With another season set to begin in a few weeks with the first meets of the 2012 outdoor track season, MileStat.com would also like to use the excitement of the new season to drum up support and entice more site visitors to subscribe to help the site's coverage for the upcoming season. With the current budget and decreasing revenues in subscriptions from years past, MileStat.com is going to unfortunately have to make some tough decisions and scale back our site's on-site coverage presence this spring. We cannot afford to pay for our freelance photographers and any other additional site help or contributors. Not independent wealthy to pay for these photographers or myself spend 60+ hour weeks to keep the site updated as a hobby. Dependent on your subscriptions to make this all happen. The subscription sharing abuse is ultimately going to lead to the decline of the website's coverage. You as the site visitors power this site's existence and its quality.
Do you want MileStat.com to be run by someone on a part-time and limited basis or by someone on a full-time basis with the resources to have freelancers at meets throughout the state of Virginia? Just check out some of the other MileSplit state sites with webmasters managing their websites on only a part-time and limited basis to see the coverage difference. You can see the different in where your money is going for a subscription is going to when compared to some of the other state sites. When we went subscription based in 2005, those who were site visitors before and after could see the huge difference and change in the site's coverage. A subscription is only $3 a month when you break it down to a monthly rate. Think about some of the more trivial things that you spend $3 or more on each month.
My tentative plan for next year is return back to school to further my education and look at exploring a career and job elsewhere, which would take my time and energy away from the website while still maintaining MileStat.com but on a more limited and part-time basis. My preference would to be able to still do the site on a full-time basis and have the resources to make it grow and add more site help to expand the coverage. However, the current reality is that I'm going to have to explore other options away from the website for my own personal livelihood. You will see a big difference or dropoff in the site's coverage if I have to take this route as my time will be taken away more to school and other work to maintain a living and pay the bills.
Our site traffic numbers indicate that there is a gross disportionate number of people who are visiting this site that are not paying subscribers. With the amount of content that is subscriber locked, there is no way all these people are viewing only the subscription-free content. Many are sharing subscriptions with others. On average, nearly 40,000 people visit adding up to average around 1.5 million hits on this website each month over the past year. Yet during that same time, less than 5% of these people actually subscribed to the website. I see the subscription sharing blatantly and happening often. Numerous kids using the same login ID to try claim their athlete profile. Openingly asking for another person's MileStat.com login on facebook to get access to download the photos and videos then uploading the photos on facebook to share with their teammates. Even some coaches buying a login for their kids to share and that login having a total of tens of thousands of logins in only a year's time (I don't even login to the site that much). If that culture still pervades in the Virginia high school track & field community, you are going to eventually get to the point of having no subscription content to actually need to get access to because there will not be able subscription revenue to operate the website.
Bottom line message: No plans of shutting down the site. But if a large majority keeps taking this website for granted then don't be surprised if you go through a season without any or limited on-site meet coverage.
Thank you to those who have and continue to support MileStat.com in many ways. The Virginia high school track & field community has been great to me for the past 11 years and now asking for your help again in another time of need and support. I do not want to drift away from this site and would rather continue to promote and cover this great sport for many years.