SB Nation to up its navel-gazing quotient tenfold

At some (presently undetermined) point in the near future, this site will cease to exist. It will be replaced and superceded by the new Rutgers athletics affiliate at Sports Blogs Nation. Below is an attempt to answer all relevant questions about the forthcoming move.

 

Q: What's the new site?

A: It's called On the Banks, and it will be located at http://www.onthebanks.com . It is not yet operational or ready to launch.

Q: What will happen to the Bleed Scarlet?

A: I never was really that fond of the name, and the change to On the Banks was ultimately forced by a domain squatter. This site's archived posts will move to the new address.

Q. Isn't there already a Rutgers basketball blog called On the Banks of the Raritan?

A. Yes. Neither name is exactly original, being in the alma mater and all.

Q. How long has this move been in the works?

A. There were overtures last year, and I came to an initial handshake agreement with SB Nation very late in 2009. The launch was subsequently delayed for various reasons. Everything finally got moving again in early March, with another delay pushing the move to mid-April.

Q: Why move? Why now?

A: It was never a top priority, or even much of a concern at all. My primary decision to make the jump was motivated by assorted technical frustrations, which could be overcome, but were beyond time consuming. I don't have enough time to work on the site as is without having to worry about that stuff. Secondarily, it's about promotion. I hope to work closely with the SB Nation network and their other affiliates to help promote the site, and contribute/develop original content.

This site's traffic remains in the ballpark of between 1,000 and 2,000 hits or so a day and rising. That's a number dwarfed by the local newspapers, and especially, the major premium sites. That's clear as day from referral click through stats. It's not going to change in the near future, and On the Banks is no way intended as a competitor to those sites in ambition and/or practice. It's an entirely different, complementary offering.

The final impetus for the move was that I was impressed by how SBN started to hit their stride last fall. It helped a lot that I've had some conversations with the authors of In Lou We Trust and Troy Nunes Is an Absolute Magician. There were definitely concerns on my end about how this site would fit well with SBN and their community-centric approach, but the success of both of those sites helped assuage any fears about maintaining a unique and individual voice on the network.

Q: But really, what are you getting out of it?

A: I don't have any problem offering a candid perspective on my end, but I have a written agreement with SBN, and hence can't comment on our specific dealings. Before making this deal, I wanted to delve into everything with my eyes open. I looked at probably every conceivable item you can find on Google about the network both in terms of praise and criticism. If you're really that interested, search and you will know about as much as I do at this point. Haven't really given things much thought beyond that.

Q: How's the site going to change?

A. SB Nation didn't do this out of the goodness of their hearts. They want a Rutgers affiliate site that generates traffic and demographics in addition to good content. This will happen in various ways, some more subtle than others. For one thing, certain posts, especially news posts, will be far less informaton dense. Actually, I have long wanted to do that here, and kept falling back on those old, bad habits out of both laziness and time constraints on my end. Now there's actually a strong reason to make a conscious effort.

SB Nation does care quite a bit about their community aspects, so by all means, so there will be game threads for every football and basketball event, and all site users will be encouraged to register and post in those discussions, and generally spend every waking hour conversing and contributing on their site. There will also be far more coverage of Rutgers basketball, although the final details of that are still being sorted out.

If anything, any perception of letting up will just spur posts that even more kooky, esoteric, and in the vein of past material, whatever the hell that means. I'll try to be more intuitive to what's appropriate on a post by post basis, but I've always wanted everything to be crisper, cleaner, and more precise. And for God's sake, maybe actually devote some time to proof reading instead of trying to bang out posts in twenty minutes.

Hopefully, the new site will make hosting live blogs/chats far more feasible. There will be other goodies on the technical side. There'll be a 2011 recruiting board and other new features are possible with a WYSIWYG editor that isn't complete garbage. There'll probably be some interesting things with user-generated content and contributions down the line once everything is settled.


As a final parting comment, I want to thank all of the loyal readers who have frequented this site since its inception back in June of 2008. I am continually amazed that anyone remotes cares at all about ideas and concepts that don't really seem to rate much above mental chicken scratch and notes in the margin.

If you have any other questions, I will attempt to answer them if at all possible.

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