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Charles (Loss)

The big announcement

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You'll recall that I posted (and tweeted) that I would have a big announcement coming later in the week. It's hard to know exactly where to start, so I'll just explain my current personal situation and then expand from there.

 

I was laid off in December. The startup that I was working for needed to cut costs and my position, which I'd only been hired for six months earlier, was deemed non-essential. I've had trouble finding work since then, and job opportunities in my field (technical writing) seem to be drying up because of AI's increasing presence in the workplace. I've decided that I'm at a career crossroads and need to consider a new path.

 

I started obtaining marketing certifications a few months ago in an attempt to learn how to make a profitable website. I love writing about wrestling, but as those of you with families know, it only gets harder to devote time to the hobby when also trying to balance marriage and parenting, and as much as I love pro wrestling, I just can't put it ahead of my family. That difficulty in keeping up is even truer than ever today because of the sheer amount of content that's out there between all of the streaming services and TV shows, YouTube, and live events.

 

I've decided to take a pretty big risk. I might fall flat on my face, but I'm okay if that happens. If I do, at least I tried and have some sense of decisiveness about it, and I'll just go try something else instead. But I think (hope) that my chances of succeeding at this are decent.

 

On July 1, Pro Wrestling Only will be relaunched as a true wrestling website, as opposed to just being a message board. Those of you who worry about the impact this might have on the PWO that you know and love needn't be concerned, as there will be little to no changes to the message board itself. It might end up having /forum or /board at the end of the URL. That's to be determined.

 

I'll be devoting myself full-time to offering FREE content. While I do indeed need to turn a profit to justify doing this, I don't think a subscription model is viable or warranted, and I have identified other ways to make money doing this -- some conventional and some not. The website will include:

 

* Five extended-length match reviews each day from the current day in history. So for example, on July 1, I'll have five reviews of matches that have happened during previous years on July 1 posted.

* Features that focus on things like promos, current matches getting play, something clipped that I wish was complete, previews of upcoming releases, and more.

* YouTube videos (I'll explain this when the time comes)

* Full show reviews (TV episodes, PPV, house shows, etc)

* Wrestler, promotion, and style biographies

* Presence on all social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, Pinterest, and more)

* E-books

 

To start, this will be a one-man show with me producing all of the content. I plan to treat this like my new career, which means I'll be working long hours and immersing myself, and you'll probably start seeing me everywhere I'm welcome to act as a hype man. When the business model for the site proves to be successful, I want to hire PAID writers to join the team.

 

I see the target audience for this site as the same type of person who posts at PWO, but I also think there's appeal to a bigger audience. If someone is new to pro wrestling or likes a match and wants to see similar matches, I think they'll find PWO to be something useful.

 

Over time, I see this being a hybrid that's similar to Spotify, Pandora, AllMovies, and Pitchfork -- the ultimate curation center for professional wrestling. It's also a site that will focus on one thing -- the artform -- and stay away from news or business analysis, since that's already being done by others and I don't think I would offer anything unique there.

 

I'm excited about the potential here, and with SO MUCH content so easily available now, I expect to be a busy man. Truth be told, if I was billionaire, I'd do it for free since it will be purely a labor of love. I'm grateful to everyone who posts or has posted here for helping establish PWO to the point that I can use the site as a launching pad for this venture. I hope you'll join me on this exciting, if possibly bonkers, journey.

 

All the best,

Charles

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I think staying away from news and business stuff is a smart move.

 

I think history and curation are exactly the right way to go. It's an underserved (and often sadly poorly-served) niche.

 

Hopefully you'll be able to round up literally thousands of old school fans, and literally thousands of newer fans who are just getting into NJPW and/or the Indies.

 

With so much content out there it's nearly impossible to know where to spend your time and attention. A history and curation site that points people in the right direction could be a great resource for wrestling fans looking to expand their horizons.

 

I often idly daydream about doing a similar type of project (probably a list-heavy one) for people who are just getting into Classical music.

 

Goes without saying, but if there's anything you need help or support wise do not hesitate to ask. As Matt D correctly says: I am sure I am not the only one here who will have your back.

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Exciting idea, wish you the best of luck and I look forward to the updates.

 

" Those of you who worry about the impact this might have on the PWO that you know and love needn't be concerned, as there will be little to no changes to the message board itself. It might end up having /forum or /board at the end of the URL. That's to be determined."

 

As for this part with the board here having recently launched the general chat topic open to view for members only, with a possible large influx of new members will there be any sort of extra restriction added for that? I only mention this because while I feel comfortable sharing personal details with the small circle here who I've come to be comfortable with in my couple years here, I don't feel comfortable with a large influx of new members reading all of that. If not I can always remove my posts there but it was just something I was wondering about.

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Best of luck on this new project, Loss. I read your comparison to sites like Spotify and Allmovie and it put some ideas in my head.

 

So most of us are probably familiar with ProfightDB. It's a website with a database of wrestlers and cards that shows you a wrestler's entire history of matches. It's a pretty great resource. But what if there was a database for the matches themselves? Like, if you were looking at the card for Summerslam '92 and you clicked on the page for Bret Hart vs British Bulldog and it brought a wealth of content related to the match - Meltzer's star rating, user-submitted reviews, trivia ("According to Hart's autobiography Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling, Bulldog spent the weeks leading up to Summerslam smoking crack with Jim Neidhart"), where to stream the match and where to view it on DVD (for WWE this is easy, but for indies there might be a need for a feature like this). What if you could view a list of all Bret vs Bulldog matches - and narrow it down to singles or tags. What if you could sort certain matches by keyword or keyphrase - for instance if you were on the page for Bret vs Hakushi on Raw in July '95 and one of the keyphrases was "space flying tiger drop" and if you clicked it you saw a list of other matches with that keyphrase. (You know, for all those smarks who think a match isn't good unless it contains a space flying tiger drop.)

 

This is all a bit pie-in-the-sky and it would take a lot of work (and I don't even know what kind of database software would be required to handle it). I don't know if any of these ideas match up to what you're planning but I think there's an opening in the market for a site like what I just described.

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