Just about a year ago, I sent an email to Ben and Danny Pugsley asking them if they wanted to start an analytics site with me. I was frustrated with having to find things on people’s personal blogs, and I knew that by gathering a small crew of guys whose work I really liked into one site, we could increase readership for everyone involved, while potentially building something cool.
Danny was on the fence due to getting a paying gig elsewhere and running Bitter and Blue, but Ben was up for it and so StatsBomb began. The site itself opened in mid-July after I bought a truly cheap pre-canned theme for WordPress (which is still in place), got my friend Donnie Noland to design a quick and dirty site logo (also still in place), and tossed it all on a web host.
Shortly thereafter, I roped in Colin Trainor, and for a fleeting instant Mike Goodman, who then fucked off to Grantland because he’s awesome and they’re awesome, and they asked. We’ve also had a number of truly outstanding contributions from Paul Riley, Steve Hunt, Bart Schotten, Constantinos Chappas, Oliver Page, Dan Kennett, and Jesse Mason. For some guys, it was an immediate launching pad into bigger spotlights. For others, it was a just a place to publish their work and see it get read by a diverse, intelligent audience.
One other contributor that has been hugely influential has been Marek Kwiatkowski. He’s only had a few pieces on the front page, but his work on the backend with data has been immense, and without him at least half of my own pieces would not exist. He’s also very quietly, wickedly funny. I am a fan.
The other people that have made us at least a small success is you guys. Feedback from you drives some of our content. Hits, RTs, posts to reddit and forums and simple friendly recommendations from you drive our growth. This is true at the grassroots level, and it’s true of giant journalist accounts that have helped champion us the entire time. (Special thanks to Sean Ingle, Gabriel Marcotti, and Paul Tomkins to name but a few.)
Get to the point…
Right, so we’ve been around about a year, and as you probably had noticed, the site needs some work. It loads slooooowly. The archives simply don’t work unless you search for things and even then… And more than anything, it just needs to be better. We’ll be going for clean and quick when we do the revamp, but we also need to do some reorganizing to make space for new, cool things that I will talk about as we get closer to launching them.
Here’s the problem: I am out of time. I am also not particularly skilled at website development or management. Neither are Ben or Colin.
We need help.
StatsBomb exists as a labor of love. We are not monetized. There are no banners, no autoplaying ads, no sportsbook affiliates, no nuthin. At this time, I have no real interest in changing that.
Unfortunately, I simply don’t have time to run our website revamp and development. My bandwidth is maxed out. If I were to change my schedule to run the revamp, you’d lose at least a month of content from me in the process, and even if I did that, I’d make a ton of costly errors that will assuredly burn even more time.
However, I know that we need to improve the site to grow. We have other innovative projects in the pipeline, but we have to fix the front end in order to host those projects.
Can one of you help?
What I need is someone who is experienced with WordPress and Website Development to manage small projects on the site going forward. That person needs to be smart, but they also need to be a volunteer. I have a decent background in IT and can communicate the concepts, but I need someone to take that stuff and run with it to completion.
We have money set aside for the site revamp (and have for some time, actually, but again with the maxed bandwidth), but because we are unfunded, we can’t pay for both the PM and the development work. Also, while the development can be piecemeal, I need someone who will hopefully be around long-term to oversee site standards and implementation when these things come up. After the initial work, there will be huge stretches of time where no work needs to be done at all, so I don’t expect this to be a busy and taxing position outside of the first month or so.
If you are a fan of the site, have a background in web development/management, and want to be involved at this level, please get in touch on twitter (@mixedknuts) and send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to start a conversation. You don’t have to be old, but you do need to be clever and energetic, and interested in building something that will last.
I am really hoping that one or more of you will be willing to devote some time and energy into helping us improve dramatically. If not, we’ll survive, but you’ll see content trickle to a crawl for a while, and that’s something I would prefer to avoid.
Thanks again for making the last year great.