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PFB Adds Stillwater Beat Writer To Team



This blog just turned six years old. It is out of diapers and on to whatever six-year-olds are on to (don’t even want to know). It’s not even really a blog anymore. It’s a media organization. It used to just be me spewing flaming takes on my MacBook Air. Now we have a team.

There are 13 people in our Slack room every day. A lot of them are paid, some are just part-time contributors. We are covering wrestling, tennis, baseball and recruiting better than we have before. I think we are improving with football and men’s basketball. We need to be better on the women’s side. There is a lot of room to grow.

I’m excited to announce a couple of things. First, we are hiring a Stillwater beat writer to join our team. Hayden Barber (middle name: Kyle, because of course) is a former O’Colly writer in his senior year at Oklahoma State. I’ve been impressed with Hayden’s work over the last few years. He writes really sharp, original content and knows what he’s doing.

Hayden will be credentialed by Oklahoma State to attend media availability for football and men’s basketball. He will be credentialed to attend games for all other sports. He was at Mike Gundy’s press conference today and wrote a terrific piece.

In addition, and as a bit of an aside, Kyle Boone and I will be credentialed to all events we are able to make it to. This means you guys will be getting more original reporting and content. More videos. More one-on-one interviews. More of the good stuff.

We have also begun stepping up our photography game. Moving forward, PFB will have a credentialed photographer. Jackson Lavarnway, who is a freshman at OSU, will likely fill this role more often than not. While this doesn’t mean we will be at every game and event, it does mean our coverage will be more robust than it has been before.

We have lacked, and I think everyone knows this, when it comes to original content. We have tried to make up for that with humor, intelligence and creativity. But I’m excited about the expansion of our team.

This is something we don’t take lightly. This is a big step for PFB as we look towards the future. It’s meaningful to have a beat writer in Stillwater. Even more so to have closer access to the athletes and coaches that this whole thing revolves around. We are going to take it seriously and do a good job with it. We’re also going to continue having fun.

We have two other things planned for this spring as well. The first is the re-launch of our online store. We have partnered with an online-only printer in OKC to print and distribute some fresh gear, and that is coming soon.

The second, and this is the one that makes me nervous, is that we are going to ask you guys for money. I want to be clear up front, the plan here is for everything we have been creating at PFB to always be free. Walls around content for squads like ours don’t make a ton of sense to me.

But as advertising dollars dry up and readership of our site soars, it doesn’t make sense to not ask for contributions to help in making our product even better (plus, it’s a strategy that I think works — like, I really think it works).

We have a plan in place to do this tastefully and with as little friction as possible, and I’m excited to reveal it to you in the near future. Many of you have asked for ways to support the site. This will be the main way. This is something I have been thinking about and planning for a long time. We will do our best to make it great.

PFB readers won’t be subscribers as much as they will be benefactors. A bunch of mini Boone Pickens’ running around is how I like to think of it. Mini Boones. Anyway, the more successful this rollout is, the better our business will be.

This is terrifying to me, but I think it will be successful. And I think it’s pertinent to diversify our revenue streams for the future of online publishing, whatever the heck that looks like in the future.

Enough digital business jargon, though, I’m going to let Hayden introduce himself. I hope you guys are enjoying the site — it’s never been more fun to produce.

Greetings, readers. My name is Hayden Barber, and I am honored to serve as the first credentialed beat writer for Pistols Firing Blog. I have been a journalist for about half a decade with experience at the O’Colly, The Oklahoman and Waxahachie Daily Light.

I have served as a senior sports reporter, news reporter and editor of both. Although I come with experience, I know there is much to learn, and I am excited to learn while writing for you all.

Much like the journalism industry, I believe, PFB is about to take off. Online media is becoming the go-to source for readers such as yourself. PFB’s credential serves as a testament to that. As PFB’s beat writer, I will cover media availabilities for all sports and games for all sports, save football and men’s basketball.

You will learn more about the players you watch than you ever could by just watching on TV, and it will be a privilege to deliver that information to you.

You will get features, game recaps, videos and, as cliche as it is, much more. This is a special time for PFB, I believe. The next couple of months will be a bit of an experiment, but we will all figure out together. And it will be a blast.

Writing is my love. Sports are my passion. If you read my writing at PFB, you will quickly learn those two facts. Thank you for your commitment to PFB. It’s about to become something, perhaps, you never expected. Happy reading.

(Co) sports editor Hayden Barber to you??

A post shared by Hayden Kyle Barber (@hk_barber) on

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