with all the Hornets activity. Keep up the good work!

  32. NJLatino2

    July 18, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    Long time Hornets fan here from Jersey City, NJ. I just wanted to tell you that I love what you guys post on the site. I’m constantly checking it throughout the day to see if any new posts/blogs/articles have been added. You guys are very informative and I also follow you guys on Twitter. Keep up the good work, you’ve got a fan here in NJ!

  33. HoumaHornet

    July 18, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    If Joe keeps promoting Lance Thomas as a viable big man for this team I would like him replaced. Haha. Keep up the good work guys.

    • Kempleton

      July 19, 2012 at 11:12 am

      I support Joe on that! 🙂 I somehow feel like Lance Thomas could become a regular NBA player if he keeps working hard. He is not very young but he was just a rookie last year. His game feels like Kenyon Martin’s game to me.

    • Joe Gerrity

      July 19, 2012 at 4:04 pm

      Lance Thomas or AD… who will have the brighter future!?!?!?!

      Thanks for all the kind comments, all.

  34. tmb1978

    July 18, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    I hope you guys get good local sponsors. Not just New Orleans local but Gulf Coast local. It would be good to see. Otherwise, keep up the good work.

  35. matt

    July 18, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    Thank you guys for all your hard work. I read this site daily first time to comment

  36. robroy

    July 18, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    I read the site at least an hour every day. Keep up the great work!

  37. Analyzer

    July 18, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    Just found the site recently (my bad) and really enjoy it. I also love that it does not “tax” my computer with too many graphics, etc. Can’t hard go thru NOL#.com without getting bogged down. Looking forward to the next season’s coverage! Thanks Guys!

  38. bleedHornets

    July 18, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    will you guys still have the podcast?

    • Jason Calmes

      July 18, 2012 at 10:51 pm

      Yes, though in the offseason all will slow a bit.

  39. Josh

    July 18, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    BREAKING NEWS: The New Orleans Hornets and Orlando Magic have not agreed on a trade to send Dwight Howard to New Orleans, according to multiple sources.

  40. Aussie Hornet

    July 19, 2012 at 9:06 am

    This is BY FAR the best sports blog I’ve ever come across and yet you all remain hungry to always improve. I donated last year, filled out the survey & will buy one of the shirts Ryan mentioned on the podcast – why? Because the Hornets247 writers deserve it for busting their ass to provide us with this amazing product for which we get for free. And the fans deserve to keep receiving this great product. I’m truly grateful Hornets247 writers, and for the readers contributing below. It’s great to be a fan of the team with THE BEST blog in the league.

  41. Nate

    July 19, 2012 at 10:13 am

    I believe.

  42. toledotorpedo

    July 21, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    Denver has 6 bigs, what’s the chance we can trade for one. Maybe use some of those 2nd round picks.

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