...Or why I am a Spurs apologist.
Things have changed a lot around here over the last year and change. The two biggest, or influential, being that I took over editorial control of the site and that the Spurs were kind enough to give me access to the team. I had some big ideas about each and I had some strong opinions about what would be good to do. I had never managed any kind of social site and I had never had media credentials. As a result, I did a lot of learning.
I've spent a lot of time thinking about PtR. How it is different. What I want it to be. What I like. What I don't like. What I will tolerate. What I won't. I'll write a couple posts outlining how I view things. Hopefully, they will provide you some context for the various rules I have and the way in which I write.
This one is why I write the way I do and the beginning of why I moderate the site the way I do. It really comes down to two things. 1) I'm not anonymous. 2) I'm not anonymous.
Commenting and Interacting On The Site
I am Wayne Vore. It's my real name. What I write here is attached to me. Not to a pseudonym. Every word on this site is mine. I own it fully. If somebody doesn't like what I write, they can find me and tell me about it personally. Therefore, I attempt to write everything as if I am talking to the person face to face. Yeah, I get out of line and say things I shouldn't. Those words are mine too. I own them. I think when you use your real name you adopt a different tone to what you do in a social website because you can't hide. It keeps you honest.
I think there is a lot of truth to this.
That's not to say that everybody should use their real names. I don't think that at all. Screen names are great. Some women on the site do it for safety. Some people do it for the safety and privacy of their families. Some people because of work. I'm fine with that. I used to do it too. In fact, the reason I changed from a screen name to my real name was because I wanted the name recognition. I wanted my name to be attached to the site. Why?
Being A Face
Because it sounds ridiculous to introduce yourself as "Austechspur from Pounding The Rock". Who wants to say that to Pop? You know, you are standing around at a pre-game interview and you ask a question and he looks at you with that look and says, "And who are you?" And you say, "Uh, austechspur"? Hmmm...
I mean, how many of you have ever gone out and said, "Hi. My name is speedostuffer from the website Pounding The Rock"? It might work for you in Van Nuys, but I don't think it is going to get you very far in the Spurs locker room.
And that's what it really comes down to. When I go to a Spurs game with media credentials, I represent the site and the site represents me. I own everything that is on the site. I feel that everything on the site represents me. On the off chance that I get introduced to somebody from the Spurs organization, I want to make sure that I'm comfortable that PtR represents me the way I want to be seen. I certainly don't what them to say, "Oh, you're the guy that thinks RJ's a dumbass."
Yeah, not everything is written by me. Far from it. But, I don't think people would think "Oh, yeah, your stuff is ok but that Latin_D guy is a nut." A site has a tone and that gets assigned to me. So, I'm particular about the tone.
The Tones of PtR
I think where something is located on PtR matters. It matters in establishing the values of PtR. Things on the front page are more clearly the content of the contributors and I care about those more. FanPosts aren't as visible, but they are still prominent. Comments in a 1000 comment game thread are pretty buried and are clearly the conversation and viewpoints of many. When I'm looking at the site and evaluating whether I'm ok with something, the location matters.
Anonymity also matters. I look at something Fred -- who is a season ticket holder that uses his real name -- writes differently than I look at something Silverandblack_davis writes. SandB_D has distance and anonymity. I don't think they make him a bad person, but I believe it changes his judgment because it's easy to not care what people think about what he writes. I only use him as an example here. I can't think of a single thing he has ever written that has bothered me.
History matters. Is the tone always negative? Is it always profane? Is it repetitive? Going off the deep end on occasion is good. Living in the deep end...not so much.
Eloquence matters. Is it a rant? Or is it well constructed? Is it researched? Does it use complete sentences? Is it 50% profanity? All these make a difference in how I view something.
Respect and Reality
I respect the Spurs. Pure and simple. It's a large part of why I am a fan to the extent that I am today. I respect the organization and everybody in it. I really like the players as people because they just seem like good people. I like the coaches and other organization people I meet.
Additionally, I try to write things that I would be comfortable saying to a player or coach or GM. Partially not to be rude and partially to retain whatever small bits of credibility I might have. I'm not going to say that Gregg Popovich has had the game pass him by and he needs to quit or be fired. I wouldn't tell that to him in person because it is rude. I wouldn't say it to RC because it is absurd. Can you imagine his response to that? He'd just ignore me and write me off as a loon. Where's the good in that? I might as well tell them I believe in UFOs. NTTAWWT.
I'm not concerned with objectivity. I'm not a journalist and I don't want to be one. I don't want to report Spurs news. There are plenty of people who do it and they do a fine job. I'm a fan. I just want to learn. I want to learn more about what the Spurs do. As a team on the court. As the front office constructing a team. As an organization running a business. They are really good at what they do and I want to know more about it. Then, I want to write about it.
There it is. That is what I am about.