Four! - Matt Cashore-US PRESSWIRE
It all started with one guy, a cruddy laptop and a dream.
I am kidding. At least about the dream part. In the beginning I just figured that I would write a few posts and perhaps strike up a small conversation. I honestly never imagined that conversation would get quite this big.
With certain subjects I do enjoy partaking in what Burgs has dubbed "Whiskey's Story Time" but I will try not to go too overboard with that today. But I do think it is good to take one post a year and talk a little bit about the site itself and get some input from those of you that stop by here regularly. For this installment I will talk a little about the past, some about the present then I really do want to get some input from our regulars on the future. I will make an effort not to ramble too much but I have been hanging out with Murtaugh for quite some time now. It rubs off a little...
I don't want this to sound like some kind of a 3rd rate acceptance speech but I do want to say thanks to a few people that helped us get to the point where we are today. I have had the chance to have a beer or ten with many of these people and that has definitely been my favorite thing about this experience. For those that I haven't had that beer with yet, it remains a priority of mine to do so at some point!
The site, and my role in it, has evolved considerably from the original concept that I started with four years ago. A few fellow bloggers were very helpful in those early days as I learned the ropes, found my style, and focused in on what I really wanted to talk about. The madman you all know as @TheSubwayDomer was especially helpful back then. Many thanks to him and everyone else that extended a helping hand.
Behind the scenes here at OFD it is has been, and continues to be, all about about the team. I am a guy with a ridiculous schedule and very limited free time. I got the ball rolling but this place would have folded up shop long ago had it not been for the assistance and contributions of others. All of our contributors past and present have played key roles in keeping this thing moving forward. I am most appreciative of everything that they have done, and continue to do here. The staff that we have here today is pretty awesome and I really enjoy mixing it up with them every day.
I am also very thankful that we have managed to assemble a commentariat that appreciates a rational discussion as much as we do. The time that you spend with us truly fuels the fire in multiple ways.
I also want to thank @oaknd1 for all of his assistance over the last couple of years. He has made it significantly easier for us to stay plugged into all things Notre Dame.
The last guy that deserves a hearty thanks is @BarkingCarnival who took a chance a few years ago when he asked me to come be the Notre Dame blog at FanTake. At that point he definitely saw a lot more potential in this thing than I did. Shortly thereafter Murtaugh jumped on board and we really started to build our team and grow an audience. We had a great time at FanTake and the next thing we knew we were all here at SBN. As for Drew I couldn't ask for a more knowledgeable or easier guy to work with. I'm a huge fan of his style and he remains our biggest advocate behind the scenes. I owe him an infinite number of beers.
Once OFD really started to take off we prioritized sticking to a few basic principles and fostering a rational conversation ahead of everything else. One of many examples is our continued effort to keep it clean. I'm the last guy in the world that would be offended by cursing but I also know that isn't the case for everyone. We choose not to as part of an overall effort to maintain a welcoming environment and eliminating something that could be a catalyst for the conversation devolving.
You all know what goes on around here these days and the type of environment we are attempting to foster. This last year has been considerably more interesting than we ever could have imagined and with that came some extreme highs and lows. The emotions involved in that really tested our ability to stick to our principles at times. We obviously aren't perfect, and on occasion things can get away from us a little bit in the comments. Some subjects are just emotional and occasionally we have a commenter (troll) that makes it even more challenging. It happens, but when it does we always try to get it back in the box.
As a whole our commentariat has done a great job of assisting us with that. It is up to all of us to police our own and make sure that we all keep that in mind. As simple as they might seem our community guidelines really sum up what our only real goal is here. Please continue to keep those in mind. Bill and Ted had it right. Be excellent to each other.
It goes without saying that traffic keeps the lights on and gives us room to maneuver. Thankfully enough of you continue to stop by here every day that we have been able to continue to just be ourselves. As part of SBN there will always be some things that we do to help the overall effort. It's the least that we can do as Drew and the other folks here at SBN make it very easy for us to focus on bringing you all great content.
Media has changed tremendously in the last few years. Back when I got started it seemed like there were like 15 Notre Dame blogs and posting a couple of times per week was normal. Today a blog is really only as good as the last post and that next post had better not be too far behind. >Information travels fast these days and we do what we can to keep up around here. Even with an outstanding staff and the machine that we call Murtaugh, it can be challenging to stay on top of it. With smart phones and social media much of our audience is plugged in all of the time and the information flows fast and furious.
The most challenging part of a site like ours is that we always have more ideas than we have time. We all have careers, families and lives that have to take priority. We never quite get caught up on that "to do" list of ours but we try.
As we head into our 5th year we will continue to try and improve our coverage and our reaction time. Most importantly we will continue to foster the conversation that continuously takes place within our growing community.
We treat each year as an individual project and a fresh start. We try to build on what works, and eliminate what doesn't. Those discussions have been happening behind the scenes for a few weeks now. Once signing day is behind us we will focus on the next phase.
As we enter year five I would really like to hear from our regulars. What do you like? What do you want more of? What do you want less of? We have our own ideas but I would genuinely like to know what you all think. Is there a great writer out there that would fit in and make the site better? Is that writer you? What other ideas do you have that we haven't even thought of yet? Let us know. If you don't feel comfortable leaving it in the comments hit me via email. Seriously.
Thank you all for being here. We are looking forward to a great 5th year! It is already off to a very interesting start.