A new IPI is coming
Okay, as I have been mentioning over the past several months, things are about to change in a big way with the IPI. I had planned on making this change a few months ago, but wanted to make sure it was done right and wanted to take the time to research this new venture I would be getting myself into.
Sometime in the next week the Indians Prospect Insider will be getting a makeover and moving from a site hosted on a blog network (Google’s Blogspot) to an independently hosted website. The site address will stay the same and the site may look quite familiar, but the site has been rebuilt by an actual web designer and will have some cool new features and a new look to it.
This change in host and the recreation of the site was necessitated by the site now going to a premium platform. Many articles on the site – the majority actually – will still be “free” so to speak, but now several articles with inside information, scouting reports, player news, and so on will be hidden behind a pay door and be available only to subscribers.
This was a tough decision and something I had contemplated for years. I had been balancing life between this site as a glorified hobby and a real full time job in the business world. Over time this hobby turned into a job with full time hours of its own – though with minimal pay – and the boundaries between my real job and this site began to overlap.
After what I went through last spring with my kidney cancer diagnosis and the time I had to reflect on things I realized I was overextending myself and needed to either pull the plug on this baseball gig or dive into it full time. When I thought about it more I realized that this is my passion and this is where I want to be. So, I decided to leave the business world last fall and focus on this baseball venture full time. That meant I would need to be creative in finding ways to support myself and my family in order to keep doing this.
I have been contacted by numerous media outlets over the years and very recently to bring the IPI to their site and take over content manager duties, but I wanted to remain independent and see if I can do this on my own first. This is where the new premium membership comes into play.
I understand that for many this will be an immediate turn off and I may lose some readers because of this decision. I will be sorry to see that happen, but I believe in my work and my hope is that many people will find it acceptable to pay the $2-3 a month for a lot of firsthand information that I provide that I believe is informative, accurate, and well researched.
I have not decided on a cost structure yet, but I do not expect an annual membership to cost more than $29.99 ($2.50 a month). There will also be a monthly option as well, though of course will cost more over 12 months than a regular annual subscription. And again, a lot of articles will still be able to be read without a subscription.
With this new venture I have a lot of great ideas and things I want to focus on now that I am doing this full time. I am already working on a weekly web TV show that will be produced in-house, a weekly/monthly radar report with radar gun readings for pitchers I saw that week/month, more specific team coverage with the addition of more writers and site written game recaps, a site scoreboard, an IPI app for the phone, player guest blogs, and lots more. I'll be going to a lot more games, talking to more scouts, and many other things as well. I am also toying with the idea of starting up a Reds Prospect Insider site to complement this one (it would be non-premium).
If you have any thoughts you would like to share on this, please feel free to provide them in the comments section below or by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am open to any and all suggestions whether good or bad.
The hope is to have the new site go live on Monday, which is also when the new 2012 Top 50 Indians Prospect countdown will conveniently begin. I have been holding off on that in order to align it with the new site launch.
In addition to that, the new 2012 Cleveland Indians Prospect Insider book is nearing completion. The book will feature scouting reports and player profiles for over 180 players in the Cleveland Indians’ farm system, and have a report written for EVERY SINGLE PLAYER that played stateside last year. Those familiar with the book know there will be lots of other goodies in it as well with tool grades, charts, reference material and lots more. I will share more on the book availability hopefully sometime late next week.
Thanks again for the support and for being loyal readers, and I hope you will join me in the next chapter of the IPI.
Follow Tony and the Indians Prospect Insider on Twitter @TonyIPI.
Follow Tony and the Indians Baseball Insider on Twitter @TonyIBI. Also, his new book the 2014 Cleveland Indians Baseball Insider which profiles the Indians' Top 100 Prospects and more is available for sale.