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1/3/2016

Looking back and looking forward - hello 2016!


Recapping 2015
I always feel like I don’t have enough time to focus on Pennant Chase, but when I look back at the accomplishments in 2015, I am amazed at the game-changing enhancements that took place.

The year started with the launch of a new mobile app, which has been essential to driving new users to the site. In April we introduced Player Potential, which had been at the top of the wishlist for a long time. And in June we started rolling out Daily Draft leagues, which provided an exciting alternative to the typical auto draft.

Once the MLB season ended, 2015 stats were once again uploaded in record time – stats were in the database the day after the season ended!

Finally, in December, we had an exciting opportunity to make a radio ad with two passionate users of this website who landed their own weekend radio show on ESPN in New Hampshire.

And as always, there were countless glitch fixes and minor enhancements that made the game even more solid than ever.

So while I never really get to spend as much time as I want on the site, 2015 was a year full of tremendous improvements.

The current state of Pennant Chase
Pennant Chase is holding steady, so I don’t see any current risk to the site proceeding as it always has. But, the user base is starting to thin out as online gamers continue to be flooded with so many options. The radio ad did not bring any new users to the site, even though it was a worthy attempt and a lot of fun to create.

Every year I clean out old users who have not logged on in over five years, and this year over 3,000 accounts were deleted, bringing us down to about 10,500 accounts. If we drop below 10,000 next year, that would be a cause for concern and potentially not enough growth to sustain the website long term. But, the users we do have are incredibly passionate and play on the website often. You guys keep this thing going!

Ad revenue continues to take a hit due to the increasing popularity of ad blockers, so in 2016, I will be making regular appeals for people to consider unblocking ads for pennantchase.com.

Donations are becoming a more critical stream to keeping this website running. Thank you donors! Pennant Chase will always be free.

Overall, the site is in fine condition, but I will be continuing to look at ways to obtain new users in a cost-effective manner.

What’s to come in 2016
The biggest task on my list for early 2016 is to deal with the plethora of Auto Leagues. We simply have too many leagues and they stall out for much too long, causing a lot of frustration. I have never deleted leagues before, but it’s time to start purging leagues so that we have the right number for the amount of users we have. My goal is to retain any individual awards and trophies even if an Auto League gets deleted. Owners will have warning if a league is going to be shut down.

There are still many requests on the wishlist, but I have to say none of them are hugely impactful. It’s going to be a crazy year for me personally and professionally, so I don’t know yet which items I will manage to get to in 2016, but you can be sure the site will always keep improving, as it does year after year.

Many of you keep asking about other sports, like football. I never seem to be able to make as much progress as I want, but as crazy as it sounds, I am still hopeful Pennant Chase will grow beyond just baseball – maybe 2016 is the year!

Thank you PC fans!
You guys have been great this past year, and I thank everyone who continues to make this website the great community it is. Happy new year!

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