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"Ravings of an Islander's Blogger"
IslesBeat/TFP, NY • United States • 44 Years Old • Male
bdgallof
The Bloggerazzi Peeks Out From Beneath An Article About The Isles Blog Box


As soon as the Sports Illustrated article hit the wire, I waited for it. That invariable swipe by those in a malleable establishment to judge and pigeonhole the Islander Blog Box. It didn't take long. The bash was led by one who was at the very most top of the hockey blogging food chain. http://sports.aol.com/fan...-new-media-test/#comments
It came down from the most precarious of perches, reacting to a bunch of everymen and women come into his territory, crabbing about team control as well as the paid sponsor in his long litany of complaints.

Eric McErlain is author of the excellent Off Wing Opinion, but his attack came in the guise of his spot on the AOL NHL Fanhouse, which led to those like Greg Wyshynski to chime in soon after.

And with it, they uncover the very truth of the matter. The issue is more that top of the heap bloggers are stuck on hierarchy and don't want to lose their luster due to "fans" or "rabble" infringing and lowering their reputation because some are highly regarded (and SOME deservedly so). But what they forget as they leap to protect their piece of the pie - is that bloggers are ANYONE, and it is the measure of the individual writer is whats really at merit, not the over-estimation or on the other extreme, complete disregard of the blogging community. The blogging community in the end, is the total conglomeration of all sorts from all walks of life . . .and most of all . . .will come at it from every angle.

The fact those look down from their long noses from entrenched spot on the digital ether, as if someone farted in their church really smacks more of vulnerability and pride. Eric is a great blogger, and most know he's been around a longtime, and has team access (as many others do as well, which he conveniently leaves out in his little diatribe). But thats not what the point was.

The point was that a sport organization, who also gives individual access to some bloggers, chose to also empower and declare bloggers as something defined. They gave it a name and some faces. Most bloggers seem to think they are playing journalists. But there is a supreme difference between both, and the Blog Box puts on that bright light upon that. Bloggers are writers. They might be fans. They might be anything. Blogger is simply a writer. And the the "blog" is merely a web log. Some have seemed to inflate this to behemoth parameters, losing the fact that it is up to the individual writer or blogger to make his own way.

The Islanders dared to make decisions on how they would be officially describe blogging. And that was a clarion bell to those roosters who strut from atop on the henhouse. But, for most, even with limited access (for now), it is a huge boon. But to them . . . it is anathema to their own status. A step backward.

And therein lies the meat of the matter and the source of sour grapes.

That they are no better, no more, no less, than any other schlump who decides to blog some text. And in the end, it will be on the audience, focus and content that really mean a hill of beans. That and some good networking, contacts and some good moxy.

So, this little cliquish minority of established bloggers have been the most vocal of critics of the Blog Box from it's first inception. Like somehow Chris Botta leapt through their Dell's and tweaked their nipples.

In in truth he has.

He invited others to the party.

In the end, despite the complaints of those like Eric. Most bloggers will gain from the attempt of the Isles. And sometimes the minority must take a hit as undefined system finally gets defined . . .and not in a way they very much like. That definition is VERY much what the Blog Box really means.

The most interesting issues that Eric clings to is that longtime Isles bloggers and blogs (which ARE excellent) were not included in the Blog Box. That status and longevity should have a special place. And with this is the largest hypocrisy of all. That the bloggers before, including Eric, used the LACK of these attributes to secure their own place. It is the fact of the wall and status got blown away
by the internet that he and others got their lofty positions in the first place. The Isles chose to make judgments based on application, prospective writing sample, and the focus of the blog itself.

So it true that SOME in the blogging establishment that now seeks to judge, construe and rail at those coming in. Like the Alpha Betas being horrified at Lambda Lambda Lambda. But, in the end, they are glass houses casting stones on themselves.

What also remains completely ignored by some bloggers is that many of the Isles Blog Box, besides many of the Islanders blogging community, have long messageboard histories on the web. Some even predate the sites of those who are complaining. But we wouldn't want a little reality to seep into the threatened posturing and text.

Those in the Isles Blog Box will plug onward, and those will criticize or support. But they all are reading, and in that, we know it is already a success.

Meanwhile, we bloggers who do it on our own time, with sometimes supreme effort to do that and our day jobs, will thumb our noses at this over-wrought reaction and sometimes overbearing establishment.

Loosen up.

- BD
Filed Under:   Blog Box   NHL   Islanders   Hockey  
October 10, 2007 9:24 AM ET | Delete
Great Blog B.D.! While I am a bit disheartened, though not surprised, at the petty reactions of our fellow blogger. Nonetheless, one thing rings true...the genie is already out of that bottle and no matter how hard they try to push we "uninformed masses" back inside - they don't have a cork big enough. To those who feel that they corner the market on the "right" to blog at the expense of and disclusion of others, guess what...you are just as tyrannical as the "media" that bloggers sought to free themselves of in the first place. The Who said it best, "meet the new boss...same as the old boss." Wake up boys....you are old news. And as B.D. so eloquently put it....loosen up.
October 10, 2007 10:21 AM ET | Delete
STANDING OVATION
October 10, 2007 10:31 AM ET | Delete
BD that is fantastic. Today's revolutionaries are tomorrows leaders!! Go get 'em!!
October 10, 2007 10:38 AM ET | Delete
Eric McErlain commenting about someone else's professionalism. Priceless. This guy is a joke.
October 10, 2007 10:42 AM ET | Delete
it's about time someone said it...and these two...Greg and Eric, who manage to put in their snoty input on each and every forum relating to the rise of the blogger.Two writers who I respected for their work...I can't even read them without wanting to puke, because they have been entirely unprofessional. What a clown this guy Greg is, who continues to take cheap shots, including his perpetual knock at Eklund...so much to the point where he goes on a sports illustrated thread and tries to virtually unmask him...These two are really a mokary...like a couple of angry schoolgirls, that the the boys are paying less attention to. What an embarrassment...BD...I've said this before, as recently as in our phone convo the other day...you are un unbelievable WRITER, so keep it up...
October 10, 2007 10:44 AM ET | Delete
BD, as always, great job. The Wyshynskies of the world can cut and paste a bunch of lists together and call it a book, but God forbid somebody who didn't major in journalism cover some thing a sacred as a hockey game. The Wyshynski and Kukla mentality is one of jealousy and smear. God forbid research get done before trashing something as cool as the BloggerBox.
October 10, 2007 10:54 AM ET | Delete
Wow ! Great blog BD. Blogging is a way for all writers without credentials to be read. It all begins with writers trying to free themselves from the ridiculous media circus that holds itself up on a pedestal. If guys like these need to put down the writers who have not been in the game as long to make themselves feel superior, they are simply feeling threatened. The truth is there are many very talented writers out there who are not read, that is too bad. It is people like these who keep the younger writers from posting and keep them walking on eggshells, afraid of getting ripped for stating their opinions. We all have an opinion, and in the blog world it will be heard, if they choose to put it down then so be it, but at least that means they are still reading it !
October 10, 2007 11:09 AM ET | Delete
B.D. (clapclapclap) B.D. (clapclapclap) B.D. (clapclapclap)
October 10, 2007 11:42 AM ET | Delete
The thing is, this isn't about EK's success -- it's his enemies' LACK of success is the issue. Ek had the vision that apparently no one else had. To the victors go the spoils, eh?
October 10, 2007 11:46 AM ET | Delete
It is really simple.There will always be counter culture.I STILL to this day admire Greg and Eric and Paul DESPITE the personal issues they have had towards me. They can call me a liar as much as they want to. It means nothing. I get it. I attempted to bridge the gap on several occasions. I sent congrats to paul when he got the nhl gig. congrats to eric on the nbc gig, and granted greg an interview under the guise of him saying, "we can bridge the gap" where he twisted and blatently included out and out lies about me.The latter of course was the worst of offenses and the least professional, but still if I saw any of these three in a bar I would not hold a bad thought towards them and again would try to reach out. Why because I get it.so there's that.There will always be counter culture, and this article is eric's own personal dilemna. plain and simple and if eric doesn't see it that way, he will now. I know this because I too have faced this dilemna, because eric and I were both part of the early hockey writing counter culture. He even longer than I.Let's draw a music comparison. Let's use grunge music. There were plenty of awesome bands in the nineties playing the scene in Seattle. The difference between who was better or worse was as different as blades of grass and completely subjective..Then came the one moment that every music exec dreams of. Nirvana crossed over into the mainstream culture. But for every Nirvana there were a thousand bands every bit as talented. Many of them would lash out at Nirvana and accuse them of selling out or not being true to the music...Cubain would try his best to keep the peace, but in the end he realized it was futile. He lost his mind trying to be both. He thrived on "being" a rebel and "counter culture." But the second he started making money, got notoriety, those still working at Starbucks trapped in the real counter culture banished him.Eric was a fan. All Sports writers were fans. There is this journalistic axiom that says we ned to be neutral. I have found neutrality comes naturally because the more players that you meet, the more players you like, and since players move around so much the fandom does disappear.That being said I have been in somber press boxes where I have seen reporters get caught up in a great game like everyone else. It isn't often, but it does exist. This is a sport. You want to see these players you talk to everyday succeed.So enter guys like myself and Eric. We both fought the stigma of being "bloggers" in the mainstream press box. Maybe not so much in our home town press box, but if Eric has travelled to other boxes...he has faced it.We need to be ultra professional to shed the stigma. Even when I have seen beat writers cheering I still sit silently. It is also what I have taught every blogger from this site that has been credentialled into their press box. Two rules. be quiet and let the beat and tv guys do their jobs first. They are on deadline and they are the ones who deserve that respect.So this is how I see this article. It is driven by fear. Fear that the Islanders letting bloggers into a press box means there is competition and that if they act like fans Eric and the rest of us will be allocated to sitting next to guys wearing jerseys.It is a legit fear. And that is a question I made very clear when the Isles approached me about getting involved. Chris Botta and others at the Islanders were very specific. They weren't taking something away from us, they were giving something cool to the fans. I, like Eric, and several other bloggers on this site and others are already pros and fully credentialed. The blog box the Islanders put together has ZERO to do with us.The blog box is such a cool idea because it is about an NHL team reaching out to fans and giving those fans a loser look that so many NHL teams are WAY too paranoid to allow. NHL teams are painfully private and need to be extremely protective of their players and their image..This blog box concept is a risk for a pro franchise. It really is. It is a risk for the Islanders, but a they see it as a risk worth taking.And that progressive nature can only help the hockey world. And if some of these fan bloggers earn their stripes and creep into the big box, I for one will welcome them. If they jsut have a blast doing it and return to their 9-5 worlds I will celebrate with them this amazing story they will tell for years to come. The story of how I got to interview a player and sit in the fan blog box.Don't begrudge them that Eric. And begrudge the team that gives them this opportunity. Yu have earned your stripes. The work you have done with Ted is huge in Washington. It is important work that you do.Just admit that the second you rip on those in the counter culture you can no longer rip on those who were bloggers in the counter culture and are now mainstream. If you do both, you become as mainstream as those who at one point wanted to keep you out.There is plenty of hockey to go around. If I have learned anything it is that "minding your own business" and worrying about your own art are the only truths that you can count on. Others willcome and others will go, and even if you never say a bad word about anyone, someone will have a bad word to say about you.The word blog and how it relates to media is still undefined. Neither you, nor I , nor Greg, nor James, or anyone else should think it belongs to us.
October 10, 2007 12:02 PM ET | Delete
Wonderful.As usual wonderful.
October 10, 2007 1:18 PM ET | Delete
"meet the new boss, same as the old boss" It's a shame when people get a chance to cross over, that they feel the need to raise themselves above where they came from. Thank you BD. Thank you very, very much.
October 10, 2007 1:23 PM ET | Delete
Great blog as always, B.D.!
October 10, 2007 2:17 PM ET | Delete
Give em hell B.D.
October 10, 2007 2:36 PM ET | Delete
Great job BD! I hope that I will join the NYI Blog Box Bloggers real soon, and be a part of the great new fraternity!
October 10, 2007 5:26 PM ET | Delete
You knew it was coming. Matters not - too many of us behind you and the whole new concept. Ain't it great! (Excuse the grammar.) I like your style BD - keep it up.
October 10, 2007 7:44 PM ET | Delete
that is the best thing i have ever read on this site. really insightful stuff by both bd and eklund.
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