Monday, October 28, 2013

Why is Blogging so Damn Hard?

It's funny, even after switching things around on this site I'm still having trouble finding motivation to blog about stuff.  About anything.  I was gonna write about how the Detroit Tigers are the biggest chokers in the game, but that's boring.  Then I thought about listing the top 5 worst franchises in Major League Baseball, but that really would have been just a bunch of bashing on the Dodgers and Angels, and everyone already knows those franchises totally suck.  Then I just kinda sat there and picked my nose.  What the hell am I gonna write about?

I have stuff to write about, it's just getting that motivation to open the blog up and get to work.  I guess motivation was really the main reason my food blogging lagged.  So I started thinking about what happened and it's really actually pretty simple: blogging is hard.  I mean, even when I stopped marketing and would only post a few times a month, the website never went to waste.  It's going on three years which is a long time to stay active on a blog.

So I'm gonna do a case study on blogging and today's topic is:

 What the Hell Happened to Basketbawful?

Basketbawful (the best of the worst of professional basketball - and there's a lot of it) was the premiere blog to read up on the daily failings in the NBA.  Every morning there'd be a new post trashing Darko Milicic, the Charlotte Bobcraps, or how David Stern secretly controls the outcomes of all the games.  It was a pleasure to read because Mr. Bawful's writing was cynical, sarcastic, and just damn funny.  Reading Basketbawful was a great inspiration for keeping things entertaining here at Greg's Gourmet.

But then something happened.  Bawful, who had a real job writing about the Chicago Bulls (By the Horns), gradually stopped blogging everyday and it was following the 2012 Finals where he basically dropped Basketbawful and quit.  Since I was a loyal reader since 2007 or 2008, I saw the warning signs early that he just wasn't into it anymore.  You see, the NBA doesn't have much of a middle class anymore.  You've got some really good teams and a bunch of really bad teams and that's it.  Finishing at .500 has really become a mirage.  While it does happen (Dallas finished 41-41 last season), you generally have a huge gap between the 50 win teams and the 30 win teams.  There's just not a lot of middle ground anymore, and it's the big wigs and the player egos that have caused this.  Bawful saw it coming several seasons ago and didn't make it a secret at how dispiriting it was, that basically the NBA just pimps out a handful of "super" teams (where all of the league's best players team up) now and that's it.

So last summer following Bawful's departure, Evil Ted (Bawful's friend and number 2 guy) opened applications for new writers on the site.  Essentially you could write in about anything related to the past season: a season recap, a playoff recap, draft analysis, etc.  With Greg's Gourmet's popularity at an all-time high and being a loyal Basketbawful reader for years, of course I applied.  This is where things got stupid.

ET's plan was to pick through the best submissions and post them on the site and let the public decide who gets to be a new contributor.  Ultimately three writers had their work posted for public evaluation and all three became contributors.  I'm too lazy to go through the comments, but I'm guessing ET liked their stuff enough and may have made them contributors either way.  So obviously I didn't get picked, nor did my submission even make it onto the site for public consideration.  It didn't bug me that much until I saw this posting from ET.

Note: I'm leery of people with their own blogs...while that shows dedication to something, I am seeking someone (or someones plural) to be dedicated to Basketbawful and make it what it once was...a nasty, sarcastic place for semi-literate anonymous people to vent. HA! Kidding. But not really. of the qualifications to blog at Basketbawful is that you can't be a blogger?  Oooooookay.  And thanks for the heads-up after the application process, that's great timing.

Anyway, three new writers were brought on paired with ET and a couple writers who were carried over from the Bawful days, so you had about 6 people contributing to keep the site active on a daily basis.  But that didn't last long.  The writers who contributed during the Bawful days quickly abandoned ship, so we were then left with the three new guys and I'm pretty sure ET is pretty let down on how that turned out.

Jason was supposed to be the savior.  His writing most closely resembled Bawful's and he was entertaining.  When he was first brought on he was submitting several things per week.  Unfortunately once the 2012-13 regular season started, Jason all but disappeared.  His posts became majorly sporadic, like once a month if anything.  Another guy who was brought on, Paul, whose submission I don't even think was that great, never actually posted after the regular season started.  So that left Glenn, who gets major props because he went into the trenches to try and keep Basketbawful afloat.  His writing style is much different than Bawful's in the sense that Bawful would make fun and make funny of people and teams.  Glenn just makes funny, and the difference is night and day.

For example, Bawful would refer to underachieving teams such as the Detroit Pissed-ons, the Charlotte Bobcraps, and the Toronto Craptors.  Players who only got to see a minute or two of floor-time were lauded (in a taunting way).  And if a player had more turnovers, fouls, or missed shots than any other contributing statistic then they were praised as Basketbawful heroes for being so horrible.  Basically the more someone or something sucked, the more attention it got.  Glenn's writing just didn't have that fast paced sarcasm to it.  But he still posted nightly recaps every damn day without any help from any of the new writers.  Toward the end of the season and into the playoffs his posts became more sporadic until he disappeared.  He openly mentioned how doing the nightly recaps were exhausting and I don't blame him.

Jason has since posted a couple things over the summer, but nothing much and honestly, who really gives a shit?  The site's readership has tanked.  Unless Bawful comes back I doubt there'll be much activity this season at all.  This brings us back to the original idea of this post: blogging is hard.  A team of three new writers couldn't do the job of what one guy was doing.  And seriously, Bawful is a spectacular writer.  And the NBA season goes from late October to early June and this guy blogged about it every single day.  It was a pleasure to wake up to.  But even he got tired of it.

Am I upset that I didn't get a chance to write for Basketbawful?  Not really.  With its readership as high as it was you'll always need to be on your game cause the readers will know if you're half-assing it.  I would have liked to give it a try, but I think like Glenn I probably would have just lost interest, just like everyone else did.  No hard feelings of course, though I'm still baffled as to why ET didn't want someone who was already a blogger.  Like, dude, what?