Bring Your A’s Game Blog

Ver­sion 1.0 has launched! Thanks to my man Tim Quiri­no for help­ing get it off the ground. He’s going to be work­ing with me on it as we flesh it out into a Face­book-enabled beast of a blog.

The real ques­tion: What sort of stuff should I put on there? I post­ed about our first event, but I’m won­der­ing what sort of con­tent makes the most sense for it. I’m think­ing a mix of A’s his­to­ry, plus dis­cus­sion about why I want the A’s to move back to town would make sense. What do you think?

A Thank You to Readers

I’ve been butcher­ing this blog in one form or anoth­er since about 2003. My pas­sion for it has fluc­tu­at­ed over time, rang­ing from those heady days when I’d try my best to write about pol­i­tics, or when I ditched that and wrote about movies for a time, or when I just got caught up in the notion of need­ing a blog for some­thing as elu­sive as “per­son­al brand­ing.” I feel like I’m still recov­er­ing from that last one.

In the past week I’ve got­ten three com­pli­ments from folks who check in here from time to time and I have to say that’s immense­ly mean­ing­ful to me. I can’t tell you how reward­ing it is to know that even in an age where we’re just zip­ping one-lin­ers at each oth­er, some folks will take the time to read a para­graph or two. I nev­er ful­ly appre­ci­at­ed actu­al­ly engag­ing an audi­ence in that way until blog­ging became passe. Thanks again for reading!

It’s Time for a Sixers Blog

I’ve been telling peo­ple for a while that it’s time for Philly bas­ket­ball fans to start blog­ging the Six­ers. I know it sounds like the most excru­ci­at­ing pun­ish­ment short of hav­ing to actu­al­ly play for the team, but that’s how you make this work. See, it’s like this: the team can’t plum­met much fur­ther and it’s pret­ty clear that Philadel­phi­ans can’t be both­ered with them. That’s why you, enter­pris­ing sports writer, need to step into the breach and blog the beje­sus out of the team. They’re so per­fect­ly pathet­ic I’ve been tempt­ed to do it myself.

I fig­ure that it’d be best to draw on what works with the great Phillies blogs I fol­low dogged­ly, but give them a lit­tle bit of every­thing, rang­ing from the hilar­i­ous “per­son­al­i­ty” dri­ven posts over at The Fight­ins, the keen­ly-observed prose that you get from Beer­lea­guer and just a dab of the heady analy­sis you find at Crash­burn Alley and you’d prob­a­bly have the best Six­ers blog in the city overnight.

If any­one is already doing this, I’d love to read along. I feel like this is also the time to bite the bul­let and start watch­ing. If you’re over 30 like me, chances are you sur­vived the Clarence Weath­er­spoon and Shawn Bradley years. Can this be any worse than that?

What Philly’s Blogger Tax Really Says About Bloggers

I was one of the first peo­ple to write about this —  you can read my rather impolitic tweet here — and I hope I’m one of the last. I like what Tom had to say today over at P’unk Ave’s blog, but I’d like to take this a step fur­ther and talk for just a sec­ond about what it means for the Philly blog­ging com­mu­ni­ty, inas­much as one exists.

Y’all look real­ly dumb. Any­one who vent­ed spleen about the so-called “blog­ger tax” Mon­day morn­ing real­ly lived up to the blog­ger stereo­type, which essen­tial­ly boils down to reac­tionary twits who can’t so much as fact check before com­plete­ly going bonkers.

Worse, it shows that for all the gains blog­ging has made in becom­ing main­stream media, most blog­gers have zero news sense. I don’t work at the New York Times, but in the three years I’ve spent at I’ve learned a ton from folks who are trained jour­nal­ists about what is news and what isn’t.

Y’all got played. The news cycle is dead. If it weren’t for Elin split­ting with Tiger, there’d be just about no news at all. (Lit­tle secret: peo­ple are pret­ty tired of the whole Lohan saga by now.) If you’re a small news org look­ing to make hay in late August, go with some­thing local and def­i­nite­ly do some­thing that screams link bait.

It worked. That sto­ry spread like wild­fire sim­ply because all the self-pro­fessed media fire­men ran around spray­ing gaso­line. I’m not very active in the local blog­ging com­mu­ni­ty, but I’d be hard-pressed to join forces with peo­ple who spazzed out so relent­less­ly over some­thing that’s been a known issue for quite some time.

Worse, there were a hand­ful of peo­ple who felt that blog­ging should be sub­si­dized. I’m all for gov­ern­ment sub­si­dies, par­tic­u­lar­ly those that go toward hous­ing and feed­ing peo­ple, pro­mot­ing gen­er­al wel­fare sort of stuff. Blog­ging? You must be kid­ding. Unless you’re talk­ing about folks elect­ing to pay dona­tions to help cov­er host­ing fees or what have you, you must seri­ous­ly be jok­ing. Isn’t this what stu­dent loans are for?

Peo­ple real­ly need to ask them­selves who’s hurt by this. I’m guess­ing that most blog­gers won’t have the tax­man bang­ing down their door any­time soon, or May­or Nut­ter hold­ing a press con­fer­ence out­side your apart­ment build­ing to talk about how much you owe the city in back tax­es. Call it a hunch, but I’m guess­ing most peo­ple don’t even have Google ads enabled on their sites. Fun­nier still, isn’t blog­ging a dying trend? Isn’t it fun­ny how this sto­ry spread viral­ly on Twit­ter and not through­out the blo­gos­phere as it might’ve just a few years ago.

I get that $300 seems like a chunk of change to folks who are free­lanc­ing. I’ve been there. It’s a mess. The has­sle made me ditch free­lanc­ing entire­ly and I was for­tu­nate enough to find gain­ful employ­ment. But if $300 seems like too much to start a busi­ness, you have to ques­tion your com­mit­ment to mak­ing it work, as well as pos­si­bly rehash­ing your busi­ness mod­el. Fact of the mat­ter is, peo­ple want to abol­ish the small busi­ness tax as a lever against all sorts of oth­er parts of the Philadel­phia tax code no doubt. Could you imag­ine what it would be like here if peo­ple were pay­ing less in tax­es? They’d have to shut the city down and turn out the lights! Next time you com­plain about the busi­ness priv­i­lege tax or city wage even, talk to your friends in the ‘burbs who are pay­ing through the nose on prop­er­ty tax­es, not to men­tion their utilities.

When I wrote that tweet about blog­gers owing the same $300 bucks as some­one bak­ing cup­cakes, I for­got to add that at least cup­cakes pro­vide a social good, not to men­tion that they’re freakin’ deli­cious. Blog­ging can be a lot of fun, but you real­ly can’t take your­self too seri­ous­ly. Try hard­er next time, guys. You’re bet­ter than this. It makes us all look bad when you don’t.

Else­where, Sean Blan­da tries to set the record straight.