Ok, I warned of less frequent posting ahead, and it starts next week. So I'm leaving you with one of my more controversial Blogging Law entries today, to make up for it. Don't forget to keep an eye on Whoshotmamba.com, a video project soon to be released by the Cavalier of Yaysports.com fame.
Read Part 1 and Part 2 of my Blogging Laws series if you wish.
9. You shall constantly remind us how superior you are to ESPN and other MSM. You shall also hint about how daring you are to "speak truth to power."
It's good to see the blogger backlash to the ESPN backlash starting. I too wonder if there is significant overlap between the ESPN linkers and the ESPN haters. While The Starting Five and Leave the Man Alone have been doing a great job covering issues related to Michael Vick, bloggers aren't linking to them. Instead they are linking to ESPN. I'm not seeing any type of conscious effort to escape ESPN; I'm just seeing a lot of armchair whining.
In the past few years, ESPN has shut down Page 3, hidden Page 2, and canceled the Playmakers series. They got rid of Mark Shapiro, who was responsible for the "Sports is Entertainment" push. Yet they still get flack for "not being sports enough" from bloggers. Those bloggers are the very ones who do soft posts that don't have much to do with sports. In other words, ESPN is their competition!
Really, are you going to believe "Wal-mart is evil" signs when they all have been made by the local store-owner? Agenda much?! Don't you think that if ESPN showed Will Leitch, the writers of The Big Lead, or nearly any professional blogger 200 G's a year to blog on Page 2, they'd leave in a heartbeat? I do. And it doesn't count if you speak truth to power and there's no possibility of a backlash. Look at the hits from the blogs that criticize ESPN; the most-visited posts come from their criticism. Bias much? Read more about my views on blogger hating here.
10. You shall randomly insert pictures of hot models/actresses/singers to improve the mediocrity of your text.
You know by now that I certainly don't disapprove of posting pictures of females in general. Let me clarify with three points.
* It's one thing to have a headshot of an attractive woman. It's another thing to post shots of the "90% of me is bare, except for 3 squares of cloth" variety. I do most of my Net surfing in public areas. Do you know how irritating it is to constantly have to resize/minimize the screen while reading a sports blog so you don't get the "MCBias, is that porn?!" comment from a coworker/librarian/parents/ladies? Somehow I don't think my squeaking "Um, no, it's sports!" is going to rescue me from an uncomfortable situation.
* If images of pretty girls that have nothing to do with sports are why you read sports blogs, um, well, you need lots of help. We're supposed to be sports bloggers. Yes, hot women may take up the 95% of our thoughts not devoted to sports blogging, ha, but we can compartmentalize this much, right?
* Additionally, how are we ever going to get any female readers if we're objectifying them left and right? That's precisely the reason I have soured on ladiesdotdotdot.wordpress.com. What legitimate comment can I leave to a post that objectifies men? "Um, I always thought Athlete X had cute hair too"?!
Aside: I've done my best to make this site as female-friendly as possible while still being true to what I like. I've intentionally recruited women to comment on this site, talked about women's issues, and attempted to befriend nearly every female sports blogger there is. Besides the obvious that I enjoyed doing those things in and of themselves (and making my fellow bloggers envious at times, heh), I did so because I know female traffic makes most sites. Women are more loyal readers in my limited experience, and also where women go, men follow. It's not just common sense to make your site more female-friendly, it helps the bottom-line too, in my opinion. We can't all live off white male readers in their 20's, ha.
11. You shall brag about your journalism or English-related degree as if it makes you more qualified to blog.
This may be the most controversial blog law that I criticize, because certainly my love affair with semicolons, "heh", and "?!" may have been hammered out of me had I majored in English. But it annoys me when someone mentions that they have such a degree with the hint that it makes their blog automatically better than those who are not similarly educated. For example, because I have some decent training in technology, I am able to add/find some content that I would bet journalists cannot. I am probably being overly sensitive about this, but it still does annoy me. I don't think bloggers are journalists. I have no idea what we are, but it's not journalists, I'm pretty sure.