April 2007

Around the Sphere

Hey, everyone. Random stuff here in the Sphere:

– Our friend Big Nate Chew is back in the blog house. Make sure to leave some comment love to the Detroit Tigers’ pitcher!

– THANKS to everyone who participated in our LET’S TURN TWO birthday
bash here at MLBlogs this week. The post below shows a lot of awesome
links to previous posts that your fellow MLBloggers are particularly
proud of…so make sure you click ’em!

– I wanted to see if anyone else is having an issue adding an item to a Typelist. I have been trying the last day to help Tommy add to his websites category and it times out and I get Internal Server Error. 6A is trying to replicate it, but I thought I would ask if anyone else is experiencing this as I don’t know if it’s a unique issue to his blog or my computer. UPDATED 2:32 PM ET FRIDAY: Six Apart operations team has fixed this issue; all’s well.

– Has anyone posted their first All-Star ballot blog yet? I mean
actually taking the screenshot of your voting results and then
inserting it into a post on your blog to show how it looked. Let us
know here so we can consider showcasing it on mlblogs.com. A blog is a
natural followup to the ASG vote, and you get 25 votes per MLB.com
registration account here.

– FINALLY making my first-ever pilgrimage to Fenway Park — one of the few ballparks I somehow never have been to. Yankees at Red Sox, Saturday afternoon. I’m there. Awesome.

– Ran my latest Half-Marathon Saturday starting at Coney Island, now down to about 2 hours for a Half. Hopefully that means I’ll be inside of 4 1/2 hours for my first NYC Marathon in November. Any other runners here in this community? I’ve got a "Marathon Season" blog going on another site.

– Please remember the "http://" if you leave your URL on other blogs as a comment…so it’s a clickable breadcrumb to find you. I see some that don’t so people will have to cut and paste and no one does that.

– Haven’t done this in a while, so here are some Recently Updated Photo Albums. Be sure to add yours!

WE TURNED TWO!

MlblogsturnstwoUpdated 1:50 pm ET

At 12:20 p.m. ET, MLBlogs officially turned two. That’s two years old, and the exact anniversary of the moment when Tommy Lasorda’s World was created as the first public MLBlog account (see his birthday greeting.) A few others followed that day, including Murray Cook’s groundskeeping blog. The range of diversity since then has been a blast to watch from this vantage point, and fans continue to find new reasons to subscribe to an MLBlog with their own team or MLB template.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ALL OF US! WE JUST TURNED TWO!

Maybe you noticed that this has been a huge deal on the top of the MLB.com homepage all day, too. So I’m there on top of MLB.com with millions of other fans, and I click on the image and it goes straight to names like Bleeding Pinstripes and Light It Up! and The Drunken Tacoman. (I still am not sure if that means he likes to eat tacos late at night or just a happy Mariners fan in Tacoma…but we are immensely glad to have someone actively blogging the Mariners.) Here is a screen shot of the MLB.com homepage. Just think about that traffic routing — you can’t find that anywhere else in the blogosphere if you want a baseball audience, but you can try. And you also can’t use official marks or logos on your blog anywhere else without getting harrassed, because it’s illegal. We’re having a great time around here today, and good to see friends like Reid back in the house!

500_3313268_cinb
It looks like we are celebrating by creating MLBlogs at a faster pace than at any point in that two-year run. And it also looks like the overall blogosphere has officially discovered that Alyssa Milano has an exclusive baseball blog right here. Inbound links are forming fast as the comments and questions pile up for that fourth-year Dodger season-ticket holder, and I was just looking at the admin tool here and amazed by how many MLBlogs already have been created since her "touch ’em all" blog was created at the end of last week. All those people coming to the MLBlogosphere to find Alyssa’s blog also are going to find Recently Updated Weblogs by you, and that kind of perfect contextual traffic management is another key reason people here are paying a little to blog a lot. Some of you are probably going to like pocket protectors.

Blog as often as you can to keep in the Recently Updated Weblogs. That’s still the best traffic tip, and the second one is to comment with sincerity on other MLBlogs (don’t spam) and always remember to leave your URL as a breadcrumb. Many people still forget to include the URL and then people have no way to find you, although the email should work. Also look at other "Spheroids" on this blog and email us with your answers to those questions.

To celebrate MLBlogs turning two, I would like to ask this simple question that we are drawing attention to at MLBlogs.com around for this birthday bash:

What was your best MLBlogs post? Please link to two of them and tell us why.

Just make that a comment right here on this blog so all can see, and all can find you. Thanks to Edward for the comment below that listed two favorite posts…I like that better than asking for just one because we just turned two!!! Thanks for making MLBlogs one of the coolest places to share your baseball life year-round. It might look a lot different later this year, but it has been a fun and educational run. TURN TWO BABY!

Spheroid: Baseball Fanatic in Colorado

MLBlogger: Charlie | Where: baseball fanatic in colorado
Template: Rockies | First post in The Show

Coorsfield


What is your favorite team and why?

My favorite team is the Rockies for many reasons.  One, I get to go
to a lot of games a year.  Why would you go to games of a team you
don’t like? I also know about every player by name, number and face.

HamplebaseballsWhy did you sign up for an MLBlog?

When I was reading Zack Hample’s blog,
the first blog I read, I liked how he could write any of his thoughts
and people would leave comments.  I wanted to do the same and talk with
other Rockies fans about the team, because almost everyone I know
doesn’t care about the Rockies at all.

What is your favorite thing about blogging?

My favorite thing about blogging is when I write a post, people make comments on my blog.  I love hearing feedback from other bloggers.

My most memorable MLB moment:

Hmmm…. that’s a though one.  I have some many good memories from Major League Baseball, but my favorite was a game of Jamey Carroll’s last season against the Pirates.  He went 4 for 4 and had 2 amazing catches as he lead the Rockies to a win.

What would you be doing if you weren’t blogging?

I would be doing something else that has to do with baseball.  I would be watching more baseball, reading about it or playing it.

Last MLB item you bought:

The last thing I got was a Rockies spring training t-shirt at Hi-Corbett field in the gift shop.  I wanted to have a unique way to remember spring training and show I went.

Jameycarroll
Who is your favorite MLB player?

That would be Jamey Carroll.  I am totally obsessed with him.  He is my favorite player because he always hustles and is really fast.  He is consistent with the bat and gets on base a lot.  He is also an awesome fielder.  I was very disappointed when the Rockies put him backup to Kaz Matsui.  Carroll should be the starter!

Happiness is…

Winning a World Series.  Winning the fall classic is proof your team is the best.  Players and teams train year-round to win a World Series and once you get there, you can say your team trained the hardest and played the best out of all the teams.

Happy Opening Day

My live MLB.com story on all the Opening Day games and pageantry >

Welcome to a brand-new Major League Baseball season, and the best one ever for a fan. The first time I went to a big-league game was 1973 at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati, and seeing that big, endless green expanse of carpet and the Big Red Machine, I couldn’t imagine anything bigger.

Now it’s 2007 and one of the many improved parts of a baseball fan’s life is being able to have an MLBlog with your own team’s look and feel and a chance to chronicle an entire season starting with these openers. It’s your own space, and be on the lookout during the course of this season as social networking elements probably will change the game dramatically here.

Glad to have so many Rookies showing up around the clock, creating pages with their own personalities and interests. Some are here for fantasy, some are here to write a game story a day, some are here to chronicle a road trip to see every MLB park in one summer, some are here to promote their new book or even another blog, some are here to connect with their fans like Tigers pitcher Nate Robertson or Phillies VP/PR Larry Shenk or Raymond the Tampa Bay mascot. Here are some of the basics to know since there are so many newcomers:

The promo spaces on mlblogs.com are maintained by a couple of guys from MLB Advanced Media, self included. We try to keep our eye on as much as we can, and the goal is to highlight some of the coolest things about MLBlogs, including our own MLB personalities. Any day now there will be another new way at MLB.com of showing off fan-generated content, and I’ll keep you posted. Newcomers are listed in the Rookies category, and then moved over to the MLBlogs Active Roster, which you can find by scrolling that blue panel or clicking the browse-by-team page.

Hey, everyone, if you are going to use other people’s content, and that includes MLB.com articles, videos, photos, stats — and we encourage MLBloggers to do so — could you please reciprocate by linking to MLB.com? It’s not good form to ever copy a big text block from another writer’s story, and I see a lot of that in the overall blogosphere, where a lot of people never took a college libel law or ethics class. Please don’t do it — mention it and LINK TO IT. Acknowledge that someone else is the reporter and you are opining on that matter, unless you’ve done the legwork yourself. OK? That’s my main rant. You gather the news, you are the source of information for others. We at MLB.com are the only place that has traveling beat writers for both MLB.com clubs at every game, and hopefully you will feel free to write anything you want about their articles but just please link to their articles and don’t post their articles. Just remember the source of original news coverage, something that needs to be more recognized.

MLBlogs are linked from throughout MLB.com and the 30 MLB team sites we maintain, and nowhere else in the blogosphere will you find anything even close to that demographically perfect promotion: Only baseball fans. The best thing you can do to help get a lot of readers is to be really passionate about your blog, posting often, using various media including photo albums. The more often you post, the more you show up in the Recently Updated Weblogs, which is always going to get you clicks because that feed not only shows up on MLBlogs.com but also on the side panel of all MLBloggers who activate that (most). Other ways to get more eyeballs include:

– Being a Spheroid. Just look through previous posts here, and send an email to us with SPHEROID in the subject and give your answers to those same nine questions.
– Comment on other blogs. MLBlogs or otherwise. Wherever you comment, make it a cardinal rule to ALWAYS leave your blog’s URL as the signature, so anyone can click that and find you. And also feel free to comment here and tell people about a great post you just saved.
– Trade links. Use the Typelist categories to create groups of your favorite blogs, and make sure that other blogger knows you’re linking so you can get inbound links. The more of those the merrier.
– Send an email to all of your friends/family letting them know you have an MLBlog.
– Go on the air at MLB.com. As you can see from the Multimedia category on the MLBlogs.com homepage, for the last two seasons we have been putting a different MLBlogger of the Week on the "Under the Lights" show every Friday night during the season. I’ll send everyone a notification soon to let you know when we will resume this, and best to just comment here if you’re interested in being on the air. Last year it was typically in the 10 p.m. ET hour, usually by call-in to our NYC studio or in-person for those in the NYC area. It’s a great way to say your URL over and over while talking baseball.

If you ever have issues with your Typepad software, send a Help ticket to Six Apart (our tech partner on these) so that it can be resolved. Also feel free to mention here. Other MLBloggers always are ready and willing to help you out with questions/problems.

Also please remember to add your comments to those other in my "Season 3" post below. I asked everyone for suggestions on what you want to see in the ultimate social network for baseball fans.

MLBlogs is an Official MLB.com Affiliate, Unofficial Opinions. We’ll do our best to make people notice you, and from there it’s totally your voice. All we ask is that you pay attention to the Terms of Use from us and Six Apart. Only three MLBloggers have had to be thrown out of the park since we launched this in April 2005, and two of those were in the first month or so. Also, Six Apart provided the profanity filter, which has hundreds of words/terms. Just shout if you notice something that definitely should not be included or should be included; we inherited that.

IMPORTANT NOTE: It is illegal to use MLB official marks and logos or game footage in any digital capacity other than at MLBlogs. That’s why so many myspacers or gootubers are routinely flagged by MLB legal and forced to remove them. Have fun with it here, and again, we expect to be greatly expanding this universe hopefully by around midseason.

Now back to watching the first of 13 openers today, and you can find my in-progress global story about all the games on the MLB.com homepage through day and night. Hope you like our new supermediawall fixture on the homepage, btw. Have a great season! It’s the best day of all.

MLB.TV Mosaic Heaven

If you haven’t experienced MLB.TV Mosaic today then I would say this even if I wasn’t part of the MLBAM team here that is making it happen: YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS. I have been surrounded by tech wunderkinds all day who also are baseball fans and can’t even believe how much fun this technology is. It is a true game-changer. Just being able to drag-and-drop any game into your main screen is like Ben Sheets throwing a two-hit shutout. This is pretty awesome, and you can get up to speed on the discussion of it with my colleague Justin Shaffer’s MLB.TV Mosaic Blog right here. Mosaic’s streaming speed is twice as fast as last year, making it even more exciting. You can even hook your computer up to a big-screen TV and do all the manipulation on your computer and treat that as your monitor. And you can track fantasy players in an unprecedented way. You just have to see it.

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