Birthdays: keinday 2017, the Smart year!

Hello hello! Amazing how I’m 36 already, this shit is nuts. And I’m going with Marcus Smart for this year. LEGGO C’S! I’m stoked we got Hayward this summer, it’s amazing.

Starting this post off at the crack of midnight, I’ll get on with the usual thanks in due time.

First off: very thankful to be in good health, and hopefully better health as I experiment and learn more about how my body reacts to different inputs (exercise, food, sleep).

I feel like I have plenty to learn, but my interests have moved away from the external environment, and I’m dwelling more on the self more than anything else.

And I can’t believe, I forgot about fucking taking the day off. In a year when my birthday actually fucking lands on a Friday. I’m an idiot.

I went to work as usual, had lunch with the guys (because Samurai Friday) and got smacked with a China support request before I could scoot on the dot. Dammit. Ended up being the last guy at the office, at 5 past 5.

Grabbed some Lord of the Fries at Flinders St station while waiting for the train, had dinner and we did our birthday cake routine with the kids, V and Cookie. Peppermint and chocolate aren’t my favourite flavours, but the thought counts!

Andddd yes. That was all.

Work

Two trips on the books this year, if everything goes to plan. China in Q3, the US in Q4. Frequent flyer miles, HERE I COME!

I got passed over earlier in the year (depending on how you look at it) for a promotion to a senior role, but not fussed. Can’t control stuff like that, and my life remains unaffected. All is well.

Outside of that, work has been largely stable, if a little heavy when it comes to the quarterly goals. Also: I’ve never been a fan of team assignments since my school days, and going into the workforce hasn’t changed that sentiment much. We’ll leave it at that. Huge thanks to Jared and Ravi for being the pals they are, and to Andy for always being supportive. I still miss Crystal’s departure from the team, looking forward to seeing her when I finally get my ass back to the US.

People have come and go at the office, and I think I’m just getting used to the constant, ceaseless flow of people moving in/out. Sometimes, you feel like it’s hard building lasting relationships when things happen. Regardless, S/O to the folks at the office: Simon K, and also the folks I lunch with these days: Alan, Dave, Greg, Dom, Pete T, Jackson, you people are excellent.

The Pick and Roll

So much to say. As usual, I lose track of time when it comes to this project. What was it like last year? I can’t recall, and usually have to backtrack and read my past entries.

The team expanded in preparation for expanded NBA coverage, but it ended up not working; I had to drop guys. It’s the same old story. People come on board, write for a bit, then start to fade out with poor communication. If I wrote down every single story I’ve been told since inception, it wouldn’t be too far off to say that writing is a tragic profession for aspiring writers. I had to lay “the talk” down and that’s where it ended. It sounds selfish and unfeeling but it is what it is. If the site is to work, I have to get a firm idea on everyone’s commitment. If you’re planning to contribute once a month, that’s probably not what we need over here.

Overall, content has been slow in the past season, especially at AITNBA. Half of it has been me not producing as much, and taking time on to focus my energy on myself. That might have contributed to a poorer internal culture. It’s also a mix of the veterans getting full-time jobs; Hayley with the AFLW, Jayme and Winston getting their respective gigs, and Warren being busy at work all the time.

Having said that, Ben has been an star. He’s been a go-getter, driven to reach his goal, and pushes himself hard. He’s attended ASW and is at the Summer League now, and I’m sure these networking events will open doors for him somewhere down the track.

We also transitioned from a sole owner business (me) to a company structure, and had some interesting adventures with a law firm along the way.

Instagram growth has weaned off a bit, I’m still thinking about whether the lack of hashtags in recent posts have contributed to the slow down.

YouTube feels like a dead end and doesn’t lead to anything. No ROI essentially, unless we produce our own content. I’ve been talking to the guys about possibly producing our own videos, but that’s some ways down the timeline. We don’t have a location to work with, and equipment is a question mark as well. Writing isn’t the long-term answer, and all the big media companies have essentially come to the same conclusion. It’s only inevitable that we understand the reality and start moving too.

Site advertising, partnering with a certain digital agency, turned out to be a poor experience. Turns out asking for transparency and chasing payment isn’t something we should be doing! It’s amazing. I’m working on overhauling our AdSense setup, I feel like we can equal and easily better the revenue the digital agency was getting for us.

Setting up more ad units, including in-article units, I’m aiming for two. This should help to better our AdSense revenue.

I’m hoping to produce more content myself consistently, anything from 2-4 articles a day, depending on storyline availability. Like I told Steve, this should boost our average to something in the neighbourhood of 5,000 a day, and push us to 150,000 monthly, which would be a nice climb from what looked like 45,000 a month.

Life

Things have been an even crazier scramble this year, because two things changed: Elly’s school, and V’s workplace. The commute got really tough.

First off: Elly’s school ends at 6pm, period. We get charged by the minute if we’re late, and the commute home is insane at times, especially when V left her workplace late and city traffic flat out murdered us.

There was also this phase when V had to work overtime for days on end, it was really, really rough. I was on the verge of falling sick, constantly feeling tired, and even took a week off work to rest.

Things are better now, so I’m happy.

Elly’s settling well into her new school, I’m amazed at some of the things she talks about sometimes, and the concepts she can grasp. I’m pretty damn sure I was as close to being a drooling idiot at 5 years old in my day, she seems to be better by leaps and bounds. Lunches are a constant challenge, but overall, I’m pretty proud of her. She whinges a bit too much at times, but I’m constantly reminding myself that she’s five, and she’s done really well so far.

Lenny like me, has been slow on the uptake when it comes to talking, but is slowly making progress. We can actually hold a semblance of conversation these days, which is pretty amazing in my books. It’s just magical to me, how I’m used to having one-sided convos with the lad, and he now responds with stuff I can actually understand and go, “hey, he actually gets me. He knows what he wants/does not want. This is pretty cool!” Having said that, he’s coming into his delayed terrible twos phase, which means his favourite word these days is no. I’m going by the principle that me saying no too often, leads to him saying no more. So I’m trying different tacks to get the same outcome, be it distraction, offering two choices, talking about what he wants etc. It’s always a learning process for both sides.

It’s pretty funny whenever I ask him, “It’s time to?” He’d go “SLEEP!” And then say: “Time to NO!” He finds it ridiculously funny, and it’s becoming a bedtime ritual of sorts.

Kids. You think you’re teaching, but you’re always learning at the same time.

Holidays

Not really a holiday, but I flew over to Singapore for MH’s wedding late last year. If I have to be honest about this, it felt like the only wedding I kind of regretted flying for.

It somehow felt like the wedding wasn’t the highlight, but rather all the people I managed to catch up with, including:

  • Estee: my favourite LYDD, whom I haven’t caught up with in ages!
  • ahlong: ma boy! kopi sessions are always good, and he came around for breakfast one day too.
  • my basketball kakis (you guys: Alan, YL, JH, ZY, Victor)
  • Adri: haven’t had a proper meal with her alone in ages, it was wonderful.
  • my KTV gang (HJ, HY, SC)
  • LS: dinner, and a swim. Checked all the boxes once again. Thank you for taking leave to indulge in something like swimming with me!
  • NZ, MS, SC: didn’t quite count as a catch up since it was just at the wedding, but it was still good.
  • SP: quick meal at Peninsula, loved the talk and thank you for letting me tag along while guitar shopping.
  • ZM, Alvin, CT, MM: quick catchup, it’s just good to see everyone 🙂
  • Nick: always the champ who makes it for breakfast without fail.
  • Clement: thanks for the drive and meal, enjoyed our banter
  • WJ: probably the only guy I catch up with regularly from army days, I’m constantly amazed by his drive to learn and succeed
  • Lester: one of my best mates ever, it’s a shame I don’t see him often enough.
  • LH: good food, good conversation. Thanks for sharing bits of your life and for listening too.

Thanks to Stan for driving me over to the airport, that was a huge help.

Our last “holiday”, a weekend trip in the city, involved 50% of our time in the hotel, with V working out of her laptop. That kinda sucked. We had fun trying out a list of cafes and restaurants I’d shortlisted though, so that was good. Food, is good.

The family trip we took in January was really good. Beach holidays are amazing, I think we need to make it an annual affair, and everyone in the fam seems to be on board with the idea. There’s no Chinese New Year thingo over here, but hey, we can make up our own traditions I guess.

I’m hoping to be able to make it down to Boston for season opener this year, and for the playoffs next year. Fingers crossed!

Basketball

Nada. I played a couple of times when I was in Singapore with the guys, but that’s it. I’m a disgrace of a basketballer.

Gym

Following last year’s update, I actually managed to bulk up to 75kg. Had a good run with Tyson as my trainer for about 8-9 months, learnt more about supersets and how I could combine different exercises to target muscle groups.

I was getting fat more than anything else at one point, especially at the waist and that was really annoying when I looked at the rest of my body looking fine. Got more serious about measuring my macros, and cut 5kg within 3 weeks. Since that cut, I’ve been hovering between 68-69kg. Not really in a hurry to bulk up.

I started Jordan Yeoh’s Iron Mastery, and gradually added tweaks to the sets. Right now, I have this formula that seems to work well for myself.

It looks like this (sample set DB bench press), with 1 minute rest intervals:

  • Warmup set – 15 reps, 8kg
  • Set 1, 2, 3, 4 – 12 reps, 14kg
  • Set 5 – 25 reps, drop weights by 4kg to 10kg.

The fifth set basically murders the muscle group, and in my case, almost guarantees DOMS. Takes a bit of time to complete though.

I’m adding in chinups and dips again, hoping to get back to weighted stuff. I moved away from these while I was training with Tyson, hoping to get these basic movements back in. There’s good in training specific muscle parts, and also concerns in not involving compound movements, or natural movements. The last thing I want is imbalance, which could lead to injury.

Personal

I guess the biggest thing that’s happened, would be the fact that I got a vasectomy. It sounds huge, but the actual operation was quick and painless. The waiting took longer than the actual procedure, to be honest. Minimal swelling, nothing in the way of lasting pain, just a vague soreness that gradually wore off. (Full details here.)

My personal perspective on life hasn’t shifted too much over the past year, it’s more on getting things done, moving forward with the overall life plan. This includes sorting out remaining Singapore-based shit like the Prudential insurance products I had, moving towards Australian citizenship, getting our finances in order, possibly moving house, and so on. Just nitty gritty things.

Presents

First off, a couple of PS4 games from the brother: Nioh and Witcher 3. Looks like I’m gonna have to game even harder to clear my backlog of games.

Cards

A card from the brother! Love it.

“A punny birthday card for the brother who enjoys puns! It’s hard for me to express how much of a friend, brother, and father figure you have been for the past 29/30 years. You’ve done an amazing job as a father & husband, and I’m sure V + the kids appreciate you for everything you have done. I wish you good health to continue to pursue your ideal way of life, and the good luck to breeze through the obstacles in life. Thank you for being you, and here’s to many more years ahead.”

WhatsApp

  • PR: Happy birthday to you tmr!!!! Wish u hv a great day! 🎂🎁🎉
  • LS:  Happy birthday to my dearest fren!!! Hugz! 🤓 Have an awesome day ahead!
  • Bill: Brother, happy birthday 🎉. Hope you have a blast today 👯
  • Jas: Happy birthday Mr!!
  • ahlong: Happy birthday bro.. have a great day and an even better weekend. Cheers..  🎉🍵
  • SC: Hows the burf boi tdy? 🙂
  • SJ: Di~ HAPPY BIRTHDAY~ over the half of 30s liao! Wish you have a wonderful and fulfilling year ahead with the increased life experience. ;p
  • Lester: Eh dey Happy birthday Hope the kids treated you well today
  • NZ: Happy Eat a Cake Day!
  • Erwin: 
  • Benny: Happy birthday lao da
  • Sylvester: Hey Bro! Hope it’s not too late! Happy birthday and God bless always 🙂

Facebook

  • Stan: It’s midnight now. Happy birthday to you!
  • Mum: 兒子,生日快樂!
  • Dad: 生日快乐 隨心合意 步步高升
  • Alvin: Happy Birthday to You!!
  • Wing: happy birthday good papa !
  • ZM: Happy Birthday to the person I hate most! Stay happy, healthy and live longer so that we can keep on debating on various aspect on life till the end of time!
  • Daryl: Happy birthday old friend. More good times ahead!
  • XY: Happy Birthday Kein!
  • Dave: Thought you were setting us up for more Dad jokes! Happy birthday bro, enjoy your night with your family!
  • Jas: Happy hapoy birthday:))
  • Tai: Nawwwww so cute! Happy birthday!
  • WX: Happy birthday Kein!
  • XX: Happy birthday Kein!
  • Estee: Happy Birthday!! LYDDDDDDDDD!
  • Muz: Happy birthday Kein looks like u had a fun time celebrating 😉
  • Jenny: Happy Bday!!! Save us some cake!
  • MS: Blessed birthday! 🎂🍻
  • Helen: Kein! I saw you today and didn’t realise it’s your birthday! Happy birthday! I wish you all the very best, always!
  • Andrew C: Happy Birthday !
  • Isabel: Happy birthday Kein! I wish u and your family in good health and happiness!! 🎂🎉🥂
  • Shihui: Happy birthday! 
  • Meihui: Happy birthday!
  • Bhawana: Such a cute moment Kein and captured beautifully….Happy birthday man. Stay Blessed and enjoy.
  • Uncle Loh: Happy Birthday Kein!
  • LY: Happy belated bday Kein!
  • Lukas:  Happy Birthday Kein!!!
  • Davina: Happy birthday Kein 🎂🍻

Special thanks to Dom for recording that lovely birthday song with Nico 🙂 Loved it. And to Ashish, Dec, Alan, Simon K, Alana, Dave & Raf for the wishes earlier at the office.

 

 

Snip.

Yep, it finally happened. I had a vasectomy done.

The hardest thing about it all was trying not to flinch, knowing your man bits were being worked on. Dr Nick was wonderful with the banter though, definitely helped calm me down some. It was all done in fifteen minutes, relatively painless except for the initial local anaesthetic injection. There was some weird sensation when he was pulling on the vas deferens, but it wasn’t painful, more uncomfortable than anything else.

The next hardest thing was long drive home, I took about an hour or so to get back.

Next up? Ibuprofen ftw.

(Counting day 1 as the day of surgery)

Day 2: not much in the way of soreness. It does however, feel slightly uncomfortable when I try lifting my nuts. I could feel the wound if I got an erection (bad idea).

Day 3: yep, I can definitely feel it if I move the member upwards, the wound’s letting me know it. Bruising has appeared.

Day 4: felt like a continuation of day 3, except it got better at night. It might have been the ibuprofen I took after dinner though. Main observation, the crown jewels feel fragile. Guys’ll know what I mean, it feels heavy and there’s a tinge of “ok I better leave these guys alone” when I try lifting them. Level of pain when moving member upwards, has receded somewhat. Didn’t stop me from rubbing one out though, I had to be reassured everything was in working order.

Day 5: Receding soreness on the wound area, right nutsack felt especially sore after dinner, not sure why. Took an ibuprofen just in case (placebo IMO) and tested the equipment out. Yep, everything’s pretty much functioning the way it should, when it comes to the bedroom. It felt like I had reduced sensitivity, but we’ll see.

Day 6: most of the day felt pretty fine to be honest, right up till the evening when I got home, and I started feeling like I was carrying an oversized, tender nutsack. Popped a couple of ibuprofen after dinner. Throughout the evening, it felt like there was a pressure buildup somewhere around the femoral, or even slightly higher – maybe between the groin and abdomen, but slightly off to the sides. Well, I did the logical thing a guy usually does to relieve pressure, and it worked.

Day 7 onwards: all is well, I’d say things are at 99%, excluding a really mild soreness (like 0.5 out of 10) if I pull the member upwards.

Fast forward to day whateveritis (approximately two months after), I’m feeling perfectly fine.

What I feel has changed, is reduced sensitivity and possibly a lower sex drive. It could be me being tired and getting old, but hey, it works. It’s helpful to not feel like a horny 18 year old all the time, you can actually focus your mind on getting shit done.

The test is coming soon, I’ll know if I’m given the all clear at the end of July! Fingers crossed. All in all, this has been a pretty successful move.

二十年后的事

“以前在二十岁的时候,觉得自己永远不会,永远不会活到四十岁的那一天。有那种感觉。然后不知不觉,然后我们就到这天了,而且好像一切都还不错嘛。”

听到阿信在演唱会说这番话,感触很深。自己十六岁时候,也从来没办法想象二十年后的事,满脑子只顾着打篮球。虽然说不上什么辉煌史,但还是很满足现状,特别在墨尔本的这些点点滴滴。不知不觉,这家已经待了十年。

十六岁时的自己,看到现在的我,应该会觉得还不错吧?

This really made my day.

It really does. I got this message from my brother earlier in the day today.

“But honestly, I have to thank you for being the role model.

I probably won’t learn to listen and be neutral about negative situations, if it wasn’t for you. And I wouldn’t even be bothered to think about why she thought of it this way. This experience has made me a better person.”

I’m so proud of this dude.

All I can say is, I’m glad he’s my brother. Almost thirty years, and we’re still tight. Advice doesn’t matter if there’s no receptive ear, and like I’ve said before – he listens, if nothing else. And that is the first step in growing and maturing as a person.

Where to, for sports journalism?

ESPN’s recent massive layoff wasn’t exactly a surprise, if you were observing the landscape closely. Big pro sports deal (high cost), declining subscriber base (less money), something had to give. It also gives aspiring sports journalists pause; where to, from here?

Sports journalism isn’t solely comprised of the exclusive brethren it was years ago; the internet blew everything apart. Suddenly, everyone with an opinion and a blog is a writer, or at least they think they are (depending on the quality of writing). Twitter unleashes voices. The gates to media credentials for pro sports have lowered, and the NBA has got to be among the best of them all, when it comes to treatment for media personnel.

It’s easy enough to start your own site and produce quality writing, but how long can you keep this up? Could you turn it into a full-time job? Does it pay the bills? How does one monetise a product like this? Patreon support? Subscription paywall for premium content? Donations? Advertisements? Merchandise?

Or, is it enough for you to land a job at a big brand media organisation elsewhere? There’s got to be light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s harder than ever for one to break through the ranks, and join up as a full-time journalist, simply because there are fewer jobs out there.

It all comes down to ROI. Investment into resources (infrastructure, staff) must result in corresponding content that captures audiences, and pageviews. Bad metrics means budget cuts, and layoffs. It also means surviving staff get stretched in multiple directions, or even different directions in a bid to right the ship.

All I can say is, I’m glad I’m not aspiring to be a sports journo. It’s a rewarding, but exhausting profession; kudos to the blokes who survive the grind, I’m not looking for something like this right now.

Bulking, macros and intermittent fasting

Bulking has been the main goal ever since I started gym, and I succeeded in gaining 12kg, from 63kg in Jan ’16, to 75kg in Feb ’16 (guesstimate).

Problem: it wasn’t 12kg of muscle, and I was gaining this noticeable band of fat. Skinny fat is real, unfortunately. I still had my abs, but this roll of lard was annoying as hell; it made me feel like I was doing something wrong on diet. You know it’s wrong when your daughter points at your belly and says Daddy, there’s a doughnut!

That was when I started looking at the idea of watching my macros. I created a simple spreadsheet, planned my meals, calculated the daily calories, and kept to it for two weeks. Sure enough, the fats disappeared, my belly flattened out, the daughter exclaimed my doughnut’s gone. It’s pretty magical, I have to say. OTOH, it was a lot of abstinence. I stuck to water, cleaned my diet pretty thoroughly and eliminated a whole bunch of sugar. The idea was to go onto a high fat, high protein, low carb routine.

It’s week five since I started planning my macros on 20 Mar. I’m thinking it might be time to put the pounds back on. This time though, I’m trying intermittent fasting (IF) out. The theory here, is that you consume the same amount of calories/macros in a day, but restrict it within the lunch-dinner window (12pm – 8pm).  Yes, breakfast doesn’t exist. Yes, I do get hungry, and it’s a bitch.

I first got the idea about IF from a Terry Crews interview, and figured it’s worth trying out. Like what the hell, if it doesn’t work after three months I’ll just tweak my diet, no harm done. Worst case? I get skinny fat again; I’ve been there before, I can take it.

Self note: right now, I’m at 69/70kg. The aim is to get back to 73/74kg in three months, but not pack on the fats again. Slow gains, lean gains. I need to start packing the diet back on again, which means more peanut butter and protein shakes during the day. I’ll need to plan and not wing it though, need to make time out for it.

The next challenge (aside from lean gains) is to see how I cope with planning my own workout sessions. Having a trainer is great, but I’m coming to the end of my package and it’s time to figure out how I plan this. I’m thinking a paper notebook more than a spreadsheet, it might be easier to jot my routine/reps/fails at the gym that way. The good thing is, I’ve been diligently asking questions about the training I’ve been doing all these months. For example, why does exercise A go with B in a superset? Why am I doing barbell instead of dumbbell for this exercise? Which muscle groups is this exercise hitting? It’s been pretty fun learning about these, and I’ve written up some test workouts for NZ since a month or so ago, just for warmups.

Onwards!

Post-2016 thoughts.

The year’s been a rather vanilla but fulfilling one, if I might say so.

Fitness

I stuck to my goal of maintaining a consistent workout routine. We’re really close to the one-year milestone now! Pretty pleased at the commitment I’ve made, and I feel good. Obviously, seeing the results help. Have to admit, it’s been a little shitty at times, knowing I have to say no to lunch dates on workout days, and just play the part of an anti-social c*nt, but that’s what discipline boils down to. You don’t give yourself excuses, period.

Committing to gym, also meant I had to commit to nutrition. That in turn, meant a better focus on nutrition, meal prep and understanding the results eating different foods did to my body. Can’t say I’m a veteran at this, but definitely a big step forward.

2017 objective: keep this shit up.

Related: earlier gym post.

Friendships

Really glad to have reconnected with old friends, especially my RCY mate SP. Have to admit, he made an extra effort to catch up when he was down here in Melbourne, and we’ve met up a couple more times since, a rather difficult feat considering we’re a few time zones apart. Looking forward to keeping this up!

Other great moments include:

  • Attending Anita/Richard’s wedding
  • Catching up with Nash
  • Meeting my man Olgun at last! And all the chats we’ve had online, wouldn’t trade that for anything.
  • Basketball and suppers with the Ngee Ann/Changkat folks
  • Basketball with TX, after so many years. I sucked, but it’s still wonderful to be back on the court together with the man. I still remember our poly sessions fondly.
  • KTV sessions with the ladies. Yes, there’s only the ladies. That one group.

Also appreciated all the extra time all my friends have made to keep in touch, especially the ones in Singapore (Swim Team folks, my 1-Net people). Long may this tradition continue!

2017 objective: keep in touch with as many people as I can. This is going to be hard, harder than 2016 when it comes to Singapore.

Family

This year’s routine has actually been a bit of a shitfest, to be honest. We had to manage on our own without help, and having two kids at daycare full-time was a suicidal notion, financially speaking. We ended up working something else out, but it meant a nonstop rush every single day. It’s taken the two of us to cope; I’m glad it’s all over. Next year’ll be pretty similar, but the financial burden should be tremendously reduced at minimum, and itinerary easier.

Elly’s grown a lot this year, in confidence and articulating herself. Lenny’s development has definitely been slower, especially on the speaking front but we’ll get there. All it takes is patience and consistency. He’s not an idiot, just lazy to talk when it comes to getting what he wants. Laziness is unfortunately, a trait that seems to be passed down. I wonder who he got it from, hmm. /s

2017 objective: help Elly transition to her new school and routine, get Lenny talking like a madass mofo.

*I also had this idea of getting two paper notebooks, and filling them up with handwritten positive moments for the kiddos. BUT, I can see myself fucking it up very quickly so we’ll see.

Entertainment

Yes, this has been rather poor overall. I’ve barely touched my PS3/PS4 (played PS4 for the first time in July!), or played basketball much. It’s been TV series for the most part. Daredevil, The Flash, The Walking Dead, and holy crap, Breaking Bad at long last. So impressed with it, I’m a convert through and through. Bitch.

And anime too: Gundam Iron Blooded Orphans, Dragonball Super, and rewatches of Gundam SEED, Gundam SEED Destiny.

Also kept my reading up, thanks to the new Kindle Paperwhite (old Kindle destroyed thanks to Lenny). It has been sidetracked somewhat, thanks to anime binging.

2017 objective: actually play the PS3/PS4 without objection from the wife on pixelated violence being bad for the kids. Like, really. I grew up on this kind of stuff, it didn’t turn me into a homicidal maniac. And again, TRY TO PLAY MORE BASKETBALL DAMMIT.

Travel

Popped over to Singapore twice, sneaked in a side trip to Thailand, a day trip to Sydney, and that’s basically it. Next year should be looking better: a trip to the States (or two even!), another possible to China, and mayyyyyybe something local/interstate. NBA playoffs, here we come.

Work

It’s been an educational year, thanks to Jared’s constant stream of suggestions and answers, with half of them being self-discovery. Again, thanks to Jared for leaving me room to find answers out myself, rather than spoonfeed. The deluge of projects that got dumped on us this year was a little draining, to say the least. I’m just glad we’re done with it all, project management is most definitely not our forte, especially when our priority is to help the user out.

Have to admit, I was a little sad at losing Crystal on the team, she’s been a solid dependable rock. And also, not forgetting my mate Ravi for all the chats, support all the time, and to the boss Andy for always being the perfect manager. Lastly, for a great bunch of guys at the Melbourne office. Couldn’t ask for more, really.

PnR

I knew this year was going to be me stepping away and doing less, because I would’ve burnt out if I kept at the punishing pace I’d been working at the past couple of years. So far, it’s worked out decently. The bulk of my contribution have been either on quickie pieces, or video highlights. I still think we could’ve done a lot better, but it’s still been a decent body of work overall.

Notable milestones:

  1. We made a really solid push during the Olympics, and got our brand out there to the local audience. Responses from fans have been very, very positive.
  2. Re-partnered with Goalrilla Australia for a long term promotional deal. Looking to move our advertising to a digital agency, and improve ad revenue.
  3. Pushed past 66,000 fans on the Facebook page.
  4. Crossed 1,000 on both Instagram and YouTube.
  5. Grew our traffic by nearly 50%. The trick next year will be to maintain and exceed this number.
  6. Migrated to a new web host late last year, been smooth sailing ever since. Also switched to a new site theme.
  7. Less number-centric but equally important: team building. The quality of contributors coming on board have significantly improved, and that’s lifted our content quality.
  8. Content:
    1. I think we’ve picked up the pace on the NBL side thanks to an influx of energetic folks. But, I think we can be doing much better. For example, I’d prefer to see different storylines being explored, instead of a weekly column thing. Personally, not a fan of power rankings and roundtables; they’re an easy way to generate content but do not (again, IMO) generate the kind of interest columns would. For example, stat analysis, X’s and O’s breakdowns, interviews, features and so on. More effort needed, sure. But again, it’s the kind of thing a reader would want to read, and we should be putting our best foot forward.
    2. NBA dropped off due to various reasons: new contributors (some of whom were inconsistent), Jayme/Hayley’s new jobs, Luke’s work with other organisations, Winston’s workload, plus my order not to push unnecessary coverage on subpar games. But I’m confident we’ll pick the pace up next year as it gets into ASW and the playoffs after.
    3. I took the time to compare 2015’s analytics versus this year’s, and here’s my two takeaways: lists and list-style headlines work, and the Olympics were really good for us.
    4. This is a continual question hanging in my head: how do we get more people reading our work? I’m sure every other internet content marketer out there loses sleep over the same topic.

Something that finally happened this year, was the motion to incorporate and turn PnR into a company. We’re still working our way through some of the agreements, but it’s a big, big step. Somehow, it made me feel like this just transitioned from a hobby into something more serious, like how dating became marriage. I hate the extra pile of paperwork (hello ASIC, ATO, shareholder/director meeting notes, etc) that’s going to surface by the way. Hate, hate paperwork. It just feels like some unnecessary shit that’s taking me away from what I can be doing on the site itself, and I need to make sure the burden is shared equally, not me just being Atlas.

2017 objectives: Too many. Let’s just leave it at continued growth.


Less than an hour to 2017. Full steam ahead, y’all. The best is yet to be.