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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

DFWSportatorium > Stick of Glue

   Let's see, a stamp? Nope.
   iTunes song? Guess again.
   Pack of baseball cards? Riiiiiiiight.
   A newspaper? Not anymore.
   Bottle of water? Surely you jest.
   Gallon of gas? Not since 19 and 60.
   A pack of gum? Yeah, right.
   A Coke from the machine? Maybe when I was in 7th grade.
   I got it, a glue stick? Sr'nuff. A single glue stick! That, my friends, is what 25 cents buys you these days.
   Oh, that, and a daily subscription to DFWSportatorium.
   That's right, starting today, for the low low price of $4.95 per month - or 25 cents per weekday - you can become a member of the new-and-improved DFWSportatorium.
   I know what you're thinking, "F*ck You!" Fair enough. But after the initial knee-jerk brushback hopefully it'll dawn on you that you can get 20+ days a month of my offerings for less than you can see a movie. And I promise, no upcharge for butter on your popcorn.
   Technically, DFWSportatorium is now a freemium site. Meaning? Located at the same address and it's still free to walk in the front door, peruse the old archives, gawk at the photo library and whatnot. But for access to the fresh daily content you have to go through the premium door. And that price of admission is - altogether now - a quarter of a dollar per day.
   Now that my pizza-'n-beer-delivery business Pizza Buzz is up and afloat, I've got more time on my hands to do what I truly love: Write. And goof-off. Not necessarily in that order. So why not, I surmised, take this blog to the next level. In quantity. In quality. And, yes, in monetization.
   What'll your $4.95 get you? "Whitt's End" five days a week. In-depth stories. Thought-provoking columns. Even podcasts and webcasts featuring me and my-soon-to-be-bride, better known as Sybil Summers.
   Look, it's the natural maturation of DFWSportatorium. At almost six months old we've surpassed 1 million pageviews. We've been fortunate enough to have some advertisers help us crawl. Now we seek an assist from some loyal readers in order to walk.
   I'm not a'tall tech savvy and the last thing we need is another Obamacare-ish web (non)launch, so let's make this as simple as possible. You sign up to become a member using a Google Gmail account, you pay the $4.95 with a major credit card and I send you an email inviting you into the premium room of DFWSportatorium. Voila. One-and-done.
   Cowboys breaking news. Concert reviewsThe latest in radio ratings and media gossip. Hot chicks. Long-form stories. And, of course, the backbone of our site - a daily "Whitt's End" guaranteed to make you think, make you react and, likely before we get too far down the road, make you mad. Or,  hopefully, every now and then make you smile as well.
   I'm proud of the little community we've nurtured since our June 17 lift-off. Some of you knuckleheads have been with me since the original Sportatorium over at the Observer back in '08. Sometimes you nod your head in agreement. Most of the time you kick me in the nuts. Either way, allow me to both roll out the red carpet and pass around the offering plate for the upgraded DFWSportatorium.
   Here's hoping you adopt and embrace our new unofficial motto:
   "DFWSportatorium ... Better than a stick of glue."

Click to become a DFWSportatorium Member.

87 comments:

  1. Good luck with all that I'm out.

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  2. Yeah, that ain't happenin'

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  3. Bad Idea Jeans...

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  4. I don't often argue with you on here, but I'm pretty positive that I won't spend money reading your stuff. Best Wishes.

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  5. Replies
    1. wish you luck Richie. but i guess i have to unbookmark your sight. there are more serious and important things i need to spend my money on but this isnt it. Pizza Buzz damn right i have and will spend money there. paying money for your column (as good as it is)? No way, Jose.

      Delete
  6. If anyone is interested, found some really cheap glue online: http://bit.ly/1iyXtZv

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  7. Guess this is goodbye.

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  8. Let me know when its free again.

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  9. Replies
    1. Wait, so you want me to provide you with daily content? And then you want it for absolutely free? But I'm the greedy one. Do I have that right?

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    2. um yeah, because media is based on advertising, if you have a million page hits you sell that to your advertisers and get them to pay, not your consumers...the business model is to make it so good that traffic comes to you and you monetize that with ad buys, cmon you know this

      Delete
  10. Whitt's End say goodbye to Joneses End. Your president is already taking enough of my $.

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  11. No thanks. I'll get the ratings for free from Barry Horn @ Sports Day DFW.

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  12. And this is where your downfall begins... And its not even about the $ on this, cuz it really isn't that much, but more about the principle of it... You want us to pay for a service we can get anywhere else for free? This is why I'll never pay for the "Insider" shit on ESPN, I can get the same content from many other places at no cost... I understand its business and all, but charging a fee for a blog is just greed... I'll peek in from time to time but receiving my $ won't be happening... Good luck

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  13. When your marketing division (tongue/cheek) gets a clue about how people may want to do business with you (paypal, any mail account but scroogle) then you should post that information. I would be more willing to pay on my terms than on those currently presented Richie.

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  14. Although you've had 1,000,000 page hits I'm guessing nobody has given any of your sponsors attention.

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  15. Well...see ya later!

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  16. Enjoy the website, but considering I got laid off and am looking for a new job right now, I probably shouldn't be spending my limited income on a website. I'll be around when/if you ever go back to being free.

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  17. Interesting...different ways about it, but you and Greggo both ended with the same result. for me... not visiting your sites anymore. Good luck and farewell

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  18. yet another brilliant "business" move..ranks right up there with $10-$13 (plus tip) for a 6pk of beer. too funny. stay hard B.T.

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  19. Your content has sucked the last few months, and now you want us to pay for it. LOL

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  20. You must be hard up for some cash.

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  21. RW, if you want to write for $, write a book. You're going back in time to try and charge for something everybody's used to getting for free. But wait, you still pay for an AOL email account, right? You and at least a half-dozen other people. Look to those same folks to spend the $4.95 on DFW Sportatorium. Did you sniff that glue before coming up with this idea?

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  22. Considering the fact that you have ads on the site (I hope they pay you for that), charging a subscription fee when it's only a blog just seems wrong. If it were an online magazine or newspaper, I could see that, because you would want to pay your writers and content submitters. But charging readers who have been loyal to you? You must have the same people whispering in your ear as Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber,

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  23. You do know that the pay wall concept has mostly failed. The NY Times and the MEN have both changed their pay wall access. All stories are free. But the interactive content is for pay wall customers only. Since you don't provide such content, I'm not sure if this is going to work out like you think.

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  24. Love your work, dawg, but it ain't $4.95/mo worth of love...

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  25. Damn dude. I'm a fan and check out your site every day during the week, but no way I'm throwing down (about) $5 a month to read. As someone who runs a relatively large website, I'd NEVER charge my readers to, well, read it. I would have suggested Google Adsense and other advertising opportunities such as Burst Media, Valueclick, Gorilla Nation, etc. to bring in money from the site. I guess I'm out as well bro. Good luck with this endeavor! Best, Bill from Tomball

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  26. I'll save this $4.95/month and give it to children in Africa that are without water.

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  27. Good luck with that. I'm out

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  28. Sorry dude, but your site was only mildly entertaining when it was FREE. I think you are making a BIG mistake and hopefully once your Pizza biz takes off, you can return the site to free status....unfortunately by then, most of you readers will be long gone. Listen to your readers....most are out....and you can count me with them....

    Dave

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  29. So Richie, with the overwhelming negative backlash to this stupid, not very well thought out idea, coupled with your recent firing, do you feel your world just crumbling around you?!?!

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  30. I'll save my $5 for a few extra beers this month. :)

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  31. Pay you for to read a combination of stories gleaned from other sources, Pizza Buzz promotions and humble brags? I don't think so.

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  32. I don't even come to your blog, but when I heard you were trying to charge for it I had to drop by just to laugh at you. So sad. If you have 20 paying readers, I'll be shocked.

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  33. I have followed your writing back to the Star Telegram days. But now, I guess following you has come to an end. Good bye.

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  34. I read every day, but NOPE to paying

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  35. Just when I thought I've heard it all...

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  36. I have been with you since the Observer days.....out.....sorry....

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  37. The best thing about reading these comments is that they're from the same people who criticize the welfare system.... Who's wanting free stuff now?

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    Replies
    1. It's not that I'm "wanting" free stuff, or not willing to pay for content. I do pay for the DMN and WSJ.

      I'm simply saying what is brandished here isn't worth $60/year.

      Delete
    2. Exactly. The small tidbits aren't worth it. What Richie should have done, if he really had the time, was show at least 2-4 weeks what the new site would have been like, THEN put it behind a paywall.

      Right now, the past few weeks haven't had the content generation to justify paying anything, let alone $5/month to read.

      The promises made sound great, and certainly would add value, but as a customer I would want to see what I would be getting rather than empty promises that could end up being worth less than the pixels displaying them.

      That said, I wish you the best, and would like to see a breakdown of how many people sign up.

      Delete
  38. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, 5 bucks a month?!?!?!?!? I'm out.

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  39. Followed you from Startlegram to Observer, but out. Bizarre plan; pay wall's have proven they aren't viable as a business model.

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  40. So that's what the Ratings specially-wrapped package looks like !!!
    Wow... next we'll see you with a Sign asking for Money...

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  41. Porn sites don't even charge anymore! If I was going to pay for a website...hmmmmm...I'm going to miss reading your stuff.

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  42. Richie, love you stuff too. But $60 a year is too much. I'd be in for $20.

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    1. $1.66 per month, huh? Thanks for the feedback.

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    2. $1.66 for 1,000 readers is $1,600 a month and could be more if you didn't just run off all your readers. Now you just have your advertisers, which I don't think they'll want to advertise without page views.

      Love your Pizza Buzz concept but you should have stopped while you were ahead.

      Oh wait! You're getting married aren't you? That will make anyone feeling broke and crazy...

      Good luck with everything brotha and I mean it!

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    3. RW, actually $1 to $1.66 a month would have had me. $5 not so much. I'm not judging you though. Do you. I hope it's a great success for you. Sorry I won't be reading you work anymore though.

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  43. HOT: SPORTATORIUM FOR FREE
    NOT: SPORTATORIUM FOR $5 A MONTH

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  44. I wonder why RW hasn't reply any comments... He'll probably want to charge for his replies too... AT LEAST GREGGO NEVER FELL SO LOW... TO ASK FOR MONEY TO THE FANS !!!

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    Replies
    1. Actually, he was soliciting "investors" for his blog. He just didn't get any.

      Delete
  45. DavidS from NTexasDecember 4, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    Sorry Richie. No can do. I agree with the others that $4.95 a month is more $$$ vs. the value provided to access your Blog. I can't say that I will miss this anymore than when the same thing ended in the Observer. Life moves on I guess.

    Best of luck to you and yours. It was fun while it lasted.

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  46. Well I guess it lasted a few months longer then GGBAC

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  47. I use Feedly to subscribe to your feed. Before agreeing to pay for content, you should explain how that is going to work.

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  48. DavidS from NTexasDecember 4, 2013 at 1:41 PM

    Everyone that is -NOT- going to pay seems to be chiming in.

    Anyone out there that -IS- willing to pay for Richie's Blog?

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  49. RW, 60 No's to 1 yes should tell you all you need to know. Count me out as well. Soon, you won't even have advertisers with the lack of clicks you get. I'd encourage you to reconsider (too bad you will wait til the paywall idea fails instead of being smart and reconsidering now).

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  50. RW ... If you throw at least 2 large Pizza Vouchers a month with the Subscription... I would think about getting it...

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  51. 4 months from now it will be free again. I'll check back then.

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  52. You can count me out as a subscriber. There is way too much free content out there that actually has a little more substance. Hell, about half of the stuff on this blog is on his Twitter feed or the Channel 5 blog.

    His little buddy, @RowdyCMoore, bragged on Twitter that he subscribed.

    This statement from the last free blog as we know it today appears to tells the masses how well the pizza business is going: " As we eye stores 2-3-4 in 2014 there are investment/partnership opportunities available."

    The key words are investment/partnership opportunities available.

    Big Jim Jack

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    Replies
    1. Nailed it. Stores 2-3-4 ain't happening.

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  53. Did Sybil put up for this? Ritchie seriously you know as well as anyone when you write about radio ratings,Obamacare,Greggo,guns and politics, you get comments. When you write about Sports.no one really cares. But today you reached a new high. You really are the Skip Bayless of this town. Someone needs to flatten that ego of yours.Good Luck.

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  54. Wow RW I know your ego is way over inflated but this takes the cake. The great Jamie Newburg (and he is a lot better writer than you) does not even make people pay for his stuff. He asks for donations every year to what I assume subsidize the cost which I help him out with that. I may even consider a donation to you like that but to pay per month you're out of your over inflated mind.

    Happy trails Dude
    Storm

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  55. Cheaper than reading the same old boring stuff in the newspapers.....Im in!!

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  56. Been reading you for years RW and I will be glad to pay $0.25 a day to keep reading.

    1 request though... More Mavs writing please

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  57. I'd rather pay $5 as a bet that this blog will be free again in a month.

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  58. What a total let down Richie. Stuck with you after you left the fan been coming here since day 1. Its over your blog has sucked lately sending you to other sites to read what used to be part of the blog here. Then You start pushing your pizza buzz on us and now drop a 5 dollar a month charge. Richie you can go fuck yourself bro.

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  59. I'm out as well-I'll miss you RW!


    Keller Mike

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  60. I'm really surprised. I think most people understand that you have costs behind this blog. I think it might have been more beneficial to have a Paypal donation button on the page and ask for donations (like Wikipedia does). Or, at the very least, ask for peoples opinions and warn them. This just came out of left field and I think that's why people are so against it.

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  61. This is a "blog" right? Observer doesn't charge and cranks out a ton more than you do. NO BLOG CHARGE TO BE READ. Get off your high horse Whitt, this is a bad idea and your traffic will fall now because of it. Don't just shut it down so quickly for us, should have gave us some fair warning.

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    Replies
    1. How will the traffic fall off when morons like you keep coming here to bitch....

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  62. Richie, I wish you well. I guess I'll go back to reading ESPN, Yahoo, and SI.com for actual news, and Corby's and Junior's twitter accounts for opinion.

    Oh, and where's Greggo?

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  63. Oh wait, I just saw this...mannnn, I don't think I can do it. I'm a very new fan and I wish you well. This might work though. If it does good for you. If it don't make dollars.........

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  64. Clearly RW is NOT a good business man. Totally failed at understanding the most important aspect of business...his customer.

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