go go go
After exploring the world of available chat software I've come to a surprising conclusion: a moderated chat room is really expensive. I know. I don't know how this is the case either. Our main options are…
Cover It Live
Status quo on software. Price: suddenly massive. The 61,000 "clicks" registered by CIL last November would run us 840 dollars. If the site really needs it I guess that's something we can afford, but that money would be better spent on a dozen other things instead of moderated chat software.
Different software that may or may not work as well but probably works just fine because it's moderated chat software. Pricing: slightly less massive but asking for a year commitment, which makes it still eye-blinkingly expensive. Like, the amount of money the companies want here is on the order of running the server for a year.
So… this would be slightly hacky but I'm intrigued at the idea of creating an mgotwitter that acts as the user moderation system. You tweet at it, it retweets you if you're the one of the first couple to go "WOOOOO" or "AAARRGH" or says something funny or smart. We bundle those into a twitter list and embed it on the site:
[ED: hmmm. hopefully in a fashion that, you know, works.]
[ED: This is the same stuff that's on the list on twitter itself so I assume it'll work itself out once the thing is older than a few minutes.]
This has the attractive feature of not costing multiple thousands of dollars a year for moderated chat, but does require anyone who wants to participate to have a twitter account.
On the other hand, that could actually be a benefit. People who aren't sitting at their computers could participate by following the list and we could take tweets from the stands (when they get out). We probably add the list to the mobile app as part of an as-yet fuzzy initiative to have a "live" tab on those apps. And it would be nice to have people's avatars and usernames connected to something instead of being essentially anonymous. We can keep the content of the liveblog in a permanent fashion by using Storify, and we could even add in some images/videos to help provide context for the WOOS and ARGHS. Those could be provided by the readers as well—twitter would allow the contributions on the site to be more than just text.
So… what I'm asking is if this sounds cool to the people who were Cover It Live regulars last year. It'll be a different window you type into, but I think it'll be pretty much the same otherwise.
- potential downsides
- cool ideas not yet thought of
- gibbering rage at the very idea?
Hit the comments.
Freeroll part II. Late last year we had a Draftstreet freeroll for anyone interested in testing out their daily/weekly fantasy games, and they've given us the opportunity to run a basketball-focused one that kicks off Thursday. Purchase a starting five with a set salary cap [insert Ohio State joke here] and score more points than anyone else in the pool to win some money.
Enrollment is free and there's $150 up for grabs. Hit the link to sign up, or log in to your existing account.
App status update. I thought the apps were kind of a niche product that a couple twitter mentions and board threads would adequately handle, and in this I was massively wrong. That's good and bad news for me: it's good that we have that kind of engagement and bad because I've annoyed a bunch of people.
Anyway, our status:
- Android. The Android app works for reading. We are still working on getting logins going; hopefully that can happen within a week.
- IPhone. Pushing iPhone apps is a more involved process and we are a little behind here, but reads work on the development copy and a blocking issue with logins has been fixed. We should be able to get an update up within a week or two.
Again, this is my fault for not realizing the test server originally intended to be the place where these apps were developed was still pointing to the main database until it was too late. By that point I'd blown up the kludged-together existing infrastructure. I thought the best course of action was to quickly forge ahead with the new stuff instead of wasting time restoring a system I didn't want to keep around; unfortunately some login issues slowed us down. This is one of the downsides of being a totally independent entity, but the upsides are significant as well.
APR with teeth. Cynics everwhere are surprised by the NCAA's decision to uphold UConn basketball's 2013 postseason ban for crappy APR scores. Power conference basketball outfits have previously gotten hit with scholarship reductions—OSU, Purdue, and Indiana all suffered—but no one has gotten the nuclear bomb of a postseason ban.
High level players are likely to flee at the prospect of not getting to play in an NCAA tourney. With Jim Calhoun's health increasingly an issue, not keeping up with their books seems likely to bust UConn's program status down for years. The UConn Blog:
This would be devastating news for any program, but it is especially crippling for UConn. It will almost certainly encourage any NBA prospects on UConn's roster who had even the slightest doubt about staying to leave for the pros. Recruiting will certainly be hurt as well. Most importantly, Jim Calhoun, who is currently out on medical leave, would have to coach well into his 70s to get the program back to a position of strength. Realistically if he wants to hand off his program in anything close to its usually strong state it would probably require him coaching through the 2014 or maybe even 2015, at which point he'll be 71 or 72.
While that's painful for Huskies fans it does provide the NCAA ammunition for anyone who suggests they won't hurt a power program. Here they even retroactively applied new standards to existing scores, preferring punitive measures over perfect fairness.
The dates! Spring practice dates:
Michigan's spring camp begins March 17, according to a team spokesman, and culminates with a public scrimmage on April 14.
Goodnight, sweet prince. Mike Comrie is calling it a career:
TORONTO -- Mike Comrie, who twice scored at least 30 goals in a season, retired from the NHL on Monday after a third hip operation in five years.
The 31-year-old center announced his retirement two weeks after his latest hip procedure, saying in a statement he was no longer able to "manage the rigors of NHL play." Comrie was limited to 127 games over the last three seasons.
My first year at Yost was also Comrie's first and the magic he worked with the puck was a major reason I fell in love with both Michigan hockey and 5'8" puck wizards. Here's to Comrie lighting it up at an alumni game in the near future.
This is not 'Nam… let's make it more like 'Nam. The NCAA would like to slash out various bits of their rulebooks to pave the way for college town Taj Mahals:
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- Bring back athlete-only dorms with unlimited food. Let coaches talk publicly about their recruits. Allow transfers in all sports to immediately play.
Those are among the ideas being discussed as the NCAA tries to produce a slimmer and more efficient rulebook, according to documents obtained by The Birmingham News.
While I'm generally for athletes getting more freedom and money from the NCAA, I dislike the near-free-agency immediate transfers create. I'd love it if kids who got Sabaned could transfer immediately; for everyone else the one-year sit out seems appropriate. Even coaches who are taking advantage of the grad-year transfer rule like Izzo seem to think it's icky.
Everything else, whatever. The parade of secondary violations distracts from actually important matters. In a world where everyone has Facebook communication restrictions on phone calls and texting seem like laws prohibiting whipping your horse.
Nein, Doc Sat, nein. Hinton's suggestions for a four-team playoff:
- Keep the BCS ranking system.
- Put the semifinals at bowl sites.
- Bid out the championship game a la the Final Four/Super Bowl, etc.
- Restrict the field to conference champions (or Notre Dame)
He admits the first is likely to cause a spit-take; I think all but #3. It's unfortunate that many years the Rose Bowl will serve as a consolation prize for the second-place Big Ten team, but that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make for the prospect of home sites with real atmosphere for semifinals both as a person who will watch on TV and one who would attend any time Michigan makes it, home or road.
this >>>>>>> bowl game
I've mentioned this before: I'm probably not going to Dallas this year because I can get a generic NFL stadium experience at many bowl games. If the game was in Tuscaloosa you could not stop me from going. If you shot me in the head, my zombie would rise up and hitchhike to Alabama. A playoff semifinal on the road in Austin or Baton Rouge or Tallahassee is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity far superior to any bowl game. And at home? Good god.
As far as conference champs only, I'm torn about that. Notre Dame remains a problem. If a one loss ND team gets in over a one-loss major conference team ranked higher than them because that team didn't win something ND doesn't even try to, that would be annoying. Given the state of college football it's a much lesser threat than, say, a team that didn't win its own division getting in ahead of an impressive one-loss conference champion.
Etc.: ESPN post asking you to vote on your most disliked Big Ten coach features Bielema, Dantonio, Hoke, and Meyer. If someone on that list seems out of place it's because three of them are likely to coach in a future Rose Bowl.
Hoke pointing + Denard smiling == Christmas
WARNING: Christmas is approaching. You may already know this.
Since no one's going to be on the site anyway, this is an opportunity for the blog to take a little time off. The blog will be mostly dark from Thursday, the 22nd, to Thursday, the 29th. That means I'm not writing anything. I'll pop on enough to bump any diary that seems interesting enough, and it's possible some of the regular contributors might post something.
I wouldn't count on it. It's just that I don't run their lives and they might feel compelled to post something about, say, Eastern Michigan's season. I know that would be weird. This place is weird.
If something major breaks we'll cover it, but nothing major ever breaks over Christmas.
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who's contributed to the site over the year, especially those who do so out of the goodness of their heart and a craving for e-attention. Every football season I'm astounded at the quality of the user-generated content around these parts.
Six Zero, Boyz n da Pahokee, Maize_in_spartyland, Enjoy Life, Blue Seoul, AceUofMer, patstansik, Yesman2221, Eye of the Tiger, Ghost Of Bo, CRex, mfan_in_ohio, MaizeAndBlueWahoo, Lordfoul, ST3, mgoweather, LanyardProgram, chunkums, Chris of Dangerous Logic, that guy I photobombed who posted it on the message board, the hundreds of people I've undoubtedly forgotten in the diaries and the board, and even THE_KNOWLEDGE: thank you for helping this new media spectacularrr rumble along.
And most of all the moderators. Thank you, moderators. Without you, this place would be a desiccated horrorscape.
Anyway, content tomorrow and then the break. Merry holiday of choice.
Tim and Tom's departure has caused major consternation on the message board, but maybe this will help: there are new people.
Ace is the victor of the duel for the recruiting ninja job. For the past few years he's been building The Wolverine Blog into a contender in the Michigan blogosphere; before that he was writing on a daily basis for The Ace of Sports. He spent a year in there interning for The Wolverine, as well.
Ace is taking over the recruiting portions of Tim and Tom's job. Obviously, it's going to take some time for him to get up to speed, as Tom's had years to build contacts. Weekly updates are not on the table in the immediate future. We'll build up to that. Ace is also planning on chipping in hockey and other coverage.
Ace identifies himself as "Ace."
Heiko's taking over the beat reporter aspects of Tim's job: he'll go to press conferences and media availabilities and be the MGoBlog representative in the press box. Heiko spent last year covering water polo and volleyball for the Daily; he's in the midst of getting an MD/PhD.
Heiko identifies himself as "Heiko."
Known only by his masked alter-ego, you know the Mathlete from such posts as "Never Punt With Tebow" and "Depressing Charts About Michigan's Defense," for which I'll omit the link. He'll use his massive database of plays to post weekly interesting things.
I'm still around, of course, as is Misopogon. We are also planning on adding a couple intern sorts, one a photographer, the other an Ohio-based recruiting guy who will hit up some of the many Ohio high school games that will feature Michigan commits.
Heiko and Ace's official duties start Thursday. The Mathlete's already started. Wednesday is Tim's final rodeo on the site and Tom has already departed. Thanks to both for their efforts the past couple years.
Major changes are involuntarily happening around here. You see, Rudy, my people have been snatched up. Tim is moving to fill the vacancy at The Wolverine left by Josh Helmholdt's ascension to Midwest Recruiting Analyst. Tom is departing, as well. That site is yet to launch and I've been asked not to spill the specific beans so you'll have to deduce.
These are well-deserved jobs for both guys and I'm happy for them. For me—and you—not so much. Unless you want to do this:
MGoBlog Recruiting Ninja
The position is a combination of Tim and Tom duties that were previously split because of the organic nature of Tom's emergence. Recruiting ninja will:
- Collect information from around the web for a weekly roundup post.
- Write up new commitment posts.
- Maintain the recruiting board.
- Head out to reasonably local football games to get footage of commitments.
- Utilize the wonders of the internet to interview recruits on- and off-line.
Output should be a post or two daily with regular items on the message board a la Tom.
Ideally, candidates should:
- Already have a decent idea who Ben Gedeon is, what Tha Ringer is, and why Michigan's high-rated recruits drop more often than they rise when rankings are revised.
- Have a writing portfolio of some variety.
- Be able to write relatively clean copy without outside editing.
- Have an online presence.
- Know how to assemble and edit video.
- Have journalist skills like talking to people and getting information from them friendly-like without making them think you're weird.
- Desire for Michigan to win football games without that interfering with #6.
- Not mind odd hours.
All of these will be tough to achieve so don't worry if you're missing a couple.
The job pays like an entry-level gig at a regional newspaper. 100% telecommute, no set hours, flexible vacation as long as it's not during football season. If you want a business card that says "recruiting ninja" we can make that happen. No benefits at the moment because I haven't begun to figure that out, but if that is a hangup it is negotiable for the right candidate.
If you're interested, email me 4-6 pieces (preferably URLs to pieces) and a resume. If the email contains background on you that helps illuminate where you are and where you're going that will also be helpful.
I'll take "ways to get my wife(!) to murder me" for 1000, Alex
So I'm out on my honeymoon until the 29th, and I won't get in until late so the next you hear from me will be August 1st. I have canned a few "2011 Recruiting" posts and Tim/Tom/Misopogon will be covering my absence, so content will continue to flow. I will be monitoring my email and the site for any recurrence of the recent issues. If you've just been itching to put up an extensive diary, this is a bump-rich environment.
Thanks for your patience during this trying time. If it's any consolation, given my previous vacation activities this summer by the time I return Ohio Stadium will literally be a smoking crater in the ground and Michigan will have been granted a permanent boost of ten scholarships because Brady Hoke found a power-up in the rubble.
I refuse to spend football season in Kazakhstan even if this happens.