March 12, 2009

TTD answers some questions

I participated in Interchangeable Parts' blogging questionnaire yesterday. You can see my responses by clicking what is commonly known as a "hyperlink", which I have attached to the words "Interchangeable" and "Parts" in the prior sentence. Or you can read what is below.

And to the Ookies: That '95 jab? Low blow, ladies, that's a low blow. But you're still cool.


1. What was your motivation for starting blogging? Has that changed at all in the time you’ve been blogging?

First and foremost I’ve always loved to write. I find it easier for me to communicate this way than to actually speak out loud — which may be a hindrance to me in real life, but for the purpose of blogging it’s a plus. Not to say that I’m a full blown jackass in person, but you get what I’m saying. Writing’s cool, it’s healthy. I started blogging because I love sports, so naturally if you love to write and you love sports, you start a sports blog. When I first started in February of last year I had no idea what I was doing. It began as an all-encompassing Detroit sports blog because I genuinely follow all of my Detroit teams with equal attention (yes, Lions included). Since then I’ve brought on board my friend and fellow Wing fanatic Brent, and up until just recently I made the decision to just focus on the Red Wings. I figured if I narrowed the focus down that the content would be better, and so far I think it has improved. I say that I had no idea what I was doing because I wasn’t experienced or knowledgeable about blogging when I started. I was 21 when I began, and yet I followed sports like a 65 year old — reading papers and watching the news. Not that that’s a bad thing, but I just think the Internet gives you infinitely more options to choose from (groundbreaking opinion, I know). Now there’s 10 to 15 Red Wings sites I check on per day, reading different perspectives that I never would have found before. My motivation when I first started was to have an outlet to ramble about sports through writing, because that’s what I enjoyed; I never had an eye on gaining readership or communicating with other writers or anything like that. Over time that has changed. I enjoy the communication between different sites, commenters, the occasional disgruntled Predators fan, and I discovered this all on the fly. Now look at me — it’s a year later and I’m a Wings fan reading a Devils site for god’s sake. The Internet is cool.

2. What do you think your blog contributes to the hockey conversation?

What we don’t offer in terms of breaking news and expert analysis, we try to make up for it by mixing in what we do know about hockey with a bit of humor. It’s hard for either of us to take ourselves seriously for more than like 12 seconds. I don’t really know how or if this impacts the wider spectrum of hockey conversation, because it’s not like we provide anything novel to the table: we’re a Wings blog (there’s a few of those) and we try not to be too serious about it. We hope our contribution is somewhat positive and people are entertained by it.

3. What do you want to get out of the blogs you read?

Either interesting opinion/observation, or humor. If there’s a mix of both, it’s a bonus. But mainly I just like reading stuff that makes me think in different ways. Red Wing sites like On The Wings and Red Wings Corner are two of my favorites because those guys think the game in a very intelligent way, and write accordingly. I get a kick out of watching a game, and then the next day read about the same game but get an entirely different perspective about it than the one I had. I think it contributes to a greater overall knowledge about hockey.

4. What determines which blogs you read and which you don’t?

Harking back to my journalistic roots here, I’d say “voice” is the main thing that keeps me coming back to a blog. There are literally like 50 bajillion sports sites out there; if a site isn’t distinguished by a particular voice or tone, than what’s the point in reading that one over a dozen others that sound just like it? I think about that every time that I write up a post on our site. I mean sure, it started as just a writing outlet and something for me and my friends to laugh at, but now that we’ve done this for over a year and more people read the site regularly, there’s somewhat of a larger purpose in that I’d like for it to stand out in some way, otherwise there’s no point in continuing. Voice is what brought me to IPB, really. I’d have little interest in keeping up on the latest Devils news, but the writing is good enough to the point that I like reading this site regularly now.

5. How important is the issue of gaining press access to you as a blogger?

I don’t think there should be an end-all-be-all decision on whether “bloggers” should or should not be given press access. It would be a blog-by-blog decision, I guess. Like, for us who read blogs on a daily basis, you already know who has credibility for that sort of thing and who doesn’t. But mainly I read blogs to get a fans perspective on things so the whole press thing doesn’t concern me too much. I guess the issue isn’t of great importance to me because it isn’t within any remote semblance of my imagination that The Triple Deke would ever be given access to anything other than an outhouse.

6. To what extent do you feel accountable for the content of your blog?

100% accountable. I can’t blame anybody else if I write something terrible or unfunny or asinine. That’s all on me. Do I regret or wish I could change some of the things I’ve written? To some extent yes, but some of that comes from a small anxiety complex troll that lives in my brain and is always telling me something could be better. Some of that comes from genuine regret, where I’m like “man, that really wasn’t that funny,” or “I sort of rushed that one.” As for the readers: if they’re coming to TTD to read something authoritative or credible, you’re probably in the wrong place. In fact you’d be completely lost. For places of journalistic credibility, read Snapshots or Red Wings Corner or the Free Press … those people have editors and deadlines. The writing at TTD is very light hearted, joke-y, attempts to be humorous, and should not be taken seriously by any means. We’ll throw an opinion in there every now and then, and we’ll even get on a soap box like once a week, but we’re not aspiring to be professionals here.

7. How concerned are you about the authority and accountability of the blogs you read? Do you find it difficult to judge the authority and accountability of the blogs you read?

I rarely think about that, because the only credibility that any blogger needs is his/her readers. They keep you in line. If you are reporting false stuff, or completely horrible/contrived opinions, nobody would like you and nobody would read your site, and therefore I wouldn’t even know about you to begin with. It’s almost intuitive, I suppose; it’s not something that I consciously think about while I’m reading.

8. What value, if any, do you think blogging brings to the NHL?

I now know what fans or entire fanbases think about there team, and that is cool. When Vancouver signed Mats Sundin, I found the fans’ opinons of him more valuable than anything I would read in a newspaper, because they aren’t going to hold anything back. The same goes for Miro Satan or Wade Redden or Crystobal Huet, etc … you can tell how a player or a team is doing based on the general reactions of a fanbase, and therefore you can form your own opinions about a guy. If just read papers and watch the news, you don’t get that same sort of insight because they have to word things far differently.

1 comment:

Pookie said...

Thanks again for answering the questionnaire, Tyler!

And as for the '95 jab, the way I see it is this: as fans of the only recent dynasties, we owe it to each other to cling to that! I would never expect a Red Wings fan to talk to a Devils fan without adding a little "count the rings", while Devils fans are pretty much required to bring up '95. It's just our way of reminding the world that our teams are just flat-out superior! Heh.