I just wanted to take a moment to fill you super-fans in on what’s going on here at Fightlinker HQ. We’ve been working our asses off for the past month and a half setting up Fightlinker V6 which is set to go live on September 14th, our 3 year anniversary (and my 29th birthday). Looking back, I realized that it was the finals of the 2006 Pride Open Weight Grand Prix that inspired me to start blogging … it still holds a place in my heart as my favorite MMA event as all time. Surprisingly enough, three years later I’m making a living off of the sport and the site, and I love MMA just as much as I used to – albeit in a more complex way, kinda like in a marriage.
And that was the realization back in March when we really started pushing the star member system: that I’m in this happy marriage with MMA and it’s time to stop fucking around and do something amazing with it. I’m not in this just to blog and podcast and mooch off the donations of readers. Our sights are set very high. Back in the day I tried to poach Luke Thomas from his Mad Squabbles blog (Nate from Bloody Elbow won heh), I told him I had plans to turn Fightlinker into one of the biggest MMA sites on the net. We’ve come a long way, but there’s still a way to go and with the great support we’ve gotten from star members we’re ready to take the next big step towards world domination.
Just as a side note on what star membership has meant to us: without the support you guys gave us, we wouldn’t have the microphones we use to record our radio shows, the computers we use to write our posts, the food that we eat and the rent that we pay. This current version of the site was paid for by star members, and the new version of the site (which will include bug fixes for all the bullshit we’ve been dealing with since V5 went up) is being paid for by you guys as well. Simply put, we wouldn’t be able to exist if it wasn’t for star members, and I just wanted to stop and say that: none of this would be possible if it wasn’t for hardcore fans such as yourself.
So let’s talk about the future and what it holds.
1) The Fightlinker Guide to Human Cockfighting: I’ve mentioned this in the past. Because we’re currently balls deep (Jake’s favorite new expression) in the nitty gritty of getting everything ready for September 14th, I haven’t been able to touch the book for a while now. But it’s going to happen and it’s going to be the first of several Fightlinker books. Barring a miracle, it won’t be ready by Christmas (my original goal when we worked out the details back in March), but once the new site is up I’ll be spending the 2-3 hours a day I’m spending on website shit working on the book. As originally mentioned, I’ll be putting up material I’m writing for the book for star members to read and hopefully you guys will help me develop it with feedback.
2) The Store: The store is re-launching with the rest of the site and will feature two new designs: a Jackal 2.0 shirt and a Just Bleed shirt. We have enough money now (thanks to star members) to do several other designs too and are in the process of finding a graphic designer who has the talent and time to make our ideas shine. Our goal is to become THE funny MMA shirt place, and the next shirt batch in October will include something like 6 new funny designs. We’ll be asking for your feedback on the designs and ideas as they’re developed too.
3) New Writers: You might have noticed that we have a new writer that started today: Subo is a longtime jackal and I’m happy to bring him on board so that we can give you more content. In addition to that, I’m looking to add three more regular writers to our ‘staff’. As usual, I don’t want anyone worrying that this means less content from me. At this point I still blog blog blog until I can’t blog no more, and still there’s tons of funny and interesting news that doesn’t get covered. The plan is to have these new writers cover the stuff I can’t get to. Unlike the last few times I’ve brought new people onto the site, I will be carefully babysitting everything – assigning blog topics and exercising editorial control over what goes up to make sure it fits the ‘vision’. I am VERY aware of the fear of watering down the site with sub-par writing and my goal here is to keep the quality and irreverence level very high.
If you’re interested in writing for the site, email me at email@example.com and I’ll give you more details plus some ‘test post’ assignments and we’ll see what we can do. Specific areas we’re looking to improve: Japan coverage, live event coverage, fight bookings, and spank tank stuff. Also, if anyone lives on Sherdog.net or the Underground, we’re always excited to share quality romoshops and gifs from these places. You don’t have to be a star member to become a writer, I’m just giving you guys first dibs.
There’s all sorts of other things happening as well: several video projects are under development as well as some promising television and documentary opportunities. We’re also looking into doing more contests, stunts, pranks, satires, interviews, etc etc etc but these are still up in the air and I know I’m terrible at promising things that never happen or are delayed forever so I just wanted to stick to the stuff we’ve locked in. A lot of our time over the past year has been focused on the business side of Fightlinker – trying to develop things to the point where we’re no longer on the edge of complete financial failure. We’re finally seeing the light at the end of that tunnel and we’re looking forward to getting back to doing what we do best: creating funny MMA related content. I think the next year is going to be absolutely retarded for Fightlinker and I’m looking forward to justifying everyone’s faith in this project.