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Written by Rich Swerbinsky

Rich Swerbinsky
We're two!!! Can you believe it? Man has the time flown by since we launched this thing on Feb 1, 2006. A lot of work, but a helluva lot of fun too. 2007 was an awesome year for us. We grew so much, added so many new things, and forged some key relationships. As I do every year on our birthday, I just took a little time out this morning to talk about some of the things we've done, and some of the new things we've got coming. Thanks again to everyone that makes TCF a daily stop.

Well, we're two.

Two years old that is. It was on February 1, 2006 when launched into cyberspace, and it's been a fun journey for us.

In just two years time, we've been lucky to really grow this thing, and that's a testament to the great writers we've been able to assemble here at TCF. Some have been here from the start, others we've added as time has passed. But right now, I'm just very happy with the collection of guys we have writing for the site. Our whole crew, we're Cleveland fans, and have been since we've been born. Guys I'd rather read than the vast majority of the paid print journalists in this town, many of who spent their lives rooting for other teams before being paid to come to Cleveland and write about ours.

Running the site is a lot of work. But it's fun. It's really been fun watching this thing grow from just a couple hundred buddies to a community of close to 40,000, and I see no reason why the ascent can't continue. Cleveland is a one newspaper town, and the majority of people I talk to are not big fans of the PD sports page. We're going to continue to improve the website, day by day, month by month ... and we'll never charge anyone anything to read our columns. We'll continue to make things look better, add features, and we're always on the lookout for new writers that help us improve the quality of the front page product.

2007 was really a great year for us, starting out with the partnership with Sportstime Ohio back in March. They are a great partner of ours, and that is a relationship that continues to become more multi-layered. We're working on a number of things with them, including a TV show and a live game day page for Indians games on the STO site, where fans will be able to interact online at home, while watching the game on the tube. The STO crew is all great people, from the top down, and you'll continue to see the STO and TCF teams working together to bring new and innovative things to the online arena.

2007 also was a year we saw our message board community grow substantially. On January 1, 2007 ... we had 225 registered sports talkers. Today? We're at 1,003. That's an average of two new people per day over the last thirteen months. Growing a forum community can be challenging as there are all different types of fans, and only the most passionate ones spend their free time talking sports online. But I'm really pleased with how the community has developed. We have some great (and hysterical) sports talkers in there, any breaking rumor of any sort in any sport is posted within seconds, and the forums are well moderated. If you haven't decided to do so yet, register a user name in the forums and come on in and join us.

Some other things we did in '07 were change the look of the front page of the website, added our bracket program, brought daily features like "Today's Slate" and "Today In Cleveland Sports" to the front page, and also announced a partnership with the good people at Cleveland State as the Vikings men's basketball team heads into what are looking like some very good years for the team. We started to become viable as an advertising option for businesses, as we carry a very desirable demographic. And we added all kinds of great people to the team on both the writing and the sales sides.

So much of the growth of this site has been fueled by feedback from our visitors, and as we head into year three, we will continue to respond to what you want to see as it relates to the content, features, and look of the site. I, and all of our writers, love hearing from the fans ... and I highly encourage our visitors to keep us honest when you see something you don't like, and to take a second to email us when you see or read something you do like.

Lastly, I've got a new little project that is starting to come to fruition, and I'm very excited about it:

CTown Golf is a site that's been in the back of my head for years now, and things finally progressed to the point late last year where I could start working on it. When finished, it will be the ultimate resource for the northeast Ohio golfer. My goal is to have it ready to rock and roll by March 1.

Some of the features are already up; more will be coming over the next month. Ultimately, the site will have all of the following:

~Center of the website will be a scrolling blog which will feature loose
coverage of the pro tours, reviews on local courses, information on local
events, bios on local courses and club pros, information on equipment, and
general commentary from a team of bloggers and correspondents that I am
putting together.

~NE Ohio golf course search engine

~Individual pages for each course with course info, and where visitors will
be able to rate and leave comments on their experiences there

~NE OH golf weather page, with several features

~A specific page for area tournaments, events, specials courses are running

~A complete database of golf glossary terms and famous quotes

~Ratings of both local and national courses from a myriad of different

~Links to all the best golf blogs, websites, local golf sites

~Coverage of the PGA Tour and other pro tours

~Golf talk on message forums and the ability to leave posts and thoughts on
individual blog posts by our contributors

~Reviews of local courses

~A handicap tabulator program where visitors will be able to post their
scores online where it will all be stored and tracked

I'm looking for good people to get involved with me on this, on whatever level they feel comfortable. To reviewing a course a month for us, to helping with some of the day to day stuff on it ... if you have interest, let me know.

Thanks again for visiting the site. It's truly been a fun couple of years.

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