As most of you know, I recently spent a weekend in Las Vegas for the first (and, likely, first annual) SB Nation blogger convention, at which many of the fine people who make up this growing network gathered together to share ideas and discuss the future of this enterprise, which began as something of an insurgent movement in sports media and has evolved into a large and dynamic collection of fan-focused and fan-produced communities under an overarching aegis.
In the wake of that conference, MaconDawg and I discussed ways to improve Dawg Sports, and out of those conversations emerged certain changes which were alluded to in a recent comment thread, and which I am pleased to announce to you today. These are they:
- Six of the most loyal, prolific, and respected members of the community have been upgraded to author status and listed on the masthead below. In alphabetical order, they are DavetheDawg, NCT, podunkdawg, RedCrake, tankertoad, and vineyarddawg. Each of them now has front-page posting privileges, so that any contributions previously made by them in the fanposts or the fanshots which subsequently were promoted to the front page by MaconDawg or me now can be posted directly to the main page by them. This is both a recognition of their contributions and a means by which breaking news might be moved "above the fold" more rapidly.
Though she is now listed along with several other contributors who probably would prefer not to be referred to in such maternal terminology, podunkdawg retains her role as resident "house mother"; when MaconDawg and I are out of pocket, she is in charge, so she continues to be the one who speaks softly and carries a big stick (or ban hammer) in the comment threads. Feel free to infuriate Georgia State message board posters, Georgia Tech Twitterers, and Notre Dame hockey fans all you like, but don’t tick off podunkdawg.
- Available to assist podunkdawg, should the need arise, are hailtogeorgia, Mr. Sanchez, The Quincy Carter of Accountants, and Spears, each of whom has been upgraded to moderator status. Although this role does not carry front-page posting privileges, their addition to the masthead is intended to reflect our appreciation of their contributions, in the fanposts and in comment threads.
Though he has been added to the masthead here, Mr. Sanchez remains one of the three contributors at Sports and Grits, and his day-to-day role at both blogs largely will remain unchanged. We’re not poaching from a fellow Georgia Bulldogs blog, even one with whom we have had respectful disagreements from time to time; we’re simply recognizing and rewarding the worthwhile contributions of Mr. Sanchez, as well as of the other writers whose valuable additions to the Dawg Sports community deserved some tangible public expression of appreciation.
- Finally, Kit Kitchens, who recently moved his Dawg Gone Blog from Beyond the Trestle to a new location, has come on board and been added to the masthead (under the user name "Ludakit") as an author. I regularly appear with Kit on his weekly "Dawg Gone Podcast," and, given that ongoing working relationship, it seemed only natural to put him in a position to post the podcast here directly, along with any other observations he felt moved to add.
Because Kit has an established following at his own weblog, and he has recently gone through a site transition, he will, at least for the time being, continue posting both at Dawg Sports and at his own place. Since we’re in somewhat uncharted territory here, we decided it would make the most sense to ease into this transition, see where the road takes us, and play it by ear.
I know those are a lot of changes to throw at you all at once, but, in the short space separating the blogger conference and the start of college football season, we wanted to make the moves we considered important in order to position ourselves properly heading into the most wonderful time of the year. The three things you should take away from this announcement are these:
- Nothing that you love about Dawg Sports is going to change. I will still be here, doing what I do. MaconDawg will still be here, doing what he does. All the folks whose names have been added to the masthead will still be contributing in the same ways as before, though, hopefully, they have been put in a position to build on those contributions to the extent they are so inclined. In short, the site isn’t becoming something different; the site is simply adding something more to what was there before, and will still remain. You’ll still be getting Cocktail Thursday, Free Form Friday, Don’t Bet On It!, and Too Much Information.
- MaconDawg and I are committed to the continued improvement of Dawg Sports. By adding formally to the site’s established stable of capable writers, we hope to improve the quality and variety of the coverage we offer of University of Georgia athletics, as well as such ancillary topics as barbecue, music, and the Oxford comma. As noted above, having multiple contributors with front-page posting privileges also heightens the likelihood of bringing breaking news to the main page quickly, so as to avoid a repeat of the struggles attendant to our scooping the competition on the A.J. Green suspension story.
MaconDawg and I are committed to fostering community at Dawg Sports. Everyone whose name has been added to the masthead has, in one way or another, made a meaningful contribution to furthering the conversation that goes on here on a daily basis. That deserves recognition and it deserves reward, because, without that interaction, well, MaconDawg and I would be like
a couple of Georgia Tech fans carrying on conversations with themselves in a Yellow Jacket game threadtwo trees falling in the forest with no one around to hear them. Also, frankly, this wouldn’t be anywhere near as fun; even if we had a million new visitors a day, it wouldn’t mean anything if none of them bothered to leave a comment or share an opinion. We all have lives outside the internet, and none of us fits the stereotype of a friendless loner surfing the web in his parents’ basement in his underwear, but there’s a reason why we make plans to get together for game-viewing parties and trips to the G-Day game. "Community" is not just a euphemism or a buzzword at SB Nation; your contributions are valuable, and this is a small way of saying, "Thanks" . . . and, "Keep up the good work."
All that having been said, just one question remains:
Are you ready for some football?