Once a year in every football fans life comes the first Saturday after seasons end. It’s an unusual time for the thousands of us used to getting up early to stalk Leeds United around the country and the tens of thousands more whose lives are distracted for two hours whilst the game is on, desperately awaiting news of Leeds’ fate.

The irrational love of a person for his (or her) football team often means it takes over our lives, and when the season draws to a close, we’re left with an extra day in the week we somehow have to fill.

Some fans probably have a list of house work that they’ve been putting off and plan to get done before the next season starts. Others may use their free day to catch up with family and friends they neglect for nine months each year, but I imagine there’s just as many of us who never see the end coming; Who never make plans for the summer, and who are now sat around scratching their heads, compulsively checking the various Leeds United sites for any news worthy of providing them with that fix of football they desperately crave.

This inevitable silence that greets us at the end of each season is also filled with reflection. A time to look back at what we’ve achieved and celebrate. It’s not often these days that a season finishes with Leeds United making progress, but this summer is an happier one thanks to Jonny Howson and Jermaine Beckford’s goals that sent us up.

Here at TSS, I’m one of those poor souls who never sees the end coming and I’m now desperately trying to fill the gap football has left. Luckily this year is a World Cup one, so I’ll have something to watch for a couple of weeks before England go out in the second round with Wayne Rooney being rushed to hospital after breaking a tiny bone in his foot. Even England’s inevitable failure is something that can’t come soon enough though – last week I found myself volunteering to work on a Saturday. Something I’d usually consider treason.

If nothing else, the summer provides a time for reflection. Here at TSS, it’s been a great first year of growth for the site with thousands of you checking in daily to read, share and interact.

From day one, I wanted TSS to have an open door policy to its guests. I wanted a site where the news wasn’t just digested and commented on by myself, but where others could comment on the latest goings on – whether they agreed with my own particular opinion or not. With that in mind, the comments on TSS have been unmoderated from the off and whilst there’s been the occasional idiot hell-bent on disturbing the peace, the site has grown into a community of like-minded fans who seldom agree, but always offer reasonable debate.

The social element of TSS has no doubt been boosted by the fan pages set up on Twitter and Facebook. With everyone’s lives now shared between the numerous social networking sites across the net, I knew it was important to have The Scratching Shed featured on them and I’ve tried to link the main site with social networks wherever possible.

Since the start of the season, I’ve added a feature to allow Facebook users to login using their FB account. I’ve used the Twitter account wherever possible to post live updates from matches and I’ve also posted links to each and every post on both TSS’ Twitter and Facebook pages.

All of this has provided a steady flow of traffic from the social networking sites, which is why I’ve focused my attention on improving the integration between them. Yesterday I added a FB ‘like’ button to the bottom of all the posts on TSS, which when clicked, puts a link on your profile saying ‘NAME likes TITLE OF POST‘ and also increases the number next to the button below. If any of your Facebook friends have ‘liked’ the post, it will show their name instead of (or alongside) a number. (eg, Joe Bloggs and 3 other people like this)

There’s also been a return for the FB fan page box on the right, which provides a direct link to the TSS Facebook page and shows some of the current fans of the site. Much like the people promising to get household jobs completed over the summer, I’m hoping to tweak a few more little bits on TSS to keep the site moving forwards.

The first season of TSS has been one of joy, sadness, anger and one where controversy never seems too far away. More than that, it’s been one of growth and shared experience. TSS now gets around 20-30,000 unique visitors each month, and it’s thanks to those who have shared, invited and participated that it’s seen such success.

As we look back on a first season where Leeds United eventually brought us success, we look forward to another one of shared hope, shared joy and more often than not – shared despair! Thanks to all TSS’ visitors throughout 2009-10. On and on…

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  • yorkwhite

    Thanks TSS for the last year. I always enjoy reading your posts and I sometimes even agree. It wouldn’t be right if we agreed all the time but in my humble opinion I think TSS is the best Leeds fans site I’ve found. Keep up the good work, MOT, and thanks again.

  • Mark R

    Top Site. Top Job.

    Hats off to TSS.

    Mark R

  • spanish white

    It’s now the first site I go to for anything to do with LUFC.Great fun with serious issues.Keep up the good work.MOT.

  • Sammy Becchio

    Quality site, always keep checking for the brilliant posts.

    Looking forward to your pre-season posts to keep us entertained.

    MOT

  • JR

    Thank you for doing such a great job here at TSS. All your postings are highly thought out, articulate and great fun to read! Keep up the brilliant work in the championship buddy!

  • Paul South Wales

    Great site and with unbiased honest opinions, even if we are playing shite, hopefully next season you’ll have even better news for us to read.

  • timm

    Best site by a mile TSS. You should give yourself an almighty pat on the back mate.

    • TheReaper08

      To be fair timm and I am not saying it’s undeserved but I thought all of the above article was a big pat on the back…

      I do hope I am the ‘occasional idiot hell-bent on disturbing the peace’ that’s a role and tag I think I would enjoy.

      • timm

        I know reaper, i was just lulling him into a false sense of security before my next pro-Bates onslaught!!

      • TSS

        Nah Reaper, you don’t come close mate. Sorry. ;)

        • TheReaper08

          Damn you man, for a minute I really hoped I had featured in one of your posts.

          I have an unrealistic request for the site, how about people being able to write a little a bit about themselves on a sort of members page if you will ? Personally I hate knobbook and twatter but am interested in some of the excellent people I have met whist chatting and debating on here, viable ?

          • TSS

            Yes (and actually already an option) but it only applies to registered users. If you register below using the META tab (you can use the same name) it’ll allow you to setup a profile which should link from people clicking your name. The problem is, that unless I block unregistered users from commenting, it’s unlikely many will follow suit. Catch 22, as blocking unregistered users massively reduces comments.

            As for featuring in a post – you could always write one and feature that way.

  • public enemy

    tawp dawg !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • public enemy

    alright enough back slapping !!!only joking!!! got owt we can moan about?????

    • TSS

      Nah, everything seems to be going swimmingly at the moment. Give it a couple of days and I’m sure something will crop up…

  • Matt BB

    first place i look on the internet every day! good site and tells me more about leeds united than the official site..

  • Eamon

    Fair play TSS, great blog, I’ve been reading like a creep all season and never commented but you’ve provided the ideal opportunity for me to thank you now!

  • Scott Lockwood

    KASPER SCHEMICEL GREAT SIGNING he hsoudl do a good job for us next year and should be getting better and better

    • Pete

      Indeed.

      FANTASTIC bit of business. Especially as the world and his dog seemed to think he was going to Bayern. Did we nick him from under the noses of the champions league finalists?

      • I really hope the rest of simons signings are as half as good as this one; if they are we stand a real chance this year

  • TSS

    Cheers all for the comments. Kasper Schmeichel post up now. A little delayed I know, but I have to work some days.

  • Manni (Iceland)

    Thanks for the site. Cant tell you how great it is to have a site
    like this one for all the fans like myself who don’t exactly live around
    the corner from Elland Road.MOT

    • Adolfo

      Manni, ertu íslenskur?

      ég er sjálfur úr Kópavogi…

      • Craig

        I assume he above post is a request for a translation feature to be included on the site for next season?

        • TSS

          You can do it through Google, and a lot of people must be judging by the amount of visitors TSS receives from non-English speaking countries. TSS is even translated into Chinese for a fanclub over there (not by me, obviously)

  • Craig

    I echo the opinions above TSS. I used to have 4 Leeds sites that came up automatically every time I opened Google Chrome but I’ve now got rid of the rest – even the ‘official’ club site.

  • iBuckets

    Just like to join in with the back-slapping – without doubt the best LUFC site, even more important now I’m living 12,000 miles away (in the ORIGINAL Guantanamo Bay; Sydney).

    Just hope the growing site popularity doesn’t mean an increase in bigotry/numbskullery in turn making ‘forum moderation’ necesary and therefore too much work for a committed (should be…) volunteer like yourself. Maybe you could sell some advertising space to our Albino Smurf Chairman – surely he’s got some dodgy Monaco TimeShare/Tax Avoidance scheme’s he wants to plug.[And before the Pro-Bates Axis of Evil (howdy timm, Reaper) jump down my throat please note I’m not actually anti, just think he’s amusingly piss-takeable]

    MO&O&O&OT

  • Manni (Iceland)

    Sæll Adolfo
    Já ég er úr vesturbænum.

  • Ross

    definitely the best place for Leeds united artcles and debate, the site is well run and provides fans a quality outlet to discuss a wide range of opinions, the fact that there are very contrasting opinions well articulated makes TSS the best LUFC site by a country mile.

    PS did anyone else see the anti beckford drivel on clarke one nil! an out an out hate rant for LUFC’s best striker since john charles (statistically!) just made me realise how fond of TSS I have become compared to the other options!

    On ON on!