TL; DR - Almost any relevant thought--no matter how inane--can actually be turned into a decent board post, but you have to do a little work. Don't want to do any work? Post your thought in an existing thread, or don't post it at all. MGoBlog is not a listserv. I love this board and its contributors--even the ones with whom I vehemently disagree--but it only works if we're contributing ideas of value.
MGoBlog is my favorite website. It is an amazing, free collection of information, analysis, and updates. Not long ago, you could count on at least one post per day and one diary per week that offered some insight, analysis, or insider information that you couldn't get anywhere else, or couldn't get without knowing exactly where to look. Lately, lots of posts have me feeling:
Are you wondering if your most recent thought is worth posting to the board? What if you've got a question you really want answered by some of the great minds we have? Did you just have the most brilliant epiphany concerning a player, coach, or the collective consciousness of the Board?
I get it. Sometimes I have good ideas. Or at least, sometimes my wife tells me that she thinks I think I have a good idea. When that happens, it's great to get feedback, affirmation, and even differing viewpoints. But when is a good time to post something to the board? Let's start in the affirmative, and then let's talk about how to make a crappy post board-worthy. Because the truth about the MGoBlog community is that it's actually pretty damn awesome--as long as you make an effort.
- Did you just read an excellent article on Michigan sports that you have not seen posted (yes, you actually have to look, and consider the thread title may not contain the article to which you are referring)? Great! Share that with the appropriate board sport (ie, football) and use a clear (not clever) title like, "Great article on DPJ's production compared to other 5-star WRs." Then, in the post, put a link to the article (it's the button that looks like two links in a chain! And when you mouse over it, it says, "Link"!), a brief summary, and let us know what publication produced the article. Don't bother if it's from a known troll site or click-baiter. See here if you're not sure.
- Seen some information from several sources that you found informative or valuable? Use a clear title like "Ben(ch) Mason Appreciation w/ Quotes from Players/Coaches" and then put all that info into the post instead of posting seven links for readers to click.
- What about an interesting personnel happening at Michigan or one of their opponents? Put the key information in the title, such as Northwestern RB Jeremy Larkin retires and then a link to a reputable source. If it's inside information you're sharing, cite your source in a general way, or don't post it to the board. Feel free to share unverified stuff in an existing thread, but don't spoil the board with info from your sister's cousin's boyfriend who's an analyst for the basketball team with a friend on the Michigan football coaching staff who's actually a graduate assistant from two years ago.
- Did you just find some interesting statistical information about Michigan or one of its opponents? Use the post title to explain what you've found in a few words and then put the data in the board post. Make sure you consider the sample size and data source. If there's lots of information, consider a diary examining the data over a period of time to validate your hypothesis. Feel like this is too hard or sounds like homework? Go ahead and keep that post to yourself, put it in a snowflake thread, or find an existing thread where it makes sense. Michigan allowing 0.5 yards per play fewer than anyone else in the country is a perfect and legitimate thread title and thread. I've learned the info and can decide if I want to click to participate in the discussion about the veracity of the stat. Even better, that post is fleshed out with a link to the source and other interesting info about the title statistic.
- Did you notice something significant about Michigan football from your own watching, expertise, or study? Make sure your title includes your hypothesis and your post backs that up with your credentials or verifiable information. Pictures, gifs, or videos on technique, information from UFRs or a coach's analysis, even a conversation with a reputable source with clear quotes can all be good supporting information. Diaries are often useful here. Film Analysis Ep 3.2 - Good Offensive Plays vs. SMU is a great post. Don't dishonor work that with board posts like, "Why don't our RBs have better vision?" Are you a coach? Tell us what you saw and why it's relevant. Just a smart fan? Use statistical or visual evidence and comparisons. Absent this supporting information, keep your snowflake to yourself or post it in an existing thread. Your insight isn't insightful if we can't see its validity.
But what if I have an idea, question, or really, really important epiphany to share with the board? There's actually methods you can use to make even the softest of snowflakes board-worthy.
- Have an idea? Feel like a player, perhaps a highly-recruited WR, isn't performing up to expectations? Do NOT post something like, "Player X is a disappointment so far in his career." But if you really feel you must get your idea out there for feedback or recognition, you can actually turn what should be a brain abortion into useful discussion on the board. Cite statistics comparing Player X to similar players in similar situations. Openly recognize the potential error sources in your own data. Analyze what might be done to improve the situation. Provide quotes from reputable sources relevant to your point-of-view. Don't want to do that? Just want to post your idea and get feedback? Great! MGoBlog already has thousands of threads, and one is sure to relate to your idea, no matter how ridiculous it is. Concerned your idea won't get enough attention in a random thread? Put in a post-game thread, snowflake thread, UV, UFR, Opponent Watch...any thread to which your idea relates. These threads all get thousands of views and someone is sure to read your idea. Yay! Validation! No work required! But absent some clear, valuable supporting information, your idea is NOT board-worthy. Resist the ego and don't post it to the board, or give into your ego and spend some time building a case.
- Have a question about Michigan football, an opponent, or a betting line you really want answered? You have two choices: 1) Do some work yourself trying to answer the question (try Google before you post) and if it still isn't answered, post your question as the topic and provide supporting information to start a conversation. 2) Don't post your question or post it in an existing thread. There is no universe where your random question is a worthy board post if it does not contain supporting information. The good news is that if you are willing to do some work and present some insightful data, the board will almost certainly appreciate your post and question, even if it's a dumb question.
- Did you just realize the one thing that needs to change for Michigan football to flourish? Epiphanies are particularly dangerous. Whether or not they are aided by certain substances, it's not likely that other people will not find your revelation very insightful. So, back it up with--you guessed it--relevant information like statistics, quotes, video, etc. Turn it into a hypothesis and present your case, being sure to recognize the potential errors with your own ideas.
Want a shortcut to finding information to turn your crap post into an MGoBlog faverave? Try sites like: cfbstats.com, Football Outsiders, Sports Reference, and even searching our very own MGoBlog, MGoBlue.com, or local/national news sites like ESPN, Mlive, Detroit News, WolverinesWire.com, etc.
If your post contains informative (new information to the board--even silly stuff like Scott Frost trolling tweets or articles) or insightful (thoughtful, credible, and supported analysis) content, even if your idea sucks, it could be valuable to the board. If not, put it in an existing thread or don't put it anywhere at all.