With the 2010 season just one week away it seems appropriate to give everyone a heads up on what will be going with CC over the next six months and beyond. A lot of you were here last season (and the season before, and the season before that), but we've also gotten a lot of new members since October 4, 2009. I thought it'd be a good idea to put together a primer of sorts to let the new (since the season ended) folks know what to expect during the year and to announce some new features and events that will be happening this season.
If you have any suggestions for things you'd like to see done this year at Camden Chat, please speak up. I'm always looking for new ideas. Now, onto the goodies.For the newbies -- What to expect on a daily basis
During the season, every day that there is a game we will have a minimum of three posts per day. We'll continue with our morning Bird Droppings posts where you can find Orioles news from around the internet and use the comments to discuss those stories, other Orioles topics, or anything you want. Additionally, every game day will feature a Game Thread and a Post Game story.
Game Threads: If you weren't around last season, you've still gotten a taste of Game Threads during Spring Training. In-season game threads are like those x100. Each thread, usually written by myself, duck, or zknower, will provide the pertinent information on the game (pitchers, lineups, etc.) along with some brilliant commentary. The magic of the game thread is in the comments, however. Think of it as a virtual sports bar where you're sitting with your buddies watching the game. Everyone is there for the same reason, to watch the game, but that doesn't mean we're not going to also talk about a new beer we discovered, or movies we've seen lately, or whatever you'd chat about with your friends in your social setting of choice. The game threads are really where you get to know your fellow Camden Chatters, and most of them are damn funny. If you're unfamiliar with the GT, check out this one from June 30, 2009. I love this game thread because it has it all: the misery of the Orioles stinking it up again, plenty of off topic chatter during the rain delay, and the crazy hysteria of the O's comeback. Another good one is from a game during last year's WBC.
- Post Games: Miss the game? No problem. Check in with Camden Chat to get a recap. And not to be the arrogant Orioles fan, but it is guaranteed to be a better read than what you'll find at other locations. You can get the box score and rundown of plays anywhere, but Camden Chat offers that and more from the fan perspective. Here is a past recap to give you an idea of what to expect: June 18, 2009: O's 5, Mets 4
For everyone -- New features for 2010
There is a lot of game related content posted in-season but we're going to make an effort in 2010 to continue to write quality pieces in addition to the three daily posts listed above. We'll of course still be writing about Orioles news and topics as they arise, but we'll also be adding a number of features that you can look forward to weekly.
- Birds Up, O's Down: The preview is posted just a bit down the page, so check it out. Modeled after the Ups and Downs series at Japers' Rink, this feature will post weekly on Sunday nights and examine which O's players are on the upswing, who is ice cold, and who's on the bus to Norfolk.
- Weekly Minor League Spotlight: When Camden Chatter James F volunteered to help me with the SB Nation Orioles preview I was immediately impressed with the depth of his knowledge as well as his writing talent. He's shown a real interest in the minors and the draft process and he will be keeping us all updated on the goings on of both with his articles. If you are particularly interested in the minors and the amateur draft or, like me, you'd really like to learn more, be sure to check in on Wednesday afternoons.
- Weekly Roar: Matt of Roar From 34 has been writing a bit for Camden Chat since last November but will be taking on a bigger role this season with a weekly article. If you're familiar with Roar From 34 you know that Matt has a unique way of looking at O's players, current events, and history and I'm excited to see what stories he brings to Camden Chat. His article will post weekly on Thursday afternoons.
- Team Previews from the Experts: Prior to the first series that the Orioles play against each team in 2010, I'll be posting a Q&A with a writer from the opposing team's SBN blog. What better way to know about the teams we're playing than to hear from the people who watch them every day? I've already completed Q&As with Tommy Rancel from DRaysBay and Tom Dakers of Bluebird Banter, so look for those to be posted just prior to the first two series of the year.
How can you contribute?
It can't be said enough that Camden Chat is about community. This is the most intelligent group of Orioles fans around, so share your knowledge. The comments section of each story is the busiest place on CC and where discussions are had and relationships forged, but don't forget about Fan Posts and Fan Shots.
- Fan Posts: With the advent of the daily open thread and the Great Fan Post Smackdown of '09, the volume of Fan Posts has decreased dramatically. I think this is a shame because I know you guys have a lot to say. If you have a topic you want to discuss or an stance you want to take, write it up in the Fan Posts. Take a look at the guidelines first, of course, but then have a go at it. And Fan Posts don't have to be about the Orioles or even baseball. A good off-topic discussion can be just as interesting as trade deadline scenarios. Use your judgment to determine if it's a topic that will actually incite discussion or provide the community with good information. If it's just a random thought, toss it in the open thread. Some good examples of different Fan Posts: the discussion starter, the knowledge dropper, the just for fun post, and the Off-Topic.
Fan Shots: They're often overlooked due to their placement on the page, but Fan Shots are a great way to share a bit of media with the community. A link to a an article (bonus points if you wrote it as in this FS by brooklynlovesorioles), a funny video, or a cool picture you took all make for good Fan Shots. And even if you haven't posted one, don't forget to scroll down to see if anyone else has.
Other awesome stuff.
- Camden Chat Shirts: You provided the ideas and zknower provided the elbow grease. Now the Camden Chat shirts are available for purchase. Check out the designs and if you have a request for something not shown, just ask.
- Camden Chat at Camden Yards: We had our first annual Camden Chat night at Camden Yards last year and it was a lot of fun. This year we're going to start planning earlier so that more people will be able to make plans to come, and so that the game won't be the second to last game of the year. Keep an eye out for a post in the near future that will get the ball rolling.