Question From a Newbie:How Do You Make Bleacher Report Work For You?

Henry BallSenior Analyst IJuly 4, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 17:  The Laker Girls perform during the Los Angeles Lakers 2009 NBA Championship Victory Parade and Rally at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on June 17, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

In recent articles and from many comments on Bleacher Report lately there appears to be a call to arms against trollers, spammers and other seemingly active writers who generally want to garner more attention for their work.

I assume trollers and spammers are a little different in that trollers from what I've read, are those who seem to just sign on and attack a writer's work or verbally abuse someone for what-ever reason.  If I understand that correctly I'd say I am against that so they will not be the focus of this post. I will say, however, that free speech is still a right in the USA (not sure how long that will be the case) and critical thought and commentary should NEVER be banned.  I would agree that standards of decorum could and should be in place but no zero tolerance 'let us ban whoever we don't like' power should be endowed to any member or group of members, in my humble opinion.

Spammers on the other hand come in two categories and one should be banned from the site and actively blocked/filtered as a matter of good business for the lasting success of the B/R.  This is commercial spamming; some of it is done by individuals and some by spam bots that are designed just to create profiles and post crap about various products, services and other not sport related material.  This is different than the paid advertisement spots necessary for a site like this to succeed financially, which is in all of our best interest.  And this doesn't seem to be a problem on the B/R so keep up the good work.

The other type, which has been decried recently, is the "hey dude, I wrote this great article, please check it out" type.  Now, I can understand why being inundated with such stuff posted on your profile can be tedious and in many cases unwanted but is it really a scourge causing the ruination of the site?  Here is a better question, how is a newbie supposed to get his article/work in front of the masses if no one sees it?

(Disclaimer, I have posted eight articles in three months and I have on only one occasion asked another writer to read a specific article of mine, which was a counter to his own.  However, I may ask a few people to read this as I'd like to get some feedback on the topic.)  

It seems to me that a great many of those that lament this practice and decry it's practitioners are established writers who seem to go right to the front page no matter what they submit.  I for one believe that the content of the front page should be only the best work not just the best 'workers' (i.e. those that churn out the most articles) no matter what they write.  There are a number of prominent writers here that are very talented and some that just own a key board and have a lot of time on their hands.  I suspect I'm in the latter category except not a lot of free time.  Yet I wonder how does a newbie make the Bleacher Report work for them?

I've had one young man, who has written several good articles on various topics, send me a message asking for help in establishing himself on the Bleacher Report.  I am far from offended, in fact, I feel bad that I can't offer him better guidance as I'm not sure how to myself.  I can say that I will look forward to his work and I will support with AOTD votes and comments when warranted.  I would think we would all seek to encourage aspiring writers to do whatever they need to in order to gain audience as long as they don't abuse the format.

For me personally, I would love to see my work get a little recognition but writing is just a hobby to me so I haven't spent a lot of time trying to get others to read my work.  Additionally, everything I have written to date is colored by my Purple and Gold glasses so I only expect to get placement on the LSU page.  Nonetheless, on behalf of the many new aspiring Bleacher Creatures, I reiterate my query, how does a newbie make the Bleacher Report work for them?

Submitted by Henry Ball (a.k.a. Southern Man) - Independent Writer and Bleacher Report Scribe.