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Article: What Do You Want Out Of Twins Daily?


Last week I used this space to tell you what Twins Daily is. Today, I’d like you to tell me what Twins Daily should become.

 

Let me tell you a secret: a lot of the time, we don’t really know what we’re doing. That’s actually good news, as it has forced us to try stuff, from podcasting in a bar to publishing e-handbooks to t-shirts to pub crawls to live hangouts to the new videos you’ll see in our minor league updates.But I think there’s a lot more that both the writers and the rest of the community can provide. So give us your big ideas. I’d love to hear what more you crave from the site, ranging from content ideas to stuff that is truly off the wall.

 

Don’t be timid. Assume our resources are unlimited, because with this community, they might just be. We’ll worry about making it possible.

 

Thanks for any feedback you provide, both positive and negative. Let’s hear your big ideas.

 

Sincerely,

John

 

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With the traffic that this site has, a weekly poll of some type might be interesting. To make a poll viable it needs to have raffic and you guys are the only Twins blog that can pull it off. I think polls are fun and interesting and they might add something to your site.

 

I think the one thing that your site has to "watch out for" is that it truly remains a Minnesota Twins blog site and des not become too much of a mainstream Minnesota Twins schill. By that I mean that it is easy to jump in the Twins bed and fall in love with the organization by becoming too close to it and its people. The Twins organization has many wonderful staff members and players and sometimes when you get too friendly, it becomes difficult to write objectively.

 

Overall, you guys do a great job and have to be one of the top baseball blog site in the country, keep up the good work.

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Thanks a lot! It's great to hear people say things like "you're one of the best blogs in the country".

 

As for getting in bed with the Twins, each of our writers has taken a different approach to how they interact with the team. Some have moved closer to the team in an effort to get timely information and inside stories. Others have chosen to remain on the outside precisely for the reasons you mentioned in your post.

 

For one, I think it's a good mix and each of the writers have found their personal comfort spot both in their article topics and how they approach the Twins themselves.

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I like this site a lot, and check it almost every day for the Twins Minor League report (even though it's little more than a narrative box score). The occasional at-bat by at-bat breakdowns are really great, too.

 

But, to take the site to the next level and get any sustained level of national respect, y'all NEED to develop more rigorous editorial standards and improve the overall quality of the writing site-wide. Not going to name names, but some of the writing's Roy Smalley on Fox Sports North bad.

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You might want to look into this:

 

http://www.baseball-reference.com/linker/

 

I use it with my blog (K-Slow was Framed, free plug) and if you pair it with adding your blog to their newsfeed, it generates some traffic as well.  Obviously, you get a ton of traffic, but it also automatically puts links into the HTML of the post so that anyone can click on the player's name and it takes the reader to the player's B-Ref page.  I'm not sure if it's compatible with the site, but I'm sure there's a way.

 

It is very easy to set up and use.  Each writer would have to set it up on their own CPU, but it's a pretty simple process.  I figured it out, for what it's worth.

Edited by Brad Swanson
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I agree with dannydunwoody. Twins Daily is hardly alone on the Internet by having loose editorial standards and little or no story editing, but the site is worse because of it. At least the stories on the front page should be looked at by an editor to check for basic errors of language and fact.

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I vote for more lax editorial standards. TD is a free site, I don't expect ESPN insider-level writing from every author. And there is a lot of downtime in the offseason (and during the season when the club sucks) where I would rather have a bunch of short, perhaps poorly-written posts to read and comment on than a few long and well-written ones.

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I just discovered the box scores under Schedule and from there I can get to the recap.  Now I can stop going to ESPN first. 

 

And now your guys with the Minor League Report can stop writing up the MLB game.  It doesn't fit the subject and often it's not especially when done.

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thanks for the box scores in Schedyke,

 

I think the top article every day should be the previous days Twins game. with box score and standings,  Let somebody different write it each day.  Lets see if we can discover some budding sportswriters :)

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Small thing here for me. I think it would be helpful to put the name of whoever is in a picture under the pic. It may show up in the full version, but not in mobile and I access the site via phone 95% of the time. Thanks for the great site and continuing to strive for excellence.

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I vote for more lax editorial standards. TD is a free site, I don't expect ESPN insider-level writing from every author. And there is a lot of downtime in the offseason (and during the season when the club sucks) where I would rather have a bunch of short, perhaps poorly-written posts to read and comment on than a few long and well-written ones.

So, you're saying quality writing takes time and effort?

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Good stuff.

 

We have struggled with/debated game stories for two years. I agree that it would be a good thing to add and I think we'll get there.

 

Is there any niche content that everyone would like to see more of? I'm thinking something like the Offseason Handbook or Seth's Prospect Handbook. 

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Is there any niche content that everyone would like to see more of? I'm thinking something like the Offseason Handbook or Seth's Prospect Handbook. 

Mid-season scouting reports on prospects and near-prospects would be great.  Has Pinto's catching improved?  What's the word on Mitch Garver?

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Great site with a lot of knowledgable insight to the team.  Being from Texas this is a great way for me to keep up with the team and the minors.   One of my favorite reads is when Parker breaks down the difference in mechanics for a player with the videos - subtle things that I would never catch because I don't get to watch them play much.    The other item I enjoy is the minor league daily updates.  What i really like is when we have a writer from each minor league town  that writes a more qualitative view of what they see in the club.   This may very well exist already on the site and I haven't looked closely enough or they are not grouped together but if we had a writer from each minor league town that watches their team play provide a weekly update - I would find that a must read. 

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I really enjoyed the Winter Meltdown event and am looking forward to the pub crawl. I'd probably try to make more online hangout sessions but having two young kids makes carving out evening time while being at home essentially impossible. Overall, if there were more events I would try to make them, but I understand its tough cause most of us have day jobs and busy schedules. Another option might be to encourage (allow?) users to set up (unofficial) mini-events of their own… like “heading to a Twins game on 8/20, drinks before at Masons, notify by 8/13 and we’ll get a block of tickets” or “Twins watching party at BW3 in Burnsville on 8/20… post if you’re interested, first round is on TD! ” 

 

I think a fantasy league next year might be fun, probably have to run it through Yahoo or something but still, could be fun. I have an idea for an Armchair GM type of game too, but don’t have the programming skills or time to commit to it. I think that could be really fun though, since the majority of the forum posts probably have to do with roster construction. Thinking bigger, maybe this could be developed into a platform with other possibilities beyond TD.

 

How about a more identifiable logo to use as a signaling device? Put put them on hats (with your nickname?), or shirts, or stickers, or other stuff so people who frequent the site can identify other Twins nerds. Might need to expand the store but it’s an idea. One of my favorite shirts is from a BYTO post that compared Nick Punto to a washed shirt. It was so brilliant, I had to get it, just wish I could remember who wrote it.

 

How about a good old fashioned membership drive? Not like the kind NPR has, but something to recruit new users/readers. Encourage users to invite friends (facebook makes that easy). The Gameday publication could do that, though that is a huge undertaking in itself. Would the Twins let you hang posters at Target Field (for a price?). I’m sure we could crowdsource some clever designs.

 

A map of TD users? Depends on people’s level of comfort with privacy, but it could make ride shares to events/games easier.

 

If you can’t tell I’m throwing spaghetti at the wall here. But maybe something will stick. That’s all I can think of for now. Overall the site is awesome.

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Some stats research is too much for one person. 

 

How about a project that a group of people could participate in,   

Example: Make a list of all the top prospects of all teams playing in the minor leagues. This way, when Cedar Rapids plays Beloit, we can quickly see if the Beloit pitcher is highly rated and which hitters are regarded highly.  This can allow TD to make a Series Preview for all minor league series and spotlight critical match-ups.  This also will help when writing the post-game synopsis and make it less of a box-score recap.

This information could be easily compiled by a group of people and then a few people could work together to keep it up to date.

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So, you're saying quality writing takes time and effort?

Undoubtedly. But I don't demand quality from a free site where anyone can register and submit an article. If you are going to insist on quality writing then it seems to me you will have to change the entire model TD has going here, which will utlimately translate to less content, no? And OC is a big reason I come here, even if every authors prose isn't Shakespearean or some arguments are unsound or unsupported by facts. In fact I'd argue that the discussions those postings sometimes initiate is where TD really shines.

 

edit: here's a perfect example

http://twinsdaily.com/blog/356/entry-5291-what-does-walker-have-to-do/

Edited by Willihammer
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Hmm...

 

1) I totally get the "no game stories" philosophy--if the closest Twins Daily ever came to that was Brad Swanson's "Monday Morning Madness" posts, I'd be plenty happy. So I'm somewhat surprised the minor league coverage often takes that form. I understand that that's much more of a vacuum that Twins Daily's filling, but I'd like the minor league coverage to mirror the site's major league coverage in format to a greater extent. Even implementing something like a "Two Week Check-in" article that highlights the current significant minor league narratives would be great. In my experience, there's a gap between the daily game stories coverage and coverage that's at the 10,000 foot level, with a hole in between.

 

2) Get Gleeman over here. He's not blogging all that much anymore and it would reduce the number of websites I check daily by one.

 

3) I love the Off-Season and Prospect Handbooks--keep both of those coming! Plus, it's one of the few times every year I get to compensate you guys for the amazing work you do.

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I really enjoyed the Winter Meltdown event and am looking forward to the pub crawl. I'd probably try to make more online hangout sessions but having two young kids makes carving out evening time while being at home essentially impossible. Overall, if there were more events I would try to make them, but I understand its tough cause most of us have day jobs and busy schedules. Another option might be to encourage (allow?) users to set up (unofficial) mini-events of their own… like “heading to a Twins game on 8/20, drinks before at Masons, notify by 8/13 and we’ll get a block of tickets” or “Twins watching party at BW3 in Burnsville on 8/20… post if you’re interested, first round is on TD! ” 

 

I think a fantasy league next year might be fun, probably have to run it through Yahoo or something but still, could be fun. I have an idea for an Armchair GM type of game too, but don’t have the programming skills or time to commit to it. I think that could be really fun though, since the majority of the forum posts probably have to do with roster construction. Thinking bigger, maybe this could be developed into a platform with other possibilities beyond TD.

 

How about a more identifiable logo to use as a signaling device? Put put them on hats (with your nickname?), or shirts, or stickers, or other stuff so people who frequent the site can identify other Twins nerds. Might need to expand the store but it’s an idea. One of my favorite shirts is from a BYTO post that compared Nick Punto to a washed shirt. It was so brilliant, I had to get it, just wish I could remember who wrote it.

 

How about a good old fashioned membership drive? Not like the kind NPR has, but something to recruit new users/readers. Encourage users to invite friends (facebook makes that easy). The Gameday publication could do that, though that is a huge undertaking in itself. Would the Twins let you hang posters at Target Field (for a price?). I’m sure we could crowdsource some clever designs.

 

A map of TD users? Depends on people’s level of comfort with privacy, but it could make ride shares to events/games easier.

 

If you can’t tell I’m throwing spaghetti at the wall here. But maybe something will stick. That’s all I can think of for now. Overall the site is awesome.

 

Great post. I've thought of several of these already. Be sure to hit me up in February and we'll figure out if we can start a TD fantasy league.

 

As for some of your other points, they're either planned for the future or already in the works.

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I appreciate the comments/suggestions concerning the minor league coverage. As one of the many writers who contribute content on specific minor league affiliates (in my case, the Kernels), I'm really interested in what sort of articles readers are interested in.

 

I try to provide a mix of general updates and player/coach interviews and features, but it's not always clear which articles the TD community finds interesting and which draw mostly yawns. To that end, the comments and suggestions are welcomed.

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More than anything I want TD to continue to be a place I go go to discuss Twins topics intelligently with other fans. A place to connect with baseball nuts who are as crazy about the Twins as I am. As a fan living outside of Twins Territory, TD, much like Twitter, allows me access to Twins news/talk that otherwise is lacking in my life. Talking Mariner's baseball is fine and dandy, but I need Twins talk, and this site gives me a healthy dose of that. 

 

I come for the forum, I stay for the indy blogs, and I usually read the stuff on the front page.

 

So... I guess what I'm saying is... community.

 

I'm not sure how the No Juice Podcast fits in with the Twins Daily theme, other than Parker is a co-host, but other than that I like most all of the components of the site.

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Wow there are a lot of great ideas here. First, I agree that Gleeman (who is basically now blogging three times a week . . . and one of those is just to link to G & G's podcast) should be here. I also like the idea of more minor league stuff, of course. The Adopt-a-Prospect was theoretically a way to do that, but there is a lack of commitment to it from many "contributors." I think with just some understood collaboration/delegation of roles, the minor league part could be taken care of easily. JC/SD Buhr is great and Seth is great. Add in some others who are paying attention more generally (say a few people keep stat updates going, a few people do positional breakdowns, and a few people work on feature articles (don't need to be interview-based), etc. etc.
 

I would still like some kind of in-house wiki that could be central point of information for things like Twins history, overseas scouting, minor league developments, current updates, etc. to serve as a hub for information. A link to new updates could serve as a first-stop info place for people . . . I know a lot of forum time is often devoted to correcting misinformation or disinformation.


 

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