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Part of the reason I came aboard BlazersEdge was the significant opportunities it offers for all of us to participate in building and shaping the site.  Since Blazer news is slow in the dog days of August, I wanted to take a minute to highlight what's already here on the site and what's coming up for you to participate in.

The first announcement is that we're going to try something that, to my knowledge, no other blog has attempted.  Somewhere around mid-September you will see any number of experts, bloggers, and expert bloggers come up with season previews.  I usually do one myself.  The problem is, no matter how good it turns out, it's just one more in a sea of online voices.  Since I truly want this to become THE site by and for Blazer fans and since I believe I already have the most perceptive readers this side of Henry Abbott, I decided to take a chance with something different this year.  We're going to do the season preview together.  Every day I will post a team or two, along with their 2005-06 record, standings, and significant additions/subtractions in the offseason.  Then it'll be up to you to do the analysis, state your opinion, and cast your vote as to how they're going to end up.  In effect, it'll be like getting a dozen season previews at one site.  If it works it'll probably generate some buzz in blogging circles, so your opinions might get some local, if not national, attention.  You might also find in the end that we do about as well as the experts (but we'll keep that under our hats).  Perhaps we will run a bet or two with some other team blogs who do things the more conventional way though.  Loser has to do a rah-rah post for the other team at the end of the season?

In the meantime there are other ways to get involved at the site.  You've probably already noticed the polls in the right-hand column.  I intend to update those twice a week for now.  We'll adjust from there.  If you have suggestions for a new poll you can e-mail them to me.  I tend to use most of the stuff I get in one way or another.

Just below the poll you will see the Diaries section.  Diaries are your chance to play blogger for a day, or two, or however often you want.  I read every diary that is posted and I encourage you to check them out too.  In the last couple of days Dr. Dave has started an old-time trivia thread, Jorga has championed minor league sports, and CodeRed has a great question about why you're a fan.  I would hope the last one especially would take off pretty well.  It's always good to have a positive vibe around the place.  Anyway, if this is a coffee shop (or bar) the diaries can be considered your own, personal table where you can talk with, and hear from, friends.  I am just fine with occasional off-topic diaries too.  Sometimes it's nice to talk about the Cubs or the weather or to congratulate someone on the birth of their grandchild.  I do ask three things:

  1. That comments on the diaries be made with the same general respect as the ones on the main page are.  We can all be honest about our different opinions without making people so uncomfortable that they never post again.  Great, diverse conversation is encouraged.  Flame wars not so much.
  2. I'm also fine with folks posting diaries about semi-controversial subjects as long as the tone of the post is such that people's responses actually seem to matter.  In other words, try to avoid issues or opinions where you are only concerned with people agreeing with you (or converting them to do so).  Do try to post on topics where you genuinely want to hear conversation.  In other words, posting about the governor's stance on a casino in Portland to fund a new stadium, about Darius' religious statements, or about the interstion of sex and sports nowadays are all probably in bounds.  Posting a rant championing Candidate X for governor, proselytizing to convert people to your religious beliefs, or condemning homosexuality are probably out.  I go VERY light on editing/curbing so I will depend on you to judge yourselves in these matters.
  3. Please mark off-topic diaries with "O.T." in the subject line so those looking for pure Blazer talk can find what they want easily.
I anticipate this feature becoming one of the true highlights of the site.  Especially insightful or conversation-provoking diaries may sometimes see the light of day on the main page too...with appropriate credit, of course.

If you're looking for past posts/archives you can click on the "search" link in the upper right column.  Links to other websites can be found in the lower right.  You will notice a large advertising bar down the left hand side of the main page.  The full adstrip is the one that supports the parent company of this site.  The one below it that says "Our Sponsors" stays local, so to speak.  It's empty right now.  If you're connected to a company that would like to reach a diverse range of intelligent, thoughtful, and dedicated fans, e-mail me and we'll talk.

Oh, and to answer a question from last week...I believe a "retroactive signature" in your comments will apply your signature to every comment you've ever made.  The alternative is to have no signature on any of them.  Don't ask me how you get a signature though...I don't know yet.

The response to this site has been overwhelming beyond belief in the first week.  Thank you for caring about what we do.  I hope you feel you're a part of something worthwhile in the Blazer universe.  I sure do.

--Dave (blazersub@yahoo.com)