I’m going to try and move this conversation from the Maddux thread, because I would like to see it get some direct attention. People have been muttering about this under their breath and behind the scenes, and it?s time to clear the air.
Regarding Gonfalon Cubs:
1. I am also disappointed with Gonfalon Cubs. I do not hold this against the people running it (more on that below), and think more than anything else that it reflects a lack of vision and/or implementation of that vision at BTF in general.
There is a long presence on BTF of Cubs fans who are thoughtful and articulate. At the risk of boasting, I consider myself one of those people, but I have learned a lot over the years from a surprisingly large number of prolific contributors, some of who posted on this in the Maddux thread. These people are solid analysts, good writers, and generally have something interesting to say. I am somewhat baffled as to why BTF thought it necessary to go outside to identify editors for a Cubs blog. Scott Lange comes in with an excellent track record as a Cubs blogger, and I’m pleased to have him around here, but he was not and is not a BTF regular and not part of this community, really. At the very least, Scott should have looked among the denizens here for co-editors, or have been instructed to do so by the BTF powers. That didn’t happen. There has also been a lack of participation among the GC editors along the lines expected by BTF denizens. They post threads and then we hardly hear from them. Suggestions were made that they add BTF regulars to the editorial board, and they were either declined or ignored.
Sox Therapy is the model of a blog success story on BTF, I suppose, and it’s operated by BTF regulars. Why this model was ignored in the establishment of a Cubs blog, I have no idea, and I understand why people feel somewhat insulted that they weren’t asked to participate. I would have declined the offer myself (my life right now does not permit commitments like this) but I should have been asked. Personally, I don’t feel insulted and I really don’t think others should, because I think this was a matter of the BTF powers not really thinking through this and not a matter of them rejecting people, but I can understand why people interpret it that way.
2. I mentioned that I would have declined the offer because I wouldn’t want to make the commitment, and I want to emphasize that. Running the Cubs blog here should be a significant commitment, and it’s one that I would take seriously if I made it. This is a high profile site and while Cubs fans might not demand much of their team, the ones here do and they demand quality and quantity in their Cubs blog. Does anyone here have any doubt that you could come up with a list of, say, four Cubs fans on this site who would do a great job of running a blog? Again, we’re talking about a group of articulate, intelligent people with high standards.
3. Not only did this create an awkward situation for the Cubs BTF regulars, it put Scott and his team in an awkward position as well. I don?t think they were given the guidance to make a blog that was going to work here. If the expectations of the community weren?t communicated to them, I don?t think they were likely to meet them. Perhaps they could have done a better job, but I think it was doomed from the start.
I want to make it clear that I, for one, very much welcome Scott?s, Mike?s and Ross? participation here at BTF, in whatever form it may be. I really hope this situation doesn?t scare them off. This really is nothing personal about them, and I sincerely hope there are no hard feelings. Again, the problems with GC reflect more on BTF in general than it does on them.
4. After GC was established, I think people generally wanted to make the best of the situation and tried. They didn?t express their feelings about how GC came about and where it was going. Well, I think we?re now clearing the air, and it?s time to decide what should be done. I think we as a group need to go to Dan and Jim and tell them why we think a different direction is best for the site, and help them work out a plan and help implement it. At the root of it, this is about high standards and expectations for BTF, and Jim and Dan should be on our side about that. I?m sure that everyone will welcome the participation of Scott and his team in doing this.
5. I sort of agree with Moses, that this forum can be the Cubs blog, but it’s really not the same. First, there’s a character limit, and a quality blog should allow for some in-depth articles. Second, if the site goes in the direction it’s supposed to, this forum may turn into a free-for-all. In other words, blogs and forums are different sorts of things. I?m rather confused about where Jim plans to take the site next with regard to blogs versus newsblogs versus forums, etc., but whatever is done needs to be integrated into that.