For a period of seven days, I was told I to observe a blog- any blog out there that I thought would be interesting to follow. I chose Lohud.com’s Yankees blog, by Peter Abraham. I searched through many blogs, and eventually I settled on the Yankees one because I used to be a huge fan, but I don’t follow baseball much anymore. I figured by reading the blog I could familiarize myself with what’s been going on in the sport recently. I had looked at quite a few Yankees blogs, but many of them were written by fans and were biased towards certain players, ideas or thoughts. Peter Abraham’s blog was the only one that seemed not only extensive, but neutral and fair in presenting stories about the team. After I read through the blog, I decided to post to it, and then I chose a theme from the book Blogging in @merica, by Aaron Barlow, and applied that theme to the blog.
What I immediately noticed on the blog was the amount of postings. Peter goes above and beyond when it comes to posting, sometimes even posting more than once per day! Some topics that were discussed in the last week on the blog were the new stadium, free agents, press conferences, etc. In addition to the frequent postings, another thing I liked about this blog was that he posted video clips that showed a few of the players being interviewed. I thought that added a nice extra touch, because usually blogs are about reading, and very rarely viewing. Something else that was nicely thought-out was that each and every title was very well-picked and accurately described the blog I was about to read. For example, "Hal, we’re ready for free agency" was the title for a posting about Hal Steinbrenner and negotiations with free agents to be on the team. On other blogs I went to, the titles for each posting were vague, with titles such as "Wednesday, November 12, 2008" or something that would look like, in this case, "Free agency". Peter did a good job of accurately sampling what you are about to read. I also liked this blog because of the huge number of comments to each posting. The numbers varied depending on the day and subject, but were anywhere from 50-250! This made the blog interesting because there was so many things that people had to say regarding Peter’s writing. Peter even sometimes took the time to comment himself, which I thought was nice because it shows the audience that he is keeping up with all the comments, and even is willing to take time out to respond to a few.
After reading through a few blog entries, I decided to become involved in the blog and post a comment. Since I don’t know much about baseball, I wasn’t sure how I was going to comment because most of the comments were about stats, players, rules, regulations, standings, etc., and while it’s interesting to read it all, I wasn’t sure what I was going to post. I decided to be a little more general and ask the people commenting for their opinion. One of my questions went unanswered, but the other received one reply (not a lot- but it’s something). I asked if more people would visit Yankee stadium if the train schedule was easier to follow and there wasn’t so much confusion about driving and parking. The person who wrote back responded that not only would he go more- but he would upgrade his partial season ticket package to a full one! That response kind of makes me want to contact Peter and have him start a blog about this topic in particular!
Barlow’s "Blogging @merica The New Public Sphere" talks about the concept of vertical and horizontal structures. What he means by vertical structure would be most corporations. There is a ladder of heirarchy, and work is passed from the top down. Horizontal structure is when there is no such "flow" and there isn’t one person who will ultimately make a decision, it is a group effort. "Though they like to imagine a horizontal base, on most levels commercial and professional news organizations must operate on a vertical model" (Barlow, 2008). This can be applied to Peter’s blog, but it is a little differnet in that I think it is both horizontal and vertical, not just one. It has a vertical structure in that there are people on Lohud.com that hire Peter and give him some sort of deadlines and requirements. However, the success of the blog relies on horizontal structure, in that it is up to the public and Peter to create an interesting, fun blog for baseball fans to read. It is a collective effort and not one of hierarchy that, in terms of the blog itself, make it work.
I learned a lot by reading Peter’s Yankees blog. I don’t follow baseball much anymore, and yet I still was able to understand what he was talking about. I was even able to read through the comments, and agree or disgaree with some of them. Since there were so many comments, it wasn’t hard to sift through the ones that were too detailed for me to understand and just focus on the other ones. Peter’s blog has actually made me more interested in blogging because I never realized there were blogs out there that were as extensive, unbiased, interesting, and detailed as his!
Barlow, Aaron (2008). Blogging @merica: The New Public Sphere. Connecticut: Praeger Publishers.