In my other FanFest post I left out the part about the Blogging the Birds forum featuring in addition to me, writers from Oriole Post, The Loss Column, Baltimore Sports and Life, and MASN Sports. It was the last forum of the day and we were joking before it started that there might be a dozen people interested in sticking around to listen to a bunch of nobodies give their opinion on the Orioles. It ended up being more than that, perhaps even twice that many!
MASN's Steve Melewski was the host of the forum and had us each give a little rundown of our blog. When it stood up, what we're all about, etc. He then asked us why we got into writing. A pretty hard to answer question really, at least with any uniqueness. It seems safe to say that most people who write a blog focusing on a sports team 1) love the team, and 2) love to write. For me at least, those are the reasons. That and I love and am really proud of this community and want to do all that I can to to keep it going strong.
Once the other bloggers started answering, though, I was kind of surprised by the answers. They said things like they wanted a place that was quiet and away from the yelling of sports radio (I certainly agree with that aspect, sports radio is ridiculous) and suddenly the guys were saying things about taking out emotion and having a place to get away from reactions and focus on analysis. I'd already given my short answer (I love to write and love baseball, duh) but I had to offer up my own opinion because my love for writing doesn't jive with the cold, analytical approach being preached by the other bloggers.
If you saw daveh873's comment in my Miggi post about my problem being that I'm too emotional, it was that question he was referencing. I spoke up and announced that I love emotion. One of the great things about Camden Chat is that we have emotion. We're passionate for the team and that's what it's all about. Hopefully I didn't give off the impression that we're just a bunch of emotion-fueled dolts who don't ever use reason or statistics. I don't think that I did.
The forum actually went faster than I thought it would with questions from the people in the crowd. We spent a bit of time on the Tejada signing (which I covered below) and some other questions about the legitimacy of blogs given that anyone can just say whatever they want, if we've ever been plagiarized and if we worry about people taking major issue with what we say, if we get paid (lol that was from jobe), and a few other things. When the question came up about community that's built through our sites, I was the first to speak up as I know that we have the greatest online Orioles community around. I pointed out that a number of CC'ers were in the crowd and spoke of the camaraderie we have. I honestly wish I'd had more time to talk about it because it IS the community that makes us the greatest Orioles blog.
Anyway, I was nervous going into the whole thing but in the end glad I did it. It's a good gesture by the Orioles to recognize the growing place of online communities and our continued acceptance as a legitimate source of news and discussion. The event combined with the MASN blogger night last summer shows that the Orioles get it and I hope there will be more partnership in the future.