Friday, April 24, 2009

The Origins of My Blogging

Back in 1997, when I was an editor at Worth magazine, I was asked, as part of an effort to beef up our presence on the Web, to write something called a blog. I began writing weekly dispatches about the world of sports business for a blog we called "Ballpark Figures."

I was pretty happy with what we ended up producing. The magazine at that point had not been covering sports very much, and there were a lot of key battles being fought: about player salaries and union relations, about ticket prices, about public support for stadiums. I wrote up a few of these types of articles for Sports Illustrated, but mostly they ended up on my blog.

But it's also worth noting what we didn't understand about the nature of the Internet back then, or at least how people would come to use the Internet. I posted stories once a week, as if people wouldn't drop by the site any more often that that. There was no interactivity, no way for readers to respond to what I was writing. Each post was roughly the length of a newspaper column, without any briefer posts dropped in to vary the pace and reel in readers with shorter attention spans.

We know a lot better now. And most blogs, if done well, are getting a lot more readers than "Ballpark Figures" ever did.

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