Friday, January 26, 2007

Can't We All Just Get Along?

That’s it. Apparently this has gone far enough.

The world is coming to an end, the city will explode, the beltway will...probably still be packed with cars...

All because there are *GASP* too many Caps bloggers!!! Or so sayeth your friend and mine over at
Capital Prospect.

(There's actually a pretty good discussion going on about this over at the message boards, but as I've said before, I don't get along with the message board gods. Luckily for you all, I have my own blog to wax eloquently on the wonder that is blogging...just for you, Monsieur Netsy!)

Pardon me for continuing my quest to piss off as many people as possible, but I have to very respectfully disagree with almost every single thing said by the author. For those of you who are not into clicking links, allow me to summarize: apparently too many “bored rich 20 something year old grown kids looking to get press passes to Capitals games” are invading CP’s turf, clogging up the blogosphere and spewing watered down opinions about Caps hockey.

Huh. Well, as one of the bored, rich 20-somethings, I think I should offer a rebuttal.

First of all, I’m certainly not bored. I started blogging like so many others before me and so many since for one reason - I love hockey, particularly the Capitals, and I enjoy writing about it. Whether or not people agree with me is of little consequence; in fact, I’m always amazed to see that other people even care to read what I have to say, especially given the fact that I don't even find what I say to be all that interesting.

And I have to point out, when I started this crazy thing I didn’t even know press passes were available to bloggers. I do think that it’s a wonderful way for the organization to reach out to its most rabid fans, and it’s a great way for passionate fans to look at the game from a different angle and share the experience with the readers. So whether I take advantage of the opportunity in the future is my choice but certainly not the impetus for what I do, and I doubt it drives the majority of the blogs that have popped up in recent months.

Second of all, I’m not rich – if I am, the economy is worse off than I thought it was. (Hey, does this mean I have to become a Republican??)

Third: yes, the majority of us, although definitely not all, are in our twenties. It stands to reason that not having a family to take care of tends to free up some blogging time that may not be available when you have a spouse and/or kids. It's not a bad thing to be in your twenties and passionate about something, just like it's not a bad thing to have a family and still manage to eke out a little time for yourself through blogging.

I guess I just don’t really get why something like too many bloggers would be upsetting to anyone, particularly when the general perception by the rest of the NHL is that Washington is a joke as a hockey town. The Capitals have a very small but very passionate and vocal fan base, and with technology comes the ability for that fan base to make their voices heard on a slightly larger stage. It may even work to change how other hockey fans see DC – it’s already creating a bit of a stir among the many hockey bloggers out there. If you don't like them, don't read them. Don't link to them. The beauty of the internet, just like TV and the radio, is that you have the option of just saying no.

What a concept.

There are a lot of Caps blogs out there, and I think it’s fantastic. Sure, some will probably not continue simply because of the time this kind of thing takes; others are actually not specifically Caps blogs; and still others are products, albeit highly entertaining ones, of the so-called mainstream media jumping on board with the new trend (Capitals Insider, DC Sports Bog, etc.). The rest run the gamut from the obsessive posters (like me), to the experienced and well-connected, to the newbies finding their way...Caps fans every one.

The Caps bloggers are a great group of people who love this team and this game, and I consider it a community - one that I’m proud to be a part of. We like to ramble on about the Caps, about the state of hockey, about blogging itself. We link to each other and comment on one another’s observations not to advertise for each other or to suck up to one another, but because we share a common ground. We genuinely respect each other.

Or at least I respect them...not sure if that’s reciprocal :)

There’s just no need for all the bitterness and anger in what is already such a hostile world. In the spirit of cooperation and goodwill towards all man and womankind, I think it's only fair for the author over at Capital Prospect to attend one of our viewing parties – meet us, get to know us, enjoy (or suffer through) a game with us.

I think you'll find there’s room in cyberspace for us all to coexist.


Caps Nut said...

Let me try this again...

Well he can't be talking about me but I'm neither rich nor 20 and I think Ted is wrong when he thinks that Bloggers can provide just as much insight and attention to the team and sport as the "unbiased" media does.

In other words, I'm not interested in a press pass to a Caps game and I wouldn't take one if I was offered it.

hockeygirl said...

Well said, CC, well said. I am like you - in my 20s, not rich nor bored. I blog for me first, and like you, am always pleasantly surprised when someone takes the time to read what I write and even more so, to leave a comment.

I have not found many Flames blogs out there which prompted me to start mine plus offering a female perspective always makes for interesting times.

As for the community, it's true. A prime example is our little hlog which is rapidly growing.

Press passes for bloggers? I know that they may or may not be out there, kind an urban blogging myth. I don't know if I'd seek one out because I can only imagine how my mind would shut down once I tried to talk to a player, never mind the fact that I wouldn't want to get stepped on. If someone gave one to me though, I would take it, just to see what kind of access you get with it - would it be the same as mainstream media?

The thing is though, is that mainstream media is changing and the voice on the internet is becoming stronger. Traditional media is on it's way out and you can look to your very own Washington Post's site and the advances they have made in their features with video and audio.

I agree with you in that if you don't like something you read, don't read it. That's pretty simple. I too, am an obsessive poster. I was getting concerned for myself until someone pointed out that it's a hobby. It wouldn't be any different if I were a knitter or model car builder.

Anyways... Do I get a prize for what has got to be the longest comment ever? Maybe I should have bolded and/or italicized it for extra points! :)

CapsChick said...

It's definitely up there, HG, but not the longest...I believe someone left me a rather eloquent post about why a certain Capital should not be considered captain material. Still nice and long, though, and well put! :)

The Caps organization has made it a practice over the last year to provide press credentials to bloggers who apply for them, as long as they meet a set of preapproved guidelines. As far as I know, these credentials offer the same access as are given to the mainstream media - morning skate, press box access, and postgame interviews and press conferences.

Some people complain that it's just another way for Ted and the organization to get free publicity, while others see it as a natural progression of media evolution...I personally agree for the most part with the latter view.

As I mentioned, I didn't get into this to earn a press pass, nor was I even aware it could be earned by blogging when I started. As to whether I would ever take advantage of such an opportunity - well, I'll have to keep you posted ;)

Netsrak said...

I'm such a $#@%-disturber by calling attention over on the Caps boards to strungout's Capital Prospect blog-slam! :)

I think there is a natural (if misguided) inclination for one to feel a little superior in any endeavor when newcomers come along, and it seems that strungout fell prey to this tendency. But he clearly knew his opinion would be unpopular with his fellow bloggers, given the fact that he disabled comments for that just that one blog entry.

I know that my own comments about blogs over on the Caps boards are not always positive, but, well, I'm a critic at heart. (Gee, maybe I should start my own blog, heh heh!) And my own feeling is that while there may be twenty-four Caps blogs (give or take a few, depending on what qualifies as a "Caps blog"), a lot of them seem, well, either half-assed or aimless (or both). And I'm more of an admirer of people who, like Homer Simpson, use their whole ass. I suspect this might have been one of the things strungout was trying to say... although if it was, he said it poorly.

But as you, Japers, The Peerless, and the 3 Grumpy Caps Fans have pointed out, one really cannot begrudge anyone their fandom and enthusiasm. This, I think, is where strungout went horribly wrong with his blogger smackdown. I may not be impressed when a lazy blogger simply rewrites what he or she has read in the regular media-- but by god, I'll defend his or her right to do so!

I guess if I were to state my views in a more positive manner (something I should really try to do more often), I'd say that I wish more of the Caps bloggers would apply themselves (like you obviously do, CapsChick!) and try their best to add something original or significant to the collective conversation. Hey, wow, I can be positive! Amazing.

But boy, bloggers sure are in love with blogging about blogging, aren't they? :P

CapsChick said...

Netsrak: You do love to stir the pot, I'll give you that :) And yes, you can be critical, but it's usually a humorous kind of criticism that isn't applied across the board to all bloggers, which I appreciate.

It's interesting that someone would post something so obviously contentious and then not at least allow debate on the matter. That's why I had to post this in the first place!

I actually think the majority of the Caps blogs are pretty decent. It's hard to argue with the fact that in any form of media you'll have those who try hard and those who phone it in. The ones who don't put the work and passion into what they do will probably fade away at some point...but if they don't, it is their right to keep trying just like it's our right to not visit their site.

I try to apply myself as you said, and bring a little different viewpoint - still, I'm always working to get better. In no way do I consider myself to be as good a blogger as some of the ones we've got here, but I'm trying. I just try to make at least one person laugh...other than myself, that is. :)

Hockey Amor said...

I think there should be even more Caps blogs, because I appreciate different takes and endless variations on my favorite all-time subject: the Caps!

KnittingFool said...

Someone who updates as seldom as Capital Prospect has this year shouldn't be complaining other bloggers picking up the slack. In fact, I never read that blog until you mentioned it here.