An update on PantherU – alive and well

The other day, our domain expired without me being able to renew it immediately.  This has been handled, and PantherU.com will remain the destination for Milwaukee Panthers fans for the foreseeable future.

If you’re one of the several hundred unique readers checking back daily for new content, you will have noticed that we’ve been notoriously silent for a week and a half.  Well, the reason is that I’ve been working on several projects and not one of them were quite ready to go, or didn’t exactly fit the website.

If you attended Saturday night’s exhibition game, you’ll know that our “Milwaukee Logo” t-shirts have come to reality and that they are a big hit.  Fans almost bought our entire stock after Saturday night’s exhibition game and we are convinced that producing more would be a good idea.  We will be rolling out more of the M-B-G logo t-shirts during this season as well as a couple other t-shirts that we think will be even bigger hits among the students and alumni of our great university.

Here is what we’re working on from a PantherU.com standpoint:

Developing a membership program. For its entire history, I’ve supported PantherU out of my own wallet.  It’s not an expensive cost to fulfill, but it’s otherwise money I do not want to spend myself.  Membership will come with its own benefits, such as an exclusive forum and content, t-shirts, magnets and buttons to show membership, and first come, first serve on potential road trips by bus.  The membership will be set through donations through PayPal (much like other fan sites like PantherNation.com) to guarantee the greatest security for using your credit card.  Every dollar over the costs to run the website and club will be donated to the Panther Fund to support Milwaukee Athletics.  This is a big thing for me and will not be something we will implement until at least next season.  If you want to put in your two cents on the idea, feel free to comment on this.  If you don’t want to comment, feel free to put this out of your mind as we’re almost a year away from this becoming a reality.  That is if I even choose to do so.  If it does become a reality, it will be through a concerted effort of several Panther fans to provide the content worthy of having a paid membership base.  I love blogging, but I don’t think I’d be able to provide enough content by myself to justify a membership fee for a sizable portion of the content and an exclusive forum.  I know there are those of you out there who like to write about the Panthers on the UWMFreak forum or elsewhere.  Don’t be shy about becoming another voice on PantherU – it doesn’t have to be all me.

– The Football Report.  Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten it.  It’s in the editing stages and I’m happy to say that it’s near completion.  I won’t let this cat out of the bag until I’m pleased with it 100%.

– Recruiting Update. We failed to pick up a recruiting writer, someone who would be able to keep the recruiting pages updated and interview the occasional recruit.  I’m in the middle of updating the database to include all the players that are targeted by the Milwaukee Panthers.  I’d like that to include Panther baseball, soccer, volleyball and women’s basketball in the future, but those are all pipe dreams if we can’t get more writers involved in the website directly.

– Developing a template for game coverage. One thing that I don’t think I’ve been able to do is consistently cover the program on a game to game basis.  I have been able to do previews of each game, recapped most, but it always carried something different each time.  The good people at Statsheet.com have been in talks with me to provide an automatic set of statistics for the Panthers to be included in previews and reviews of each game.  The great thing about Statsheet is that they specialize in statistics that you are not getting from the box score or the writings at UWMPanthers.com or the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, statistics that have a strong correlation with winning basketball.  The problem with their website and UWMUpdate.com, Statsheet’s automated Panther website, is that you have to dig around for the right statistics.

– New sections and content. I’ve been updating a lot of the content such as rivalries and traditions to keep up with the current climate, but I’ve also been developing new stuff.  A weekly podcast with fellow Panther fans is in the works, and we’re hoping to possibly bring one of the coaches in on the show that we put together.  Once we have everything coordinated, we’ll have a space where the fans can drop questions for the coaching staff and the host of the show.  I will also try and incorporate video into the process more than I’ve done thus far, and connect Twitter, Facebook and the website more cohesively to save time on posting articles.

So, with that, I’d like to finish up by thanking everyone for their continuing support of the program and PantherU.com.

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