The month of March was the largest in the near three year history of Pride of Detroit traffic-wise. Thanks to a combination of things, including SB Nation's new partnership with Yahoo! Sports, POD broke all of its previous traffic records during the month of March. The single-day record for page views and visits was set when the new logo leaked out, re-breaking a record that had been set just a week or so earlier. There were over 19,000 page views and over 10,000 visits on that day, contributing to what was a total of over 285,000 page views for the entire month.
I just want to give a big thanks to everyone that reads the site, which includes the long-time readers and all of the new ones. Aside from traffic going through the roof, I haven't seen this much discussion on Pride of Detroit ever before. The discussion in the comments sections and in FanPosts is great, and I'm especially looking forward to hearing everyone's thoughts once the draft comes and goes.
With so many new readers, I wanted to take some time to give everyone a tour of Pride of Detroit to show what it is all about. The first stop of this tour is the content itself, which is what the site is built on. (Tour begins after the jump.)
My posting habits have evolved during the past three years, but my current routine has been pretty consistent since last summer. What you can expect each weekday, at a minimum, is a daily "Notes" post that is basically a summary of all the latest Lions and major NFL news from around the Internet. If a news story is big enough, I will make a separate post about it, but generally "Notes" is where you can find all the latest about the Lions. That post goes up sometime after midnight and before most of you probably wake up, allowing you to start your day with everything you need to know about the Lions.
During the offseason, "Notes" posts are usually the most popular kind, as there isn't discussion about a game going on each week or practice or anything like that. During the season, however, "Notes" is more like a backdrop to everything else that is going on. Every Sunday and the one game on Thanksgiving, I host open threads that allow Lions fans to discuss the game being played. Usually I will keep everyone updated on the game in the comments section of the open threads since many of you don't get to watch the Lions on TV. That was the case this past season for most home games for people that live near Detroit thanks to the blackouts, but I still provided updates regardless of whether or not the game was on TV.
Following every game, I post a detailed recap of what happened by running through every single possession. These recaps generally discuss everything that happened -- good or bad -- and are normally posted by the morning after the game. The discussion usually shifts from the previous game to looking ahead to the next one around Wednesday. By that time fantasy football (there were multiple fantasy football leagues last year and will probably be even more this year) and NFC North recaps are posted, so the focus turns toward the next matchup. There will usually be a preview of the game by interviewing a fellow blogger from SB Nation, and an injury report and weekly NFL schedule is posted in the days leading up to kickoff.
As you can imagine, there will be a bit of a down period news-wise right around the end of May and the start of June. By that time discussion about the draft dies down and there is a quiet period before training camp gets underway. There are still "Notes" posts, but usually with less links since there is less news. This break is sort of needed, though, as things get rolling quickly once training camp begins. "Notes" posts aren't just on week days during training camp, but on weekends as well since there is always so much to talk about. In fact, from the start of training camp up until the Sunday during the Lions' bye week, there was a new post every single day on Pride of Detroit. It was quite the streak, but that's how it is here on POD. When there's news, there are posts keeping you all up-to-date.
If you haven't already, sign up for an account on Pride of Detroit. That way you can comment, write FanPosts, publish FanShots, and interact with this blog and readers of this blog.
If you want to share your opinion or reaction to a story, feel free to leave a comment. Comments are the main way the Pride of Detroit community interacts and are a great way to have a discussion about the Lions.
(If you see a comment you like, click "actions" and then hit "Rec" to recommend it. A comment with enough "Recs" stands out by turning a different color. Also, if you see a comment that is inappropriate or is spam, hit "Flag" to let me know about it so action can be taken.)
In the last couple of months more than ever, users have been utilizing the FanPosts feature on the site. FanPosts basically allow you to voice your opinion in your very own post. Obviously you can share your thoughts with comments, but FanPosts allow you to go in-depth on a topic or get discussion started, just like I would on a front-page post. In fact, if your FanPost really stands out as being well written and well thought out, I can promote it to the front page, putting the spotlight on what you wrote. That is how one of the authors on Pride of Detroit, DrewsLions, got that role. He published great FanPosts on a frequent basis and eventually got a front page gig. Who knows, the same thing could happen to you.
(Like comments, FanPosts can be recommended. If a FanPosts gets enough "Recs," it will actually be moved to a separate "Featured FanPosts" section. This encourages readers to put together great FanPosts of their own and give a pat on the back to the ones they like.)
While FanPosts allow you to share your thoughts, FanShots allow you to share outside material with readers of the site. I utilize FanShots to link to something important when I don't have time to write a full story. That way I can promote it to the front page so everyone can get the latest news as it comes out and I don't have to take the time to write an actual post when I'm about to head out the door or whatever.
For you guys, FanShots should be used to share something interesting you found with readers of the site. For example, if you find a link, quote, video, image, or whatever, you can enter in FanShot information and post it to Pride of Detroit. If you really want to make your life easy, you can drag the "Share on SB Nation" button on the FanShots page to your bookmarks, saving it as a favorite. That allows you to simply click the "Share on SB Nation" bookmark when you find something interesting and want to share it as a FanShot on Pride of Detroit. All of the information will be entered in automatically, and all you have to do is hit "Publish."
(FanShots can also be recommended and flagged.)
For more on commenting, FanPosts, and FanShots...
Check out Bleed Cubbie Blue's (SB Nation's Cubs blog) great guide to commenting, FanPosts, and FanShots. BCB provides a detailed look at how to use the SB Nation platform to your advantage.
One of the great things about Pride of Detroit is that it is more than just a blog. Thanks to the great tech team at SB Nation, loads of information about not just the Lions, but every NFL (and other pro teams) team is available to you. The information ranges from rosters, to schedules, to stats. In fact, SB Nation just launched new team and player pages that will make viewing all of this information very easy. Take a look at the Lions page as an example. All of the latest stories tagged with the Lions (more on that in a second) are on the page, as are links to player pages, which include career stats. Think of it like the team and player pages you see on ESPN and NFL.com, only these come equipped with blog content.
What makes SB Nation so great is that its blogs are top notch. You can't keep up on every single blog out there, but that is why tagging exists. When posts (or FanPosts/FanShots) are written, players, teams, events, and other things are tagged to connect all of the content in SB Nation together. That way if I write a story about Calvin Johnson, there will be related links under the post that go to previous things tagged with Megatron. It is one big network of related stories that allows you to get lost in SB Nation, so to speak, for hours on end. (When you write a FanPost or publish a FanShot, the tagging features are on the right side of your screen. You can utilize them to make sure your FanPosts or FanShots are plugged into the related stories system, which upgrades everyone's experience.)
Aside from the SB Nation-provided resources, I also have put together some things in the sidebars as resources for you guys, such as NFL Draft HQ. The links included in the sidebar are outdated, but they will be updated in about a month or so when I have time to worry about things like that.
As you probably have noticed, stories I "submit for distribution" include icons for Facebook, Digg, and Yahoo! Buzz. By clicking those icons, you can share stories from Pride of Detroit. If you see something you like, go ahead and share it on Facebook or Digg, and just in general, you can easily click the "Buzz Up!" link to share it on Yahoo! without having to fill out a bunch of things. Think of it as a way of getting Pride of Detroit's name out there to make the site even bigger than it is.
You can subscribe to front page stories, FanPosts, and FanShots from Pride of Detroit.
Pride of Detroit is only one of SB Nation's many great blogs. I believe the network has over 200 blogs now, including one for every NFL team and one for the draft. Make sure to check out the other blogs any time you're looking for something about a certain sport, team, or player.
Community Guidelines & Welcome Guide
If you haven't already, check out Pride of Detroit's Community Guidelines and SB Nation's Welcome Guide.
Pride of Detroit is a place for Lions fans to gather to keep up on the latest news and talk about the team. The most important thing to think about is having fun, which is the purpose of the site. Obviously there will be times when that is tough since this is a Lions blog, but in general, have fun and enjoy your time on POD!