Welcome to Defending Big D 2.0

The new spot is ready, here’s what that means for you. Get ready y’all...it’s happening!

It’s been a hell of a ride since Vox announced that Defending Big D would no longer be supported on their platform at the end of January. The announcement came with no notice to us at all, and left us scrambling for what comes next.

Welcome to what comes next.

The media landscape around the Dallas Stars seems to be ever shrinking. There is barely anyone left on the beat. Dallas Morning News hasn’t hired a replacement for Matt DeFranks, using stringers and freelancers to cover home games and AP wire stories for road games, and completely lacking features today. The Athletic is a pay-to-read site for every story, and while the quality is what one expects from that site, the day-to-day of the team isn’t as broadly covered. In this atmosphere, we felt it was imperative to continue doing what we have been doing - providing coverage of a sport and team that has an unbelievably passionate fan base that wants to learn and debate and analyze and have fun with the sport among like-minded fans.

On Friday, March 31st, Vox will give us the intellectual property for Defending Big D - domain, name, archives, social channels - it now all belongs to us. We decided to take ourselves to an independent outlet. Tired of working to generate page views for a media conglomerate, we now get to work for US and for YOU.

Starting April 1st, you’ll still be able to find us at the usual website - www.defendingbigd.com, which will be registered to our new place as soon as we can manage it on Friday. If you absolutely cannot wait to see what the new spot looks like, you can go there now as it is as ready as it ever will be for public consumption: https://defending-big-d.ghost.io/  Just note, we don’t have the archive in place yet - that’ll happen over this weekend. So some of it may look weird (like a repeated post 4 times to ensure our pages are working properly....it just is what it is right now, y’all.)

We changed the brand up a little bit to reflect our fresh start, but we’ve tried to get as much functionality into place to recreate our community here as was humanly possible (while still occasionally getting a little sleep!) That’s not to say there won’t be some hiccups along the way - we’re still new at this. We appreciate your patience and your constructive feedback as we work on enhancing the experience as we all move forward into this new chapter of DBD.

With transition comes change. Here’s the thing: running a site like this isn’t free. And in this business you have two choices: advertisements or subscriptions. We don’t want to be the kind of site that relies on clickbait to drive a bunch of traffic to boring, useless articles in order to inflate our ad revenue. We don’t want to clog up your experience on our site with a bunch of invasive ads and pop-ups. We’ll still look to partner with brands that we see as being a good fit with our ethos and mission to help defray some of the costs. But, essentially, we don’t want to sell YOU to make the money needed to run this site. As a wise man once said, “the ethical choice is always to get your money from your customers, not third parties.” If something you use is free, then you, dear reader, are the product being sold. We aren’t doing that here.

This means that, at some point, Defending Big D will be transitioning to a “freescription” model. Most of our articles will remain free for everyone to read. Commenting on those articles will be free too – after all, for us, community is the most important part of this entire thing and we intend to continue to foster that. But we intend to utilize the access to the locker room, players, staff, and coaches that we have through our great relationship with the Stars to try to provide some unique content that will ask you to pay $5 per month to access to help us keep the lights on and the community around for the foreseeable future.

Over the last few years, the staff here – all of us, me included – haven’t been as good as we can be. It’s hard to come up with quality content for you when you are contending with constant budget cuts on the backend and a lack of support for new and innovative ways to do this. It’s really hard to ask people making so little money to actually work hard when it’s for a corporation that, over and over again, made it clear that they didn’t give a shit about hockey or the work we were doing for them.

But we are working for US now. We are working FOR YOU. And with that has come a new energy and commitment to making this the best Dallas Stars community there is. To build this into something amazing. So you can expect that the new DBD will feature more in-depth content, more locker room coverage, and more of the fun and interesting articles that brought you all here in the first place. If we are asking you for your dollars, we are damn well going to earn them.

To join our new community and post comments, you’ll need to subscribe once over on the new site, not unlike you did when you joined the DBD community on SB Nation. We promise not to spam you too much with unwanted emails. We’ll be transparent about when we will put into place our freescription model and give you a taste of what that content could be. We hope you’ll choose to support us if you’re able to monetarily, and, if not, we’re glad you’re here with us too!

Here’s to the next chapter.