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Ship's Log, Jan. 30: Happy (sort of) anniversary to us

It was almost exactly one year ago that we laid the first steps on our way to independence.

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4 min read

You’d be excused for not realizing it, but Sounder at Heart recently passed a one-year anniversary of sorts. It was on Jan. 28, 2023 that Nos Audietis – now the official podcast of Sounder at Heart – started accepting payments for our newsletter on Substack. I didn’t entirely appreciate it at the time, but it was very much the first step in the journey that ultimately led to our independence.

In hindsight, the reasons are straightforward enough: The support we were shown in those early days were a significant reason why we thought we had the potential to make this work as a self-sustaining venture. Perhaps more importantly, the money we raised during those first six months or so gave us the financial foundation to cover most of our startup costs and allow us to undertake this all without having to take loans or seek investors.

I bring this all up in part to say “thank you.” Every day I’m a little stunned that we are really making this work. Thanks to people like you, we are building a media outlet quite unlike anything else in the United States. By the time the season starts, we’ll be publishing 3-5 pieces of content a day and covering the Seattle soccer scene in a way that it deserves. We are doing this without having to fill up your browsers with annoying ads and not having to rely on click-bait-style stories to juice our numbers. I am proud that we’re also paying our writers more than they were in the previous era and not needing anyone to do volunteer work. In short, I feel like we are building something that is truly sustainable.

I also bring this up now because I’m looking around at the media landscape and seeing how volatile the old way of doing things can be. Venerable publications like the LA Times and Sports Illustrated are either dramatically cutting staff or on the verge of ceasing to exist entirely. I won’t pretend that what we’re doing is entirely repeatable at that kind of scale, but selfishly it keeps me from ever second-guessing my decision.

I can’t take credit for this part, but I’m also proud that so many of the former SB Nation blogs seem to be thriving – or at least surviving – as independent sites as well. I won’t try to list them all, but I will point you to our Media Resources page, where I’m doing my best to track all the sites that are dedicated to covering American soccer. A high percentage of those sites are run by former SB Nation bloggers and I hope to keep adding to that directory.

I don’t have a crystal ball and won’t pretend to know the future of independent soccer media, but given everything else that is going on I actually feel like we might be in a pretty good place.

– Jeremiah

P.S. You can follow Sounder at Heart on X, Facebook, Instagram, Bluesky, Threads, Mastodon and wherever Puget Sound soccer conversations happen, including our members-only Discord.

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EA FC 24 accidentally leaks 2024 MLS and NWSL kits. From bland to cool, the kit leaks kept coming over the weekend.

Sports Illustrated might not be dead yet, as the NewsGuild files suit.

CBS Sports nailed what being an American fan of the UCL is like.

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