but it sounds like a good idea.
Hi. MGoBlog was a one man show, and then a guy I didn't know emailed me a bunch of stuff about how he was pretty sure Bryce McNeal was going to decommit given his Facebook status updates and wall posts. As per standard policy, I noted the information and didn't say anything about it since the tipster in question hadn't proven his mettle. Bryce McNeal proceeded to decommit, and Tom VanHaaren proposed he function as an MGoBlog recruiting correspondent using the magic of the internets (and, soon after, his phone).
I'd been thinking that social media was an untapped source of information and agreed, and soon started posting things like Anthony Fera chillin' with JoePa based on Tom's sleuthin' and talkin'. Tom set to providing a ton of valuable content and being the main force behind much of the news this site has managed to break in the last seven or eight months. It's surpassed all my expectations, and just goes to show that if you find someone with the right skill set and put them in the right spot, Good Things result.
MGoBlog is absorbing Varsity Blue, and intends to deploy Tim Sullivan as an internet-aware beat writer this fall. We've talked with the athletic department—which has been shockingly open and helpful with all this—and Tim is good to go. Paul will also join up in a capacity we'll work out as we go along—he's got a "job" that requires him to "go to work". Formerly Anonymous' outstanding baseball content will be imported 99% untouched. Important: I will not be writing any less.
This represents quite a reversal from MGoBlog's previous position on being a primary source and requires some explanation. So:
I don't plan on being the guy. One: I'm bad at it. Two: I'm good at other stuff. I've spent four years developing an expertise that has nothing to do with the tasks commonly associated with sports journalism. That expertise has propelled this blog to a living and represents a nigh-insurmountable hurdle for any other organization to clear. Spending my time doing something other than that's pretty dumb. So I won't.
I'd like to remain insulated from the corrupting influences of access*, and this arrangement will allow me to do that, mostly. The threat of losing access for your content is unavoidable once you start to benefit from it, but this site has already positioned itself as a site that's usually in Michigan's corner. I know they monitor this site and others, closely. They have not mentioned any issues.
The Varsity Blue guys all bring valuable expertise to the table. Paul and Tim were longtime WOLV stalwarts and have a four-plus-years head start on me in the stuff I'm bad at. As you might imagine, they also can do stuff with video that is extremely helpful on the web. And FA has encyclopedic knowledge of Michigan baseball, again something I lack. They all can use bigger platforms, and by joining up they can use some of the institutional cred I've accumulated over the past four years.
I think it can work. I'm not sure if twentysomething beatwriter with an internet orientation who might ask questions like "what's the deal with that formation where Greg Mathews is covered up in the slot?" will bring a ton of value to the table but it's at least worth an experiment. I'm going into this with the expectation it will be a two-year trial on both the part of the AD and MGoBlog, one that might not work. But think it will be valuable.
Offloading a portion of the daily burden should allow me to focus on some other stuff. Mostly this refers to recruiting, which VB already covers with aplomb. I plan on handing off a significant chunk of it to them, which will give me some extra time to work on research-heavy posts and more columns and whatnot.
This will also necessitate some changes as far as the presentation of information goes. Right now there's just a front page that gets updated 1-4 times daily and then the diaries and message board. More stuff will be hitting the front page now and we'll have to work to make that make sense for readers. I've always tried to avoid bombarding readers with way too much stuff to grok; that's going to be tougher now.
As always, try to bear with us—and it's now an actual us!—as we feel our way through this… undiscovered country. Spock.
Tim's first foray here is a trip to the Big Ten Media Days, where he will hopefully end up less pwned than I did.
*(I don't want to write something critical in UFR and have to worry about whether the player in question will give me the evil eye. And I don't want to get all friendly with another guy and pull my punches. Sportswriter bravado about facing down the subjects of your pieces is just testosterone.)
but it sounds like a good idea.
Ok, Rockefeller, I don't want to have Sen. Hatch go Teddy Roosevelt anti-trust on your ass.
Glad to see your continued success. Mgoblog growing into an "organization" and having a somewhat working relationship w/ the AD must still be surreal. Kudos on insulating yourself from too much access; I concur on its effects.
I'm pissed that I was not invited.
This isn't about Spock and Kirk and the undiscovered country, it's about the Borg assimilating everything in their path.
Resistance is futile.
And silly, too... MGoBlog 3.0 will be great.
The new MGoBlog Slogan:
All your blog belong to us.
What help did they provide? And who's Tim Sullivan?
I'm afraid Brian will have to remove 50 MGoPoints for not knowing who Tim Sullivan is.
Seriously, who is he? And why was the AD contacted? Is "Tim Sullivan" the nom de plume of Bill Martin?
Nice avatar image btw.
"Tim Sullivan" is the Tim from Varsity Blue he writes about previously in the post. I thought that was obvious?
Never knew the names of the guys at VB, and for some reason when I saw the pix over at VB today I got my Tims and Toms (VanHaaren) mixed up. Stupid alzheimers.
Tim is one of the original two Varsity Blue bloggers. From reading Brian's piece and the piece on Varsity Blue about this merger, it appears the AD was contacted in order to get Tim media credentials for the upcoming season.
As far as the AD's office being contacted, I am sure Brian wanted to obtain a press pass for Tim before this joint venture got started. It wouldn't make much sense to have a beat writer if they didn't have access.
i believe he posts in here as TimVB
Yeah we'll never know
Brian has plans to swallow up MGoBlue.com as well.
All your blog belong to us
when you absorb the #2 IMO. Like the name though.
if this gives you "some extra time to work on research-heavy posts and more columns and whatnot", then i'm all in it. congrats, brian.
This is either extremely awesome, or we are witnesses to the birth of a cartel intent on crushing all other Michigan-related blogs.
CITY OF THE LIVING
sorry wrong movie
What does Brian mean about not being "the guy" and not wanting access to corrupt him? I never really read VB, but are they connected to the athletic dept? Sorry, My reading comprehension may be off today.
"The Guy" refers to "being a primary source". That won't be Brian, it will be Tim. He's not "connected", aside from the fact that it sounds like the AD will give him press credentials.
When will UMHoops get absorbed too?
Absorbed, maybe not. But improved cooperation with dylan should be in order.
MGoBlog + VB = Awesome
Did you ever come up with a name for your US Soccer blog?
1. Red, White, and MGoBlue
2. Much Adu About Nothing
3. We Will Always Have Bloemfontein
4. Alway Outfanned, Never Outblogged
5. You Can't Spell "Ten Jackals" Without Sacha Kljestan
#2 is pure gold.
Blogging bitches, Blogging!
(Anxiously awaiting the "Blogging excellence" commercial with space capsules and The Victors background muzak).
Step 1: Michigan blog domination
Step 2: ?????
Step 3: Profit!
Even AnnArbor.com recognizes the greatness. That's a change of pace.
I'm starting a paper and ink 'zine that will cover formerly paper and ink small town newspapers' online coverage of sports blogs' mergers and acquisitions. I will use a rotary phone and a 3-hole punch.
Also, I will bend space and time.
AnnArbor.com establishes local internet awareness in Week 1.
(Is this like SkyNet becoming self-aware in The Terminator?)
Awesome result, nonetheless.
This is awesome news
MGOBLOG, I like it! Yes, pass down the vodka we all deserve a drink.
Brian, don't worry about drowning us with content.
Am I the only one that refreshes mgoblog 1000 times per day?
and its like christmas has come early every time it has content
Have my 2 football preview magazines in front of me and this just made my day (along with a Tiger's sweep last night). Looking forward to the improvements that will come. Should be interesting to see how it all works out with the increased "access".
i actually know paul personally (older frat bro of mine) and for some reason knowing a writer for mgoblog to me is cooler than knowing any celebrity (not named megan fox)
You guys might not know this, but I consider myself a bit of a loner. I tend to think of myself as a one-man wolf pack. But when my sister brought TomVH home, I knew he was one of my own. And my wolf pack... it grew by one. So there... there were two of us in the wolf pack... I was alone first in the pack, and then TomVH joined in later. And six months ago, when the internet introduced me to you guys, I thought, "Wait a second, could it be?" And now I know for sure, I just added three more guys to my wolf pack. Five of us wolves, running around the desert together, in Las Vegas, looking for strippers and cocaine. So tonight, I make a toast!
Congrats to all, looks to be a great move.
It's not illegal, it's frowned upon, like... masturbating on an airplane.
Annexing the culturally compatible Varsity Blue in a bloodless appeal for blog unity.
May I next suggest a nighttime blitzkrieg into the soft underbelly of Maize 'n' Brew with the WLA guarding your Eastern flank.
Follow it up by a 2-pronged envelopment of GBMW (when they predictably counter attack) in a classic pincer maneuver!
I think this is cool. Specialization and cooperation. You're really evolving!
I am pretty serious about Michigan football, I just don't care about any of the other varsity sports.
Will we have access to saved filter settings for our account so we'll only see posts relevant to our interests?