Archive for the ‘ Community Status ’ Category

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.

Background

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:

royalrundownSame 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.

– Mark

Happy Holidays from MLB.com

Happy Holidays!

It’s been another great year of baseball blogging here. Please be sure to blog your own 2015 year-end post and leave the URL here so we can show them all off. Then prepare for the 2015 MLB.com/blogs Top 100 Latest Leaders badges that we will be handing out soon. Is yours going to be on the list?

Happy Holidays from us at Major League Baseball Advanced Media.

How did you vote? Share your ballot post

After you vote to decide starters for the 86th Midsummer Classic this summer, Blog the Ballot. We’re surfacing posts about the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot at MLB.com/blogs, so please just leave your Permalink there so we can highlight and send more traffic to your blog. We’ll list yours among our ongoing rollout of posts. Spread the word about the all-new MLB.com/blogs…

Happy 10th Birthday to MLB.com/blogs

MLB.com/blogs

Have you heard the news? We’re now “MLB.com/blogs” and we just relaunched Major League Baseball’s blogging community with a new look to coincide with the 10th blogaversary of Tommy’s first post. Read all about it at the new home for MLB.com/blogs.

Make sure you follow MLB.com/blogs because that’s the page where you’ll find cool new and existing fan and PRO blogs going forward. Check out the RSS feeds there, updated by category. If you have questions and comments about MLB.com/blogs, you can still use this community blog to reach us. We might even bring back Latest Leaders, or some kind of version of them.

It’s a little bit of a work in progress, but the whole goal is to surface more blogs and to use an actual WordPress.com blog as the gateway for MLB.com/blogs. It won’t impact anything you are currently doing to blog.

If you have a baseball blog, be sure to leave your URL and say hi in the comments at MLB.com/blogs.

– Mark

Happy Holidays from MLB.com Blogs!

Happy Holidays from MLB.com Blogs!

As you can see by the animated snowfall here on the MLB.com Blogs community hub, there are no baseball games today.

We are here with our 553rd career post (two shy of Manny) to welcome Winter and Christmas and what is regarded in popular culture as “the most wonderful time of the year.” Opening Day probably can stake a legitimate claim for that title, but hey, we are caught up in the holiday spirit right now and we just wanted to wish the best of times with family and friends to you here in the Major League Baseball blogging community.

King Bingley and his ornament friend wish you good tidingsWant to see the flakes fall on your blog? Just go to “Settings” in your WordPress.com dashboard, and at the bottom select “Snow.” It will drop the white stuff on your blog until Jan. 4, and the best part is, you won’t have to do any shoveling like I already have done twice so far in the New York City suburbs, breaking one shovel in the process. No one ever says, “How can you not be romantic about shoveling snow?” Plus, my English Bulldog King Bingley gets a kick out of trying to chew the shovel blade each time I plunge it at the sidewalk, so it goes twice as slow. He thinks I’m playing.

I hope you found nice gifts for everyone. I have been dishing out MLB.com Shop tips since before Black Friday as the annual MLB.com Gift Guru, and once 9 p.m. ET arrives on Monday (deadline for overnight shipping), the best advice I can give you is an MLB.com Online Gift Certificate, 2014 MLB.TV Premium or our ridiculously popular At Bat app.

Safe traveling if you are among the 70-million-plus Americans expected to hit the road. We don’t have groundskeepers like Murray Cook to follow you around so watch out for yourself. I had to race to beat the Thanksgiving-week weather system that pushed north from the Gulf of Mexico, so I found myself driving the full state of Pennsylvania starting at 8 p.m. that Monday and diving into a motel at 5 in the morning. We made it into Ohio before most of that ice moved in. It was nice to drive through Cincinnati and see Great American Ball Park in offseason slumber along the highway. Our bulldog hated the trip and spent back-to-back nights at an all-night pet hospital due to upper-respiratory infection. We tend to be way too much like Chevy Chase “Vacation” movies in real life so the next couple of weeks it is time for chill mode at home in New York and somehow stick to a 12-week training program for the ASICS LA Marathon on March 9. What about you?

We’d love to see any holiday-themed posts you have, so please feel free to leave a comment here with the full URL so everyone can find their way to your blog. Once they get there, you should have the “Follow This Blog” widget prominently displayed high on your side panel, so we can all subscribe and then be notified whenever you post. That’s my top tip to everyone.

As a general housekeeping note, please be on the lookout for our annual MLB.com Blogs Top 100 rankings roughly around Jan. 6, give or take a couple of days. As usual, it will be accompanied with a handy-dandy badge like the one you see in the side panel of this blog, so anyone who makes the list can proudly show off their accomplishment. We will rank in a variety of categories as always. I will pull our Omniture page-view data from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, and once we’re back to work we’ll start compiling the lists. Be sure you enter your email to follow this blog on the right so you will see that post immediately!

HOLIDAY FARE

Enjoy these posts below while you warm by the yuletide log…and Happy Holidays again! – Mark

http://groundskeeper.mlblogs.com/2013/12/21/a-christmas-groundskeeper-story/

http://ramsey.mlblogs.com/2013/12/20/day-four-of-the-umpteen-days-of-christmas/

http://dicomo.mlblogs.com/2013/12/17/the-mets-and-the-curse-of-kris-kringle-2013-edition/

http://philliesinsider.mlblogs.com/2013/12/17/holiday-batting-lineup/

http://brewers.mlblogs.com/2013/12/13/the-womans-guide-to-choosing-the-perfect-holiday-gift/

http://phillies.mlblogs.com/2013/12/13/your-true-love-gave-you-what-now/

http://curlyw.mlblogs.com/2013/12/10/adam-laroche-checks-in-from-2013-chairman-uso-holiday-tour/

http://tribevibe.mlblogs.com/2013/12/13/favorite-holiday-treats-from-the-tribe/

http://pitchinginthecommunity.mlblogs.com/2013/12/21/dodgers-kids-holiday-party-1211-2/

Do this to increase your blog’s traffic

It’s important that everyone can find your MLB.com Blog posts in social media, and unfortunately it requires a manual intervention by each blogger to add that capability to your blog. It’s really easy, and you are just losing traffic by not taking a moment to make it happen.

In your dashboard, go to Settings–>Sharing. Then just drag all of the Share icons and then hit Save. Then each of your individual posts (Permalink) will display those icons at the bottom, so that your readers can instantly share/email/print/etc. As admins, we’re going to be doing that immediately for all of the Latest Leaders (unless it’s already done) immediately after we post the new rankings.

– Mark

Video embedding update

Embedding MLB.com videos onto your MLB.com Blog is back to normal, and thanks for your patience.

Want to blog about Homer Bailey’s latest no-hitter? Watch the video on MLB.com and click “Embed” there and copy the embed code. Using the Text tab of your dashboard’s New Post field, paste the code as I’m doing here:

Tip: To make the video fill the entire blog column width, as you see here, change the width in the code from 400 to 550, and change the height from 224 to 318.

And while we’re on the subject, see my story on MLB.com to find out how to get a free Domino’s pizza thanks to Homer.

Just turned eight and feeling great

Ah, the number eight in baseball. It’s Cal Ripken Jr., Pops Stargell, Gary Carter, Yaz, Joe Morgan, Yogi Berra and Bill Dickey. It’s the original eight franchises in each of the American and National Leagues. It’s an “8” on your scorecard, a standard fly to center. It’s (19)08, the Year of the Cubs.

It’s the eighth birthday of this MLB.com Blogs community, which just happened Thursday. Feel free to wish us all well.

It seems like forever since I sat here at the MLB.com office on April 18, 2005, and helped Tommy Lasorda get his first entry saved. That post about his friend Jackie Robinson was our first ever, millions ago.

A few hours later, MLB.com resident Draft and prospect expert Jonathan Mayo welcomed you to B3: Big, Bald and Beautiful. D-backs broadcaster Daron Sutton was an original, too.

That same night, our great friend and MLB groundskeeping guru Murray Cook started his blog. Zack Hample started a few days later and his snagging adventures continued when he celebrated our birthday by snagging two home run balls Thursday at Yankee Stadium.

This community blog debuted as “MLBlogosphere” on May 5, 2005, a day after Brooks Robinson started a blog. I explained in the launch post that you could blog here for $4.95 a month (with a 30-day free trial) or $49.95 per year. My how things have changed. You have an incredible WordPress.com dashboard and support now, obviously at no cost, and unlike back then you can go to Settings->Sharing and enable all the social media outlets so any post can be shared and get more viewers.

Some things haven’t changed. It’s still the only place you can use official MLB marks and logos, and you’re covered under our umbrella if you want to use great Getty or AP photos. We still offer the largest gateway for any baseball blogger, as this community is linked from an MLB.com mothership with billions of page views, and we have 100 or so PRO bloggers including seven active players.

More and more are realizing that an MLB.com Blog is the perfect hub for all their social media. The more social outlets you have these days, the more you need one HQ, and you can easily add your Twitter, FB and other widgets here.

Please join me in welcoming Logan Morrison as the seventh one. He started on our birthday. And feel free to help his Project LoMo.

Leading into the Matt Harvey-Stephen Strasburg pitching matchup, Mitch Williams of MLB Network blogged about Harvey and said he is revising his National League Cy Young Award prediction — and going with the Mets’ rookie. Fascinating view worth reading.

The Yankee Dinosaur just celebrated a third birthday around Opening Day.

On June 6, White Sox VP of Communications Scott Reifert will celebrate the eighth birthday of his blog, Inside the White Sox. He paved the way for other sports executives who blog or tweet today. When he started in 2005, no one was doing this. And he does it regularly, so please join him!

We still have the slogan: “MLB.com Official Affiliate, Unofficial Opinions.” You always say what’s on your mind. We will always keep looking for ways to get your blog seen, like monthly MLB.com Blogs Latest Leaders or our Meet the Bloggers video series (let me know here when you’re going to an MLB game), and I hope that relaunch of MLB.com/blogs happens this season.

New bloggers are joining you all the time. Astros Baseball jumped aboard in 2013.

Yes, that’s still me in the profile pic on this community blog. I decided to bag the familiar backwards white cap that’s been there ever since we started MLB.com Blogs all those many years ago. Hope you understand. And my thoughts are with everyone in the Boston area who has been through so much and has shown such strength. I look forward to running for Boston on Sunday.

Feel free to leave a birthday comment right here, y’all. And post about your own blog’s birthday. Happy Birthday to us all.

Mark

Looking out the window

Just looking out the window and waiting for Spring Training. You?

Everyone is buzzing about the Brothers Upton in Atlanta, an acquisition reported by Mark Bowman. What did you think of the Atlanta-Arizona trade? The Cutoff ManMiLB.com PROSPECTiveDugout PonderingsThe Unbiased MLB FanBrave Fan in Illinois and The Baseball Haven give you their takes.

Fresh posts are in at Dodgers HistoryThe Brewer NationThe Rays RantMLB Urban Youth AcademyBalls and StrikesSF Giants Photos, My Serendipitous Life as a Baseball Wife, Minoring in BaseballHillsboro HopsBen’s Biz Blog and The AustralianBaseballDigest.

Blogger Terry Nelson says on Balls and Strikes that he is “not a winter person.” I agree with you, Terry. For full disclosure, this blogger is wearing warm Cardinals pajamas under his work clothes as this will probably be the coldest night of the year in New York City and I am headed over to Joe Torre’s Safe at Home event tonight at Chelsea Piers, to fire questions at guys like Brian Cashman, Gerry Cooney (!), Hideki Matsui, Tony La Russa, Goose Gossage, Jorge Posada, Tom Coughlin and more. I believe this is the last in a long string of offseason dinners I cover for MLB.com during that wait between World Series clincher and pitchers and catchers reporting.

The most recent dinner story I wrote was the most-shared MLB.com story on Facebook: Yogi Berra’s tribute night at the Baseball Assistance Team’s 24th annual Go to Bat for B.A.T. Fundraiser Dinner. We have since posted the clip of Yogi’s 65-word love letter to his lifelong sport, so I encourage you to embed it on your own blog and share it widely.

Hopefully you already know that you can show MLB.com videos. It’s a great addition to your blog. Just click the gray Embed button on just about any of our videos. (Game footage video has a time delay for embed availability during the season.) Please leave comments here whenever you include MLB.com video embeds within your posts, as I would like to highlight that capability within our community here.

We just introduced mlbpipeline.com — the go-to place for all prospect tracking and Draft analysis year-round, whether you’re looking for your organization’s pipeline talent or prospecting for your Fantasy roster. MLB.com senior writer Jonathan Mayo is our longtime prospect and Draft expert at MLB.com, and in addition to anchoring that, he is posting regularly at B3 – Big, Bald and Beautiful.

Game times for this season were announced today. Where Everyone’s a Giant posted about it, good topic for you to blog about. My MLB.com colleague Jesse Sanchez recently posted a great entry about late author Richard Ben Cramer and how he influenced him. Remember to post your Top 100 banner if you made our 2012 list like Wrigley Regular.

Welcome back to one of our earliest MLB.com Blogs fan posters, Joe Boesch. His latest post on Dugout Diary is a Pete Rose autographed card, check it out. Jamie Ramsey is blogging the Reds Caravan. The MLB.com Fantasy 411 crew is getting spring fever. We found short and sweet words from just-started Let’s Play Ball! Gotta like how Broke Mets is rockin’ the pitchers and catchers countdown clock in its side panel. Leave comments here to let you know you’ve posted something new and don’t forget to include your full URL. We’ll be surfacing MLB.com Blogs in a new way this season, just one thing we have to look forward to looking out the window…

Site ads on MLB.com Blogs

Thanks for the comments pertaining to new ads on MLB.com Blogs. We care incredibly about all of our bloggers, about you. Since the launch back in April 2005 — between those drought-busting titles by the Red Sox and White Sox, before “social media” was a term — we have made numerous enhancements to make this fun and easy-to-use in functionality, style and exposure to grow your audiences. Most recently, we partnered with WordPress.com in an extensive migration, giving you a state-of-the-art MLB.com blog platform, whether on a computer or a mobile device.

For those who might not know the history of MLB.com/blogs, we originally launched as a premium service. That paid subscription model was eliminated after the first season. For a while, there was a standard ad on the bottom right panel, mostly forgotten since it was positioned so low. As noted Tuesday, it has now become necessary to slightly adjust the blog layout for our standard run-of-site advertising you always have seen throughout the MLB.com portal, of which these blogs always have been a part. This offsets escalating hosting costs and allows us to keep offering this free service for you, where you always have had exclusive rights to use official MLB logos and marks within your content.

As for a few who asked, there is not an opportunity to share ad revenue. As a point of comparison, many standard social platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, do not share ad revenue with users from the content they create. We understand if some bloggers would prefer an ad-free environment, but in order to continue offering MLB.com Blogs at no cost, including site ads is necessary.

We understand it can be jarring to have a sudden change on your blog, which you see as your personal space. We will try in the future to communicate any changes in advance, wherever possible. Hopefully the next additions you will see will be the option for additional MLB themes, and that is something we currently are working on. I’ll let you know when I have an update on that front…and be on the lookout because our first-ever MLB.com Blogs Midseason Leaders are on the way here. Thanks – Mark

%d bloggers like this: