23 March 2007

Gather 'Round and Listen Kids, Uncle D Wants to Say Something

Some Advice If You Want to Get Into This Soccerblogging Thing...

Dear reader, this post probably doesn't apply to you. That's a good thing.


I've gotten to know many of my fellow soccer bloggers over the past two years of running this blog, and each and every one of them is a good person. I've met fans of other MLS teams, other DC United bloggers, even the occasional press person and a few MLSNet writers. I like these people. I may occasionally mock them, or wonder about their sanity, or think they may be out and out wrong about something, but I don't for a moment think that I'm somehow a better fan or person than they are.

For the most part, I'd like to think that we in the DC United section of the soccersphere get along. I will admit, when "A Little Less Conversation" (now sadly bereft of updates) started up, I was worried that what small voice I had carved out for myself out here would be lost. I was wrong. Reading other blogs, even the ones that work in the DC area such as Quarter Volley, An American's View..., Soccer Insider, La Norte DCU, and even the most recent arrivals has made this place much more enjoyable. Rather than rambling monologues I feel like there's a multi-threaded conversation that exists without the feeling of trying to shout each-other down that might exist in another environment. It's good. I like it.

Which is why I want to say this to everyone out there who has or is thinking of writing a soccer blog -- Don't Eat Your Own. If there is something that is sure to make me annoyed with you, it's when one writer decides to enhance their reputation by tearing down their compatriots. I don't care how talented or clever you are, how much access you have, how insightful or intelligent you are on the page -- don't do it. Mock, disagree, parody... that's all fair game. But don't set yourself up as the "true fan" at the expense of others.

I haven't seen this in most areas of the soccersphere, but I have seen it. And I don't like it, not one bit. The old rule applies: You make fun only of those with more power than you have, and you don't do that to people with less. If you catch me doing it, flame away in the comments and I will apologize. If it starts becoming the norm in these parts, then this world will be a lot less fun to be a writer in. I don't want the soccersphere to become the equivalent of a far-right/far-left blog attack fest. That only makes ideologues feel good and leaves most of the public cold. So I'm asking you, if you think this might apply to you, to stop the destructive, vindictive, and petty writing and get on to things we can all agree on -- That Alexi Lalas is a Twat. Agreed?

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16 Comments:

At 23 March, 2007 12:56, Blogger Brian said...

I actually try and spend most of my time tearing down myself.

Good post, one that I think anyone who wants to try and get into blogging should read. Considering that most of the traffic blogs get comes from word of mouth (or actually from other blogs) burning bridges doesn't help get your opinion out there.

 
At 23 March, 2007 13:07, Blogger D said...

Brian: That's why I love you man, you save me the time :) Seriously, right now this isn't a problem for most blogs, and I don't see it at all in the DCU area. But I'm starting to see it elsewhere, and I find it upsetting. Hell, I may mock The Metrologist and NY fans, but I'm not about to pretend I'm a truer or better fan than they are. Even if the most recent disagreement with Haig, much of what I was trying to say was that I agreed with him, even if he didn't see it that way.

 
At 23 March, 2007 13:53, Anonymous Bob said...

There is enough room in the blogosphere for all views. Being a soccer blogger isn't about competition or slagging one another. It is about supporting the sites that kick butt and letting the ones that don't exist in their own blissful state. That is how it largely works and I think it is awesome. There will always be people who see it differently but the majority of us are on the winning side of things.

 
At 23 March, 2007 13:56, Blogger D said...

Bob: Word.

And btw, thanks for getting The Offisde so many team blogs. I was despairing of ever reading a Colorado blog until you finally got one up and running with those folks. Good job.

 
At 23 March, 2007 14:13, Anonymous Soccer Dad said...

Amen D! I still can't believe I've been at this for two years and I think we've been lucky that the ol Soccersphere has kept things civil and interesting. Hopefully any folks who feel like they have to prove themselves 'top fan' will bore readers and fade out of sight.

Never hurts to remind them though!

 
At 23 March, 2007 14:44, Blogger Thomas said...

This is good advice. In general I'm very impressed by the quality of American/MLS soccer blogs, and I have to say my own fellow Englishmen and their Premiership blogs are often much more shallow and less amusing/insightful in comparison.

 
At 23 March, 2007 15:14, Blogger The Manly Ferry said...

What you're referring to here is what chased me out of political blogging - at least in part (realizing that the 24-hour news-cycle did nothing but up the quantity of blather was key, though). People got so friggin' bent out of shape when you voiced an opinion different than theirs that the disagreements themselves became the conversation.

I have yet to seriously encounter this in soccer blogging, which is one reason why I lurve it.

Good advice.

 
At 23 March, 2007 15:54, Blogger Mr. Fish said...

Hear, hear, D.

A twat indeed.

 
At 23 March, 2007 16:49, Blogger Brian said...

Sorry, but calling Lalas a twat is giving twats a bad name.

 
At 23 March, 2007 18:23, Anonymous Rocko said...

I'd have to agree with Brian, I have met lots of Twats that are better than Lalas.

 
At 23 March, 2007 18:42, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's kind of pointless to bash other bloggers. I always try to make it a point to link to other blogs and mention them by name. I figure I'm creating fans for my own blog that way, right? Just the way you've created a fan of me for life by linking to me in your sidebar.

(Truly, you have NO idea how much I love to be sidebarred...) ;-)
Laurie

 
At 23 March, 2007 20:30, Blogger Eric Salsbery said...

Excellent stuff D and can't agree with you more.

Keep up the great work...

 
At 24 March, 2007 17:05, Blogger Nick and Dan said...

Oscar - Dan from "Nine Guys Short". Go ahead and list us on your site. We'd very much appreciate that!

 
At 24 March, 2007 20:12, Anonymous seahawkdad said...

You wouldn't have been visiting the RSL blogs recently, would you?

Just wondering if any current events got you thinking about this very well put opinion.

 
At 24 March, 2007 23:20, Anonymous kali said...

D, I love you. But not in that way, since I'm obviously saving myself for Bobby Boswell.

 
At 26 March, 2007 09:51, Blogger D said...

Laurie: Glad to add another team specific blog. And you are off to a great start over in LALALand

Kali: Once again, you prove that you make wise life choices.

Seahawk dad: Let's just say that current events were coming into play, and I wanted to make something clear and nip things in the bud as much as I can.

All: Thanks for chiming in with support. Let's try and keep this place a fun place to be.

 

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