In case you haven't noticed, this site is filled with an insular bunch of stuck-up twits. Myself included, of course. We think we're better than the rest of the internet, and that's probably because we are. This is a site about the Giants, but play around with the search engine a bit. Think about something that intellectuals, pseudo-intellectuals, and/or nerds might discuss. Plug it into the search engine. Pablo Neruda...string theory....Fellini....heck, there are over 3,300 comments just on Greek epic poetry alone. The collective knowledge always makes for interesting conversation, and it usually leads back to William Van Landingham or Glenallen Hill. If that isn't a sign of the best internet community on the planet, I'm not sure what planet I'm on.
And this is even before we get to the baseball knowledge. Cripes, man. The baseball knowledge around here. Do you know how nerve wracking it is to write every day, knowing that if I refer to the "Rule 5 draft" as the "Rule V draft," I'll get corrected immediately? If I reference Steve Soderstrom's slider, I'd better be sure that he threw one, because one of you out there probably saw him pitch in high school. And everyone contributes these little bits of knowledge within a Giants-specific context.
But changes are afoot. SB Nation has partnered with Yahoo!, which will lead to things like this. It should drive a ton of traffic here over time. New users will be able to create an account here with their Yahoo! ID. A lot of bright people will join, and they'll fit right in. That'll be awesome, and the conversation will only improve. On the other hand, more members can sometimes mean more people who aren't going to understand the community mores right away. That's a given.
It will be key to use the tools already at hand. Make sure that good FanPosts are recommended so the best ones will stick at the top of the pile. Use the "flag" button if someone writes something obscene or offensive. More so than we're used to, I mean. And if you read a FanPost like this:
...just ignore it. Let it die on the vine. Don't hijack, don't belittle, don't bemoan -- just ignore it. And maybe go over to a good FanPost and recommend it. The author of the poorly conceived post might then get bored with the lack of response and leave...unless they think, well, what in the hell was wrong with my post? Then maybe they'll do a little more reading, and start to pick up on the good, bad, and ugly of this site. Maybe they'll stick around and become regular, familiar contributors. I've seen it happen several times already.
I've mentioned several times that this site, and it's previous incarnation at Waiting for Boof, wouldn't exist if it weren't for the Giants newsgroup. I learned almost everything I know about baseball from the readers there -- the importance of on-base percentage, how to appreciate Hank Greenwald, and why it was better to complain about a roster move first and ask questions later. Here's my first post in that newsgroup. I tried to come into an established community and tell them why they were stupid. And I was nerd-slapped with a velvety glove of logic.
What's the moral of the story? I'm not quite sure, but it has to tie in somehow. Let's see...well, I like to think of this site as a beautiful internet Giants nerd haven. And my career as a professional internet Giants nerd started with me acting like a little twit. I matured. A little. Not much. But I figured out what it took to be a part of the newsgroup community, and I enjoyed the heck out of it. It made watching a painful team fun. I'm always striving to make this community as fun and interesting. If, however, I were continually heckled because of my first post in that newsgroup, or if the community's xenophobia was too strong to penetrate after my initial slip-up, you'd be doing something different right now.
Just keep this all in mind. I don't know quite how to put this, but this is kind of a big deal. People know Yahoo! Their offices smell of rich mahogany and leather-bound books. More readers and comments isn't a bad thing. This is pretty danged exciting. I'm looking forward to it. And I'm kind of wondering if the Rangers would move Kinsler for Zito if we threw in Osiris Matos. See, the Rangers need pitching, and I think that...