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The annual state of Pennant Chase: Hello 2017!

Recapping 2016
And just like that, another year is gone. It's hard to believe 2017 is already upon us.

As I mentioned in a recent podcast, the past year was mostly a calm one for Pennant Chase. The major accomplishments were clearing out a bunch of Auto Leagues so that folks wouldn't have to wait around so long for leagues to fill, and starting the podcast, of which three episodes have now been posted.

As always, 2016 MLB stats were loaded onto the site shortly after the season concluded - an annual accomplishment I continue to be proud of!

After a crazy, hectic 2015, which featured the new mobile app, Player Potential, and Daily Drafts, 2016 was a year of stabilization.

Shout out to our top users
User kingstreet has been dominant the past several years, but we have some new "kings" in 2016. User sheikyerboudi had the most Auto League wins with 27,057. User plpl512 went 11,322 - 5,447 for a 2016-best .675 winning PCT, but props to papadharma who went 21,500 - 10,567 and finished with the second best PCT at .670.

How many users do we have?
After purging inactive users at the end of 2015, we were left with about 10,500 accounts. At the end of 2016, we ended up with nearly 12,000, so we gained about 125 users per month this year.

But, after purging users at the end of 2016, another 3,000 accounts were deleted, making the new number of total accounts a little over 9,000.

These numbers have been pretty consistent the past few years: we gain about 125 new people per month, or about 1,500 a year, but we purge about 3,000 inactive accounts, for a net loss of 1,500 accounts.

Obviously if this trend continues, in a few years we may stabilize somewhere around 2,000-3,000 accounts.

So what does this all mean? Ironically, I think we have the most passionate, active group of users that PC has ever seen on our website. As long as this great community is enjoying the site, I am not too worried about the total number of accounts.

It's much harder to attract and retain users now than it was eight years ago when we first started. There are so many competing entertainment and gaming options, it's crazy.

The site still makes about the same amount of money, which is obviously the key measure of viability, and means we can keep the lights on!

What's coming up for Pennant Chase?
I personally think the site could use a refresh on usability to make it more friendly to newbies and even those who have been around for a while. If I had to put one big goal out there for 2017, I think it would be to start testing some different approaches to re-imagining some of the key areas of the site. For example, message boards & personal inbox could use better features and usability all around.

If I am able to redesign some areas, I'd love to use that as a launching point for a bigger marketing push.

My other big push will be to start getting all of us to give reviews and ratings where possible, such as in the app store (our awesome mobile app needs some good reviews!).

All of this work is an effort to help baseball fans find us so that your awesome leagues have great owners and this awesome site can keep on chugging for years to come.

Thanks again for a great year, hope you all had a nice holiday season, and happy New Year!

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