Site News: New face(s)

Tag: site news


26Mar 2017
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Site News: New face(s)

New face #1: In the next couple days, you’ll see a new contributor here named Tim. I’ll let Tim tell you about himself when the time comes, but he’s a guy who’s immersed in the sports world and will be involved in the social media sphere. Give him a Twitter follow @TTB_Michigan if you’re interested. You can also follow me on Twitter @TouchTheBanner.

New face #∞: I’ve encouraged users over the last year or two to get a Gravatar, but not many people have followed through. So I’m adding another option: you can upload an avatar directly to TTB by going to your profile page. I understand why people weren’t a fan of Gravatar. It requires you to create a separate account, even though a Gravatar then can travel with you to various WordPress sites. If you’re still wanting a Gravatar, here are some directions (LINK) and they can still be used. Otherwise, adding a pic to your profile can help readers identify you and make it easier to follow discussions.

As always, thanks for reading and participating! I look forward to the continued growth of the site and the community.

2Mar 2017
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Site News: New blood, old comments, and money

(image via Imgur)

Since it’s the off-season and changes are coming (quickly or slowly), it’s time for a meta update.

NEW BLOOD

You will be seeing a new face around here. That face belongs to Mike Knapp, who will be endeavoring to bring you interviews, news bits, and other content. Mike grew up in the New England area and now lives on the West Coast, where he has spent time working in the education world. I’m happy to bring him on board. UPDATE: In fact, he has his first interview lined up with James Ross III, so let him know if you have any questions to ask (LINK).

You might also be seeing one other new addition, but I’ll save that for later.

Hit the jump for more.

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12Feb 2017
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Help Wanted: Looking for up-and-coming writer





I started this blog in 2008, and for the vast majority of that time, I have been the sole contributor. I had help from a friendly chap named Andrew for a while, and he did a great job, but life caught up to him. I must admit that while I’m extremely passionate about the game of football – and Michigan in particular – it’s a struggle at times to write content for 14+ posts per week.

So I’m once again opening things up to passionate fans or young up-and-comers who want to add to their writing portfolios. Touch the Banner gets over 300,000 page views per month and has been mentioned on USAToday.com and Washingtonpost.com, not to mention contracted by Lindy’s national college football preview magazine. I don’t run a media giant, but it holds its own in the Michigan blogosphere.

Here’s a sample of the types of pieces I would like a new writer to work on:

  • Recruiting interviews
  • Where are they now? interviews
  • Summaries of the careers of former Wolverines (NFL, college transfers)
  • Other relevant ideas you might have

So if you’re a young guy wanting to start a writing or journalism career, or if you’re just a passionate fan looking for a hobby, consider sending me an e-mail at [email protected] I’m looking for 1-2 posts per week (to start) from someone with the professional sense to use grammar and spelling properly. A good sense of humor is a plus, but being humorless is okay, too.

3Feb 2017
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Site news: Fundraising for new hosting service

(image via Panda Whale)

Over the last month, I’ve had too many site outages due to not having enough server. That has culminated with three consecutive days of some level of outage, starting with Tuesday, National Signing Day, and then yesterday. We’ll see if that streak continues today, but hopefully not.

Anyway, I added Cloudflare a few weeks ago, which has helped with site speed. But the server can still get overloaded. Therefore, I am moving the site to a new hosting service: Flywheel. I talked to some people, got advice from some readers, etc., and I think Flywheel suits my needs best. The trouble is that it costs a significant chunk more than my current hosting service. The package I’m purchasing costs $75/month, so I’m going to try to raise one year’s worth of hosting.

That means I’m looking to raise $900. When I constructed the new site in 2015, I used Paypal with some success. So if you would like to donate to the site, please use the Paypal button on the right sidebar or you can click below:


Other ways you can contribute to the site:

  1. Visit and interact! The more active the site becomes with comments, discussion, message board posts, etc., the more popular the site becomes. With popularity comes page views, and with page views comes additional ad revenue.
  2. Turn off AdBlock. I know AdBlock can be tempting to speed up your internet browsing experience, but it also inhibits sites like this one. I have AdBlock installed, but I turn it off for sites that I spend a lot of time on, such as MGoBlog, Rivals, 247 Sports, etc.
  3. Purchase items from Amazon via the links on the site. It doesn’t cost you anything additional, but the site makes anywhere from 4% to 8% on your purchases. If you buy $100 worth of exercise clothing, that’s $4 to $8 coming out on my end. It may not sound like much, but it really adds up if a lot of people contribute. I can’t make money by purchasing things through my own links, so I buy almost everything through MGoBlog’s Amazon links.

Thank you for reading and for your support. I’m hoping these things help improve the user experience.

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9Jan 2017
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Site News: New hosting service needed

As you may have figured out, the website was down yet again for the majority of the day yesterday. It was also down for most of New Year’s Day. I have been assured by my hosting service at times that they could handle the amount of traffic at TTB, but that is apparently not the case on their shared servers.

Therefore, I am now in need of a new hosting service. I put this out on Twitter yesterday, and here are some of the suggestions I received:

  • A2hosting
  • Amazon Web Services
  • Azure
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Host Gator

I am hesitant to pay for a dedicated server, which was suggested by my current provider, because they start at about $80 per month. That would take a big chunk out of my revenue. Since I don’t have a store, do consulting, make public appearances, etc., ad revenue from Google and Amazon is my entire source of income for the site. I do get over 300,000 page views per month, but the next few weeks will see an increase in traffic due to National Signing Day, so I at least need something that will auto-scale for traffic fluctuations.

Anyway, if you have experience and/or suggestions concerning this type of issue, please hit me up in the comments. Thanks!

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