Bulletin Board

AlsFastball.com – State of the Website

September 19, 2019

Brampton, ON - - AlsFastball.com – State of the Website

 

- Or, what will happen to AlsFastball.com



AlsFastball.com – State of the Website

 

January 21, 2019

I have been thinking of doing this for some time and with the changeover to a New Year and so many people preparing their New Year’s Resolutions and good wishes, State of the Union Statements and such, figured it was time to put pen to paper, so to speak.

AlsFastball has been around in its various forms since 1994 and if you search the site you will find various articles that document how we got started, why I was interested, and the influences of a number of dedicated fastball people who played a major role.

Summerside, PEI – Queen Elizabeth Park - A Footnote by Al Doran

Al Doran, a pioneer in men’s fastball - by Bob Otto

 

Al's Fastball – The King of Online Fastpitch News Gets a Website Upgrade
  - by Rahemin Nanji at Net Reliant

          - This has some interesting insights into how we moved from our old website to our new one in 2015 including our new logo (new in 2015) that is used by most of our Friends of Al’s Fastball (see bottom of page)  to link back to us.

 

 

Al Doran Elected to ISC Hall of Fame – bio by Ken Hackmeister and Induction by Larry “Hawk” Lynch

Doran Induction - 2008 Hall of Fame Breakfast – Kimberly, Wisconsin – August 10, 2008

Al Doran ISC Hall of Fame Induction - Video

 

 

Those links are just a few of the stories that make reference to how we got started in the reporting on men’s fastball. There are thousands more that concentrate on the players, other personalities, tournaments, games, etc. The majority of these stories are written by the very people who play or organize the tournaments and games so many of our followers seem to enjoy. In other words, it’s not about me, it’s about our game of fastball.

Yes, I have been doing this since 1994, when I first got the bug to start reporting on a sport that I had been following since playing the game in small parks and fields in Nova Scotia as a young lad.

I am quite pleased with the amount of traffic alsfastball.com has been getting this winter. Some weeks the traffic is down, a reflection on the volume of fastball news we receive this time of year. But other weeks, the traffic is quite impressive; it all depends on the news sent to us to share with our readers. Some credit goes to Twitter and to a lesser extent to Facebook, as both social networks are great tools for sharing news to a wider audience. We far prefer Twitter to Facebook, as it lets us point to specific Fastball news stories on our own site and other sites. We do use Facebook where we think it may broaden the reader base but tend to keep the volume down as there are days when one wonders who is running the ranch over at Facebook.

For those not familiar, we do post on most Monday’s an update that documents the top stories for the past week. This is posted on our http://www.alsfastball.com/bulletin-board.html This past week; for example, we had Over 1,450 Visitors to the site Jan 7 to 14, 2019.  We also had over 1,450 visitors to the site Jan 14 to 21. Our thanks to those who follow our site on a regular basis.

UPDATE: In the meat of the 2019 Summer Ball Season, we have seen a number of weeks with over 6,000 visitors a week, and at least one week over 7,000.  Over a longer stretch, we had over 4,000 visitors a week for 12 weeks running!

 

Just in, we had over 2,600 visitors to the site Jan 21 to 28, 2019!

  and, almost 2,200 visitors Apr 29 to May 5!

I recently had the good fortune to enjoy a lunch with some old fastball friends and one of them asked me how long I was going to keep doing this – reporting on the events that take place or will take place in fastball. That question was very difficult to respond to, mainly as next week, I will be celebrating a birthday milestone that will be two years past a significant milestone. Every day is a gift and I am somewhat surprised that I am still doing this. At the present time, I have no plans to stop reporting on our sport. However, given my age, that event will likely be taken out of my hands by fate at some point. Another response to the question came from someone who knows me well, he said “… for as long as Al’s lovely wife lets him!”.

As long as my health remains cooperative, and my wonderful wife lets me, I will keep doing what I have been doing for the past 25 years.  That is, however, IF I can afford it. Up until a few years ago I was still consulting and able to afford to run a website and keep a computer running. I needed computers to do my consulting so that was not an issue. I generally replaced both my lap top and my desk top computers based on a 3 to 4 year cycle.

I don’t get to the ballpark much these days so almost 100% of the work I do is done on my desk top computer in my home office. My current work horse is a small footprint i-5 box built for me in June 2016 by a great organization in Mississauga named NCIX. Fortunately, the i-5 is still running fine but sadly the company went under last year without notice. Hopefully this machine will keep running for some years to come. My back up at this time is a Dell lap top that I purchased in October 2012. I used it at a few tournaments in 2014 and 2015 but otherwise it’s a low mileage unit.

The ongoing costs that are a challenge are the ones related directly to the website. Luckily I deal with a first class organization called Net Reliant, owned by my good friend Rahemin Nanji. Rahemin built my websites, all of them, alsfastball.com, pmihrm.com and hrmsbook.com. I have archived the latter two sites. To keep alsfastball.com running costs in the area of $700.00 a year for registering the domain name and web hosting.

I also have costs associated with internet connection, which at the current time is managed by Bell Canada and runs at $420.00 a year.

What I would like to be able to do is to find a sponsor or sponsors who could help with the costs associated with the website itself. Cost: $700.00 per annum.

I would hope that once I am gone or not available to manage the website, that someone would take over the site and keep it updated, or at a very minimum, keep the information that is there available to those who seem to enjoy looking at the massive amount of fastball history stored there.

I am not really looking for someone to take over www.alsfastball.com There are many people who run their own website and/or are taking advantage of the tools on Facebook to share fastball news. What I would like to see happen is for someone to step up and keep the site running for a few years after I am gone so that the history on the site remains available to those interested in our sport. No work involved, just renew the site for a year or two once I am not able to.

 

I do hope that our friends in Fastball (aka fastpitch softball) continue to help us out on a regular basis by continuing to send us their stories. Upcoming tournaments, tournament results, game results, bios on players, and so many more stories that our readers love to read.

So there you have it, we will do our best to keep alsfastball.com up and running for as long as we can however it you know of anyone interested in helping out with hosting the site, please let me know.

 

January 21, 2019

 

Update 14 February 2019:

Our faith in our fastball community firmly renewed today, on 2019 Valentine's Day with a very generous and thoughtful donation to the cause! An anonymous benefactor, a True Friend of Fastball. Thank you so much for your support!

 

Thanks

Al

Al's Fastball News
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