Season 3

We at Major League Baseball Advanced Media and our partners at Six Apart have extended our two-year agreement that would have expired on Opening Day. What that means to the MLBlogs community is that we will start the regular season April 1 on a status quo basis, so Typepad as usual for you at least a while longer.

I had mentioned several times during the past offseason that it might be wise to back up non-exportable graphics just in case we suddenly change environments to something else, and this means there won’t be a lot of chaos as teams break camp.

There are still a number of scenarios for where we at MLBAM are going with user-generated content, and thanks for your patience as talks and plans continue. As noted previously, the world has changed markedly since we launched MLBlogs on April 18, 2005, with Tommy Lasorda’s first post about his friend Jackie Robinson. Since then, social media have become a fact of life around the clock for many if not most of us, with features that are now familiar staples such as groups, adding friends, commenting, tagging, uploading video, moblogging and more. I would expect that everything you probably want in Web 2.0 will be available in one cool world of potentially millions of baseball fans by sometime this summer, possibly the All-Star break, but the main thing to report here is that we have extended our deal with Six Apart so that there is no panic around the start of the season. The terms/length of the 6A extension is undisclosed.

Here is something I’d like to throw out to the MLBlogs community, as all of us here have gotten the most out of the existing Typepad app and probably done more than our fair share of experimenting with spaces on various networks from myspace to VOX. What would be your dream social network across MLB.com and the 30 MLB team sites we maintain? Go beyond the obvious (friends, tagging, etc.)…and suggest features that would really and truly make you want to ask Kevin Costner: "Is this heaven?" Think out of the batter’s box. That’s what we want to roll out later in 2007, and perhaps gradually. Please just post your thoughts below as comments or email them to me if you’d rather be more private. Everything will be considered, along with whiteboarding that has been going on here. And for now, please enjoy the terrific capabilities of MLBlogs, which is where you can legally show official MLB and club marks and logos on the Internet, where you blog amongst players and authors and MLB personalities, where you are your own unmoderated author (remember: Official MLB.com Affiliate/Unofficial Opinions), where you’re a click or two away from the main navbar on every page at MLB.com, where you’ll be seen by a true baseball audience.

Thanks for being part of the MLBlogosphere, keep those Spheroids coming, and tell your friends that Season 3 will start right here again.

– Mark/MLB.com

18 Comments

Steve-The trackback attracts smut and other spam, which is why I disabled mine.

Mark-On the front page of mlb.com, mention of the blogs got moved “below the fold” of the computer screen. It was a small mention as it was, but now it’s buried. Something needs to be done to compensate for that so that readers can find us.

ByrnesBlogger1

Life, Baseball & Eric Byrnes

http://byrnesblog.mlblogs.com

I keep thinking of things as I use the blog: Spell check. When I run the spell check it should include basics like names of players, cities, teams, positions, baseball terms, etc. Whether that means updating the master dictionary, or each of us having a personalized spell checker we can add to, an adjustment would be nice. I spend a couple minutes jumping through the spell check after every post since it stops on names like Yovanni Gallardo all the time.

I also like the idea already mentioned about having a signature for when we comment on other blogs. We could customize the signature, or just have a basic one that says our name and blog address.

Finally (until I think of more), I would love to have a way to know which blogs I comment on so I can go back and see what others have said about it. Currently, I have to remember every site I went to and posted in order to see responses. Unless that’s what the TrackBack does… still not clear on what that is.

Steve

http://mybrewers.mlblogs.com

A few thoughts from California. Roger Clemens, how many times are you going to retire? Who really cares? Just go away already! Kerry Wood and his buddy Mark P. Has anybody in baseball been paid more for doing less? Gill Meche? OK. Barry Bonds, just say no, to the stuff you’ve been putting on your cornflakes, retire and quit shafting people like your team mates, c/o Mark Sweeney.
Portland is a great place for baseball. Move Tampa Bay’s team, change the name and see about 30,000 show up every day. Calling Manny Ramirez! It’s time for a sample. Question? Does any of those Yankee coaches(about fifty of them by now)know how to pitch? It’s not in their job description but they better start warming up! Go Goerge.

There are no stupid requests, everything is appreciated.

Something else I thought of… do we really have to have 3 inch borders on the right and left sides of our blogs? It looks nice, but I think 1 inch would still look nice and provide a little more room for our content, without it looking so crunched together. I know it’s probably a stupid request, but I think it would be a nice change.

Steve

http://mybrewers.mlblogs.com

I just finished my post about my spring training trip. Check it out!

http://baseballstuff.mlblogs.com

I noticed they were available this year Mark. Last year I couldn’t get the door open so I didn’t know if, perhaps, this year’s door would shut after spring training.

Good to know. Thanks.

Jake

Everyone, thanks for all the input so far and please feel free to use this space to keep it coming so it’s seen by the right people here at MLB.com.

Jake re No. 10 on your list, please note that Press Pass notes have been available for a long time now on MLB.com and you can get those same game notes that beat writers get in the press box just by being a registered MLB.com user. They’re once again at:

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/presspass/index.jsp

Small wish list —

1. Templates that we can control. It sure would be nice to be able to add a widget or two if we wanted to.

2) Multiple authors. Typepad currently does this with their system and it should be easy to implement so we can invite others to blog with us.

3) Disk space. I like the idea of disk space allotments Steve had but I hate to see one person blow it all for everyone. Perhaps “X” amount of space for video/audio files and unlimited image space? Perhaps TypePad could implement a simple GIF wizard to allow posters a chance to resize their pictures, and see the quality of the rezize, on the fly?

4) Templates we control. Mentioned again because we don’t have the ability to control basic functions we should. For instance, my RSS feed doesn’t have an image because I can’t set one; my blog is missed in Google because it has MLBlogs keywords and not mine; I can’t change the two or three column display to no column display (put your advertising in the banner); etc..

5) A back door help forum. Far too many starting bloggers need help and it seems they all ask the same questions. Why not start a Prospero discussion forum for only MLBloggers so the community can help each other, tips can be shared, and starters can feel more comfortable?

6) Offer extreme statistics. MLB has the best statistical software in the world. Why not make some of that behind the backdoor content available to MLBloggers as an addon package? But make it where we can pull data in XML form on the fly to display realtime statistics.

7) Multiple bandwidth versions. 9% of my readers are still on dialup. Why not provide a simple button that sets a cookie so they can look at a low bandwidth version of the site (ie: no graphics, no video, etc)?

8) Cross platform checking. 25%+/- of the browsers used now are either FireFox or others. But there is no way to immediately check how your post looks in each browser. Like the GIF wizard, this could be a simple implementation and help keep the blogs uniform.

9) MLBsense. Google has Adsense, why not open the door to MLBsense and allow the blogs to share in some of the revenue with aggresive linking and promoting of MLB’s content, material, or wares?

10) Open up the press box to MLB bloggers. Just game notes would be a great start. I don’t think we should have all the content available the press has, but team game notes are pretty tame.

11) Work toward a credentialing program. Start a J-101 class or offer editorial review. Perhaps bloggers that want to work toward that goal could register with MLBlogs after a year of blogging and they could have a private forum they can seek editorial advice and the like.

I’m not suggesting MLB should ever grant a blogger media credentials because that has to be a case-by-case basis based on where you work. But perhaps a MLB J-101 scenario that would allow the more advanced bloggers the ability to interact with their affiliate teams a bit deeper when they prove their worth?

I suppose what I’m trying to say is, we are official affiliates without an official door to the affiliate. I think there needs to be a mechanism in place to swing that door open a wee bit more.

I’ve said enough. I’m sure MLBlogs will do the best they can to provide us better control over our sites, features not found at other blogging publishing sites, and more access over time.

Thanks,

Jake at Bucco Blog

http://buccoblog.mlblogs.com

What’s up with the Indians and their lack of, well I don’t know exactly where to start… They don’t have a blog, they don’t update their photo gallery nothing!!! I think I was right when I said everyone has left Cleveland and maybe all of Ohio.

Is there a way of having a response to a comment on someones blog go back to the person rather than the person have to check in to the persons blog in order to see the response?

I too like the idea of a small icon allowing those who choose to see what people are writing about teams. Perhaps though we can have some sort of option to appear on maybe three or four sites, especially for those of who tend to post more generally about the game. One more thing I have found is the site can be slow to load. Initially I thought it may be my network, but it seems slow in several places. Just an observation…
Thanks

Pat Carlson

thecarlsoncorner.mlblogs.com

To Mark and the rest of the MLBlogs community,

I wanted to pass along a story involving a former major leaguer. Gomer Hodge, who played for the Indians in 1971, is seriously ill with ALS. He and his wife would love to receive letters from those fans who remember him–or even from younger fans. Though Gomer played only one season, he became extremely popular in Cleveland–with fans, his teammates, and the media. Sounding just like the character Gomer Pyle from the Andy Griffith Show, he became kind of a cult hero in a very short period of time. A great guy, according to all who know him.

If you’d like to send Gomer and his wife a note, here is the address of the rest home where he currently resides:

Gomer Hodge

Autumn Care of Saluda

P.O. Box 488

Saluda, NC 28773

***

Thanks,

Bruce Markusen

OH BOY-

I completely agree with Steve. If more Angels’ fans could find my blog by just looking at the page it would be great. I can never get enough baseball talk, thats why I’m here, and that would make it so much easier.

On Jay’s point it would be fun if we could get official leagues started here. Somehow, just using our MLBlogs accounts.

I would love to be able to buy a package deal involving MLB.tv or gameday audio with my blog, and just make one big payment instead of a bunch of little ones to MLB.

AND I wish that there were links to people’s blogs instead of their emails when they comment. If they don’t leave their blog, and I’m not familiar with them, it takes me forever to try to find theirs. If they read what I am writing, I certainly want to read what they have to say.

Thanks Mark-

Coral

coralrae.mlblogs.com

Thanks for the update, Mark.

In case anyone wants to see how construction is progressing for the Mets’ new ballpark, I just subwayed out there and put a few pics on my blog.

-The Baseball Collector

http://snaggingbaseballs.mlblogs.com/

I second everything that Steve has said plus I would like to have a second audio program channel available on MLB TV so that I can listen to a Spanish broadcast of a game that I’m watching. I’d like to improve my Spanish and the teams that I like to watch the most, the Diamondbacks and the Mets, lend themselves readily to this.

ByrnesBlogger1

Life, Baseball & Eric Byrnes

http://byrnesblog.MLBlogs.com

Just wanted to let my fellow MLBloggers know that we’re trying to start an all-MLBlogs Yahoo fantasy baseball league. Check out this post if interested.

http://boogiedownbaseball.mlblogs.com/baseball_the_boogie_down/2007/03/mlblogs_basebal.html#comments

Thanks!

J

My suggestion is to incorporate our blogs a little more into the homepages of the teams we represent. Even if there was a section in the corner of each team’s home page that listed all of that team’s blogs, or a featured blog every week. It would draw more people to the blogs we write than currently. Also, if I tell people about my blog I suggest searching Google rather than trying to tell them how to get there through mlb.com. Unless they memorize the address, it is tough to locate them… or so I have been told. Blogs should be easier to locate and more of a focal point of the team’s sites. Finally, I’d like space to place video/audio/etc without having to go to a 3rd party site to host these files.

Just a few suggestions.

Thanks for all you guys do and for asking for our input.

http://mybrewers.mlblogs.com

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