On blogging, part 4
Just a short entry for you this morning: the hook.
All good blogs have a hook - something that grows the community and keeps readers coming back. Here, I'll run down a few for you:
Another Cubs Blog is anything but just another Cubs blog. Maddog is honest, cynical, and his readers are not coddled in any form. If you want to go and hate on the more vanilla Cub blogs - or Cubs news in general - I can't think of a better forum.
Hire Jim Essian is not the first "fire" or "hire" blog out there, but it is perhaps the funniest. Kermit and his colleagues - including retired Goat Rider Mike D. - take sarcasm and funny to a rare level. The blog also has a Shout Box which receives perhaps more attention from the regulars than does the actual content of the writers.
Bleed Cubbie Blue has the largest community and has more reader interaction options than probably any other Cubs blog on the net and is, erm, "edited in chief" by a guy with season tickets and a first-hand take on every home game. Being probably the most-read Cubs blog it also walks the narrowest line and is the biggest, easiest target for hatred by every other Cubs blog out there. Consequently the bannings are frequent, but hey - if Al wasn't so busy trying to keep the shiz disturbers out, he probably wouldn't get nearly as many hits or attention. Oh, irony. (And on a humorous note, we now run the risk of being gently scorned by ACB and HJE for saying something even remotely positive about BCB. So it goes; buy American.)
There is Desipio, Andy Dolan's beercan-and-syringe-laden playground, the presumptive father of Hire Jim Essian, as well as one of my personal influences. Its intent was to be a total Chicago Sports site, minus the damn Sox, but has become mainly Cubs-centric over its 11 years of existence. Snark was not invented there, but it is certainly stretched to its worldly limits. Andy's Daily Dose is nearly always a worthwhile read, because it is damn funny, and over the years he has built a small network of contacts and sometimes he gets the scooperama. However, the Dose has become less frequent now that real life has gotten in the way of blogdom. The most used feature of Desipio lately is its message boards, which handles an impressive level of traffic, but like Deadspin has become a place where the young and tragically self-impressed go to strut their stuff. Most of the BCB hate emenates from its bowels, as well as a healthy disrespect of this here site, too.
Goat Riders of the Apocalypse - bringing you Cubs news, analysis, and humor until the end of the world. 'nuff said. Oh, we also do photoshops, most of which are pretty lame and confusing. But, at least, we don't swill the Blue Kool-Aid.
Finding an angle is tough. Maybe your blog will be Bleacher Preacher - the most optimistic Cubs blog on the net. Or maybe your blog will be dedicated to your broken heart and your hopes that the Cubs will mend it through a magical summer of top notch baseball. (Yes, that fop-a-double-gop-yop blog actually existed, and I shall scorn and mock it forever -- as should you unless you are a certain counter-programming reader who can probably relate all-too-well).
Whatever you do that makes you unique, you better hope that it's not lame. Uh, good luck with that.