State of the Site 2021

The NBA Finals have come and gone, and we will once again return to 82-game seasons and mid-October starts in the season to come. For the first time since 2019, stats won’t have to be prorated to compare to other seasons—with 72 games for everyone in 2021 and a variety of game totals from 64 to 75 in 2020, matching everything to 82-game rate stats has been a mess.

Which means good things for basketball fans; we don’t have to wait until Christmas for the season to start or end up sitting on our hands for five months while a plague rages and stops sports from existing. It’ll be a regular season in every sense of the term.

Which also means that Pace and Space has an offseason; regular readers know how infamous I am for hardly ever posting in August, and it’s already been a week since the last thing I posted, the rapid-reaction to the last game of the Finals.

Part of this has been an uptick in my actual day job; I work as an “office mercenary” as my main source of income, and I’ve been on a contract gig since late June that’s still got a bit of time to run on it. When you see a lot of posts from me, it’s usually because I’ve got some downtime.

But another part of it is what’s called “reverse seasonal depression”—unlike most folks, who feel down in the wintertime, summer tends to hit me hard both physically (I’m prone to heat exhaustion at temperatures so low that even Seattle’s summer tends to get to me during the afternoon) and emotionally. Of course, not having NBA games to watch makes this effect far worse.

Between that and my need to take some time off to avoid basketball burnout just like the players and coaches, that’s why you don’t see a lot of posts in August.

My plan’s to post a couple of things for summer reading, and it’ll probably be on the weekend. Check the Seattle-area weather forecast. If it’s going to be unseasonably cool on a Saturday or Sunday, there will probably be something for you to read if you log in on Monday morning at work.

Last year, I did “NaNBAWriMo” in November, my take on “National Novel Writing Month”. I’m a sports columnist, not a novel writer, but writing something every day was a great challenge to myself. I’m planning to do something like it again in the 30 days leading up to the season starting in October, so look for that starting September 20.

But getting away from personal stuff and into pure numbers—this site’s bread and butter!—I have happy news on that front.

For one thing, the site passed 150,000 pageviews on this WordPress server! What’s more, getting 200 reads in a day is no longer a “wow, that was a great traffic day!” reaction and more a “nice, the evergreen content model is paying off.”

This site has earned the Featured Snippet from Google for “nba players not in the hall of fame”—depending on how you word the search, it’s pretty much here or Yardbarker, and if I may be indulged a bit of an ego trip, my writing’s better than Yardbarker’s stuff.

Speaking of Google, this site also sports an All-In-One SEO score of 79 out of 100. Hoops Habit (which I’ve written for in the past) gets an 83. That, in turn, is helping the Google score and bringing more and more of you here to read.

Ditching social media, which I expected to hurt my traffic at least a little, has had almost no effect. If anything, not trying to trend-chase Twitter has freed me up to be more creative in what I write about, and since Twitter itself was less than one click in a thousand on my stuff even in the best of time, any chance of Pace and Space getting its own Twitter page got left in the dust.

Long story short, the site’s in good health. Traffic is rising, hosting and domains are paid up for quite a while ahead, and the shift to evergreen content has made this site a lot more fun for me to do as a hobby.

But all of it would be meaningless without you, the readers, so stay tuned and thanks for reading!