In the middle of a busy Canes hockey week, the 3-month anniversary of Canes and Coffee’s launch quietly came and went on October 29. It is hard to believe it has been 3 months already. It has been a whirlwind since the launch and with the start of the actual hockey season.
(Someone please holler if you have any trouble with the survey. I am trying this survey software for the first time.)
Now almost a full month into an actual hockey season with the new web site, I wanted to pause and thank everyone who has been a part of the fun ride so far, provide a quick update and solicit feedback to help steer where we go from here.
First and foremost, I cannot thank everyone enough for what has been a group effort to get to where Canes and Coffee is today which I think is a great start for a young community with tremendous potential going forward. Obviously the site would not be possible without the people who helped fund the Kickstarter in June, but I also cannot express how thankful I am for all of the words of encouragement, promotion on social media and other advice and help that I have received.
REQUEST FOR HELP
I make 3 reasonably simple requests for help:
1) Please complete the survey ABOVE/HERE to help assess where we are, how we are doing and what we should do next. It is written with the easier/most important stuff first, so if you get to the point where you cannot do any more surveying and stop short, it will still help.
2) Please like and help spread the word on Facebook and other social media. We have received a bunch of help from on Twitter and growing that audience will always be a priority but would also like to extend CandC’s reach on Facebook. I kindly ask everyone to ‘like’ Canes and Coffee on Facebook and to like or share posts on Facebook on occasion. The goal is not to create spam engines but rather to get everyone to share stuff maybe once a week or so to get the still new site in front of more people.
3) Please tell 2-3 people about Canes and Coffee OUTSIDE OF SOCIAL MEDIA. Only a small percent of the internet population is on and active on Twitter. I kindly ask people to help spread the word about Canes and Coffee the old-fashioned way. Please ask fellow season ticket holders, co-workers, neighbors and other Canes fans if they have seen the site yet or send a quick email or 2. Many have not seen the site yet, and with no marketing budget to print stuff, mail stuff, put up signs/billboards, etc., it is slow going reaching the masses who are not part of the Canes social media circles.
4) Please consider joining/helping start the conversation. The goal is to make this site more like a coffee shop community and less like an old-school news site, but it takes people joining the community to make that happen. I know that some people are just readers which is fine, but I think this site becomes MUCH better when it is less about me and other people writing stuff and more about everyone discussing stuff.
The digital museum: The first wing of the digital museum will be ‘The Players’ Wing.’ The foundation of this section will be many of the player bios written for the summer bracket event. Within the next few weeks, I hope to put up an interim version that will include the basic bios probably in a pretty simple post format or similar. Ultimately, the player bios need to be embellished and polished past the summaries that some are to include more depth and hopefully a bit more of a fan-centric look into their contributions to the team. I have started doing a bit of this writing and also have some ideas for how to lay out the section on the web site, but the flashy and (somewhat) final version of this will probably wait until the offseason.
Regular coverage: As most are aware, we added 3 features for the start of the NHL season:
- ‘Checking In’ by Jordan Futrell provides weekly Charlotte Checkers coverage.
- ‘The Pipeline’ by Patrick Clarke provides regular coverage of the 18 Hurricanes prospects below the AHL level.
- ‘Collector’s Corner’ by Canes Cards provides regular updates on Hurricanes and other hockey cards and other memorabilia.
- ‘Daily Cup of Joe’ by me is my own place for daily random Canes ramblings. The hope is that gradually over time, my writing will become a smaller and smaller part of the Canes and Coffee community with other writers and hopefully a gradual increase in comments and conversations from the broader community, but I did set myself up with 1 semi-permanent yammering outpost.
Game day coverage: Canes and Coffee does not provide standard/AP style game day coverage. Enough others already do that well, but I have consistently posted my own style of game day coverage with:
- ‘Morning Skate’ features a regular ‘What I’m watching’ style preview usually mid-day on game days.
- ‘The Drive Home’ provides a short recap (figuring either you saw the game or can find the standard newspaper type summary elsewhere) that is heavy on individual player notes.
More coverage on the way: As early as the end of this week if I can tie up a few loose ends, I plan to announce a couple new features that will be of the weekly or every so often variety.
After that, the plan is to let things run for awhile and see if keeping up with all of it is manageable. 🙂
The ultimate goal: My primary reason for starting this site was to try to support and help grow the Hurricanes hockey fan base and community. I like to think thus far that Canes and Coffee has been a positive for existing Canes fans, but I think the more pressing need right now is an all hands on deck effort to help put more butts in seats for Canes games. I am working on a couple things in that regard, but it is slow going for 2 reasons. First, a sizable part of the Canes and Coffee community is season ticket holders and other die hard fans. While I will do a group night or 2 to see if we can get a few of us at PNC Arena together, most of this audience is already going to games and/or knows of various ticket options available. The harder part is to try to reach outside of our core community and pull more people into it. Canes and Coffee will be doing a couple things in that regard and would greatly appreciate community help when we do.
Charting a sustainable path forward: The Kickstarter provided a tremendous launching point that was months if not years ahead of what would be possible without some $ upfront. Thank you so much to everyone who was willing to make that investment for the good of everyone! I have started working on 2 things to give Canes and Coffee potential to become even more going forward. I have at started to look at a few ways to financially support a modest amount of new things going forward. I am also working to establish a longer-term arrangement with Oak City Technology past the things that they still owe Canes and Coffee (i.e. initial work on the digital museum and some other things). These combined should chart a nice course forward for Canes and Coffee as an independent source for Hurricanes hockey coverage.
The survey includes a good number of open-ended/’comment away’ questions, but please also feel free to reach out via email or the web site form if you have additional feedback to be considered as we embark on the next leg of building a great Hurricanes hockey community.
Thanks and Go Canes!
Founder of Canes and Coffee