A new man's first steps as Easter Road head coach. An injury list as long as your arm. The departure of a fan favourite and long-serving first-teamer. Debuts for a clutch of youngsters. Hampden heartache - again. SFA apologies, VAR frustrations, and more 2-2s than a ballet school. The first six months of the Hibs Observer were fairly action-packed, to say the least. 

We launched just days after Nick Montgomery's first game in charge - a 2-2 draw at one of the archetypal 'tough-place-to-go' grounds in Rugby Park. Hibs had held a two-goal lead before being pegged back. Ah well; nothing to worry about and a free pass for the new man who hadn't had a huge amount of time with his players since arriving. The first game of the Hibs Observer era was a home game against St Johnstone; Montgomery's first match at Easter Road and a successful one with a 2-0 win making it four points from two games and undefeated. When the team rallied after a late setback to see off high-flying St Mirren in the quarter-finals of the League Cup, our minds began to wander. Even a goalless draw against Dundee in which Hibs battered their opponents did little to cool the excitement. 

But a lot has happened since then including the Hibs Observer reaching the six-month mark which, if I'm honest, snuck up on me like an attacker ghosting in at the back post. As I wrote when we launched, we're doing football journalism a little bit differently. We're asking you to pay for our content by taking out a subscription - a big commitment but one we hope most, if not all of you who have subscribed so far, feel is value for money. I hope that the content myself and Liam Bryce produce speaks for itself, along with the regular offerings from our contributors.

But every now and then it's worth turning the spotlight on ourselves. 

The night we hit the button to go live was a sleepless one for me. I was excited to be at the helm of a new and unique offering for Hibs fans, and confident that we had some strong articles to get the ball rolling and some exciting plans for the future. But there were a few nagging fears at the back of my mind: what if people didn't subscribe? What if, for all the fanfare, the reaction was indifferent? 

I needn't have worried. The reaction and feedback over the course of the last six months have been overwhelmingly positive and hugely encouraging - even when results haven't been going well and we're writing similar things week in, week out. 

Every now and then a tweet pops up along the lines of, 'Why should I have to pay to read the article?' I get it. I understand it. I don't agree with it, but it's a question worth answering. 

Our main aim at the Hibs Observer is to provide a wide range of content with something for everyone. Some supporters thrive on expected goals and on-ball value; others would prefer a trip down memory lane with a striker from the nineties. We will always try to balance our in-depth analysis pieces with exclusive interviews with players past and present and long reads on just about everything Hibernian FC. 

Five of our favourite articles:

Nick Montgomery on identity, tactics, and the change of shape

Why Jordan Obita's new contract is well-deserved

Rocky Bushiri and why his AFCON experience was about more than football

Six data-driven replacements for David Marshall

Why Hibs players go on loan: the process, the reasons, and the preferred clubs

You won't find any clickbait on our website. We want to focus on quality over quantity. We will take as long as is necessary to craft engaging, thought-provoking, informative articles that you want to read. Whether you're a long-time subscriber or a curious newbie, we want you to see something that makes you think, 'This is well worth my time and money'. 

I also haven't seen anyone else cover Hibs analysis the way we do on the Hibs Observer and a lot of credit must go to my colleague Liam Bryce as well as our contributors Craig Nisbet (@9125analysis) and Matthew Rowley (@RowleyAnalysis), who can tell the stories between the statistics provided by our data partner StatsBomb

When you compare the price of buying a paper every day of the month to the £2.99 monthly subscription fee (based on the full-price package), we truly believe we provide value for money - especially at the moment with current deals including £18 for 12 months, or £4 for four months.

We recently introduced a free-to-download app for Android and iPhone which makes your consumption of our content much easier. The app is easy to navigate, quick to load, and advert-free as well. You can easily adjust the text size, bookmark articles you want to revisit or read later, and there is also an audio option allowing you to listen to the articles if required. Additional features are also being worked on in the background. 

I believe that all of the above gives you significant bang for your buck. At a time when our industry has been ravaged by cuts, your support is invaluable and helps us to create top-quality Hibs coverage that you won't get anywhere else. 

As well as our vast array of written content, there are regular videos on YouTube and Facebook in which we reflect on matches, look ahead to upcoming games, or simply discuss the burning issues affecting Hibs. The vast majority of these videos can also be consumed as podcasts. On top of that, you can sign up to receive the 'Inside Easter Road' newsletter, dropping into your inbox every weekday evening, and the morning newsletter that provides you with all the latest Hibs stories. 

A hat-tip as well to Callum Watt (@callumgwatt), who looks after our TikTok account and contributes to our YouTube channel with a series of videos covering away-day travel, key events, 'On This Day' memories and so much more, and also to Matty Fairnie (@longbangers), who provides a view from the terrace with his regular 'fan's view' column. 

We've covered a lot in our first six months, and there are a lot of projects in the pipeline and a lot more still to come from us. We'll be with you every step of the way for the rest of this season as Hibs target the top six, then potentially Europe, and then onto pre-season and whatever follows after that.  

We are always keen to hear from those who subscribe and read our content - be it comments, suggestions, topics you want us to cover or just about anything, do get in touch. 

Thank you once again to those who continue to support the Hibs Observer and enjoy our content - and if you've ever considered subscribing, you can do so right now for just £4 for four months to get a taste of what we offer. 

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