I honestly sat here and stared at the screen for 15 minutes before I came up with the title.
I am an attorney by trade, but I’ve always been (and I sincerely hope I will always be) a writer. Sports, especially college football, is what I get passionate in writing about, although I have dabbled in other things.
This is true regardless of the forum or audience (or complete lack thereof). I wrote on a blue WordPerfect screen in high school on a computer that had no internet access. Even before using a computer, I kept score of baseball games by hand and made my own scoreboards with chalk. I wrote game results in notebooks, from preseason NFL games to 75 years of NFL standings to Super Bowl results. I didn’t even tell my parents about some of these things because they thought my quest for and accumulation of information was strange. (I even remember my grandmother saying, “You’re not supposed to encourage them”…”them” meaning kids who like books, I don’t know.) So essentially, this wasn’t for any audience at all.
So that’s what I’m talking about with the title. If there is one constant other than bodily functions and brain waves, I’m going to be writing something somewhere somehow. If there is a way for people to read it and I can make connections with people and not just information (preferably people with information of course), that’s even better.
For those who don’t know, I’ve been kicked around by some “professional” and not-so-professional blogs lately. I don’t mean sites like wordpress, blogger, etc. I mean web sites that either are blogging communities or happen to include blogging communities.
The real offender in this is TheSportingNews, or SportingNews.com (TSN, for short). I don’t blame anyone else. We were all left to pick up the pieces in our own way.
So that’s a major sports publication, it has been for a long time. I started writing a blog for a few friends (real ones, or at least real people, “friends” was a strong word for some of them, not every half-naked cheerleader who sent a friend request) on MySpace not long after a law school classmate persuaded me “social networking” was a good idea. When I started to out-grow that, I eventually came across blogs on TSN and started writing one. It didn’t take long to take off. Eventually, I would get 1,000 views on a single post in two or three days sometimes.
But even before I did any blogging, I ranked teams. You can read more here, but I started ranking teams in 1995 (I was mad that Penn St. didn’t win the national championship the year before, and I wasn’t satisfied with the polls after the first week of that season either). I had started my own computer formula by the end of 2003 (I found that it was just too hard to take all the games into consideration), and I did my first “full” season (computers are pretty pointless before October, at least if they’re unbiased) in 2004. I started the current formula for the 2008 season.
It worked out well because if you got a number of views, you would end up on the front page of that particular sport. You were almost a temporary staff writer. The “community” of people was so large that almost 1/4 million blogs were written. Many other people just commented, either on the articles or on the blogs. Others likely just read these either without signing in or without writing anything.
At no time did it occur to me that they might just pull the plug. When I was getting ready to start posting for the 2010 college football season, I noticed a number of people saying they were leaving and then reference was made to this “Rowdy” email. I didn’t know what Rowdy was, and I didn’t get the email. We (the entire TSN “community”) was being sold off. Forget all the work we put into our blogs, forget all the traffic we gave to the site, forget all the good will and loyalty toward the TSN brand. We had ceased to be a convenient part of the TSN marketing strategy.
Rowdy is a racing site. Until a few days ago (I guess, this is the first time I saw it say “Sports” instead), it only mentioned racing and NASCAR on the top bar (I don’t know the proper name for it, it’s the bar above “File,” “Edit,” etc.). As you can see, that’s the main topic with which it presents itself.
Many people refused to have any part of it. I’m giving it a chance, and it’s making an effort. I don’t think it was ready to take over (and probably still isn’t), but they didn’t steal us from TSN, TSN sold us in a rubbish sale. You don’t blame the new buyer. There weren’t separate communities for the different sports on TSN, but a college football community would have been in the thousands, not in the teens like it is on Rowdy. The best analogy I can think of is dust in the wind (I know, I don’t know where these song lyrics come from either). If you toss a pile of dust out of your window on a windy day, sure you’ll have a little pile of it right outside. The rest of it? Who knows? It’s just gone.
You know things are bad when the end of Dr. Strangelove is wishful thinking. I posted that to say goodbye to TSN. The song says, “We’ll meet again.” Many of us won’t…at least not in this life.
The main blogging site (another “community”) I chose, however, was called t-s-b-n. The Sports Blogging Network. It really took off in about a month with many former TSN bloggers. I don’t know what happened, apparently the founder went AWOL, and the other people just abandoned ship. This was almost exactly a month after it went online. Meanwhile, the TSN blogs (six months of them anyway) transferred to Rowdy (they had been cut off from the main site for some time at that point).
T-s-b-n kept going just by people posting blogs but was closed a few days ago. As mentioned, I also have a Rowdy blog and I have posted most of my recent blogs on Mac App. Not having people comment is driving me crazy though.
As mentioned, I would be writing regardless, but I prefer some kind of feedback. I also write things in light of what people want to read. I don’t mean that if I become popular with Ohio St. or Auburn fans (my TSN blog was well-read by both groups incidentally) that I would start writing more about them or (God forbid) cheering for them, but if a certain type of blog was well-received, I would write more of it to create better conversation.
That’s a big part of the reason I’m doing this. I’m going to try to send everyone here and have this be the place where people can converse. I also don’t want one of these other sites to die on the vine. They’re a few regular people with (I imagine) lives and might just move on one day, or in the case of Rowdy, they might decide their impulse purchase wasn’t worth the effort. If they do, I’ll still be here. At least I hope so.
I’m encouraged that I’ve already gotten over 30 views in a little over a day (and the many times I viewed my own blog did not increase the total, which is a good sign) even though I’ve told no one I’m here (except for asking a question about how this site works), so I’m also hopeful that new people will find me and start reading and commenting.
Please click on the tabs above and I will get to work on fully populating everything and even posting new material. Thank you for your interest.