Thursday, June 11, 2009

Updating the Big Blogroll Again...My Turn to Comment on the Disappearance of the Sports Card File.

I've been getting more and more e-mails from new bloggers to add them to the big Sports Card Blogroll, and I realize that as I add more blogs to the roll, I find that I have to remove others because they've reached six months of inactivity. While it's always nice to have more people dive into the big Hobby Blogging pool, it is a sad event when I have to remove blogs because the writers have decided (whether willingly or not) no longer to continue writing.

Is it writer's block? Perhaps. Is it because real life has taken over their Hobby life, and the blog has become less of a priority? That probably has happened. Were a few bloggers forced out by other circumstances (will get to that in a minute)? Maybe. But regardless, it's that time once again where we say goodbye to the following blogs (their links, whether active or not, appear here for posterity, and to show what they were about):
Now, on to other pressing matters. I'm sure by now you many blog readers know that Steven Judd's The Sports Card File is now out of commission (actually, it now reads, "Sorry, but you are looking for something that isn't here." What??!) Also, on a possibly related note, the boys and girls that banded together to ask all who stumble upon their blog to boycott "the number one source in the hobby," have now been hit with possible legal action by their personal antagonist. I'm sure you've also read the opinions of some of the other bloggers about this new situation. Whether you like it or not, here is mine...

It is one thing to quit a blog if you've decided to move on to other ventures. It is one thing to let a blog die due to inactivity. It was a great day in the Hobby when Mr. Judd's blog started, as bloggers and collectors alike FINALLY were able to read the thoughts and opinions of a man who actually was IN the Hobby, instead of speculating about it. We got to know the inner workings of what actually happens in those big boardroom production meetings, and what the thought processes are of the people involved in making the decisions as to what appears on the shelves for us to buy. Even if he bounced around constantly (he even admitted that he wasn't the easiest guy to get along with), he and his expertise were obviously in demand because ALL THREE CARD COMPANIES PLUS THE HOBBY PUBLICATIONS HIRED THE GUY!!! Yes, there are times where he took shots at his former co-workers based on the decisions they made. But its not like he was outright insulting them. So why is his blog a blank slate now? Did he suddenly have a change of heart??? Everyone has a theory. But it might be best if we heard from the man himself. So what happened??? Whatever the reasons, his voice should not have been silenced.

On the other hand, if you've ever wondered why I never linked to the Boycott Beckett site, first of all, let me tell you it's not because of my "positive opinion" of the company. I may buy their products and use their website, read their blogs, and everything else, but it's not as if the things other bloggers have pointed out regarding their actions and their practices are fabrications. As they say, every lie has a sliver of truth to it. But regarding the Boycott blog, even if they linked my site to them (simply as bdj610's), I didn't think I could add them to the Blogroll only because what I read truly does not contribute anything about the Hobby. It's one thing to question the practices of the new management, but to insult a person based on his grooming habits??? Even as the writing style improved tremendously on this site, it's hard to give credibility to it when some of the "tags" used as categories included:
  • skinny Johnny Cash wanna-be owner,
  • smells funny
  • smelly
  • Lindberg odor
  • hobby killer
and those are some of the milder ones. Now, I know other sites use worse, but based on their history, it's understandable. In the case of the above, I don't see where or how this relates to the Hobby at all. If I had to give a reason, it's because this site does not talk about the Hobby. It talks about the grievances that the writers have against their former employer and how jobs are being transferred out to other countries. I don't think I ever saw mention of cards at all.

The one thing that I do get out of that blog is the fact that the employees that were laid off were truly passionate about our Hobby and have good reason to question and complain about the direction of where the magazine is headed. My only complaint is that while they say they are ex-Becketteers (and there is no reason to doubt that fact at all), it would have been nice to show some form of proof that the writer or writers of this blog actually did work for the company they now loathe. If in the beginning, they had announced that they would not add their real names to the blog due to fear of repercussion, then so be it. But it looked like that was never the case. I admire the fact that they plan on continuing their fight. They have a right to their say. I'm sure Lindberg was not exaggerating about how much money the company has (even though it was boneheaded of him to say this in his letter to the geeeks) to sue, only because he is combining the cash flow of the different magazines his company publishes, not just Beckett.

But again, based on the state of the economy as it stands, we all have to realize that Beckett Media is a business. And business exists for one thing make money. In the book The Enthusiast, even Henry Bay, the main character in the story, after working for many small publications, winds up working for the company that was buying out many of the small time magazines (a book report will come soon, I promise). He may not have liked it, but even he knew that if he was to continue earning a living, it had to be done. That's probably what is on the minds of the people who are still around.

Maybe the people who left, voluntarily or not, should band together and start up another Hobby magazine (or webizine) from scratch. Maybe they can get the good Doctor to join them in a new venture. I'm sure he's not liking what he's seeing. Maybe they would let some of us have a say in the publication.

Maybe they'd hire Mr. Judd.

I'd buy it.


JayBee Anama

1 comment:

madding said...

Bad news about the Sports Card File. I enjoyed reading about cards from a different perspective than most can provide.

I agree wholeheartedly with your linking policy. There's another, much larger blog out there that unfortunately posts a lot of stuff that I feel is either offensive, inflammatory just for the sake of getting attention, or is just plain annoying. I can't in good conscience link to it (not that it needs the traffic anyway.) Still, I do read the blog and occasionally comment on it. Does that make me a hypocrite? Hopefully not, as I would never call them out on anything on my own blog unless I had a really good reason to. I try to avoid getting personal with anyone because I don't think most things are worth taking that seriously.

As far as Beckett goes, I can't say I agree with their practices (or at least what I've read about them.) But I occasionally use their electronic price guide, mostly as a research tool, so I would also feel hypocritical posting Anti-Beckett rhetoric on my blog all the time.