One year ago last weekend, I joined Bleacher Report after being persuaded by my still good friend Ben Brown. When I joined, I wrote and article, and was immediately on MLB's top 50 writers list. Back then, the site was minuscule compared to the empire that it is today.
My first article was entitled "Does Ichiro Belong in Seattle?" It got nearly 300 reads. A year ago, that was impressive. Now, you need 1000 reads to get any recognition.
That first article propelled my young writing career: My next five articles got 700, 150, 200, 200, and 1,700 reads. A great start, and it propelled me to number 32 on MLB's top writers, and number 2 on the Mariners, only behind Ben.
Sadly, a start like that now for a rookie is nothing overly impressive.
The point I'm trying to get across is: Has Bleacher Report become too big? How can we fix it?
Look, my Dads in business, and I know how businesses work. If you get more customers, you make more money. Same with Bleacher Report: The more people who are on the site, the more they will make in advertising money.
I know that the people in San Francisco want money, I do, too. I know that.
What I'm saying is that Bleacher Report is too big for the individual.
When I first came on to Bleacher Report, I knew a few people on the site, and everyone gave me help if I needed it.
In my first articles, I got tips when I needed them. I was helped when I needed help.
Today, a rookie coming into Bleacher Report is going to feel overwhelmed: This is a huge site with a lot of people. Its almost like a kid starting his first day of kindergarten. Bleacher Report shouldn't make you feel exposed.
It is unlikely his articles will be noticed, and no one will be there to help him.
The obvious solution to this is make Bleacher Report smaller. The leaders would have to either make writers cuts or set limits in articles published a month. No one wants that. No one wants to be told they're not good enough. (Trust me, I know that feeling.) So I have another solution:
We here at Bleacher Report need some sort of page for rookies, with mentors and people who will read their articles and give feedback, so that their careers can get started in the right direction.
I would be plenty happy to help set up a "rookie page," and even mentor and/or read articles.
Rookies need to be recognized.
We need to make Bleacher Report more hospitable.
What happens if we don't have rookies?
Bleacher Report will crumble: All of the great writers on this site will either:
a: Move on to bigger, better things.
Then, all the great writers will be gone and no one will be there to replace them. Without rookies, the site will fall, and then it will have to build itself up again.
While this situation most likely won't happen, rookies need attention.
With my solution, Bleacher Report can continue to grow, and might even grow faster.
Anyone willing to help me set up this page, please leave a comment, and we can start working on it immediately.
P.S: I'm community leader of the WHL page, and it won't let me leave my community a note. Can someone fix that?
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