Hello. As many of you long-time commenters are aware, I'm not really one to hide. I'm open and honest at all times, and part of the reason I am that way is because I think it makes it easier for you guys to be open and honest with each other. Myself, and the rest of the BFTB staff, get to be on the big stage up here, and setting a good example hopefully helps out in the audience down below.
In last night's open thread, one of our regulars took the opportunity to thank the BFTB community for being different.
For all the "drama" that can go down here
I just want to say to y’all that I feel lucky to have this community. That is, I don’t have many other ‘message boards’ I frequent, but none come close to the "standards of conduct" of BFTB posters. Everyone is very adult when disagreeing. Our "commitment" to logic/reason. And really, I think we go above & beyond because not everyone has the familiarity/level-of-comfort with the math (even just in the context of football (as opposed to a math/science background)), yet people are eager to learn & respect when they are used. (And that’s not to say everyone just "goes along with others say", but they’re open to look at things from different angles & acknowledge when good evidence is presented).
Maybe I have too high of expectations (both because of this community & my own science background that fosters critical thinking & logic), but when dealing with people who don’t exactly follow these standards….it’s frustrating to say the least (especially because I’m of a personality that can’t let it go, haha. I have to "enlighten" them. (At least online, in person my social-anxiety would probably get the better of me)).
No matter the topic at hand I don’t get the high-level of discussion you all provide here & I’m grateful for that :)
Uppercut (Joined BFTB 6/26/2011)
Look, as much as I wish it could be, BFTB is not my full-time job. It's what I do in the mornings before getting ready for work, or during my lunch break, or after I've gotten home and eaten dinner.
So, why do I do it? It's certainly not because I don't have anything better to do. I'd much rather be spending my time enjoying my life. I do it for all of the reasons above. When I took over BFTB, back in 2009, I did it with the idea of creating a community that is better than the other places that I have tried (and we all have tried) to go to for intelligent Chargers conversation.
Every so often, I like to share BFTB's traffic numbers with you. Why? Well, for one, I'm really proud of how far we've come. Secondly, this is not my site! It's yours! The title of the home page is "Bolts from the Blue, a San Diego Chargers community". This isn't my blog and it's not my world. I'm just the janitor that unlocks the door in the morning and locks up late at night.
- 2011: 1.3 million visits, 564k unique visitors, 2.4 million pageviews
- 2012: 1.7 million visits, 808k unique visitors, 3.5 million page views
- 2013: 2.6 million visits, 1.6 million unique visitors, 6 million page views
Look at that! In two years, we have doubled our traffic, tripled our unique traffic, and more than double our pageviews.
However, that's not why we're here. That's not why I'm writing this post. I look at those 1.6 million unique visitors from last year, then see that BFTB has only 8,000 registered members/commenters, and I get annoyed.
I've met a lot of people from the BFTB community (BFTBers? BFTBians?) over the last five years. At least half of them have started the conversation with "I lurk." Then they give me some reasoning as to why they lurk ("The conversation going on in the comments is way above my head, and I don't want to risk looking stupid and getting attacked."), and 20 minutes later they're telling me they're going to create an account and start commenting. Some do, some don't, but the conversation always leaves me perturbed.
Can commenting at BFTB be a little intimidating at times? Absolutely. However, it only is if you let it be! This here is a community of love. A community of family. A community that can be patient, and is willing to educate, if it means there's at least one more intelligent Chargers fan out there that isn't screaming on Sundays about the team being cheap.
Don't believe me? Still worried that you're going to say something that looks dumb and the community will jump on you for it? Well, let me show you what I have over here.
See? You're completely protected. Despite the fact that we mostly let Nick exist in the comments, I assure you that BFTB is not a place that tolerates ridicule or bullying.
The key to our community is openness and honesty. Want to talk about Ryan Mathews, but you're worried that you might sound dumb? Start off with "I may not have studied as much film on him as some of the BFTB writers, but my opinion on Ryan Mathews is...."
Where some commenters get into trouble is by picking fights. Acting like they're smarter than everyone else, and then lashing our at any form of debate on their comments. That type of conversation isn't welcome by anybody, new commenters or old, but anything else is.
Be a part of this worldwide family/community. If you don't have an account, get one. If you have one, but haven't commented (ever or recently), do so below! Introduce yourself. Tell your story. Give your opinion on the offseason so far.
For those that aren't lurkers, I'll offer you something fun. Post a request in the comments below to see your own info, and one of the editors will respond back with stats such as how many comments you've posted, how many recs you've received (and given!), and how many times you've been warned or banned.