Meta: Proposal for MGoReaders to help the MGoStaff w/transcripts

Submitted by Caesar on August 16th, 2018 at 2:59 AM

Intro

I'm not exactly sure what's going on, but I think the MGoStaff is overwhelmed. They've provided us with subscription-free content for years, so maybe we can give something back. There are already a few guys doing this informally, so this is an effort to organize and prevent redundant efforts and other time-wasting mixups.

Proposal

Here are some proposed steps to accomplishing this:

  1. ID Important Pressers/Interviews. I'm generally aware of these types of events, but I don't know which ones are important or exactly what date they show up. Maybe someone in the know (or even MGoStaff) can help with this. Or we could even crowdsource this part of the effort.
  2. ID Sources for Original Info. After we ID interviews, we need to find the sources for people to download and make a transcript or to transfer to YouTube to get a free  transcript to correct. Again, maybe someone with experience from the MGoStaff could help with this part.
  3. Organize People to Help. Volunteers can do as little as 1 minute of a transcript. Maybe we establish some conventions for IDing speakers and have an 'editor' who overlooks the entire thing at the end, etc. 
    • Have people volunteer in this or another thread (perhaps this one is more to debate the merits of the idea)
    • Set deadlines to complete stuff for pressers/interviews  
    • Create a Google Excel Sheet that assigns people to minutes of a particular transcript and parts of the transcripting process (for example: convert to MP4, Upload to YouTube, generate YouTube transcripts for user correction)
    • Create a Google Docs Folder to Order Different Transcripts, where people can add the info simultaneously (while backing up their portion of the transcript to their personal account).

So that's the idea. I look forward to your feedback! 

 

Comments

Pepto Bismol

August 16th, 2018 at 10:12 AM ^

Obviously not Sky Panther, but I had the same reaction. And here's my detail:

This is not charity work that Brian and his staff do here. It is his business. His model is free content supported by ad revenue. This is not free. Our traffic and loyalty is his lifeblood. If the entire staff wants to take the summer off, or Brian wants to employ guys who are incapable of doing their jobs due to illness, that's commendable and it's his roll of the dice that we'll still come here and entertain ourselves on the message board. If he wants to keep up production he has to find and hire replacements, temporary or otherwise.

I have no interest in doing their jobs for them. And even less interest in doing it for free while Ace gets paid to rest. Nothing personal. Get well soon and all of that. But paying him while we the patrons all pitch in and provide our own content for Brian's profit at zero overhead cost is... hilarious. 

No. No thank you. 

I don't know about Sky Panther, but that's how I arrived at "Really?". 

Pepto Bismol

August 16th, 2018 at 11:39 AM ^

You are not alone, but I have always been curious about guys like you who overvalue the "free service" aspect of MGoBlog. Honest question:

How much do you pay for your other internet sites? I pay $0. How much do you pay to listen to Sam Webb on the radio? I pay $0. How much to listen to your favorite podcast? I pay $0. Everything's free, man. They are all monetized via advertising. Again, this is not some local band of good samaritans cranking out your football content. Brian is an entrepreneur. We provide his income by being here.

Here's a fun little excercise. See the dropdown at the top of the screen where it says "About", or under the menu tab in the top left on mobile? What's the first entry under "About"?

$upport (lol)

Even Brian thinks it's hilarious. Why would the people just give him extra money on his for profit website? I have no idea, he has no idea, but you're under some weird belief that this is the only free exchange of content on the planet, so guys like you will donate. Might as well give you a link!

Or in this case, you'll just do his work for him. Work that others are paid a living wage to complete. Work that you'll just kick in and do for free. However he got you to think this way, that's Brian's true genius.

Sambojangles

August 16th, 2018 at 12:03 PM ^

I think you are seeing the blog in a different frame than some other people. Both can be right and I am not attaching you for having your opinion, which I totally understand. You're relationship with the MGoBlog seems to be pretty detached and transactional in the same ad-based model as the rest of the internet/radio/TV media world. I will let you define it in better terms if you wish. If that's the way you see this, I have no reason to blame you. 

However, OP and others see this as a community - we have a common interest and want to see the greater MGoBlog community survive and flourish, and here I'm including the blog, podcast, twitter, etc. If the blog goes away because the team can't keep up the quality or quantity of content, there will be a big hole in our lives. Why not offer to help in ways we can? Think of it as a private club: everyone needs to contribute to keep it going. Some pay cash, some help with their time and labor. Or a small-town grocery store; yes, you should expect the store to maintain their building and grounds by paying employees. But if someone wants to come by and clean up weeds and plant flowers out of their own generosity, who are you to judge them? We should all be friends here. 

You're focusing too much on the "for-profit" paradigm. Yes obviously Brian doesn't want his family and the team to starve so they have to bring in cash somehow. But I think they're all capable of making more money doing a "regular job" instead of writing on the internet. Instead they are doing something they are (presumably) passionate about and feeding our passion as well. Personally, for all the value they give me, I'm willing to give same back, which is why I buy HTTV, buy T-shirts occasionally, etc. The value received is much higher than the price we all pay ($0), though the value is subjective and different for everyone, obviously. 

I hope I sufficiently answered your curiosity of why people "overvalue" (your word) the MGoBlog service.

Pepto Bismol

August 16th, 2018 at 3:14 PM ^

I think that's all fair. For as frequent as I visit this blog, if it went up in smoke tomorrow I'd probably be better off. I have no sense of obligation to help these guys in their chosen business. They dance. I come to see the show.

If you feel some duty to help Brian's cause, more power to you. I think that feeling is misplaced, but I also prefer yellow pants with the away jerseys and half of this blog will fist-fight me over that as well. To each our own.

 

Blue and Joe

August 16th, 2018 at 3:59 PM ^

I don't see it as a sense of obligation or a "duty" to Brian. I think for a lot of us we "help" the site for selfish reasons. I enjoy reading MGoBlog. Therefore, I will do what I can to make sure it continues. I don't do this as some grand gesture to support Brian and the staff. I do it because I like the site and I would be sad if it went away.

bgoblue02

August 16th, 2018 at 11:42 AM ^

it's not a free service.  you are selling your data to mgoblog in return for content.  Not all your data, or an amount that should be worrying, but there is a clear exchange of goods and services; not free.

Basic economics; there is no such thing as a free lunch

And frankly we all were willing to tolerate a lot for the board (which is now worse) and the content from Brian and staff, but that seems to be increasingly vanishing; or at least the things that brought us here (UFRs are less likely after a loss, no more TWIS, even the UVs seem to be of worse quality lately). 

I fully get they are down a staff member, but this is their job and this is Brian's business.  At your job if a coworker is out you just don't stop their part, you hire a temp, the team sucks it up and pitches in extra or something else.  

Caesar

August 16th, 2018 at 10:48 AM ^

From what I understand, the free content gets very little of its total support from ad revenue. And just because it's not a charity doesn't mean it's not a service that is essentially free and has no real peer. As such, I see it as giving support (in quantities most appropriate for one's situation) to maintain the overall quality of a free service during a difficult time.

I don't think bringing up Ace is at all relevant. He never transcribed pressers, from what I understand. For this reason, I think it's fair to disregard your thoughts on that.

Pepto Bismol

August 16th, 2018 at 11:09 AM ^

Bringing up Ace is very relevant. Without Ace's enormous contributions, Seth and everybody else are surely pulled in different directions to fill in the sizable gap left by Ace's hiatus, which is likely why their regular stuff (i.e. presser transcripts) is MIA. Feel free to re-regard my thoughts on that.

You'll have to explain how "free content gets very little of its total support from ad revenue". I'm not in the website business, so maybe that makes sense. But I don't have any idea what you're trying to say there. If you took a poll, I'd be willing to bet that 95% of the regular forumites around here were drawn in to this community by the content on that front page. I don't care from what page an ad gets clicked. If Brian stops doing UFRs, MGoBlog will eventually die.

This place has plenty of peers. If MGoBlog is shut down tomorrow, I'll get the exact same free info from Isaiah Hole and the WolverinesWire (which in my opinion has blown MGoBlog out of the water all summer). And there are plenty of other fan forums out there.

Anyway, those are in reply to your thoughts. You are obviously free to do Brian's work for him pro bono. I simply shared why I'm not interested. Best of luck.

Caesar

August 16th, 2018 at 11:46 AM ^

I think I'll still disregard it in the context of transcription of pressers, which is what is being discussed. It continues to be irrelevant.

Just to address your thoughts: I believe that the majority of revenue comes through donations. What's the difference between monetary and sweat donations? I don't see one.

Unless you're into poorly written fluff, I disagree that The Wolverines Wire is a peer. That site sometimes has new info, but insider info isn't the core of what MGoBlog is about. I think it's about quality, long-form content. The Wolverines Wire is a poor man's Michigan Insider. It's just not in the same conversation as MGoBlog.

In my opinion, your analysis gets lost in labels. You're getting caught up in what's a charity and for-profit organizations; this is about where benefits come from and how these benefits are created. When Brian creates content, Brian benefits. However, so do all readers. The costs of this content creation is borne by Brian, advertisers, and people who donate. If people helped with the transcripts, the readers STILL benefit, as does Brian. The costs would be spread out to an almost insignificant degree among those same readers. Are you upset about that small shift in costs? For someone who has at least theoretically accrued the benefits of the site for free, this is really weird to me.

Longballs Dong…

August 16th, 2018 at 3:30 PM ^

Allow me to butt in uninvited.  I appreciate that your back and forth has been reasonably civil.  I do get annoyed by the one word posts but Pepto did a good job elaborating for skypanther.  I think I fall somewhere between the two of you but closer to Pepto.  I dont' have an emotional attachment to this site.  If it goes away one day, I'll shrug and read other free conent.  I don't believe this site offers anything special anymore - I still come here, but way less without the app.  I whole heartedly agree with Pepto on this, "WolverinesWire (which in my opinion has blown MGoBlog out of the water all summer)."  The content quality and quantity is just better.  I'm excited to see some of the game analysis this fall.  Since the upgrade to 3.0 I've started a new rotation of UM content and by the time something comes up here, I've already read it and this site feels really slow/outdated now.  Some of the quotes on Seth's article are several weeks old, none are fresh.  I read it all, but I learned nothing and wouldn't feel like I'm missing out if it didn't exist.  

I don't know anyone who writes here, but I get a sense that Brian doesn't like his own site anymore; he's created this monster that he fights with,that fights with him, he cannot win but also can't stop.  He writes things that he knows people hate because, well fuck you.  I'm not sure how long that can exist as a business model... maybe he wants to lose the fight.  That's all speculation on my part.  

I think it's great you want to help by offering your time to generate new content.  It doesn't morally offend me if Brian might profit from that.  He already profits from the board which he has no role in.  I have no desire to assist and I'll probably let someone else pull out the relevant sound bites, but I commend your attempt to organize your fellow fans for the sake of everyone's enjoyment.  

Finally, either this site isn't free or all sites are free. Either definition results in the same conclusion: who cares.  Provide good content or lose readers.  If I paid $9.99 per month for this site i wouldn't be any more or less compelled to "help out."  I wouldn't have more or less sympathy for bad content.  The cost is irrelevant and just a strange defense for the site.  I literally have never paid for any content on the internet. If this site cost $1 per year, I would just stop reading.  It's not worth my effort to deal with that and violates the expectation of the internet.  

SkyPanther

August 16th, 2018 at 7:28 PM ^

I think you're right, WolverineWire is far more interesting blog, with far more information. This blog is supposed to be a font of insider stuff in posts and, moreso, in the comments. But you have to search quite a bit inane to finally see the 1 in a 1000 comment that has insider stuff to it. 

There's just too much negativity here to make this an exciting place to be. 

Caesar

August 17th, 2018 at 2:42 AM ^

I think this is ridiculous. The Wolverines Wire is written at a 5th grade (at best) reading level and is a 2nd rate news site that's more of a poor man's Michigan Insider than anything else. MGoBlog occupies an entirely different niche of long-form and analysis. 

This blog's insider stuff is not its core function, though it satisfies that role for me. If you want to find insiders on here, just find UMBig11's profile and look at his posts every day. The quality of his glib comments outshines the mountains of fluff and hedging you need to wade through to find something worth reading on The Wolverines Wire. 

Pepto Bismol

August 16th, 2018 at 11:35 AM ^

Yeah, and that sucks. A lady in my office found out she had cancer earlier this year and died a month later.

It's not a shot at Ace. By Ace's own admission he is lucky to have such an understanding boss who will ride with him in his time of need. But Ace is Brian's employee and if Ace isn't doing his job (because he is ill - not lazy, not a bad person), then it's Brian's job to replace him with somebody who is able (again - temporary or otherwise), or else risk the situation we have here now - which is a bunch of loyal patrons who are growing disgruntled over a drastic decline in content.

That's not a shot at Ace. It's the fact of the matter. We all know why Ace is absent. We all know how much he brings to the table when he's healthy. Not sure why it hurts your feelings to discuss it.

Shop Smart Sho…

August 16th, 2018 at 12:44 PM ^

Just accept that you're wrong about this. There is no shame in admitting that you've made a mistake. 

As someone who has dealt with a chronic health issue that most people don't understand, I'm probably hyper-aware of people belittling similar situations in others. I'm sure your poor word choice wasn't deliberate, but that doesn't mean it wasn't wrong of you to imply that all Ace needs is some rest. 

Pepto Bismol

August 16th, 2018 at 1:21 PM ^

Guy, I don't have any idea what the hell you're talking about.

I never said "All Ace needs is some rest". I said he's being paid to rest, and by that I meant recover from whatever ails him. It is clearly explained on his pinned Twitter thread.

"The offseason is usually when I slowly regain my strength after pushing myself through football and basketball season—regain my floor. usually by August I'm itching for the season to start...I don't have it right now...usually I work until I crash, but I haven't even been able to attempt to push through this, and I need to give myself time to truly put my health first and heal."

That. He's getting paid to do all of that. Whatever you want to call that. That's what I implied.

And the fact that you keep using the word "imply" is the smoking gun admission that you're taking way more out of my sentence than what I actually wrote. You can't tell me what meant to imply. I'm the author. I wrote the fucking sentence, dildo.

If some asshole told you or Ace that you're faking your symptoms and you're just being lazy and you just need to get more sleep or some crap, that's on them. Don't project that shit on me. I didn't say any of the nonsense you're putting in my mouth. If I want to tell you or Ace to go fuck yourself, trust me, I will.

Pepto Bismol

August 16th, 2018 at 3:52 PM ^

I didn't whine about you calling me a dick. I explained to you that it was infinitely more deliberate and worse than whatever you think I said about Ace - which makes you a hypocrite. A hypocrite who doesn't process written information very well and hates the concept of "rest".

I still consider you a dear friend.

 

I Like Burgers

August 16th, 2018 at 11:51 AM ^

On its own, it might be an unfair shot at Ace, but when discussing the overall decline of interesting content on the site, much of which Ace was responsible for...yeah, its noteworthy.

While the previews for the incoming recruits are nice, almost none of those guys are going to be relevant for the season that starts in two weeks.  So while there has been a ton of content about people that aren't going to play this season, there's been almost none on people or the team that is going to play this season.

Like, Michigan is playing Notre Dame in just over two weeks.  Outside of the return of Opponent Watch, there hasn't been anything at all written about that.  You could do a whole week breaking down position unit vs. position unit solely for that game and that would be great content.  Instead, its all 2018 recruiting recaps.

I Like Burgers

August 16th, 2018 at 2:04 PM ^

But that's kind of my point.  Yes Brian is writing all of that.  But since the rest of the staff is out, there's not a whole lot else on the site.  Ace and Seth use to fill that void, but they've been out.  So despite the fact that we're two weeks out, its been kind of crickets around here outside of the board.

Also...in terms of reading HTTV that's an outside product.  So going to that really doesn't address the concerns with this site which is what this entire message board post is about.  Saying I could read that is no different than saying I could go to Wolverine Wire, read Angelique or Nick B's columns, Sam Webb's From the Sub posts, or even MGoFish's site.  I do all of that.  None of those create more content on MGoBlog.  Which is at the core of what we're talking about here.

Needs

August 16th, 2018 at 4:26 PM ^

There's never been loads of content in early to mid August. I'm sure that writing the preview takes up most of the month. It's a recruiting down time. And I'm sure the people who write for the site, when not fighting a debilitating illness, take a couple chances to get away for a few days (as Seth did before dropping about 3,000 words of camp news today) before the season starts with its much more intense writing requirements. 

Pepto Bismol

August 16th, 2018 at 3:31 PM ^

You're welcome, and all of that.

***EDIT: Holy shit, you thin skinned douchebag. You posted that to Twitter completely out of context?  I yada-yada'd the Get Well Soon sentiment because the post was NOT ABOUT YOU. 

The post was about Brian's challenge of maintaining the status quo around here in your rather large absence and the OP asking me and fellow readers to assist in doing the job of MGoBlog employees. I haven't once criticized you or your health. Why dont you post everything else in this thread I wrote that heaped nothing but praise upon your work? 

Nothing in this thread has anything to do with you and your health battle other than how it has understandably resulted in less summer MGoBlog content. You admitted yourself on Twitter - last time this happened BRIAN HIRED SOMEBODY!  That's my whole fucking point and thats why I was getting upvotes (Ace complained on Twitter that anybody who upvoted my post was garbage as well). People agree, including you. If theres a hole in production, Brian should hire somebody, not rely on unpaid users to fill his blog like this OP suggests. That's what he did with you and that's what I fucking said in my post above.

You screenshot two paragraphs out of context without even putting forth the topic I was replying to and use it to drag me through here via Twitter? Jesus, what a petty asshole.  Go fuck yourself, Ace.

Ace

August 16th, 2018 at 6:25 PM ^

Hey, you found the edit function. Very nice.

Yes, I posted your comments on Twitter, and I stand by everything I said there. Your original post also made some assumptions I didn't want to address—do you really think we're not doing anything behind the scenes to try to fill the gap that's been created? You may, in fact, see a new face around here soon; you already have with Matt Way's excellent basketball coverage. These things don't happen overnight, especially when health situations take an unexpected turn.

As for the rest, I'll let others judge on who has the thin skin around here.

Pepto Bismol

August 16th, 2018 at 6:37 PM ^

Anybody who's seen your Twitter act knows that answer.

You're right. I dont know what's happening behind the scenes. I'd hope Brian would address the shortage and your post confirms hes not an absentee owner intent on letting this place die (as OTHERS have speculated here). 

My point is that if you're out, it's his job to replace you, not ours. If you dont think I'm compassionate enough about your saga, then I'm sorry. But that's a different story and not even in the same zip code as what I was saying in my first post above. 

Caesar suggested we write the pressers. My reaction was Seriously? If Brian's that hard up without Ace he needs to hire someone. That's the whole point and it had nothing to do with how you're dealing with your illness.

I was addressing your absence, not writing you a Hallmark card.

Ace

August 16th, 2018 at 6:46 PM ^

You brought my name and my illness into it and did so in a way that was, at best, unnecessarily jerkish. (Textbook non-apology, too. It's not accepted.) This isn't just about you, either. People in my situation deal with enough stigma. If you followed my Twitter "act," which you clearly do, you'd know that. How my illness impacts my employment and how my employer operates is, in fact, a large part of the point.

Meanwhile, I'll continue saying how I feel with my name attached to every word. Have a good one, Pepto Bismol.

SkyPanther

August 16th, 2018 at 7:08 PM ^

I can't see any moderating being done on the blog. Trolling romps all over the place. I can't see why moderators are swamped. There isn't much activity here. Not many posts on the front page, not a deluge of commenting being done. I have seen blogs that generate far more comments than this blog, that are moderated, hands on, by a single person. You see his moderation in every comment thread. Things are kept completely under control. If food fights start they are immediately dealt with. Food fights happen on the blog on a regular basis, with no intervention ever. There's ugliness rampant in this blog. I am certain the ugliness has made a chilling effect on those who would otherwise be regular commenters. I can't understand why those who work at this blog don't care about the reputation the ugliness is giving them.

Also, I am sure those who work at MGoBlog make more money than me. And my posts on the Board have likely generated 10's of thousands of clicks. The "Hit The Bag" post from last week created over 2500 views from here. And that's just from one of my posts. MGoBlog is making money from me. Again, I am certain those who work at MGoBlog make more money than me. I am not feeling sorry for them.

I Like Burgers

August 17th, 2018 at 12:02 AM ^

Agree with a lot of this. Given the way things have gone in the site the last six months or so and the overall combative nature of the majority of the staff...man...it’s getting real difficult to want to continue coming here. Seth might be the only one that’s been pleasant lately.

Been a regular for a good 12 years now and the only reason I keep coming back lately is the board. Because that’s where the actual content is.

If Wolverines Wire started up a board it would be an easy switch and a quick decline for MGoBlog I think. The internet’s a big place.