The suggestion box thread on BP Unfiltered is a gift from the SABR gods. The best exchange by far, begins with sabermetric legend Tangotiger defending the right of another commenter to say that Matt Swartz sucks, rehashing the old The Book Blog obsession of content over tone. Some other dude seconds the opinion and adds that comment rating stinks.
So here comes Captain Non Sequitur, former Baseball Prospectus writer, Joe Sheehan. He writes, “That, more or less, is why forums are basically a non-starter. All cost, no revenue.” Tango, obviously annoyed by this customer-unfriendly attitude, responds, “Fangraphs has forums, and they don’t charge their readers. Primer has forums, and they don’t charge their readers. You’ve got to have a better reason for not having a forum considering that you are already charging readers.”
Before we get to Sheehan’s reply, put yourself in his shoes. How would you address what Tango said? You could point out that BP doesn’t have the staff or overhead to moderate forums. Or that the available forum software isn’t up to snuff and the company doesn’t have the money or time to build something better. Or you could just be polite and say that you’re looking into it.
Sheehan, logically, chose none of these:
How about this?
I’ve done sports content as a business for 15 years. By any standard I’m one of a small number of people to do it successfully outside the mainstream, I’ve played most of the roles one can play and holy god I’m sick of listening to you act as if you’ve had 1% of the success the people you criticize have had. How about you grant that I might know what I’m talking about, given that sports content has been my career, without me having to make a business case to someone with no standing to ask for one?
Fangraphs, as far as I can tell, is financed by a rich grandpa. Primer/BTF/Newsstand/Brand of the Day isn’t a business in any real sense of the word, it’s r.s.b ported to the Web and stripped of its spark. That you would make these comparisons shows just how little you understand of Prospectus, how little you’ve ever understood.
Stick to being an academic, Thomas. Stick to your sycophant-laden fora and your above-it-all mien. Stop jumping in here and cheap-shotting a business that you’ve never comprehended on your best day.
But how do you really feel, Joe?
Today we learned that Joe Sheehan is a “sports content” expert and he hates Tom Tango. And I just learned that fora is the plural of forum. So now you know!