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A blogging season in retrospect: 2.5 stars ouf of 5.

Sunday, April 08, 2007
After about a day's retrospect, I think I've come to the conclusion that after my first year blogging on the Blue Jackets, I have a long way to go before I can start to consider myself any good.

Let me preface this now by saying that I have a lot of experience with writing, but not when it comes to blogging. For years, I was and have been an avid writer, and so my repertoire of useful words, combined with my ability to keep my thoughts flowing, was always my saving grace. I also like to believe I have quite the creative mind, so I was never for want of new thoughts or a cure to writer's block.

But the thing is that when I was writing stories, it was all a matter of coming up with things without any real grounds in reality. Or rather, I wasn't limited to recounting events. With Army of the Ohio, I'm put in a position where I must be professional, must be on-topic and accurate with my comments, and everything I write about is far from a work of fiction (though I certainly hope the dismissal of Doug MacLean becomes fact soon -- very soon).

So it's taken me some time to sort of grasp at the learning curve involved in blogging. For that, I apologize. In all honesty, I feel pretty bad about the extremely heavy lull that happened near the final part of the season. I found myself really grasping at straws, trying to figure out what to comment on, save for the same ol'-same ol' Blue Jackets' losses, with the occasional win tossed in here and there.

I realized sometime while I was out bowling last night with some friends (yes, I think about blogging and what I want to write about even when I'm bowling perfect games ... I'm just that cool), that one of the big issues was that I lacked any sort of schedule. Any sort of outline for what I want to write about. True, many bloggers out there just go with their gut, and pretty much post the second something hits them, or just out of responsibility because their team had played a game.

But I think I need to do something more. I feel like I need to try and set up some sort of schedule for when to expect certain types of posts out of me. Podcasts, weeks in review, upcoming games, commentaries and opinion posts ... you know, all that stuff. I tend to get overwhelmed at times because I don't know what I want to touch on in the next post.

Over the off-season (which starts for me and the Blue Jackets now, of course), I am going to try and implement a decent range of changes, a more stable posting schedule, and some minor tweaking of the blog layout (yes, again) over the summer. Just to give an example of some things ...

-Set up a specific schedule for 'special' posts. Special posts, of course, being things like my podcasts, or more in-depth perspectives on things such as statistics (the time I reviewed which referees were the most penalty happy around the Jackets, for example).

-Make up a better, uniform method for pre/post-game posts. The repetitive posting of team logos -- and most notably the Jackets' logo, despite this being a CBJ blog -- turned out to be a hassle, a waste of space, and other issues also grated on my nerves about the way I made pre-games. Post-games were hodgepodges of ... stuff, and were frustratingly scarce in the latter half of the season.

-Finish overhauling Army of the Ohio's layout. When I hit that roadbump with the header, I just sort of gave up in impatience of how annoying it was trying to turn a pre-made template in to something that it was never created to be. While I was able to grasp how to make new tables, I was never able to figure out how to make the header better, let alone able to make a proper banner. Additionally, alignment of certain things seemed off ... and I am regretting the choice of making the font size for posts so small (size 8 Arial). These are all things I need to resolve.

-Quickly complete the NHL Draft post. Time is really not on my side, with under two months to go before the NHL Draft comes to Columbus. I still need to figure out if even setting up a gathering is feasible. Be that through a poll, or by asking some of the bigger blogging heads if they could sample their readers or other bloggers who regularly check their blogs to see if they're motivated to go to the draft or not, and think they'll actually go. I also need to again try and hammer things out with End of the Bench about what we should do. Drew deserves all the credit for coming up with this idea in the first place, and so when you do see this, get back to me so we can try and figure out what the frell to do.

-Clean up entry tags. Sort of related to the uniform method of posting, I seriously need to find some sort of way to better place tags. That would take nothing more than a quick run through of all my posts and a thought or two about the best words to use for each post. No big deal right now.

Anyway, all of this is just a bunch of samples of things that I do need to work on, off the top of my head.

I need to do some things off the computer now, however I hope to have time to touch on the newest revelations in the Doug MacLean saga sometime tomorrow; especially now that both Bob Hunter and Michael Arace have come out with guns blazing in commentaries on the same day, all but boxing GMDM in to a corner. All I can say about it right now?

This is going to be one helluva rest of the month, even without a playoff berth to be excited about.
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Name: Michael
Home: San Tan Valley, Arizona, United States
About Me: A mid-20s male who feels much too old even before he's 30. Has a degree in Sport Management and after branching out and trying a few other things in the job market, has finally decided to go back to his first love of hockey and hope he can break in with a team, big or small, somehow.
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