A year ago today, I said I knew how Mike Hopkins felt. Well, technically, I didn’t — since I actually got to take over the job full-time, while he left for his own gig at Washington. But nonetheless, my main point was that things would largely stay the same around here in Sean’s absence.
And for the most part, I’d think they have. Sure, we all got annoyed about politics for a bit. Plus the bones of this site as a business might admittedly show a bit more than they used to. But the essence of what’s always made this place special, a community of fans talking #jokesandgarbage about Syracuse Orange sports, has certainly remained intact.
Or at least, it has from my point of view.
But that’s where I’d like to solicit your feedback today (and whenever, really). When I said things would largely carry on as normal, I was being sincere. The basics of this place are as they were. The highs are high, the lows are low. The Clemson and Georgetown jokes arrive when we need them most. At least one Doctor Who reference remains intact, even if you’ll see fewer pop culture nods overall from yours truly than you did from my predecessor, Sean.
So I’m asking, have things stayed as you expected? Have they gotten worse? Better?
While we’ve asked for feedback here and there over the past year, it’s tough to keep track of everything that gets implemented (and doesn’t). I mentioned that this site’s function as a business may be a bit more visible, and while I try to avoid that where I can... it’s also virtually impossible in today’s media landscape.
TNIAAM was founded with an obscure reference during a football program downturn. It wasn’t originally an SB Nation site built on news and traffic and advertising. Rather, it was a place that was significantly offbeat from the rest of the coverage around the team at the time and thrived as a result.
In the time since, the shifts have happened all around us. Recruiting news is big business, newspapers cover things much in the way that digital publications do. Twitter and Facebook drive an enormous amount of traffic. The number of network-affiliated blogs has risen, and the nature of blogging is that of a serious news site. Advertising keeps journalism (and blogging) afloat, and video advertisers pay more, so we try to embrace video where we can, too.
You can see how the time requirements of running a humble blog have far-outpaced what they used to. Where there was once time for masterpieces like the old Octonion posts, those moments are few and far between today, even in the offseason.
But that does bring me to how I want to help rectify that as much as I can.
We obviously have a staff here, but every one of us (self included) has other jobs and responsibilities that keep roofs over our respective heads and food (perhaps beer, too) on our respective tables. The community has always been the lifeblood of this site, and so I’m asking for your help in year two.
It’s not regret about how year one went, though. It’s just about how we can charge forward and grow into year two. So tell me, what can we be doing more of? Less of? What types of stories do you want to see here that you don’t already? Some of these things we can address. Some, we can’t always, necessarily. But we can sure try to.
For those that want to be a bigger part of TNIAAM’s next chapter, the door’s always open for new perspectives and ideas large and small. We’ve had numerous contributors join based on a single article concept and succeed there. Others have grown their role to include plenty more responsibilities way beyond that initial scope -- among them, yours truly.
TNIAAM can be everything we all want it to be and more. In my view, it’s still the best place around for Syracuse sports conversations, and I’m always going to be dedicated to keeping it that way. This is me hoping to harness the power of this group to make sure the site continues its upward trajectory (while keeping in mind everything that made it was it is).
Thank you, as always, for reading, and for all of the feedback you provide. I’m looking forward to year two (technically year seven for me, really) with all of you, and can’t wait to see what new ideas come forward.