Next year is almost here

96x72_mlblogs_0726051As our friend Chef Bob pointed out over at the Deep Fried Fish Blog, it has been quite a first year for MLBlogs. It has been great to watch this baseball-blogging community grow into a big crowd where you get to know each other like those fans who have season tickets around you. Or if you’re the Baseball Collector, where you know all those ushers, security folks and the players who never fail to toss a  ball your way during BP. Having your own MLBlog has gone hand-in-hand with those trips to the yard and watching/listening to your favorite play-by-play announcer.

We decided to create a "community blog" here where it’s easy for you to comment on anything pertaining to MLBlogs. For example, a few people have asked how we decide who goes where in that blue "Look Who’s Blogging Now" panel at MLBlogs.com. It’s not incredibly scientific. You keep starting new blogs, and we try to keep up with you as best we can so you can find bloggers who have at least posted recently. We try our best to shuffle that list each day and give love to everyone, and we especially want to feature the blogs from MLB personnel so that newcomers to this world can see how cool it is to blog right alongside a Tommy Lasorda or a Jorge Cantu. There are a lot more big names on the way, including a hunky TV star who’s a big-time baseball fan and says he plans to start blogging around the start of the season. (We’ll see.)

Click the About page here and there is some more info about this blog.

TommySpeaking of Tommy, it’s worth pointing out here that he started the first-ever MLBlog. The legendary Hall of Famer who bleeds Dodger Blue gets a kick out of his blog and maintains it often. As you’ve probably found, the more you blog, the more likely you are to build a following. Someone like Red Sox Chick gets a lot of comments regularly because she not only is very active in posting but also because (a) her posts are interesting/provocative, and (b) she links out to others and is a good example of how to make your blog viral.

MLBlogs are linked from everywhere around Major League Baseball Advanced Media sites, including the pages of MLB.com (2 billion+ unique visitors in 2005) and all 30 club sites. You can find links in the headline stacks on all 30 club homepages. We want to drive as many baseball fans as possible to this community, so fans can see your MLBlogs and start their own. We also hope you will tell as many friends as possible about this area so they can take the 30-day free trial. Yes, it might be the only place where you pay a little for a blog. But we think it’s worth it to be able to: have this much visibility for your blog (#1 desire for a typical blogger is being read); have the only legal use of official marks and logos for your favorite team or MLB; blog alongside names you recognize within the sport, including MLB.com personalities like Matthew Leach and Jason Beck; keep you generally free of trolls who have no interest in being billed and then being deleted; use what we think is a pretty cool blogging capability from Six Apart.

We’ve done a lot of groundbreaking here at MLBlogs in the last year. Scott Reifert, VP of Communications for the White Sox, started Inside the White Sox early last season and someone really should have published his collection as a book after the team won. He used it as a revolutionary way to "filter out the media" and communicate directly with the fans, and it was a resounding success that drew as many eyeballs on a typical day as a certain Sun-Times columnist with whom he traded jabs publicly. There’s now an Inside the Dodgers bShaundeanlog, a couple of Phillies front office blogs including Baron’s Corner by the dean of all MLB PR directors, which is pretty amazing for those of us who have known Larry Shenk for a long time around the game. The Heckler at Devil Rays games is blogging here and just posted today. Remember the guy who caught the Lance Berkman grand slam ball AND the Chris Burke game-winner in that 18-inning thriller last October at Houston? Yeah, Shaun Dean (right) started a blog on here, too. If you want the best lawn tips in the world from an MLB groundskeeper emeritus, then check out Murray Cook’s Field Blog; what a coup if you have a yard. Part of the fun of MLBlogs is seeing who is going to show up next with a blog.

(This looks like a good one that just joined the crowd tonight.)

MLBlogs are also a great way to promote causes near and dear to you. Tony La Russa uses his ARF Blog to try to help raise awareness of his Animal Rescue Foundation. Orioles Insider and BaseballGeeks want to make you aware of their sites, and Will Carroll of the Baseball ProJackspectus is not only showing you "the new Will" but also hopefully helping BP sell a few more books. Jack Klugman of "Odd Couple" fame has an MLBlog, and hopefully you also were interested in his new book "Tony and Me" while you were there. Use an MLBlog as a great communications tool to promote yourself if you want. The only thing we watch out for are any links that go to some really bad places, and in the past year only a couple of MLBlogs have had to be obliterated. We’re big believers in free speech and the profanity filter we were given by Six Apart is an occasional headache but for the most part it has been helpful, as we’ve noticed here and there. You can also comment whenever you see something that clearly should not be in that filter, which you would not want to read to your child, by the way. It’s scary to imagine someone sitting there and thinking of every possible verbiage that should be included in the filter.

By the way, in case you’re wondering who those two bloggers are in that small photo at the very top of this post: Brian Anderson and Mark Tremonti. They were a big part of our first year of MLBlogs, too. The former is trying to rebound from the Tommy John Surgery that he detailed in his blog for you, and the latter is the former Creed guitarist (and Johnny Damon’s neighbor) who started his own band Alter Bridge and played the song on the field that led into the last CENTURY 21 Home Run Derby at Comerica Park.

It’s still a new blogging community, and we want to keep growing and improving it. Your constructive comments are always appreciated and we’ll either comment back or email you as often as we’re able. Like you, we have a lot of other job duties, too. Right now, everyone is in Opening Day mode and we’ll catch a few winks sometime in May! But that’s why we created this MLBlogosphere blog. Actually, as you can see from the post below, it was created right after we launched MLBlogs last year. Then the author of this post suddenly remembered today that it already existed, so we might as well start using it.

Enjoy your MLBlogging, gang. We enjoy looking at all of the blogs.

Mark Newman
Enterprise Editor
MLB.com

466x200blogs_aroundworld

6 Comments

Great read Mark. Other than being really occupied this week and not posting a thing at all, I’ve really enjoyed being a part of this and writing as much as I can. As far as the pay-to-blog issue…I wrote a while back how I felt this is a fair price for this much national attention. If you look at TypePad as a whole, they have a huge base of bloggers that pay to blog and continue to do so even WITHOUT the traffic generated from a site such as MLBlogs. We pay for shirts and shoes with the logos of major corporations on them. We pay them to advertise for them. Anyway, I’m looking forward to a great season of blogging.

Wow! I just noticed I’m listed as a spotlight blogger. What did I do to deserve such an honor? Or is this some kind of trick where it’s just populating on my PC??? Either way, cool, and thanks!!

J

Baseball & The Boogie Down

Not a lot, but once in a while. I need a magic Shuffle button that I can press every hour, or better yet it’s automated. Remember that the current MLBlogs.com page is version 1.0…at some point we’ll MLBblogify it with a different look as we’re kind of outgrowing that blue “Look Who’s Blogging Now” panel.

One more thing about that area — if someone hasn’t blogged in a month or more, we usually try to “comment out” those blogs in our code. Then we can always return them. Hard to keep up with those, but if you see a blog disappear from that area, that might be one reason. Some older ones stay, no hard-fast rules.

Mark ‘I have a first name’ Newman-

Are there really a lot of people who wonder about the ‘who’s blogging now’ list, or was I the only one? I felt like it was the big elephant in the room, and no one else wanted to ask. Now I dont feel so brave.

-Reid

reid.mlblogs.com

Thanks, Cyn. MLBlogs launched last spring with a big picture of Tommy at his keyboard…which you see at the end of his (funny) video on the bottom left of the MLBlogs.com page. Three hours after Tommy first posted, Murray Cook’s groundskeeping blog became No. 2 in our lineup. If we ever create an MLBlogs Hall of Fame, we’ll put Tommy’s in there. Glad to hear what you said about MLBlogs and thanks for being a big part of the community.

It’s also fun to watch all the photo albums here, and Rachel’s Redbird Ramblings now has a really good one:

http://rachelsredbirdramblings.mlblogs.com/photos/jupiter_day_1/index.html

Since I came to MLBlogs mid-season, I wasn’t aware of the history (I didn’t realize Tommy’s blog was the first one here!)…this is fascinating stuff, Mark. (And thanks for the kind words and the plug!)

I know that people I know personally visit the other blogs at MLBlog (even ones I don’t link to) because they like the format and they find the blogs interesting. Here’s hoping we can spread the word more widely this year!

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