Contemplative Meta: Musings On The Community Of MGoBlog

Submitted by LSAClassOf2000 on December 17th, 2012 at 8:22 AM


Several threads and occurrences in the last several months here started to get me thinking about just how advanced a cyber-community MGoBlog actually is ,and this seemed even semi-appropriate with the holidays now upon us to reflect a little bit on what we collectively bring to this place.

Some may disagree, but to me, this place has both preserved its initial intent as being a premiere source for information and discussion of Michigan athletics, but it seems as if it has evolved into something far more than that. It is a combination of various items, I believe, ranging from the general parameters of the site to things as simple (or complex, depending on your view) as the sort of people we generally are as fans of the University of Michigan.

It is a virtual space, but a well-developed one. Our usernames are associated with particular styles of commentary, certain opinions and even specialty content. Whether it is karma or the soon-to-be returned voting system, our perceived credibility is judged on a daily basis. Indeed, being one of the most visible Michigan fan sites if not the most visible, the system of feedback is vital to maintaining the quality of the site and its content by showing newcomers to the community what the shared expectations tend to be.

 Sometimes, we miss the mark, sometimes we hit upon something humorous or insightful, but in watching comments attain ratings, you gain visibility into community norms, some of which Brian laid out in the beginning, but many of which have developed above and beyond the basic tenets of the site. Some of them are humorous, but some are not  - Muppets, for example, after a big victory are humorous and deserved, but someone posting a link to one of Bleacher Report’s slide shows is not.

It is a moderated space, so in a sense, it is a governed one, both through site moderation and the community at large. As if you were speaking at work, you don’t necessarily have the right to say whatever without consequence, and this alone strengthens the sense of community around here. We do an excellent job of looking out for one another, but this is a group also unafraid to let people know in some fashion when lines (both external and internal to the blog) have been crossed, either deliberately or by definition as in the odd Kate Upton GIF. To safeguard against this, we can see posts and threads labeled as “NSFW”, for example, or indeed, when things get ugly, threads or posts are locked and/or deleted. People may quibble about the amount of moderation, but it is undeniable that without it, this would not be a close-knit group.

We’ve donated to and even taken on the causes of other site members, some of which include former players at Michigan, which I think is one of the most apparent pieces of evidence that ours is a fairly advanced community as cyber-cultures go. We’re also a connected group with some influence on affairs in the physical world and group with diverse areas of expertise, so when we aren’t talking plays and strategy, we sometimes find ourselves helping people in this community accomplish real world things or resolve real world issues. To me, that is evidence that we collectively care about each other’s well-being, so there are shared values that have arisen from this thing called MGoBlog.

The core element, of course, is our devotion to University Of Michigan athletics as well as to the school itself. Whether we are alums or not, students there or not, it is the one institution which has, above others, made the deepest impression on all of us. The Wolverines are that team (whether it is football, basketball, hockey and so on through the varsity sports) to which we feel the deepest connection. Deep enough, as a matter of fact, that many of us digest almost every single bit of minutia, as evidenced by threads on travel itineraries for the team and posts obviously made while in line at the Spring Auction. From this center, through the years, a viable community – albeit virtual – has sprung, in my opinion.

Indeed, all this is why I come here, not just to be part of a group that shares my obsession with sports and the University Of Michigan, but to be part of the community that has developed around it.



December 17th, 2012 at 1:39 PM ^

This is pretty off-topic, but since it's not worthy of its own board post and it's on the topic of META and the Community (not the weight room, sorry), I'll just post it here. Had a bit of fun photoshopping 80s metal album covers Bolivia-style (click image to see original)

Slayer: Hell Awaits

Dark Moor: The Gates of Oblivion

Venom: Welcome to Hell

Metallica: Kill 'em All

Blue Blue Blue

December 19th, 2012 at 9:54 AM ^

this site used to be very much about Michigan sports, but it has become more of a hipster dominated snarkfest.  


A significant portion of the comments are so "personally inside" as to be unintelligible.  I regularly see posters with hundreds or thousands of points who post about themselves, post gibberrish, congratulate each other on obscure references, or indicate they only know Michigan history going back about 5 I'm guessing there are HS kids now dominating the site..


the Mods let the crap through, but wont let criticsism of Hoke stay on board.  My personal neg fest occured when I posted that Borges' handling of the QBs re the Nebraska game (not having a viable backup prepared when we needed one, even with injury prone Denard as QB1) got ripped off the board and thousands of negative points ensued.


so I am disappointed with the direction this site has taken.  Our basketball team is now 12-0 and ranked #2 in the country.  think anyone at MGoBlog might decide to give them regular coverage?



December 19th, 2012 at 12:12 PM ^

IIRC, you got hammered because you re-posted a thread that had already been taken down during a time that every thread was about Belomy-gate.  Criticism is always allowed, just not in droves and droves.  If you have a problem with the moderators, please do not hesitate to contact Brian to make yourself heard.  Otherwise, simply play by the rules and you'll get along just fine

With respect to MBB, please feel free to send Brian an email about things you would like to post or see along those lines.  I'm sure we would all appreciate MOAR content if there is any more to be had.

In closing, here's a piece of unsolicited advice:  If you don't like the friendly banter that appears on the Board or the "personal" relationships and inside jokes that people have developed over the years, you can always just focus on the main content on the front page.  That might help you avoid the heartache that you appear to be experiencing.  Because I think the vast majority of posters love the Board for the exact reason you appear to hate it.