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  • On Tone of Writing

    The following are examples of comments we've received on blog posts over the past few days.

    The first came from Twins Daily member roger responding to my post earlier this week about the Zumaya injury:

    Is the new Twins Daily going to be another site where everyone 'bad mouths' everything Mr. Ryan and the organization does? Your site has only been around for a couple days and I for one am already tired of all the bitching!
    Last time I checked, spring training is less than a week old. Lets give management time to evaluate what they have before we all jump on the sky is falling bandwagon...please!

    The second came from StarTribune.com user "njc264isback" on Seth's bullpen article there today:

    Honestly can't read any entries from Stohs without asking myself, "I wonder how many times Seth will apply to work for the Twins?" This guy is trying so hard to get in with them, I wish they'd just hire him already so I didn't have to read his cheerleading and apologizing for them anymore.

    Look, I'm a huge fan of reader interaction and I value pretty much every comment received even the ones I vehemently disagree with. But I hate comments like these ones.

    When you've got a multi-contributor site like Twins Daily, you're inherently going to get a wide array of viewpoints, perspectives and styles. Different writers take different approaches with their craft. Seth's a guy who nearly always writes with a positive slant and uses lots of exclamation points. I pride myself on being a straight-shooter who looks at things objectively despite being a lifelong fan. I like to examine matters critically and I'm not shy about voicing my disagreement when I think it's warranted (although I would absolutely challenge the notion that my writing is consistently negative; of my last three posts, one laid out a realistic blueprint for the Twins to contend and one concluded that this year's bench should be more well rounded than past iterations).

    Our tones are very different, but neither should be shunned. We'll tackle topics from our own sometimes conflicting unique angles, and so will John and Parker. That's the beauty of this site. Readers will have the opportunity to take in a multitude of different viewpoints and are encouraged to impact the conversation by sharing their own.

    Use Twins Daily however you like. Share your feedback. Contribute. Just please, please don't endlessly complain about the tone of certain writers being too positive or negative. That's not a path to constructive discussion. If you really can't handle reading a little well-evidenced optimism or thoughtful criticism, authors' names are very clearly displayed on the front page and it's easy to be selective about what you choose to read.
    This article was originally published in blog: On Tone of Writing started by Nick Nelson
    Comments 17 Comments
    1. jtrinaldi's Avatar
      jtrinaldi -
      What that njc doesn't realize is that Seth, like me are more intrigued about the prospects. It is obvious that seth favor's to write about the MILB'ers and is just trying to kill time before the MILB starts by opening a conversation that could lead into various other subject, as well as having a broad opinion so that everyone else can share their opinions on the subject. I applaud you guys for starting up this site, I myself am a Brewer fan so I cannot contribute much at all about the Non Prospect related posts on here. Seth even helped me land a gig for the summer. I have held back posting and bashing people because bashing people online serves no purpose, its like beating a dead horse. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. It's simple, if you can't stand to read what other people have to say on a subject then don't post anything instead of coming across as an ******* on the message board. I very much look forward to posting game summaries and my pictures on this baord once the MILB Season begins.
      Best Regards
    1. BD57's Avatar
      BD57 -
      @ Nick,

      Agree with you - it's unlikely you'll get cooperation, but I agree with you.

      Attacking the motives of people with whom you disagree is lazy and contributes nothing to the discussion.
    1. JB_Iowa's Avatar
      JB_Iowa -
      I don't really know why people complain. If they have been reading any of your columns for very long, they would anticipate the differences. AND people should realize that every comment section is going to have cheerleaders and those of us who are grumpy.

      I've enjoyed the site so far and especially enjoy the fact that there are a lot of different writers -- many of whom I haven't read before. Seth has done a great job of recruiting some of the Twins minor leaguers to contribute -- and I look forward to reading more of them as the year goes on.

      But it is also interesting to go to the "Blogs" section and read viewpoints from new (at least to me) writers.

      This is a big (and potentially much bigger) website with lots of room for varying opinions and interests. I'd also appreciate it if we didn't have to read a column like this one again -- some people will always complain that what is written is too "pro" or too "con" and that the tone of the site is too positive or too negative. A mental "ignore" button is a good thing in those situations.
    1. TheMix's Avatar
      TheMix -
      The thing I've always liked about this group of bloggers is that their "bitching" comes from a well reasoned perspective. There's logic behind it. There's bloggers out there that act like they're preaching the sermon from the mount, when all they're doing is venting anger. For an example, start following thebaseballblog.net on Facebook. With these guys, their analysis of the team isn't overwrought with emotion. Rather it's as an objective as possible view. Which is more than I can say for the majority of bloggers out there
    1. Fanatic Jack's Avatar
      Fanatic Jack -

      I really question why the front office did not at the very least upgrade the bullpen. However, the negative comments about the Twins Centric (Nelson, Bonnes, Stohs, and Hagerman) is uncalled for and just flat out wrong. I love the new web site and would pay to read the posts. Keep up the great work!!
    1. Loosey's Avatar
      Loosey -
      I think the problem is that because this is a Twins site, people come here expecting sunshine and rainbows. They want and expect to hear all of the writers claim the Twins are going to win the World Series this year and every year here on out. These readers seem to be in denial that sometimes their favorite team isn't as good as they would like them to be and it's hard for them to hear otherwise. - - - That being said keep doing what you are doing because I am an optimist but do like to read objective points of views that maybe can see things that I bypass on my own. Keep up the good work.
    1. Jim H's Avatar
      Jim H -

      In fairness to Roger, the day he wrote the response you quote, it wasn't all about you. You, John, and Parker all wrote about Zumaya, and all of you took shots at the Twins front office. A good portion of your readers did the same. The tone was mostly negative.

      Now, all of you write well and are generally fun to read. I know you view yourself as realist but occasionally you do come accross a bit more negative than you realize. I thought your response to Roger was a bit over the top, but I do see where you are coming from. You and the others put a lot of good content out, for free. I do appreciate that.

      I often enjoy the comment sections of these blogs. Occasionally, though some commenters are rather rude and intolerant of differing opinions. Some need to understand that stats are used to bolster an opinion and that numbers aren't necessarily facts. Often, there is no right or wrong in these discussions, just differing opinions.

      I do hope this becomes a good site. These combined sites are nice for many of us, making it easier to find good Twins content. Keep up the good work.
    1. jeffheidkamp's Avatar
      jeffheidkamp -
      I like sunshine, rainbows, and the Twins. And this site. That's all.
    1. jamar1700's Avatar
      jamar1700 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Loosey View Post
      I think the problem is that because this is a Twins site, people come here expecting sunshine and rainbows.
      For the record, I like sunshine and rainbows (and bunnies too)

      But we are all just talking here, really. We are giving opinions. Just that. And it is human nature that we view and approach things differently. That is neither right or wrong. It just is. Personally, I am a fan because it makes me happy to be a fan. If it ever stopped making me happy, I would go away. I will give my opinion and you can agree or disagree.

      For the record, there seems to be an "ignore list" feature on this site. But then again .... you never know who or what you might be overlooking. You may be surprised.
    1. roger's Avatar
      roger -
      Nick, I came to this site for the first time a few days ago when Seth discontinued his site which I always enjoyed and contributed to a few times a year. Over the years, I have gotten to know Seth and consider him a friend. Thus, I was anxious to see what this new site was all about.

      Then my first couple days here, I saw John's article with the title referring to Mr. Ryan's 'foolish' decison. Then I read your article and the combination just plain got to me. I also am not familiar with your writing.

      I make an effort of staying away from negatism in my posts as I view my role as one to report on what happens in the organization. I understand how hard most of the minor league kids work and how difficult it is to be successful in this business.

      I also understand that everyone is entitled to their opinion and the discussion between people with differing opinions is what makes most of these sites worthwhile. As to my comments on Seth's article, they really weren't aimed at you. It was more speaking to a friend regarding the death of his site.
    1. John Bonnes's Avatar
      John Bonnes -
      Sometimes this site will be ridiculously positive and sometimes it will be ridiculously negative. That's going to happen when people share independent individual opinions.

      I cannot promise "balanced" for either side and I don't think it's fair to demand balanced. What we work for is personal and intellectual honesty, a brave, respectful and candid discussion and a little fun. If we do that, I think the balance will take care of itself.
    1. TRex's Avatar
      TRex -
      Maybe we could start a 'Sunshine and Rainbows' forum for those of us who are interested? Might be like the good 'ol days (i.e. Fastball, DTFC) for us old folks!
    1. tsteff36's Avatar
      tsteff36 -
      I just like being able to read the various opinions and form my own conclusions based on them. I get really tired of the venomous tone that some people take when they hide behind a keyboard and a computer screen.

      I appreciate a site like this where there is more of a community feel to things. If we're here reading stuff, we all share the common bond of being Twins fans. Some of us have been die-hards since the Calvin Griffith days. Things have been worse in Twins Territory, let's not forget!
    1. headcheese's Avatar
      headcheese -
      just wanna say i think this site is great! negativity is everywhere just gotta brush it off. i think people have the right to say what they want good or bad.

      you will have some people stirring the pot a little. its human nature.
    1. JB_Iowa's Avatar
      JB_Iowa -
      Why is it that I can't read the comments on this post without channeling Lesley Gore?

      I'm going to break out the lollipops.
    1. ScrapTheNickname's Avatar
      ScrapTheNickname -
      Nick, I've followed your blog on a daily basis for the last few years. You're my go-to Twins blogger (and Gleeman). However, I don't see the point of getting rankled about getting certain types of comments. It's the Internet, full of flak from anywhere, there's very little rhyme or reason to it, so widely various opinions (and criminally unsupported ones) would seem to come with the territory. Keep up the good work all around.
    1. ChuckkJay's Avatar
      ChuckkJay -
      This site is pretty cool, so happy you guys all set it up in this manner. Just the number of articles, blogs, and forums is impressive. I have to say though - count me among those that support complete freedom for posting content, obviously subject to profane and legal constraints. I don't much like reading the whining posts, but it's pretty easy to skim past them. The power of this very site is in its freeflowing character.
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