Illinois Matmen All-Access: We Need Your Input

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We feel it is time to take Illinois Matmen to the next level.

You probably noticed the increased number of original news stories and features on our site this postseason. We wanted to test out the concept and see what the response would be from the wrestling community.

The response has been overwhelming! We received a lot of positive feedback and appreciation for our expanded coverage.

We want to take this a step further.

Each year it seems there are fewer and fewer wrestling stories in our local newspapers. We at Illinois Matmen want to fill this void and become the go to source for not only our rankings and forum, but also for news coverage of all levels of wrestling in our state.

We want to be releasing coverage stories of duals and tournaments and feature stories on wrestlers and teams every day throughout the season.

To do this requires increased finances. We can’t get professional freelance writers to cover events or write feature stories for free. We have to pay them and they deserve to be paid.

So, that takes me to the point of this article. We are considering adding an All-Access paid membership to our site next season. Before you freak out, let me explain the idea.

We don’t want to take away much of what you currently have access to on Illinois Matmen. Instead, we want to add a considerable amount of new content to the site.

The new All-Access subscription would include several articles throughout the week covering meets and tournaments as well as feature stories on wrestlers, coaches, and teams. Our coverage would span the entire state, not just the Chicago area, and would comprehensively cover all three IHSA classes as well as some coverage of kids and college wrestling.

We are also considering putting the full detailed high school rankings (notable wins/losses, tourney results, past accolades) behind the All-Access subscription while still giving free access to the basic ranking information (rank, school, year) each week.

We want your input on a few topics:

  1. Would you pay for an All-Access subscription to get more news coverage and detailed rankings?
  2. We are thinking to make it simple and just charge a yearly subscription. What do you feel is a fair yearly subscription cost that you would be willing to pay?
  3. Any general thoughts or suggestions?

We appreciate your input as we continue to try to grow our site and grow wrestling!

You can provide input by replying to this article/thread, by replying to our post on Facebook, by replying to our tweet on Twitter, or by contacting us directly using our contact page.

Comments
  1. For those that missed the joke, and many of you did, the current home page is what Illinois Matmen looked like in the year 2000! And it is April 1st if you know what I mean! Back to normal come tomorrow.

    P.S. This has to be one our best April Fools jokes ever. Some GREAT responses on social media and in our forum!

    Here are a few of what I think were honest responses:

    "Wow, soooo unprofessional.. if any other state wrestler went to the websight they would laugh immediately.. Looks like a clown designed it, very disappointed"

    "What was wrong with it before the change? I personally liked it the way it was and probably won't be using the " new and improved" page"

    "I like the old one better. Don't like this one at all"

    "unable to goto any links besides message board directs me too you tube and plays same video of 'never gonna give u up'"

    "I haven't been on the site for a while so today went I logged on I was hit with a stunning Homepage that is, shall we say, not my cup of tea... My access to the site is based primarily to obtain some historical data from IM's archives of IHSA Regional, Sectional and State brackets/results. Right now, however, the "simplified" homepage links me to a you tube presentation yuk! Maybe there are new rules which I am unfamiliar with; perhaps someone can assist this dilettante with the new rules so I can navigate better this site. Frankly, I enjoyed the previous format/design better. Thanks"
    I haven't been on the site for a while so today went I logged on I was hit with a stunning Homepage that is, shall we say, not my cup of tea. Apparently there appears to be a desire/inclination to make IM a subscription service with the discussed range of $15-$35 per year. That is disappointing, because economics tends to indicate that participation will go down. Myself, well, I try to subsidize the site with an annual donation in excess of the discussed subscription rate. So subscription or not, I'll still take advantage of the site.

    My access to the site is based primarily to obtain some historical data from IM's archives of IHSA Regional, Sectional and State brackets/results. Right now, however, the "simplified" homepage links me to a you tube presentation yuk! Maybe there are new rules which I am unfamiliar with; perhaps someone can assist this dilettante with the new rules so I can navigate better this site. Frankly, I enjoyed the previous format/design better. Thanks:)
    I could justify $25 - $35 for full access. Especially if it is news coverage beyond the typical top ten teams. Obviously some teams deserve more press because there is simply more to write about them, but I like reading about teams that we don't see as much coverage on. (I.E. Human Interest Stories) I would just say be careful with what you limit to free. As of right now IM is the #1 Source for Illinois Wrestling Information, so be careful. I get the need for cash flow in order to bring more news coverage to the sport, but the appeal is that you don't require a subscription. 90% of my program is new wrestlers in High School, many who I point to Illinois Matmen for information. It helps with them becoming fans of the sport. Very few of these individuals will pay subscriptions. My point is you don't want to limit too many things or you will most likely see a decline in visits. I think the $25-35 range is fair and I agree with limiting the viewing of articles and detailed rankings to VIP access. (I am a wrestling nut so I would pay.) Also, I would be willing to pay more for Full Access if box scores were included.
    ive never even had interest or knowledge of computers until my youngest wrestling introduced to mat man .....iwould pay for this format as it is ....i can always count on mckbin for help with my questions or he will direct me to where i can find out ....he seems to be a fountain of knowledge and i appreciate him takin time to inform me

    obviously i enjoy the forums for the info they proviive as well as the back and forth opinons (which is usually in good fun .....i would love to see archived matches on our wrestlers at every level ..live stream would be a bonus but i would love to be able to re visit matches

    i would only caution to keep the content to illinois wrestlers in illinois tournaments and track our wrestlers as they wrestle in national tournaments ...because sites such as flo now produce a watered down product and miss out on way to much especially in illinois....its impossible to be everywhere and cover everything but i think matmen does a awesome job currently and would pay a fee for sure

    also a quick shout out toMr.TWIST WHO ON occasion i have given grief and tried to provoke a argument (all in good fun )and he never takes the bait and still continues to help me out with any questions i have he has even taken time to try to explain computers to me he is a helpful asset to this site
    I don't mind paying anywhere from $15 - $25 or so for this access. I already pay for Edgy Tim and IHSSA forum. I like the articles and if paying a small yearly subscription can add to the articles and coverage I'm all for it. If the subscription fee is put in place, will we see some more matmen streaming of some of the big tourney finals?
    The year would start from the day you purchase the subscription. So if you buy it in November, you would get it until that day in November the following year. If you buy it in March, you would get all the way to the next March. So, technically you would always get a full season.
    If the year long subscription was the route, I would prefer to see it span from something like November-October so that a subscription covers a full season.
    I like the idea and would be willing to spend the $25-$30 per year. I would just hope to have coverage at all levels. Ik, i.e., hs, college, & international. That would help to draw "memberships" from all the demographics that frequent the site. Maybe adding some of the video coverage would draw people as well. An example.... Paid members get live access to Dvorak finals. Free members must wait for archived access.
    A couple things to add:

    1. We would still have some free articles. We wouldn't put every single story behind the subscription. The point of the subscription is that we would be offering something in addition to what we have offered in the past.

    2. We aren't thinking big money here. My initial thought was to charge somewhere around $25-$30 for an entire year. For every 2 subscriptions we get, we could write another article.
    I am mixed with this idea. I love the idea of extended coverage, and finances are a necessary ends to that mean. However, I think the current free version we have is an amazing thing. It gives everyone an opportunity to get/add information and spread the news of Illinois wrestling. If you start excluding people based on money it turns into a flow situation. Not knocking them at all, great for the sport, but you have to pay money to get access to the good info. I like our current format here and am very appreciative of it. Just my 2 cents, and I am very appreciative of this website. I just like being able to participate without having to be a paid member. Either way, keep up the good work!