Hi all. If you’re reading this, I want to start off by thanking you for all of the support you’ve shown myself, our staff, this website and our community over the past few weeks since we got the news about Vox/SB Nation. A lot has happened over the last few weeks, and a lot more will be happening in the coming weeks, as we transition to an independent site.
I don’t have all of the answers yet, but here’s what I can share:
- We will remain on SB Nation and with Vox through the end of March, rather than the end of February. This will give us a bit more time to continue planning our future, and transition to our new hosting platform, which will almost certainly be Ghost. With that said, while I hope it will be a seamless transition, I hope you all will bear with me/us as we make the switch.
- Once we go independent, we will remain Die By The Blade. Our name won’t change. We’ll also be able to bring our full archives - all the way back to July 1, 2007 - with us. The fact that we’ll be able to retain our brand is huge, and the fact that over 12,000 articles posted in the past 15 and a half years won’t be disappearing is incredibly comforting in a time of chaos.
- Our GoFundMe has raised over $7500, which is mind-blowing to me. I never could’ve imagined this level of support, and I’m incredibly grateful for it. Our exact operating costs are being worked out, but for transparency’s sake: a year of Ghost at the “Team” level, which allows for up to 1,000 members, costs $600/year upfront. There may also be costs to import our archives, design a new logo, etc., in addition to the costs associated with becoming our own legal ‘business.’ Our estimated startup costs are around $2,000 - in addition to continuing to pay our staff at their current rates.
- My plan as of right now is to keep the site completely free through June or July 2023 before we explore a subscription model. I don’t want to suddenly cut people off, or force people to sign up for a monthly subscription - even at $5 - in the middle of one of the best seasons in recent Buffalo Sabres history. The donations to our GoFundMe will allow us to sustain our current pay rates for writers/editors for the next little bit, which is what allows me to make this decision - so again, thank you.
- What will happen beginning in July/August? We’ll likely begin exploring a subscription model. I’ve been reading everyone’s comments on the survey and will be sure to keep those in mind when figuring out what this looks like. I don’t want to go fully subscription-only if at all possible. It’s clear that the community aspect of this site is what makes it work best. We’ll also explore partnerships and sponsorships to raise funds, to try and keep costs low and reasonable. But again, in order to pay our staff, we need to make money somehow!
More to come — stay tuned.