There are many times during the season that I see an upcoming off day on the schedule and I breathe a sigh of relief. As all of you know, it's tough being an Orioles fan, especially one that is
crazy dedicated enough to watch almost all of the games. An off day can be a welcome chance to do something, anything, other than watch Orioles baseball.
Today's off day is not one of those days. The Orioles are coming off a weekend where they 1) clinched their first winning month since June 2008 and first winning August since 1997, 2) swept the season series from the Angels for the first time ever, and 2) at 4-2, recorded their first winning road trip in two years. I don't want to step away from the Orioles right now.
This is Camden Chat's sixth season in existence, and with the exception of 2005, when the site was brand new and people were still learning about it (and not to mention 2005 had those few exciting months), the traffic pattern at Camden Chat has been the same. April is always the busiest month at CC. Everyone is excited for the new season, we are foolishly optimistic, we love the Birds. And each month following April, the traffic lightens up a little until Free Agency and Spring Training starts again. The Orioles begin to stink, people go on vacation, and just as the team goes into its full fledged swoon, football season starts. By August, and especially by September, the place is kind of a ghost town.
This season started that way. All of those first things began to happen, but the team hasn't yet taken its yearly nose dive. In fact, they've gotten better (or, for you cynics out there, their record has gotten better). Yes, the Ravens and the Redskins and the rest of those football teams are playing their pre-season games and getting a lot of airtime, but people are still paying attention. And that is why, for the first time in Camden Chat history, August has seen more traffic than it did in May, or June, or July. Unless something really crazy happens we won't pass April, but the fact is that the O's haven't swooned and neither has Camden Chat.
So where am I going with this? What's the point? Should I just get to it already? Ok, then. The number of visitors to Camden Chat daily far outweighs the number of people who comment. That's not surprising; according to a Jakob Nielsen study, online communities are broken down into three groups: users who do not participate - 90%, users who contribute from time-to-time - 9%, and users who participate heavily - 1%. So for every kba26 there are 9 Brotz13s and 90 people whose names we don't even know.
With the Orioles playing well and so many people still visiting CC, I thought it was high time that some of those lurkers reveal themselves. If you are one of those people, consider this your official invitation to meet the community. Post a comment simply saying hello or telling us something about yourself or your Orioles fandom, or maybe you wish to let us all know how adorable you find Jim Johnson, or maybe you want to share your thoughts on Buck Ball. Whatever. It's an open thread of sorts, but with a purpose.
I honestly have no idea if this will generate any interest at all, but I saw Gaslamp Ball do it before the season started and have thought since then that it could be a good idea. Maybe it'll be a bust, maybe not. Maybe we'll end up getting just one new regular commenter, maybe ten. It seems to be worth a try on an off day when we're all feeling pretty good about the Orioles, don't you think?
So, you ninety-percenters, have at it. If you're not a member of Camden Chat or SB Nation, scroll down and join up already! We normally have a one day waiting period on commenting, but I waived it for today. If you're a nine-percenter but haven't participated in awhile, consider this an invitation as well to jump into things. And if you're a one-percenter, be nice to our new friends. Don't embarrass me!
If this goes well maybe we'll do it again before next season starts, and I'll link this post to our Who's Who at Camden Chat post that can be found on our sidebar.