Early next year will be the 10th anniversary for Mets360. When it was my 10th wedding anniversary, a former colleague of mine, an older fellow, congratulated me and said, “The first 10 are the hardest.” Does the same thing apply to baseball blogs? Maybe it does.
While there’s been continuity, there have certainly been plenty of changes along the way for the site. Perhaps you’ve noticed the latest change. If you’ve been looking at the bylines for the articles since Monday, you’ll notice only one – mine.
This past year was a surprisingly difficult one for me running the blog. Things had to be changed and several different scenarios were considered, including shutting down the site altogether. But at the end of the day, my passion for the Mets and interest in writing were too strong for that to be the choice.
It’s always been my belief that there should be multiple voices available at the site. No one has a monopoly on truth and the more people who contributed, the more universal the appeal of Mes360 would be. Unfortunately, it seemed like too many articles at the site were being mailed in. Not enough care, in my mind at least, was being given to the columns. My impression was that too many articles were depending on the readers to supply the interesting points in the comments section.
So, instead of having other people contribute on a weekly basis, from now on they will contribute a monthly piece. The hope is that we trade quantity for quality. In the past, authors were required to write a weekly piece of at least 500 words, with the goal of producing an in-depth piece that readers would enjoy. Now, their monthly columns will be a minimum of 750 words.
It’s never been the goal to have writers count how many words are in their articles. Instead the hope is that by having these minimums, it will force the writers to pick topics that lend themselves to a piece of that length. And if you’re writing a piece that long, you should tell the readers something they didn’t already know or organize the facts in a way to support a conclusion that perhaps hadn’t been considered previously.
We’ve always aimed for an intelligent, engaged audience. My belief is that it’s better to have 1,000 informed readers rather than 10,000 idiots. And part of being an informed reader is recognizing your own biases and shortcomings. My favorite commenters at the site are the ones who have strong opinions but who are able to change their minds if and when the facts dictate that it’s wise to do so.
Longtime reader Chris F. and I have disagreed on many things throughout the years. Sometimes in those disagreements, he’s been right and sometimes he’s been wrong. But on the rare occasions where he’s been wrong, he doesn’t deny it or try to rationalize it away. Instead when new information comes along, he alters his opinions accordingly. My goal is to have an audience where everyone is like that.
Prior to the start of the 2019 season, two readers who commented virtually every day – the kind every site wants to have – were banned from commenting here because they were so inflexible on their opinions. These people are worse to deal with than little children. If you’re eight years old and bring something to the table, you’re welcome here. If you’re any age, lack reading comprehension, know the answer to everything and you’re a pompous jerk about it, go somewhere else.
To me, it’s a wonderful thing to learn something new about the Mets, regardless of how or where it happens.
So, here’s hoping that we’re able to show you something new or different on a consistent basis with our new structure. While there won’t be as many overall submissions from other writers besides me, we will have more people contributing than ever before. Five of the six writers who contributed during the 2019 season will be back. There will also be some writers who contributed in the past returning. Additionally, two guys who were only heard from in the comments section will be writing full-length pieces. And one completely new writer will be contributing as well.
You will see these other bylines appearing soon at the site, as early as next week. Some won’t be joining until next year. Regardless, my hope is that you’ll enjoy what these people write and that you’ll read every piece with the goal to comprehend the points being made rather than just to shoot off a reply. That being said, we love comments! There’s nothing wrong with agreeing with an author and telling him you enjoyed his work. But there’s nothing wrong with disagreeing or pointing out errors, either. Just remember to disagree without being disagreeable.
Thanks for your support throughout the years and my hope is that these latest changes make you want to continue to visit Mets360 in the years to come.