The role of the blogger in the journalistic world is extremely vague, and can vary wildly from place to place. Any average joe can get on Blogger, tumblr, or any other blog hosting site, and become a "journalist" with nothing more than a valid email address and a desire to write about something. In many cases, the term blog is given to a place where a reputable news outlet can write informal, ad hoc articles, free from the restraint of deadlines or word counts. In the case of addictedtoquack.com, and the SB Nation family of blogs, the term takes on a more communal meaning: a place where a group of passionate sports fans can come together to connect and discuss the ins and outs of their favorite teams.
As an ATQ Moderator, I'm not sure where I fit into the scope of sports journalism. I don't get paid for my work. I do not have a minimum article output. I don't get assigned a specific topic by Dave, Jared, or anybody else (Matt Daddy challenging me to write an article about David Hasselhoff doesn't count). So what do I owe the ATQ readership?
So Steve Tannen can't figure out how to email Matt Daddy himself. His frustration poses an interesting question: should bloggers have to be personally responsible for their words? Furthermore, should the blogosphere and the IRL world even be separate?
I am a fan who writes, not a writer who likes sports. My media access of Duck sports is exactly the same as yours: zero. I don't have inside information, or any "anonymous sources within the athletic department". ATQ is, to me, my own personal soapbox, as it always has been. I began writing Tako Tuesdays as just a regular user, blowing up the FanPosts section with my ranting and raving. Over time, Jared
got sick of me hogging the FanPosts felt I could help the blog, and made me an author. All that did was give my opinions the front page. My general lack of censorship, topic and professionalism are my schtick, so at what point will I need to start acting like an adult?
Each SB Nation community is different. ATQ chooses to blend real life with exaggerated online personae. When we meetup in person, it's a little weird; we think we have gotten to know our online brethren, but we really haven't. California Golden Blogs chooses to keep the blog and the real world completely separate; does that make their quality of writing any less legitimate? Does it feel more professional to read an article written by David Piper, rather than his previous usernames Addicted to Quack or Woodburn Dave? Do you look at Tako Tuesdays and think, "who is this jackass and what the hell is a Takimoto?"
It's my last name, in case you're interested.
I like the online version of myself. Is it an accurate representation of who I actually am? A little. I'm just as opinionated, I use just as many big words in just as pretentious a fashion. I don't yell that much, nor do I drink that much. I don't actually speak as eloquently as I write, though I think that's true of most writers; otherwise, we'd be public speakers. But my passion is evident, and this forum allows for that passion to show. You can't tell how espn.com Pac-12 blogger Ted Miller personally feels about sports, because he gets paid to write objectively. He would never write a piece like the one Matt Daddy wrote last week, because he has too much at stake professionally to put his colleagues on notice; it takes someone who doesn't have to follow the rules of professional journalism to do that.
I believe you have to be some level of narcissist to be a blogger. I could keep my opinions to myself, but I believe my opinions are important enough to share with all of you, and I am a strong enough writer to put those opinions together in a way that will be both interesting and thought-provoking. There isn't any impetus for me to write, other than to see the words of my own voice on the Internet. And that lack of an agenda allows me to be genuine. And it's a good thing for the sports world. I write because I am a fan, and I write for other fans out there who don't get what they want from the newspaper or the TV. I like to think there are other fans out there who think like I do, and I give those fans a voice. And that's more important than what my first name is, or how I spend my days while my computer is off.