It’s been a long, long month trying to figure out what will be happening next here at Defending Big D after SB Nation announced last month that we were being defunded and deplatformed. It’s been a month of waiting for answers we didn’t have, that nobody (seemingly) considered before we asked them, and also trying to determine what we get to keep and whether any of the offers from other networks to buy us were something we wanted to do.
Throughout this process, I want to be as transparent with you all as possible, so here’s some updates.
The first key decision we have made as a site is that we want to go independent through the end of this season at the least. There were several offers apparently made to buy the SB Nation NHL network, one was officially presented to us to consider, and, collectively, other site managers and I decided that if we were going to be in the same situation in the near-term future as what has happened here at SB Nation, we want no part of it.
After that decision point was made, SB Nation finally informed us that we will be able to keep our name and our domain for use in the future. What that means for you, our wonderful supporters, is that we should be able to seamlessly do the integration so that when we switch platforms, www.defendingbigd.com will redirect you to the new platform with minimal impact on you. (I say should because I am very much not a developer of any kind and all of this is new so uh....hiccups could happen! Just have patience with us as we navigate it.)
The other thing we’ve managed to do is get an extension on the time for this transition. We will remain here where we have been for many, many years through the end of March. We will take the weekend of April 1-2 to make sure we’re ready to roll out on April 3rd with our new platform in place.
To date, we have raised $9,415 of the $10,000 goal we had to fund this transition. I believe it is important to be clear with you about how this money will be spent to support us during this transitional time.
Approximately $2,500 of this is being budgeted for hosting fees for the next year. We will then be figuring out access to professional photos (still pending) and what that budget will need to be. Whatever remains will be split between all of the contributors on staff to ensure that they are paid what we were being paid previously (but hopefully more!) through at least the end of the playoffs this season, so that this news and transition does not hit everyone so immediately from a financial perspective.
Another thing we will be doing is likely commissioning a new logo to reflect our next chapter. We’ll be paying a freelance artist to create this for us.
There may be some aspects of the current experience that may not be available immediately as we transition to a new platform. Based on the community survey we launched previously, we know that the comments is a crucial component of what our community is. We are working to try to get a solution that updates comments in real time, but that might take a little longer to get figured out than we have to work on this transition with a playoff run coming up and full-time jobs and family commitments. So, some of those things might have to be figured out in the offseason so that we have time to make sure it is 100% the experience you deserve.
It’s going to be a big learning curve. And the content has slowed because of ....waves hands all around.... all of this happening. It will get better and back up to our standard. Just...bare with us. It’s been a shock to the system in more ways than one.