Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Beginning Of The End

As Frank Helps You Think It All Out moves from the final months, and now heads into the final weeks, I’d like to submit some thoughts for product going forward.

The trappings surrounding an athletic program are material: cheerleaders, student news coverage, marching band, etc. And obviously, due to my lengthy commitment, I think a readable blog falls into that category. There should be a Tulane contributor on lists such as this and this. It helps make the program “real”.

I write Frank Helps You Think It All Out. I am pretty sure that I know the weaknesses of my contribution. It isn’t journalism- I don’t break news and do game reports. I know little of recruiting. Sports outside of the main revenue producers get slighted. And it isn’t democratic. I choose the topics- and go off topic to things of personal interest on a whim. Go Eagles! Hockey and NASCAR.

I have no desire to lead another Tulane communication sequel for eight years. But I’d like to help to get one off the ground: keep the program coverage going, plug holes in this current offering.

My going forward proposal centers on some sort of blog-style communication medium. Tulane has a chat board(s), newspaper, a pay for news site and an athletic department website. It doesn’t need more chat or journalism. But there is room for opinion and thought- particularly if it is civil, learned and impassioned. And that describes our group here.

Frankly, while many blogs have started during this blog’s tenure, they’ve lacked quality or staying power (ed. note: Anonymous Sportaholic was a good quality exception).

Going forward, I set-up an e-mail address (tulaneblog ‘at’ yahoo) and invite those willing to participate to sign up. I plan to be, again, democratic. And, in addition to the existing general invitation to the users here, I plan to invite some folks I enjoy reading on other sites. And you too, Anonymous- I see you lurking on nola.com news comments.

There will be ground rules- but for content, contribution rate and editorial, not policing ideas per se. I want the focus to be on Tulane sports and not administration. I am willing to experiment- try stuff on recruiting and women’s sports. And I have an idea of what “sells” in this format.

If there is interest, my plan is to have some conference calls and such to set a simple editorial policy, select contributors and a platform. I will serve as editor the first year with an eye toward taking an emeritus position soon after. If there isn’t, we’ll fold gracefully. But even just a couple of folks, each writing once a week, means we could generate a quality medium.

With an eye toward launching just before football season, I would hope to build a platform that would be a real interest driver in Tulane sports. As our credibility and know-how grows, we could set up partnerships with other Tulane interest drivers, offer ourselves as a resource to radio and C-USA, do game events, figure out what a podcast is, etc. There is just more power, more creativity, more people devoting time and brainpower.

Anyway, those are the big thoughts. Please share thoughts in the comments- but also take time to sign up via e-mail.

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