How to keep readers 101: write more

February 22, 2008

The 2006-07 hockey season was a banner one for us here at the End of the Bench.  We doubled our roster of writers (to two!), and posted often about our thoughts on the hockey world.  What reason did I have to expect that the 2007-08 season would be any different?

I can’t answer a lot of life’s questions, and the query of “why have you not written an entry in over a month” is no exception.  There are a lot of little thing that may or may not have combined to keep me away from the hockey blogosphere lately.  Then Truth opined in his latest column that Puck Rakers has been a catalyst for him not writing much, and that got me to thinking.

I like reading the daily thoughts from the Dispatch writers, but I think an interesting thing happened to their blog as it’s grown up.  (Please note, this is only my opinion and I could be dead wrong.)  When they first started writing, it seemed to me that most of their posts were rewordings of their print articles.  They didn’t offer much in the way of additional insight, they just did it on a spiffy new platform called “blogging”.  However you painted it, it still looked like regular journalism to me.  No problem there, I think. 

They started to get regular commenters, and those people (as Truth mentioned) are not afraid to speak their mind.  When the season took it’s first bad turn (November), the commenters turned on the Jackets a little (or a lot, depending on who you were reading that day).  This change seemed to convince the writing of the Puck Rakers to make the slight shift from normal journalism (similar to articles they’d already put in print) to being your everyday, run of the mill blogger.  Or perhaps worded differently, the type of blogger that “real media folk” love to hate.  Fact gave way to opinion, which is okay coming from a columnist, but not a reporter.  Reporting gave way to sensationalism, in everything from post titles to content.

They intimated or blatantly wrote things that they wouldn’t (or couldn’t) write in the papers.  The type of things that if I wrote, would be reasons why “bloggers” shouldn’t get media credentials.  Like Truth’s favorite, “the Jackets are pussies”.

I’m not so nearsighted that I don’t realize that I’m coming off as a sore blogger who is disappointed to have a MSM blog on my turf where there was none before.  I can assure you, however, that this is not the case.  First off, I’ve never applied for media credentials and at this time it is nowhere on the EOB radar.  Secondly, I’ve stated here many times before that I don’t do this for the readers, I do it for me.  Anybody who thinks this site is worthwhile is icing on the cake for me.

So why do I care?!?  Good question.  Maybe I think that a “blog” that operates under the signage of a major daily should strive to uphold the jounalistic standards we suppose they have.  Maybe I think that if they want to be a blog, they should be a blog.  You know, “When in Rome” and all that crap.  They talk about “not being in the business of promoting other sites/etc.”, but there’s a link to YouTube on the Dispatch CBJ homepage.  Maybe I think that they use the front of having a reputable newspaper to give credence to their opinions, however whacked out they may be.  Maybe their writing style and behavior caused me to look at my own writing and examine whether I wanted to be a public cynic or just be a fan?


The Jackets are in the midst of their best season in franchise history, and they’re doing it with talent that places them in the bottom third of the NHL.  I can say this because I don’t have to face “the guys” in the locker room tomorrow morning.  I mean no offense toward any of the CBJ players, but they’re just not “there” yet.  I didn’t expect to make the playoffs this year, and the fact that we’re still technically in the game is very exciting to me.

Whatever happens, making the playoffs or not, adding players or fire sale, etc., I’ll be here supporting my team.  I’m hoping that things will pick up from Truth and I, as it really is a fun time to be a CBJ fan.

If you made it this far, congratulations.  You just read a bunch of self-serving crap from a struggling hockey blogger for a struggling team.  You deserve a medal.  I’ll put it in the budget.

Jackets play tomorrow night in Montreal.  Let’s hope it’s a good one.

Thanks for stopping by the End of the Bench.  Come back soon.

– Drew

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