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TLC: Notes

A few site-related matters to pass along:

I’m experimenting with a version of TLC that’s optimized for touch-based mobile devices (iPhone, iPod touch, Android, etc). I installed a plugin called WPtouch that detects if you’re viewing the site that way and feeds you a stripped down version. I’ve tested it on my phone and it feels pretty good. I’m not in love, but it seems like a net win.

If you see it, please chime in with thoughts. I can easily go back if need be. Also, for everyone, if you experience any weirdness that’s new as of today please let me know about that as well. Sometimes new plugins break things that I don’t immediately notice.

Along those same lines, it came to my attention last night that the “comment preview” function is busted. I didn’t realize that because it still works fine for logged-in users, which is me when I’m on the site. Only problem is that’s only me.

I’d like to find a way to restore it, but as of now that doesn’t seem feasible. My apologies if it’s something you miss. Know that if I find a way to bring it back I definitely will.

On a broader level, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the overall direction for TLC going forward. I think there’s a need to return to my/our roots.

Let me draw an analogy. If we think of the whole of New Media as a newspaper, most of the other blogs are the news stories, the “notes” sections, the features, and the other kinds of day-to-day stuff. TLC, on the other hand, is the columns (that’s actually part of the reason it’s called “The Loss Column”). It’s less frequent and it’s more driven by voice. I don’t think I ever really strayed from that, but I do think I drifted. Over the past month or so I’ve been making an effort to return, even if (and this is a possibility) it comes with a hit to traffic.

This isn’t a place for daily news links or game recaps (we handle those pretty well in the comments). It isn’t a place for rants on the news of the day. All of those things are good, but they’re being handled pretty well already at other sites. To me, those sites complement TLC and TLC complements them.

In the comings months I’m going to place more emphasis on being the columnist. I’ll still provide a place to talk O’s day-to-day but the main focus will shift a bit. I expect that will include more posts that don’t directly relate to sports (such as the the “Randoms” series) and more talk about things like beer and whisky (like in the early days). I expect it’ll include more posts like the 2010 Position-By-Position series, as well (thought/opinion pieces that aren’t necessarily tied directly to the news of the day).

I’m also open to suggestions. This is your site, too, so let me know what you want to see. I can’t guarantee I’ll provide it but I’ll certainly take everything under consideration.

By the way, that picture up there is of some Field Notes notebooks. They’re my favorite by far, and I highly recommend them. Affordable, disposable, yet worthwhile in a way that’s hard to explain until you’ve bought a pack.

(photo via)

6 comments to TLC: Notes

  • dan the man

    I think it’s a good idea for TLC to be about the columns, the comments, and some of the random non-sports things. It’s what makes the site unique.

    I’ve been noticing the content trending that way since you mentioned a change a month or so ago, and I’ve enjoyed it, although I never really thought it got too off track. I could see wanting to cut down on the generic O’s game threads, etc, though.

    Random note: did you notice that masnsports.com has some O’s blogs listed? I wonder if TLC can get on there.

  • Andrew

    I’m definitely not going to tell anyone how to do anything, but from my perspective, the opinion is what counts. I don’t think it’s enough to just say “this is what happened. That’s cool”. You need to express an unapologetic opinion. If you think the Ravens are thuggish and that needs to be fixed, say it. If you think the Orioles ought to fire Trembley, go for it. If you think the Terps’ recent accolades defines them for the past few years or whatever, shout it out. And don’t be sorry that you feel that way.

    That’s why I never hesitate to tell you that I don’t think player acquisition X or why I think trading player Y was such a smart move. That’s how I feel and if it runs counter to everyone else I really don’t care.

    The only thing is that you need to show your work and tell us why. Like I said, saying “it’s a smart pickup” isn’t enough. There’s no real opinion there.

    Anyway, that’s my two cents.

  • neal s

    @Andrew – I’m not sure where you’re going with that but if it’s meant for me I’ll say this: I’ve never felt particularly shy about expressing my opinion. That’s what this whole thing is. My style, though, is my style. I’m not Jim Rome and everyone would see right through it if I pretended I was.

    It’s not for everyone. I’ll grant you that.

  • Andrew

    @neal s – Oh no. That’s not directed at anyone at any time. It’s just how I feel generally any blog should be. I love it here, and I love the slightly off-kilter focus. You know that.

  • neal s

    @Andrew – Ahh, gotcha. I’m probably a tad defensive on that issue based on conversations we (not you and me, but the general “we”) have had here in the past.

  • dan the man

    @neal s – I just checked the site on my little samsung phone. Site looks much better on there than it did. I especially like that it snaps to the comments when I click the comments link.