Welcome to the new Raw Charge
Keeping that community, and the Raw Charge name, was important to me and the rest of the team here. To whatever level of influence we've achieved, Raw Charge has been an almost daily voice in the greater Tampa Bay Lightning conversation since first posting in March of 2009.
Well. Here we are. Welcome to the new home of Raw Charge. Please pardon the dust as we finish up the construction around here. There will be some changes around the site as we keep updating on the fly, but with the Tampa Bay Lightning wrapping up their regular season and getting ready for the playoffs, we wanted to make sure the content will keep flowing since that's what is important.
We ended up launching a little earlier than we had planned. It's just a nature of the business I guess. Instead of an interruption of service while the Lightning were playing, we figured we'd get an early jump and keep going.
For everyone that has made the leap over from our previous network, let me be the first to say thank you. Deciding to go independent was not an easy choice. I am not a business person by any stretch of the imagination (where are my fellow history majors at?) and I started at Raw Charge because I liked to write about the Lightning. Through a serious of events (and by hanging around awhile) I ended up as the Managing Editor of the site back in 2020 just as the sports world was shutting down.
Since then I've been lucky enough to "run" the site as the Lightning won back-to-back Stanley Cups and were just a few goals away from making it a three-peat. Over that time we've built a nice little community and have seen the site grow. Is it as big as some of the other fan-based websites out there? No. Heck, I'm not even sure it's the biggest one covering the Lightning, but from the comments on the old site (R.I.P comment section) and social media interaction, I think we do just fine.
Keeping that community, and the Raw Charge name, was important to me and the rest of the team here. To whatever level of influence we've achieved, Raw Charge has been an almost daily voice in the greater Tampa Bay Lightning conversation since first posting in March of 2009. We didn't want that to go away because a media company felt their money was better spent on things other than fan-based sports coverage.
Let me briefly say that I harbor no ill feelings toward our former corporate partners. Without them, Raw Charge probably doesn't exist. They made their decision for their reasons and that's fine by me. It's given us a chance for a new opportunity and we're looking forward to running with that.
Not much is going to change in terms of the content we will be producing. Hardev, Igor, and myself will keep you abreast of the daily goings-on of the Lightning and Lee will keep us up to date on the prospects down in Syracuse. Our Orlando Solar Bears coverage may be a little lighter, but we'll still let you know what is going on with the team down there, especially for the players under contract to the Lightning.
You will notice that the photos we'll be using aren't featuring game action. When we were with our previous network, one of the benefits was that they had a license with Getty Images and USA Today. As of right now, acquiring a similar license would be fiscally irresponsible as we launch. (Those photos are not cheap).
We are thankful that the Tampa Bay Lightning are letting us use some of their (non-game action) photos. It is generous of them, and they have always been helpful is helping us out. That's not something every NHL franchise has been willing to do with fan-based blogs and we appreciate their cooperation.
In addition to those photos we'll also be using some flashback photos. For the players that came up through the Syracuse Crunch we have some archival photos courtesy of Scott Thomas (Scott Thomas Photography). You've seen his work every week featured in our Crunch Wrap posts and are glad he is allowing us to continue using his excellent work.
As for the subscription model. We have to keep the lights on somehow and we feel a hybrid model of free and premium-paid content is the way to go. No one here expects to get rich off of subscriptions, but neither should anyone, anywhere work for free. Also, hosting, publishing, and maintaining a website isn't free. For the content we produce on a daily basis during the season, and almost daily during the off-season, we feel that the price for a subscription is a pretty good deal. There will also be some perks thrown in for our paid subscribers throughout the year as well. So make sure you hit that Subscribe button and help us keep the lights on around here.
Thank you for continuing on this journey with us.