Tuesday, November 25, 2008

ShysterBall Moving on Monday

I've been thinking about the future of this blog a lot recently, and I've run into more questions than answers.

What do I want out of it? What do I want it to look like? What do I not want it to look like? Do I want to try and make some money off of it now by taking ads or devoting all of my posts to a paying group blog? Would I rather make a long play and try to get a real job out of it over the next couple of years? Would I be a partner at my law firm right now if I hadn't started this blog in the first place?

Answering those questions in various ways presents all kinds of options, and not all of them are mutually-exclusive. They're all difficult questions, however, and since I can't see the future with a crystal ball, they have become somewhat agonizing questions to consider. Well, not the partner one. I don't think I ever really wanted that.

What I do know, though, is that I want three things above all others: (1) the ability to reach as many eyes as possible; (2) some assurance that as many of those eyes as possible are connected to functioning brains; and (3) the continued ability to write what I want in a space that is mine and mine alone.

Putting those things together led me to accept an offer made by The Hardball Times to relocate ShysterBall to its esteemed pages. The move will be effective sometime in the wee hours of Monday morning, December 1, 2008. I'm pretty excited about it.

So why move? An easy answer is traffic. While I'm pretty proud of the level of readership this here blog has garnered in the 20 months it's been live, the fact is that you sort of plateau once you get to a certain point with a stand-alone blog. THT has many more readers, and given their content, I know that they're smart readers who will be interested in the kinds of things I write.

A less shallow answer is -- and please pardon my use of this awful word -- synergy. As you may know, we simulposted "And That Happened" on THT this summer, and all parties agree that it was a success. There were people who would have never otherwise read ShysterBall reading it, and people who would have never otherwise read the THT Daily post in which it appeared reading that. All-in-all, I think moving the whole kit and caboodle is a chocolate and peanut butter kind of move, with my jackass opinions complementing THT's stats and analysis quite nicely. Both THT and I are interested in seeing if we can't crank the Reese's Cup factor up more.

The beauty of the move is that virtually nothing you have come to know and love about ShysterBall will change. It will still be me and me alone writing it. I'll still be writing the same kinds of things with the same level of frequency. Comments will still be enabled. You can still set it up in your RSS feed or whatever it is you crazy kids are doing these days. The only thing that won't be there is this generic, off-the-shelf Blogspot template. I asked THT's Dave Studeman if we could keep it, but he explained that the code behind it is far too ancient for THT's servers to translate. Alas. If you're curious what it will look like, you can get a pretty decent idea by checking out THT's Fantasy Focus blog. I think my little baseball player next to the blog title will be a batter, however.

As for location, there will be a tab at the top of the main THT page that says "ShysterBall." It will obviously have it's own permanent URL as well, but I'm not going to give it to you now because we're still testing stuff there. Of course, I'm sure you URL hackers can figure it out if you apply yourselves. I'm probably going to have this URL and Shysterball.com automatically redirect to THT starting Monday morning, but I'm a technical idiot, so I'll probably screw that up.

So that's that. I know no one likes change. I especially don't. But I think this is change we can believe in, and my understanding is that everyone likes that sort of thing these days.

Craig

31 comments:

Jason @ IIATMS said...

I need to sit down to process this.

first thought: Congrats!
second thought: good luck!

wow. just wow

Jason @ IIATMS said...

wait, I already was sitting. I need to stand. See, I am already flummoxed

Josh said...

Congrats Craig!

and good luck!

Pete Toms said...

Cheers, your flock will follow.

Peter said...

Congrats, Craig!

TLA said...

Way to go! Whether you picked your partner in this deal or whether it was your only option if you were leaving blogspot, I think its a good partnership. Best of luck. I'll see you over there.

Craig Calcaterra said...

TLA: definitely a pick-my-partner-and-my-partner-pick-me kind of thing. There was nothing compelling me to leave blogspot, and to be honest, I was content to just keep things as-is for a time. I've had other offers to pair up with other sites before and passed, either because I wasn't ready to consider that yet or because it didn't strike me as a good fit.

This was kind of the best of both worlds.

Vegas Watch said...

Congratulations, Craig.

The new URL was REALLY difficult to "hack" into, by the way.

Craig Calcaterra said...

Yeah, I figure you probably had to steal some secret CIA shit to get into that, huh?

Levi Stahl said...

Congratulations, Craig. This is good news for all parties.

leez34 said...

I'm very happy for you. I came here as a result of the "simulpost" at THT in the first place; all this means to me really is that I get to delete one RSS feed since THT is already on there.

Cheers!

chris simonds said...

Sounds like a win-win (hey, you used "synergy", so I get to use a godawful buzzword too!)

I think it's a good move. Congrats, and see you at THT.

Puquerda said...

atta boy milkman

tadthebad said...

You're right, THIS is change I can believe in. Congratulations, Craig, you've more than earned it. Great work as always, looking forward to reading it at THT. Just as important, I look forward to sharing the comment threads with the fine people who follow Shysterball. See you there.

mooseinohio said...

Hello, boys and girls. This is your old pal, Stinky Shysterballs. This is a song about a move. No! This is a song about being happy! That's right! It's the Happy Happy Joy Joy song!

Happy Happy Joy Joy
Happy Happy Joy Joy
Happy Happy Joy Joy
Happy Happy Joy Joy
Happy Happy Joy Joy
Happy Happy Joy Joy
Happy Happy Joy Joy Joy!

I don't think you're happy enough! That's right! I'll teach you to be happy! I'll teach your grandchildren to love baseball! Now, boys and girls, let's try it again!

Thanks to Ren & Stimpy for the best way I could think of to say congrats Craig.

Anonymous said...

APBA Guy-

The Bay Area, that bastion of change, embraces the notion of ShysterBall at THT.

We'll see you there!

Daniel said...

Congrats Craig!

I read a bunch of THT stuff but never comment over there - is it going to be like the first day at a new school? Awkward.

Glen L said...

Congrats man! This is a great move for you, in my humble opinion. I can't see any downside to moving the blog to such a respectable site as THT.

Grady said...

cool dude!
i love THT. now I can just mash your links into one.

Anonymous said...

Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 4:57pm (17) Comments

This is a test

Test. I sure hope no one sees this!

---------
Looking forward to having one less bookmark to click when I begin my day.

Sara K said...

Yes, you can!

Congrats on the move. I'm sure a lot of us go to THT anyway, so this move just streamlines the morning browse. For those that don't, they are soon to be happily enlightened.

John Henning said...

Good on ya, Craig! THT and ShysterBall getting together, it's almost too much to handle. It's the Brangelina of the blogosphere. I'm guessing your tabloid name will be Hard-Shyster-Balls. Or maybe not...

Mr. Thursday said...

As long as there is an RSS feed, totally sweet.

Happy to see you're making like the Jeffersons.

Drew said...

I load your blog and read it on my Blackberry everyday while I'm on the subway. I hope your new gig at THT will give you one URL that I can load each morning, as that's how I read it.

Any chance?

Craig Calcaterra said...

Drew -- I don't think it will be any different in that regard. The same way you can put the main URL in for ShysterBall now (shysterball.blogspot.com), you will be able to put in the default, top-of-the-page entry for ShysterBall after the move.

monahan said...

Awesome! Congrats!

scatterbrian said...

awesome Craig

see ya at THT

tHeMARksMiTh said...

Congrats Craig!! I guess I'll have to change my bookmark now. Geez, inconvenient.

matt said...

Congrats, Craig. HBT has always been one of those sites that I check out after I run out my other baseball sites and every time I think, "Why don't I read this every day?"

Now that my first read of the day will be over there I have no reason to check it out each morning. Keep up the great writing.

The Common Man said...

Congratuations, Craig. That's great news. Best of luck to you at the new digs.

Nick said...

Nice work, Craig! I'm sure this arrangement will work out very well!