A new era for MLB.com/blogs
Now that we are well into the Hot Stove season, another key player in Major League Baseball has just made a big change of scenery: Us.
We are excited to announce that MLB.com/blogs, approaching its 11th season as the leading baseball blogging community, has moved its popular PRO blogs to a terrific new blogging platform at Medium.com. Soon the overall move from WordPress.com will impact our existing fan blogs as well, so this is an update for everyone involved.
First, a bit about Medium. Launched in 2012, it was developed by Twitter co-founder Evan Williams to provide a platform for longer-form writing. It features a full visual editor user interface, can handle multiple forms of embedded multimedia content, and uses a system of tagging, sharing, and recommendations to group and promote articles within its network.
Some of the biggest benefits of the move to Medium are:
Same community. MLB.com/blogs dates back to the very first post by Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda with an ode to his friend and former teammate Jackie Robinson — and the community is going to be stronger than ever around that hub. We’ve included a roster of all of the PRO blogs that moved over, and just some of the examples there already include the Our Game blog from MLB Official Historian John Thorn, Tigers beat reporter Jason Beck, Dodger Insider, the official MLB.com Books Blog with a new review from Hall of Fame writer Paul Hagen, From the Corner of Edgar & Dave, Cardinals Insider, MLB.com columnist Richard Justice, Twins Pics and many, many more. There will be some new looks, led by Kansas City’s relaunch of Royal Rundown.
You’ll recognize the familiar MLB.com logo and our familiar slogan we’ve always featured for baseball blogs: “Official Affiliate / Unofficial Opinions.”
Networking. The odds of your blog surfacing to a fresh set of eyes will be higher than ever before with Medium’s expansive reach. The new platform excels at placing links to your articles on related articles within the network, where it’s likelier to find greater exposure. As a result, Medium expects to provide nearly a 40-percent traffic bump to content on the network.
A culture of reading. Other platforms are geared more to publishing than being read. Medium’s audience skews younger and is engaged and well informed. Readers come to Medium to consume meaningful, quality content. And their growing audience is “sticky,” meaning readers spend a considerable amount of time on the site, consuming a series of related articles.
The neighborhood. The new Bill Simmons venture, The Ringer, launched earlier this year on Medium, joining SI’s The Cauldron and the NBA. The Italian football club AS Roma is on board as well. We will be positioned alongside these high-profile sports entities as Medium continues its push to become a hub of sports content.
What it means to you
We invite you to move your own blog over to Medium as soon as possible and continue to be part of our new MLB.com/blogs community. Just create one using your Twitter account, the easiest way to get started. If you do, please by all means leave a comment on our hub blog at MLB.com/blogs simply listing your URL. Then we will continue to help promote your blog as we always did, surfacing PRO and fan blogs regularly. That page is promoted across MLB.com.
Only the pre-existing PRO blogs will keep their familiar “mlblogs.com” domains from this point forward. Between now and the end of 2016, any fan blogs with those domains will revert to a “wordpress.com” domain. WordPress is directly messaging bloggers who will be affected. The old addresses will continue to work for some time after the switchover there.
In addition, the four MLB themes used in recent years at WordPress (PRO, Fan, Modern and Retro) will be retired. Bloggers who stay with WordPress will need to choose new themes from them.
You’ll immediately notice some slightly different lingo when you blog at Medium. Your WordPress blog becomes a “publication” on Medium, and your blog posts now are “articles.” The visual editor ultimately is very similar to what you’re used to, but some things do operate slightly differently and you’ll notice some unique functionalities the first time you write on Medium. We’ll make sure you have a guide to writing on Medium to make your transition as seamless as possible.
Even if you aren’t planning to blog at Medium, it’s a good idea to start an account there just so you can continue to follow certain PRO blogs so that you are notified immediately when a new entry is saved. While the URL for that blog will not change, you will need to start a Medium account in order to continue receiving such notifications. To do so, visit Medium.com, click on the “Sign In / Sign Up” button in the upper right corner, and sign up using Twitter, Facebook, Google or by using your email address. After creating your Medium account, please visit that blog at the familiar URL, click “FOLLOW” and make sure to check the box next to “Receive Letters in your inbox.”
We’re excited about moving MLB.com/blogs to a new platform, and we think you’ll enjoy using Medium. If you have any questions at all about this process or Medium in general, please don’t hesitate to ask us right here.