It was another successful season of Indiana basketball coverage on Inside the Hall and while the journey did not end in Atlanta at the Final Four as many had hoped, we want to thank those who have been reading for years as well as the new readers we picked up during the course of the season. Our latest State of the Hall update is available after the jump.
In the past, our State of the Hall updates were mainly centered around a call to action from our readers to help support the site via donations to help sustain the level of coverage that you’ve all been accustomed to reading. That changed in October as we launched our premium forum and stopped taking donations as a result.
Six months after launch, we’re happy to report that the premium forum has been a success, but is far from a finished product. Some of the initial reaction to the forum brought the reaction we expected to come with change, but we’re well on our way to meeting our first-year goal for members and the feedback from those who participate has been very positive. As we said would be the case when we launched the forum, the site wouldn’t have many changes as a result and we’ve held true to that word.
In addition to the content we’ve provided for forum members over the first six months, we’ve also taken an active role in leading much of the discussion and interacting with members. The ability to have that direct dialogue with our readers is something we’ve all enjoyed and look forward to continue building upon.
On the main site, we introduced some significant content updates back in the fall, most notably a new player profile feature that acts as a homepage of sorts for every IU player with stats, recent news updates and photos. Film session also got a major overhaul during the season, as Ryan put an increased emphasis on improved graphics and taking a deeper dive into what makes or breaks a play.
Justin returned for a second season as the site’s beat writer and wrote a fantastic feature on Troy Williams which was backed by top notch reporting. In addition to our coverage of home games, we traveled to more road games than ever, as we had staff on site in Brooklyn for the Legends Classic as well as games at Purdue, Illinois, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Iowa, Northwestern and freelancers at Penn State and Minnesota. We also covered the Big Ten and NCAA Tournaments in-person for the second straight season.
None of this would have been possible without the support of our readers, some of whom have been reading the site for nearly six years now. It’s amazing to look at how far things have come in such a short time in terms of both the improvement of the site and also the continued growth in readership. Our local sponsors like Joe’s Bar on Weed Street in Chicago and Underground Printing deserve a word of thanks as well for their unwavering support.
With our decision to discontinue donations, we’d like to close with some encouragement for more of you to join us on the premium forum. It acts as a donation of sorts in that it supports the continued growth of the community and also allows us to retain talent like Justin, who will return next season as our beat writer. And as our business continues to change and evolve, it’s important for us to continue adding new avenues for revenue, which the forum provides. Beyond that, you’re also getting an additional area to discuss IU basketball with other passionate members in a moderated, organized environment and additional content.
As always, thanks for reading Inside the Hall and we look forward to continue bringing you the best IU basketball coverage possible.