Monthly Archives: July 2009

Interesting responses to interesting exercise

(3:36 p.m.): I figured I might leave somebody out of my “True to your School” blog post, but I figured you, my glorious readers, would point out the flaws of my argument. And I was correct.

So, thanks for everybody who e-mailed me or left me a comment on the ol’ web site. In case your mind needs refreshing, here’s the original blog post from last week. In a nutshell, the game was to pick UC’s top athlete/performer/personality in basketball, football, baseball and a wild card. I went a step further and picked a No. 2 (which, in retrospect, was probably the reason I got most of the comments).

Read the rest here.

How much is it worth?

I read this story today, and immediately, I had two different reactions: “Yay!” and “Well, I guess I won’t be visiting NYTimes.com much anymore.”

First reaction: I think it’s great the NY Times is thinking of ways it can make money on the Web. I always feel optimistic when somebody in this not-dying-but-totally-changing business is thinking of trying something a little bit different. If the NY Times wants to charge a bit so you can read the best newspaper in the world, I say “god bless.” If ESPN.com wants to employ a blogger for each NFL division and each BCS conference to get fans a micro-view of the news, I say “that’s awesome.” If CBSSports.com wants to pay me for … well, I’ll get into that part later. It’s all about adapting and finding a formula that works. The NY Times (and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, as well, in a similar capacity) tried something a few years back called TimesSelect where, basically, you had to subscribe to read certain columnists. It eventually went away (the linked article explains why). Now, the NY Times is going to try something different. I think it can work. If people perceive the content as being too good or too important to pass up, they’ll pay for it. Ask the Financial Times’ web site about that. The NY Times can accomplish the same as well,* because, in reality, you could spend all day on the site reading fascinating and well-written stories.

*Whether a paper like the Cincinnati Enquirer or AJC could make that formula work, I don’t know. But I kind of have my doubts.

Second reaction: If I, a journalist and a student of this business, question whether it’s worth it to shell out, say, $60 a year to read the Times online, you wonder how well this idea will really work. I love the Times (I love reading the newspaper, anyway. I don’t read the web site nearly as much I should), but I don’t know if I want to pay to read it on my computer. I’d almost rather spend the $200 (or whatever it is) to subscribe and get the paper thrown at my front door every day than to have to read it online (maybe, that’s what the Times would want anyway). I just don’t know if I want to spend my money on that.

On one hand, I’m optimistic. On the other, I’m a little bit sad.

An interesting exercise

(10:11 a.m.): So, here’s a cool game. You have to put on your history thinking caps in order to do it, but it’s worth pondering if you’re a UC fan.

The set-up is this: as introduced by Sports Illustrated/KC Star columnist Joe Posnanski on his blog (he also generously wrote a back-of-the-book blurb for Bearcats Rising) is to name the top athletes at each school by sport. One for basketball, one for baseball, one for football and one Wild Card – which according to Pos “which could be any sport, anything semi-involving sport or if it’s good enough a cool alumni who has nothing at all to do with sports.”

Read the rest here.

Building Toward the Future 06-06

I got a call a few months ago from the Atlantic 10 conference, asking if I’d like to write a few articles this summer for the league’s web site. The A-10 said it’d pay me in money, so, naturally, I said yes. Here’s the first one, a study on why the conference’s schools have been building and revamping their basketball arenas and how much the new construction is helping the A-10.

I figured that if I can talk to St. Joseph’s coach Phil Martelli – who is my favorite coach in the A-10 (at least from a media perspective), followed by Dayton’s Brian Gregory – and CBSSports.com basketball writer Gary Parrish, then, yeah, I said, I can write the story. So, that’s what I did. And Martelli and Parrish made it infinitely better.

And a key fact: for the first time since I started my freelance career in Jan. 2008 after the Cincinnati Post’s demise, this is the first time I’ve been paid before I wrote a story. So, yeah, the motivation wasn’t so high after I deposited the money in my bank account. Actually, that’s not true. But still, I’m happy that I know the money is safe in hand. This is not true for three stories I wrote last August (still haven’t been paid for those).

  • I watched five seconds of the Michael Jackson tribute this afternoon. That’s all I could stand. Luckily, my cable was out most of the day, so I didn’t have a choice.

  • Best news of the day, though, comes from C. Trent Rosecrans: after a week of vacation, Thinking Out Loud is back.

    Another book signing

    Sunday, Aug. 23, 2 p.m., Barnes & Noble on Fields Ertel. Two special guests have been confirmed.

    Mick talks about L. Stephenson

    (4:58 p.m.): It was billed as a mid-summer news conference with UC basketball coach Mick Cronin and senior-to-be Deonta Vaughn, and though Mick started off his statement talking about what the rest of the Bearcats were doing this summer, it was pretty clear why the media turned out today.

    The Tuesday signing of Lance Stephenson, the reasons why UC went after him, and what, if any concerns, Mick has with getting him eligible.

    Here’s the lede I wrote for the AP:

    Read the rest here.