Thursday, November 6, 2008

It's Time to Refocus...Why Did I Start This Blog???

I'm a collector of Topps baseball cards. Have been for more than two decades now. In the twenty-one years I have been collecting, I have studied the history of baseball, and more importantly, the history of baseball cards. I have saved many books and magazines, price guides, and checklists over the years and still refer to them from time to time when I need to look for information. I frequent a number of message boards, just to feed and feed off information from people who've been in the Hobby longer than me.

In my opening post, I stated that because I grew up that I somehow lost my way. I needed to "take time and enjoy what I have." That's why I created this blog.

In the beginning, I thought of just posting cards and making comments. But that's already been done and still being done. Nothing wrong with it, and I still plan on doing it. I just need to find what strikes me, use the cards as my muse, and begin typing ideas out.

I wanted to do set reviews for cards from the last 32 years of sets that I have. I still do, there's so much to write about. But that takes time too. Pulling out cards, whether stars or commons, and giving an opinion. Trust me, I'll do my best to bring that back too.

The blog evolved, albeit slowly, into what was on my mind at the time during the baseball season. I love the All-Star Game, so many of my posts in late June and early July focused on it. The Cubs were dominating (the Sox just trying to stay afloat) all summer, but I didn't want to be team-focused blog because I am not a team focused collector.

When certain controversies came out over the summer within the Hobby blogosphere, I chimed in, only because I believed blogs are the forum where anyone can say whatever they want to without repercussions. I'm still new to the game. I feel like I'm the voice not heard, but I feel that because I spoke my mind, I've been accepted in some circles.

When the sell sheets for the products that I look for came out, I wanted to be the first to post that information. I did that for the message boards I frequented, and thought that this was a better forum for that stuff. I never thought that the competition of being first with information was fierce amongst the blogosphere. I just wanted to share what I like, and what I look forward to, and whether it looks like I'm a shill or not, this is what I look forward to every single year.

I am not a Hobby news blog. That was not my intention when I started. There is so much involved, and I am the most ultimate of outsiders when it comes to being made aware. I don't have a degree in journalism, and I don't have the contacts. I have a full time job that ensures that I don't have too much time to investigate any breaking coverage on the Hobby. So I'll leave that to others to do. My only caveat is that if you as a hobby news blogger can't get the information you seek from some sources, don't slam them. There are reasons why they don't want to deal with us. No matter how much you believe it, we are not the Media. If we act that way towards them, they will laugh us off the internet. Maybe the best approach is just to be a collector, not a reporter.

I am not a Hobby rant blog, focusing on what I see to be the negatives of the Hobby and the establishment. I don't like swearing up and down a storm to get my point across. I am not the anti-anything (wait...check that...). I may have said over and over that I don't collect cards from other brands, but I'm not going to preach to you about collecting this or that. I buy and trade for what I like, you can buy and trade for what you like. All is right in the world. I'm not saying that it's all rainbows and unicorns in the Hobby. No sir (or ma'am). You just can't throw your opinions as facts unless you can post the proof of such. Otherwise, all you throw are assumptions and accusations. If you're proven right, you're vindicated and loved. What if you're proven wrong? This humble little blog is not about that. So I'll leave that for others to do too.

There is nothing wrong about either of the two kinds of blogs I described above (and they're going to know who they are as they read this does for sure, the other, not so much). I read both daily. There is a need for these types of blogs. One of the first comments on this board (and I've said this before) was "if you write something that people disagree with, then you're doing something right." They must be doing something right then. I do know that they have a following among those who blog and those who don't. While I can only wish I had the same number of readers, or get the same amount of hits, I think what I write about only a few will understand. And I can live with that. I'm writing for me. Everyone is invited to follow along and see where my journey goes.

The last sentence in my first post was, "I feel I have some knowledge to pass on to the card collecting world, and it is my hope to share that with you as I finally make the attempts to take time and enjoy my baseball card collection." That's what I should be focusing on more. There is a balance somewhere. I'm going to have to find it if I want to do well in the blogosphere.

I should still be able to write about what I like about this hobby, and there's a whole lot to like. I should still be able to inform the masses about products that come out, but I'll keep it to the few products that I will actually collect (so if you're looking for Bowman news, or information regarding Topps Finest, Co-Signers, Heritage, Triple Threads, etc, you probably won't find me talking about it here).

If something new pops out that even the Hobby Media does not pick up on but is something I like (that eight-card set sold at Target for a Back to School program is a good example of this), I'll give the product the attention it deserves.

If there is something I don't like or I find unfavorable, whether it's within the Hobby, or the Hobby blogosphere, I'll say so tactfully, knowing that there anyone can read what I have to say and the last thing I want to do is litter my post with curses (not saying I don't curse in real life, but let's say I want to keep it clean when I type).

And finally, if I give an opinion that may or may not be widely accepted by the Hobby in general, please remember it is mine and mine alone. I won't shove it down people's throats, but I do want to add another voice in the reader's head, have him or her see my point-of-view without having to force their heads so they can see.

That's what I'm going to write about. I believe I now have my focus. I only ask that if you like what you read, follow along. The journey is long, and the doors are open. So hop in. It's going to be a fun ride.


JayBee Anama


TDLindgren said...

Keep doing what you're doing JayBee. I look forward to reading your blog everyday. I enjoy the fact that it's a clean and insightful blog about Topps Baseball cards!

Captain Canuck said...

you keep posting, I'll keep reading...

Goose Joak said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Goose Joak said...

Yes, keep doing what you're doing! I (and others) appreciate your upbeat attitude and genuine joy for collecting. Baseball card bloggers are a passionate bunch, and love their hobby, but how many of them get more joy out of the hobby than you do? For that matter, how many of them really seem to enjoy the hobby (in a healthy way) at all?

Collecting baseball cards can become a frustrating hobby if you let it get that way, but I don't think you really get to that level. I like that.

Keep up the good work.

Steve Gierman said...

In this rapidly changing world of hobby blogging, some blogs are starting to look alike. Too many in fact.

Post what you want to. Don't worry about what anyone else thinks about it. The only voice that you should please is your own.

No matter how much noise some bloggers make, they still read the blogs everyday. Most of the ranting is just people blowing off steam in an unhealthy way.

Write what's true to your heart and the rest will fall into place.