The Cannon is moving!
We hope you follow us on our new path
We have exciting news to share with you all today: as of tomorrow (Thursday, March 30, 2023), The Cannon will begin publishing on a new platform. We will get to keep our name and URL, but the latter may take a week or so to direct to the new home. Keep your bookmarks and RSS feeds if you have them, but in the meantime you’ll be able to find us at:
The site will be made open to the public late tonight, and the coverage of tomorrow’s game will be there. You may be able to continue commenting here until the URL redirects, but our access to the back-end system will be cut off by Friday.
The news we got back in January was a punch to the gut, but it was met with an outpouring of support that was so touching, and affirming. So many of you responded to our survey, which proved invaluable as we planned for the future. Finally, and most importantly, the community came through in a big way via our GoFundMe. It took just a couple of weeks to hit our target goal, and donations continued after that. This gave us enough to launch the new site and continue paying the staff through the off-season. It proved that this community is sustainable, and worth saving. I cannot thank all of you enough.
What to expect
From a content standpoint, my hope is that we’ll continue providing what our readers already expect from us: game coverage, analysis, opinions, prospect reports, etc. The site will look different, with a cleaner, sparser appearance. On the downside, we will no longer have our access to Getty Images, so some articles will publish without a picture. It’s unfortunate, but ultimately a luxury not worth the expense at this point. We do hope to find an alternate source of images by next season, however.
Our entire archive of posts will transfer over, but without images. We will also not be able to transfer FanPosts or comments. We already lost a lot of comments when the switch was made to Coral. We were told at the time that they would be restored at some point, but obviously that won’t happen now. I’m sick about all of the great content and conversations that will be lost. If you posted a FanPost you liked, now is the time to copy the material if you want to save it.
There is good news about comments, however. Our commenters are the lifeblood of this community, and the primary focus of the new site, for me, was finding a commenting platform which would fit our needs. We settled on Hyvor, and I think you’ll find that it feels a lot like our old comment system, in all the good ways. It updates in real time, which is essential for gamethreads. Unread posts are highlighted in a different color, and can be clicked to mark as read. You can embed images, tweets, and videos or pick from a GIF library. Most importantly, it seems to load quickly on both desktop and mobile.
The subscriber thing
There’s a small catch: much like you had to create an SBN account, you will have to subscribe and sign in to leave comments on the new site. This will help us keep the comments free of trolls and spambots. There is no charge, and your user data will not be shared with a third party.
You will also notice that the site does not have any ads at the moment. I certainly won’t miss the clutter of the ads we have here. I’m not opposed to advertising on the site in the future, but my goal is to find sponsors who fit our community, with ads that are less intrusive. (If your business is interested, hit me up)
But...we need some source of revenue. We’re not in this to make a fortune, but this independent operation has expenses, and the time we put into this has value as well. So, to that end, we have a couple of tiers of paid subscriptions, for those who have the means and desire to support the site financially.
For the moment, we’re not going to put any content behind a payroll. Instead, I think that more experience-based perks will be a better way to show our appreciation, but still keep the community open to as many CBJ fans as possible, regardless of income level.
We are working on a refresh of our logo, and there will be merch created with it. Paid subscribers will get early access and discounts on some items. I also forsee having giveaways, and in-person and virtual events for these tiers. Finally, in place of FanPosts, paid subscribers will be able to submit that kind of content for publishing (subject to editorial approval). You can come on The Cannon Cast, too!
I don’t intend to use the email newsletter feature of Ghost (I’m subscribed to a number of newsletters myself and often fall behind in reading them) but the paid subscribers may get the occasional email, with details about access to those exclusive perks.
While I said you can expect much of the same, it doesn’t mean there’s not room for growth. We’re open for ideas for new content. We want to draw in new readers and commenters. We will still be collaborating with other sites and podcasts currently or formerly in the SB Nation network. Stay tuned over the summer for more details about that!
I hate change, so this whole thing has been tough for me. Part of me is worried about what we’ll lose by moving. But I’m also excited about the possibilities and hopeful that most of you will follow us to our new home. After a trying season, there are bright possibilities ahead for the Blue Jackets and I hope to experience those with you.
If you have any questions, let us know in the comments! We’ll be around today and intermittently tomorrow to answer.