Dan’s big experiment in 2013:¬†CHS SOCCER.NET, a one-stop niche site for local soccer coverage in the South Carolina¬†Lowcountry. We unveiled the site just before the start of the 2013 USL PRO season and covered the professional Charleston Battery intensely from February to September. Along the way, we’ve also covered four local colleges, three local academy teams, some adult men’s league playoff matches, and the comings and goings of several active fan groups in Charleston.

But while CHS Soccer is a working site, it also functions as something like Dan’s personal digital news lab. The big experimental questions: Can a niche news site with a tiny, part-time staff and no investors use sweat-equity to assemble enough micro-audiences to become a sustainable business? What’s the right balance of focusing on profitable audiences and trying to develop new groups of readers? How do you price and sell advertising and sponsorships in a niche market? What are the pros and cons of other revenue streams? What business relationships make sense? What’s the relationship between a site like this and the audience it serves?

Some of these questions remain unanswered as yet, but stay tuned. We’re on it.