My name is Sean Larson, and I am the Managing Editor here at Addicted to Quack. In early 2015, the founder of the site, David Piper, asked if I would be interested in taking over the blog. I was honored by his request, as I had only been around the blog as a writer for just over a year. I never imagined in that year, I’d work my way up to the role of Managing Editor. I accepted, not knowing much at all about how to run a blog.
Over the past year and a half, I’ve seen a lot of good come out of this blog, both from writers and commentators. I’ve also seen the bad and ugly, and unfortunately, that’s what this post is about. There are a couple things I need to address, so here it goes:
Personal attacks on writers
Yesterday, we published a story on why the future is bright for the Ducks. I know it’s hard to be positive about anything around this team right now, but taking your frustration out by verbally attacking our writers will not be tolerated.
We recognize that the season has taken a tough turn, but that doesn’t justify comments such as “PLEASE CUT THIS BULLSHIT, we get enough Blue Sky Reports from the official PR wings of the Ducks. Every poster on this site knows more about the subject than you do, Tony From Outta Town. We don’t need you patronizing us with this garbage.” Well, if you’re as knowledgeable as you claim to be, you can find my email on my profile where I’m always accepting resumes and writing samples for new staff writers.
I welcome constructive criticism. It makes us all better. Respectfully pointing out a mistake in the story is encouraged, but verbally attacking our writers like some of you did in this article will not be tolerated, and if you feel the need to continue, I ask you to respectfully leave and shut the door on your way out. We want ATQ to be a community for Ducks fans to come and talk about the team in a fun, respectful atmosphere.
As many of you have noticed, we hid the comments on that story because of a few reasons. First off, they were just straight up disrespectful and immature. They also weren’t contributing anything positive to a discussion, which is what the comments section is for. I’m not going to delete an article that someone put a lot of time and effort into just because you don’t agree with it, so hiding those rude and disrespectful remarks was best solution.
The changing culture of ATQ
There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes of this blog. Many of you have been loyal followers of ATQ for years, long before I ever arrived, and for that, I thank you. But many of you also need to understand that things are always changing and evolving. I have worked extremely hard in finding a staff of writers that puts in the work needed to run this site.
We are one of dozens of college sports blogs run by SB Nation, and our writers work their asses off to meet the standards and expectations set by SB Nation. I will be the first to admit that the culture has changed and that I am largely responsible for this. What do you do when a quarterback is about to win a Heisman trophy, but not a single person wants to write about it? Go out and replace them with people who do. What happens when nobody wants to write a recap on this week’s football game? Go out and replace them with people who do. A big part of our staff turnover was because of events like those, so as Managing Editor, it was my job to go out and find staff who could reliably produce content on a timely basis. I realized that I’d have to choose between maintaining the culture of the blog or finding new writers who actually wanted to contribute to our site on their own free time, so I felt the need to choose the latter.
I wasn't around in the good old days when we were winning Rose Bowls and going to national championship games, so when many of you complain that the blog isn't what it used to be with all these new writers, I can't give you what you want unless I also know what it was like back then. My email inbox is always open to suggestions, and if there’s something we did in the past that you’d like to see brought back, or any other ideas for recurring story ideas you’d like to see, I encourage you to email me so I can get those wheels in motion.
Keep it clean, the community guidelines say so
This post has unfortunately been a long time coming as our comments have gotten worse and worse. As a site, we simply don’t have the manpower to act as babysitters, making sure everyone is playing nice. And so, I’d like to remind everyone to please keep your comments respectful. It is written in our community guidelines that “personal attacks or threats on community members” (writers included) will not be tolerated, and if you cannot comply with those guidelines, you will be banned.
We know it’s going to be a long, frustrating season, but let’s try and keep ATQ a fun place to be for Ducks fans of all ages. And hey, did you know it’s almost basketball season?
Thank you, and go Ducks.