This weekend an individual thought it would be cute if they personally attacked a family and their student-athletes in the comments of a story Andy Durham had written. This person made the assumption that the family was a regular on the site and therefore took aim with personal insults.
While we would LOVE TO BELIEVE that everybody reads Greensboro Sports Dot Com, the fact is that we are still getting the word out. We do notice a lot of new readers everyday as a result of their names being mentioned in articles. We see this in our LOGS that tell us various Internet Things, like where a person is, what computer they use, screen size, browser-type, time on the site, where they were before, where they went afterward. We use a free service from StatCounter. These are things that almost every website in the world tracks, it is almost impossible to be a ghost on the Internet. For example, we have a reader from New Zealand, using a MAC with Safari Version 1.2, with a screen size 1280 by 1040. They came to the site to read about the WWE’s Bobby Lashley.
For the most part, we ignore all this information. Sometimes, if we notice that people are searching for something we are not covering, we will write a story. It’s just a lot of information – more than we really need. We do look at Page Views, Returning Visitors, First Time Visitors to gauge how popular we are at any time. It’s helps us mold the direction of writing and stories.
Most of us can remember when we had local coverage of sports with radio, newspapers and television. Now there is NO local sports programming on the radio, except as PAID content. (Which is what Andy does with the Grasshoppers and High School Sports. Winston-Salem and Burlington still have radio-sponsored games courtesy of WSJS-AM.) The News & Record has coverage demands to pushes most local sports to the back pages or weekly supplements. Television has coverage issues as well – not enough time for sports, except for the events they can get sponsors – “Player of the Week” and Friday Night Football.
So we have stories and allow comments, so that we can get the exposure that many local sporting teams fail to get elsewhere. We accept reports and are always looking for reporters who can provide reports from various teams. Nobody is making money yet. (Ever see those Guilford County sports newspapers last over a year?) The web is fast, inexpensive and available for most people. Our costs are low, so our losses are low. We all have other jobs to pay the bills.
We try to be journalists; but at times, we are columnists with opinions. We try to get it right.
I am saddened to hear about the state of affairs with some school athletics programs that have been shaped or corrupted by the heavy-hands of parents that are re-living their youth through their children. We are careful not to attack individuals that are not public figures. Student-Athletes are not fair game. We encourage discussion; but not name calling. We know that individuals post under different names. As long as they keep it civil and not personal, we don’t mind. However, keep in mind, we know who you are thanks to the power of the Internet.