writing style of front page content

Submitted by karpodiem on February 24th, 2013 at 7:28 PM

has anyone else decreased mgoblog consumption due to the strange writing style of front page content? Beyonce? Oklahoma? Really? Why is this necessary? And this seems to be the normal style for front page content for the last year or so.

Yes, it's February and this is traditionally a slower time of year (hey, basketball!) But in the history of my site patronage, my perception is that the front page content has become increasingly more difficult to read with numerous bizarre allusions. 

And I'm aware that posting this on the board for people who still read the site more frequently will probably generate a chilly response, but I'm ok with that. Just wondering if there are people still lurking around that feel the same way.



February 24th, 2013 at 8:09 PM ^

I think more than the style, its the content. Its now mostly summaries of things that I already knew (or at least anyone could know if I visited any other site). This is in contrast to when tomVH was here and he was breaking actual news and other interesting information, and not as much of the summaries. This isn't really ace/seth's fault, its just that it's hard to keep the amount of solid information coming the way TomVH did...


February 24th, 2013 at 8:21 PM ^

I disagree. I'm big enough boy to take some criticism on a quite wide scale of productivity, and capable of separating someone's point from where they're being an ass. If some people don't give a damn for my writing, at the least they can't say I don't give a damn what they have to say.

On the other hand Brian has never passed on any criticism to me nor made any suggestions other than to split Dear Diary and my weekly musing post about into two posts. So if that's the route people have been going it's definitely not working.

Sides I'm enjoying this thread way more than doing my late great aunt's taxes, which is what it's distracting me from.


February 25th, 2013 at 12:07 PM ^

Love the Firefly reference!  I'd give you +100 if I could and I still would like to dong punch the idiot at Fox that cancelled that show.

These type of references and the witty (sometimes subtle) writing is what makes me an addict of this site.  Actually the humor is what gives it the hook.  Keep it up, fellas.


February 24th, 2013 at 8:12 PM ^

As i think about it, one of the other issues is that Hoke isn't that much fun to cover.  Fort Schembechler is back.  Hoke is recruiting well.  The issues with the team this year were fairly easy to explain and it is generally assumed they have already been fixed via recruiting.  What is there is left to get in depth about?  How Brady Hoke only recruited the #5 OT in the country and we demand all linemen be within the Top 3 for their posistion?  

RR was better for writing in that you could break down that 2*/3* player and argue how he was a perfect fit for the specialized system RR ran.  With Hoke it is "On your left is the Jake Long clone, on your right is the Lamar Woodley clone, directly ahead is the Chad Henne clone...".  I think that leads to punching up your writing via other means and different individuals will have different views on how much punching up is needed.  

eamus_caeruli (not verified)

February 24th, 2013 at 8:26 PM ^

The site needs to updated sooner than this summer, and Brian clearly needs some help with his business model. Why? This blog gets some serious traffic, which should generate enough gross revenue to hire young writers looking for resume boasters. Now, maybe finding said writers are increasingly difficult. Perhaps, Brian is waiting for someone to buy him out or a merger, but he just isn't doing what ESPN Wolverine page is doing or can do. Probably impractical to use that as a comparison, however, that should be his goal.

I just don't think this blog has long term sustainability. If Brian and his mgowife plan for a family or have high couple goals, MGOblog won't exist in a few years.


February 24th, 2013 at 8:52 PM ^

Brian's business model is fine (most likely).  It's enough for him to treat this like a full time job and to hire another full time employee (and probably dish out part-time cash to at least Seth and Heiko, and maybe Chewer D and Mathlete as well).  Now, if the direction that he and the other employees are taking it isn't working, he'll see that in the numbers.  But you can't talk about his business model when from all angles it seems to be doing swimmingly.


February 24th, 2013 at 9:02 PM ^

Okay so the guy whose writing is beting ragged on by the OP is also biz manager. You're really wrong about stuff.

Not everything: we are planning the big redesign for this spring/summer, hopefully to launch before the season next year. When we do that we'll finally be able to have the ad size that everyone sells these days instead of having to take lower rates for outdated ad positions.

We do generate good traffic for a blog, but we're in a weird market. Sports is a great market for some general male marketing sectors. Beer, except people don't buy beer from the internet. Gambling, except I'm such a dick to gambling sites when they come to advertise because I won't work with someone who doesn't have security upon security (like Draftstreet does). Cars.

But if you're using hobby blogs and whatnot as the example for the kinds of rates we ought to be getting, that's a bad model. Take Metalsucks.net, which is to metal music what MGoBlog is to Michigan sports. They bring in net about twice what we do. How? If you want to sell a metal album in America you have to put it on the Blastbeat Ad Network, which puts ads on every important metal site on the internet, and is run by...Metalsucks.net.

We aren't endorsing a product here, and that changes the math considerably, because there are few things that you can only sell by reaching our audience. So our rates are lower. The other thing is about a third of our readers have adblockers on, and a lot of readers have moved to the mobile apps which gets way less net for the blog. So in a month when we had like 8 million actual pageviews we were able to monetize only about 4 million impressions.

What Brian is NOT doing is waiting for someone to buy this blog. It's a fiercely FIERCELY independent production, and that's not going to change. We made a lot of mistakes while taking HTTV independent last year but that enterprise is a big part of the blog's future financial stability, and we're hoping to a basketball book as well, and that is a tiny thing beside some of the ideas being bandied about.

Being ESPN is not the goal, though we do plan on doing some of what they do. I can't claim that we're monetizing anywhere close to our potential right now, but business has been good enough this year that I recently took it full-time. Rest assured, we're in it for the long haul.


February 24th, 2013 at 10:37 PM ^

I don't know. Keep in mind people are paying us at most $3.50 or so for a thousand impressions, and most limit the amount of impressions that one guy gets anyway.

I doubt it's affecting us but I'd turn it off anyway since I find the targeted ads far less annoying than the backfill ones. I don't pay attention to car commercials--the ones from Underground Printing you get for awhile after you order from the Mgostore are funny.

Google shouldn't be pushing many ads out to you anyway since I'm running competing networks on top of them right now.

I'd rather not tell people to turn off their adblockers because hell man who doesn't get annoyed by ads. You do tend to miss things like sponsor deals we put up, and the HTTV kickstarter, and the new t-shirt announcements. Folks who have their adblockers off, if they feel they want to contribute to MGoBlog, just go to Beveled Guilt. Free is free--not "you should do whatever you can to make us more money!" and this site is emphatically free.


February 24th, 2013 at 10:50 PM ^

Nothing personal, but I have blocked all the tracking services I can possibly find, simply for privacy reasons. It's either generic ads or no ads for me. The problem with MGoAds is that there's all too often those supposedly funny t-shirt ads featuring really slutty women, and I'd rather not have that appearing on my computer screen (again, nothing personal). I'd be much more likely to tolerate ads if I knew stuff like that wouldn't show up. But I suppose, that's what the analytics engines know that young males like, so blocking that would reduce revenue.

I like the beveled guilt solution; thanks for the suggestion.


February 24th, 2013 at 8:29 PM ^

Personally, i got into this blog during the RR years when there was, frankly, a lot more going on with Michigan football.  It was a program on the ropes, and i loved coming on here and experiencing the drama and the intrigue with a bunch of other fans.  I mean, the biggest news right now is that an assistant just left for another school.  There just isnt as much to write about and not as much angst and emotion coming through.  Brady Hoke; great for Michigan football, bad for Michigan blogs


February 24th, 2013 at 8:39 PM ^

I wouldn't say "not as much fun to cover" as "doesn't raise the stakes as high." Tiptoeing the knife edge between The Factions of those years really got the writer blood pumping.

It's not Hoke so much as the Alabama game sucked the life out of football season, and a hockey team that's loaded with NHL talent which can't find the time to play defense isn't very fun to write about, and the basketball team is great but they had a brutal road stretch that reset expectations down two rungs and then went into a schedule lull of easier games and long breaks. Then Brian took a vacation, and I've been trying to put the book together again so I haven't been doing the hard analysis stuff on Tuesdays, and there you are.

Here's the site's readership history since the move off blogspot:

Our peak was beating Ohio State then stealing Kalis from them. The peak before that was the coaching search. So Hoke being boring isn't really hurting the site's readership so much as the schedule last year being hard.


February 24th, 2013 at 8:14 PM ^

Everyone sucks, except for the new guy

/Yeah, that new guy is great.

//Concur!!! He's fantastic. And sexy.

So we're in agreement. New guy rocks.

Go Blue Rosie

February 24th, 2013 at 8:22 PM ^

If there is one thing that frustrates me about the mgocommunity, it's the sense of entitlement some have over content on this free site. If you don't like the front page content, don't read it. Don't like the boards? Don't go there, either. There are other places to get information about Michigan sports, right? No one is forcing you to get it here.


February 24th, 2013 at 8:29 PM ^

you are not completely wrong, however....

One of the special things about MGo is the community aspect of it.  You can't have that unless there is some level of ownership in this here Blog.  You can have that sense of community+ownership+critique but do so in a respectful and appreciative way.  This site gives my many hundreds of hours of entertainment and info.  I am thankful, for sure.  But I think Brian and Co. are strong enough and smart enough to know that listening to one's "customers" is one of the most important aspects of any business.  And I think it is not only acceptable, but also appropriate and useful for us to have this conversation openly rathar than just one email being sent to Brian.  

This blog can handle the handful of ungrateful complainers (if not, it would have crashed years ago).

And, thanks for/to this blog.


February 24th, 2013 at 8:23 PM ^

I don't mind the writing style.  My reason for not reading some of ace and  seth's content is that it's old news by the time it shows up on the front page.  


swan flu

February 24th, 2013 at 8:26 PM ^

I like reading things that have non-traditional style. If I just want facts, I can look them up myself. I like the MGoStaff's witty, satirical, tongue-in-cheek style of writing.

If I wanted to read something formulaic and straightforward without any subtlety or satire, I'd buy a Mitch Albom book.


February 24th, 2013 at 8:26 PM ^

Agree some thing even go over my ahead, but its fun to look them up. I also really like the new twitter front page recap, i miss most of that stuff and most the time its pretty interesting.


February 24th, 2013 at 8:29 PM ^

I only read this site 5-6 times a day.  I can't keep up with all the modern hip lingo used by the 20 somethings around here because I have a job and kids and other things to do.




February 24th, 2013 at 8:35 PM ^

I've been facinated reading the various responses to the OP's post.  It's clear, from the sheer volume of people responding and the wide range of sentiments brought forward that there is a general feeling that something's not quite right, even if people don't necessarily agree on what that is.  I must admidt, I've shared those feelings for a while myself though never felt compelled to start a thread over it.  The OP has touched a vein it seems.

I guess for me I would say I miss reading Brian's prose and wish he'd post more often.  I have no specific beef with Seth (other than when he makes fun of me and even then I know it's not mean-spirited), Ace (I actually think his best work rivals Brian's for writing excellence) or even the new guy (he'd be a great Mod btw) but I do wish Brian would post his writing more frequently than he does.  

I've wondered sometimes if maybe Brian is simply getting tired of writing on a daily basis and is just burning out as some creative people do.  I hope not but I do wonder.



February 24th, 2013 at 8:56 PM ^

I am a long-time member of the community.  I ave been posting since long before my date activating this account.  (The old site had no MGoBoard and you could just post comments on the front page articles.  There wass always a race to see who was first to post.  I tried to give up the sie once they had a forum like Scout/Rivals because I thought it ould suck up my life.  I lost that battle.)


Anyway, IMO this site was built on 2 main things.  1. The in-depth analysis of the UFRs every week, and 2. Brian's writing style/sense of humor. 


There used to be such anticipation for new (front page) stories.  I would just sit and hit refresh.  There were only a couple stories each day, max.  (A lot of times I think it was just one.)  The scrcity of the articles and the passion they brewed deep inside was intoxicating.

That has alll changed a bit.  No one can expect Brian to keep doing it all himself.  The other writers are good.  They are just not the same level of quirk and whimsy that Brian had early on.  

IMO - Brian has also mellowed a lot in the past (ten?) years or so.  The pain in the articles was real.  There was passion in everything.  A lot of that is user geneerated now.  I can't bring myself to read each line of the UFR anymore as I have gotten married and matured. Brian probably feels the same way.  He still loves it, but that initial drive is bound to lose a bit while the site grew. (See the capitulated war on Special K.)


Don't get me wrong. I love it here.  It is my go to site for the whole internet for years and years and is o this day.


I, for one, actually appreciate the way the new guys try to keep up the somewhat obscure references.  I like the youth infusion. Its just never going to be the same as it was in its heyday.  I am fine with that.  I appreciateit for still being FREE and super-informative.  The best sie on the internet.  Bar none.


Don't be afraid of change......


[EDIT - Woops this should have been a reply to the OP.  I hate this site now.  It ade me look dumb.]


February 24th, 2013 at 8:43 PM ^

 I hop on the board at least once a day just in case I missed something. The writing has become 'eh' lately. I appreciate the site but I come for the board information mostly. Some front page posts are better than others. Tuesday/thursday/friday recruiting, is just a recap, nothing new. Other than breaking news and hello: posts - it's all just recycled by the writers. To each their own. /whine /cry

The community is great (obviously!)


February 24th, 2013 at 8:46 PM ^

1st and foremost, lets take it easy on the guys (Brian, Ace, Seth, etc). I've never been in the field they are but I can imagine they're working their asses off to have a FREE and detailed write up each day especially when Ace is getting arthritis in the fingers from putting a Hello post up within the hour of the commitment.

With that said, I can agree that some stuff is a bit childish and sometimes Leads me to stop reading after a title or first paragraph, BUT, I've been a member for about 5 years now and have never considered stopping. The Tuesday/Friday recruiting wraps are my favorite, and being a paid member of other sites (who shall not be named), I can tell you these round ups are twice as extensive and detailed.


February 24th, 2013 at 8:49 PM ^

In my opinion This is the best site on the internet. I read it every day and am a huge fan of all of the writers. There is probably little else in this world, that is free, that I am so greatful to have available to me. There is a lot of other web sites on the internet that I do not care for at all. I do not waste my time to complain about them.


February 24th, 2013 at 9:02 PM ^

I know it has been a rough day coach Izzo, but I don't think you need to take it out on poor Seth. We like a little quirk with our meat and taters around here. Maybe you should give Mateen a call, you guys can have a good cry.


February 24th, 2013 at 9:05 PM ^

The reliance on memes etc can get tiresome but sometimes it's really funny too. Also the silliness usually comes out when a less serious aspect of Michigan athletics is being discussed. For instance, I still think this site has hands down the best sports writing anywhere after an emotional football win or loss. Those Monday after posts capture the raw emotion of athletic fandom better than just about anything I've ever read, and I don't think that has changed recently.


February 24th, 2013 at 9:05 PM ^

"has anyone else decreased mgoblog consumption due to the strange writing style of front page content?"

Nope.  Each writer brings a different take on their pieces, but they all bring their brains.


February 24th, 2013 at 9:21 PM ^

You take the good with the bad. Some of the articles are in Greek to me. Some are emotionally raw and powerful. Some make me smile and laugh. And certain, amazing, passionate essays like Get Behind Me nearly move me to tears. Wouldn't trade this blog for anything.


February 24th, 2013 at 9:31 PM ^

1 part Brian

1 part Ace

1 part Seth

 2 parts forum topics

5 parts blog posters

1 pinch sarcasm

Best served cold.


I may not agree with  every FP post, forum OP or comment, but I wouldn't give up or trade the site or MGoCommunity for any other Michigan resource.


February 25th, 2013 at 2:48 PM ^

Maybe a half part Heiko, at least during football season. His Opponent Watch columns are the most consistently hilarious thing here.

I'm an older reader and I miss a lot of the memes, but that's piddly compared to how much I enjoy most of the writing here. When you do something like the Oklahoma post, it is a hit or miss proposition. I find the relatively few misses easy to overlook. The hits are my favorite thing on the Internet.

Bland writing is everywhere. I come here for pizzazz. Keep it up, dudes – don't let the naysayers get under your skin!