For regular readers of IMS, you may have noticed a diminishing amount of articles. In fact the last post I made was December 4 and here it is December 13, nine days later. The reduction in posts has been deliberate and planned. In fact I’ve been meaning for some time to announce that IMSoccer News is taking a break, perhaps permanently. Perhaps my delay in making that announcement is my own reluctance to let go after working so hard to build the site into what it is today. But after four years of an ever-increasing amount of posts, I have reached a point where I just need some time off to recover mentally and physically. Over the last 4 years I’ve not gone more than 4 days away from the site and I’ve only done that twice. As many bloggers and website hosts have found out – most sooner than after 4 years – having a full time job and trying to do an acceptable job of running a website on the side, is an enormous amount of work.
When I started IMS it was done to bring together the many facets of soccer in the state of Minnesota as I felt those groups were splintered and wanted to let each know what the other was doing. In that process and by covering the Minnesota Thunder, I found myself front and center in covering one of the bigger soccer stories in the US in 2010 through 2011, the TOA split from United Soccer Leagues which eventually caused the USSF to create new financial standards for D2 pro soccer and launched the NASL and USL PRO. In fact the coverage of those events earned IMS an honor, as the site was nominated as one of the country’s “Top 10 Soccer Blogs” in 2010 by US Soccer.
During that time I continued to cover Minnesota soccer but also covered the growing conflict between these groups and added things like US National Team coverage with the help of Kyle Nelson who has remained a mainstay at IMS. As the scope of IMS continued to grow I found help from good people like Gerry Wittmann and eventually Jay Long. But even with the help of other contributors who have come and gone as well as the never-tiring Teresa Petersen who has edited IMS, pretty much from the early days of the site, I still have done the overwhelming majority of the posts. And if you’ve ever written on a consistent basis you know it takes time. Good writing takes even longer. And if you are a news site, which IMS has been, investigating and covering a story beyond what you get in a press release takes even more time because it means you need to pick up the phone and start calling folks, which often leads to more phone calls and lots of transcription. It’s been a joy to work through that process and grow as a writer and grow as a person. But on a personal basis, those same hours spent behind a computer, first at my day job and then in the afternoons and evening at IMS, has taken its toll.
So here we are 4 years and 2,850 posts later. The first article on IMS was posted on October 14, 2008. Since that time the site has had almost 1,600,000 visits with over 2,500,000 pages read and 18,000 of you have graciously left comments. I am truly overwhelmed by those numbers. Because if it wasn’t for the readers of IMS there would not have been any point of carrying on. So to everyone who has made IMS a regular stopping off point, I say thank you so very much. I am humbled that you have chosen to spend your precious time reading the site.
As to the future, you may see the return of IMS in January or February. You may see me start a new site or there is always the option of writing for another site if the situation is correct. And that correct situation? For me it’s the development of the business side of soccer in the US. I find the stories of leagues and teams trying to find their way in this landscape of soccer in North America fascinating. With such an expansive country that has come to the sport of soccer so late compared to the majority of the world, and with MLS being built and developed first, we have a very inverted pyramid. Hopefully that will someday flip right side up with a solid base and foundation of leagues, teams and players. How we get to that point and time is what fascinates me.
Keep checking back to IMS over the next several months and I will attempt to update you on the future of the site.