2017 is weird: While We’re Waiting

Happy Friday everyone. Hope you’re having a lovely week. Apologies for missing last week. I completely forgot to write WWW while I was on vacation. I have no excuse, but a cool thing happened as a result of my forgetting.

I forgot to write it Thursday night and then Friday morning we were driving back to the Cleveland area from Sandbridge Virginia Beach. I was off of social media and not in our slack channels and my friends here at WFNY actually became worried about me. I got a text as I was barreling down the freeway asking if I was OK. After feeling badly and guilty for forgetting my WWW, I appreciated having a group of people who aren’t blood-related to me that actually care that much about me. Speaking of which, I wanted to talk about WFNY this morning.

I don’t know where the goalposts are anymore and I don’t care…

I don’t feel like I have any idea what we’re doing at WFNY anymore. In many if not most ways I’ve never been happier with the site. We’ve got YouTube things going on. We’ve got new writers all over the place. We’ve got Indians coverage that is as good or better than any in the entire city. We cover the Cavaliers about as well as we ever have thanks to Scott and crew. The Browns water-front is still covered as well despite the fact that they’ve largely not been worth covering. Even though we don’t inhale and subsequently headline every minute Browns nugget like we might have in the past, I feel like our Browns coverage is the most knowledgeable it’s ever been in so many ways thanks to Joe Gilbert and crew. I don’t know if this is the best that WFNY has ever been, but it feels like this era could be in the conversation for sure. Yet, I have no idea what we’re doing.

This isn’t a shot at any of my co-owners or any of the contributors. It’s more of a meta statement of the world we inhabit. I used to feel like I knew what we were doing here writing and creating content that we found interesting and that would occasionally go viral-ish in the sports blog universe. Yesterday when Jessica wrote that cool WWW it got tweeted by Bill Simmons and it was like a flashback to days gone by when it crashed the servers and took WFNY down. That’s the kind of thing that used to happen to us semi-occasionally when we’d get a Deadspin link or something from Jimmy Traina at Extra Mustard on SI. In those days we collected hits like they were Griffey rookie cards. Now, in 2017 those hits are just piles and piles of common cards that take up space next to our desk in our mother’s basements.1

We’re still doing the same basic things, covering Cleveland sports in ways that seems fun for us. We’re big into podcasting and the aforementioned multimedia on YouTube, but the metrics have all changed. We actually don’t get traffic in the same way we used to with the website. Still, if you look at the site’s profile and impact, I can’t help but think that’s the wrong metric. When you consider the number of people tuned into podcasts, watching videos, commenting on Facebook, Twitter, and willing to support us via Patreon. it makes no sense that we’re “smaller” or any way lesser today as some kind of cultural entity. Yet, if you asked me in 2012 what I would have thought of the current traffic trends at WFNY and how I would feel about it, I would have said it would make me feel like some kind of a failure on a sinking ship. And I don’t feel that way at all. I quit playing checkers and I’m not sure if I’m playing chess now or what. I’m not sure what I need to do to “win.”

It’s just a weird time and that fuels the opening line of this post. I don’t feel like I have any idea what we’re doing at WFNY anymore because it used to be easy to measure us on the pageview counter – especially when it was a growth metric for the site for so many years. Even as I am apparently too old or too dumb to be able to see the scoreboard or figure out what counts as a goal, I’m really happy continuing to build this thing – whatever it is – every day with Scott, Andrew and the rest of the crew.

Weird, right?

By the way, this is the way I’m feeling in August of 2017, but this is precisely the kind of thing that would have worked for our annual Thanksgiving post. So, count me out this year and come back here to read this one. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Listen to the new Brand New album right now…

This might be the best or second-best Brand New album ever and that doesn’t make any sense to me. Perfect.

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