From the category archives:

Interviews

Padres seem to get blogging

by Bill Ferris on June 18, 2008 · 0 comments

in Interviews,Mainstream Media

Ducksnorts proprietor Geoff Young recently sat down for a lengthy conversation with San Diego Padres CEO Sandy Alderson. They cover a number of topics in the 3 part series, but of interest here is Alderson’s take on blogging.

Alderson comments on Paul Depodesta’s blog and how it is another avenue to communicate with the fans

The blogosphere creates another opportunity to communicate, and I’ve got a lot of confidence in Paul — in his ability to write, in his ability to self-edit if that’s necessary — to be as straightforward as possible under the circumstances. We ran it internally for, I don’t know, a month or something like that and decided… let’s go ahead. I’m not sure what we get back in the form of commentary is terribly useful because it tends to be — not a fringe element, but I wouldn’t say it’s [laughs] an accurate poll of public opinion.

And perhaps more interesting for those of us bloggers who aren’t members of front offices, they are considering bloggers in the press box.

The other thing we’ve been toying around with is allowing people like yourself into the press box. I know there’s a lot of controversy about that among mainstream media and so forth, but our attitude is, the more access, the better. In Paul’s case, it’s a chance for him to express himself on an unflitered basis. He doesn’t get interpreted by [radio host] Philly Billy [Werndl] or [newspaper columnist] Tim Sullivan or somebody else. It’s an unvarnished line of communication.

Geoff does a great job with the interview and I encourage you to peruse all 3 parts. (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3)

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Redleg Nation sits down with Krivsky

by Bill Ferris on April 27, 2006 · 1 comment

in Interviews

Redleg Nation, who has been stymied in past attempts to gain access with the Reds secured a sit down interview with GM Wayne Krivsky

Redleg Nation » Blog Archive » Exclusive Interview with GM Wayne Krivsky

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Profiling Batgirl

by Bill Ferris on April 4, 2006 · 5 comments

in Blogger Profiles,Mainstream Media

The Star Tribune has a very nice write up on sassy Twins junkie Batgirl.

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Fake Teams interviews Jason Gurney, the creator of lowpost.net and striketwo.net.Jason discusses the motivation for the sites, and the story ranking algorithms.
Link:
FakeTeams :: Fake Teams interviews Jason Gurney

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Talking Podcasts with Rob Visconti

by Bill Ferris on January 13, 2006 · 0 comments

in Interviews,Podcasts

Rob Visconti, aka the Bleacher Guy and Eric McErlain of Off Wing Opinion fame have been teaming up for almost a year to produce podcasts called Bleacher Guy Radio. Rob was kind enough to take the time an answer some questions about his experiences with podcasting, and what opportunities might be out there. If I’d been thinking when I emailed Rob, we could have done this as a podcast. Oh well, maybe next time…

What made you start doing podcasts instead of just blogging?

This time last year I hadn’t even heard of podcasting, much less given any thought to playing out my sports radio fantasies on the internet. But one night in January I was on the phone with my buddy and fellow sports blogger Eric McErlain from Off Wing Opinion. We were talking shop about where we saw sports blogging heading, and kicking around different ideas for possibly working together at some point. Eric mentioned podcasting as a possibility, which was the first that I had even heard of the concept, and I started doing research on the topic as soon as we got off the phone.

After a couple of months of toying with the idea and trying to figure out how the back end of podcasting works, I finally sat down on March 17 to record my first show–and it was awful. But I got a real kick out of putting it together, and an even bigger kick when my aggregator successfully downloaded the file and transferred it into my iTunes library. That was a pretty big moment for me–I didn’t really care whether anyone else ever listened to that first show. I just wanted to see if I could figure out how to make it work.

Of course, once the initial excitement wore off, I had to decide whether this was something I wanted to continue to pursue. Despite the fact that the first show was embarrassingly bad, I got some really positive feedback from regular readers of my blog who took the time to listen. At that point I realized that podcasting was going to be a great way to expand the content of my blog and to reach a new audience. And now that I’ve worked out the kinks and learned how to produce a better product, I think that the podcast and the blog feed off of each other. It’s been fun to watch it grow.
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Beane in Athletics Nation

by Bill Ferris on January 11, 2006 · 0 comments

in Interviews

Yeah, I’m a day late with this but Blez is hanging out with Billy Beane again at Athletics Nation.

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Blogger Profile: Jon Weisman

by Bill Ferris on December 19, 2005 · 0 comments

in Blogger Profiles,Interviews

Jon Weisman authors Dodger Thoughts for Baseball Toaster. Jon began his blog in 2002 with Blogger and Blogspot. He began posting regularly in January 2003 and eventually moved over to All-Baseball in 2004. Finally, during spring training Jon made the jump to the Toaster.

BB: When did you become a baseball fan? Who were your favorite players growing up?

JW: I first got interested in baseball at age 6 1/2, when I happened to be in front of a TV set the night Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run. I’d say I became a hardcore fan in 1977, during the Dodgers’ pennant run. I liked all the usual Dodgers from that era, but perhaps most of all Reggie Smith and Manny Mota, followed by Pedro Guerrero.

BB: Why did you start your blog?

JW: It was a combination of boredom during a transitional phase in my writing and editing career, an increasing (and critically for me, early) awareness of blogs and the possibilities they offered, and a longtime desire to express my thoughts about the Dodgers unfettered and in writing. Really, until e-mail came around, it was a lot of work to quickly share any thoughts on paper about anything with anyone, and until blogs came around, you weren’t likely to engage anyone you didn’t already know. Even though I never knew I’d end up with an audience, it was fun to pretend and write like I had one.

It’s funny – I was surfing the Internet a lot and it really felt like I had gotten to the very end. An old joke, but it rings true for me. I reached a point where I felt I had something to contribute.
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Blogger Profile: Geoff Young

by Bill Ferris on December 11, 2005 · 2 comments

in Blogger Profiles,Interviews

This week’s blogger profile talks with the author of Ducksnorts, Geoff Young. Geoff launched his DuckSnorts site, covering the San Diego Padres, in September 1997. Without doing any additional research, I’d say it would have to be amongst the oldest team fan sites. Young launched the blog portion in 2001, which again makes it one of the longest running baseball blogs. The site features what many of bloggers strive for, and that is a very interactive community with many posts receiving dozens upon dozens (and sometimes 100+) of comments.

BB: When did you become a baseball fan? Who were your favorite players growing up?

GY: The first game I attended was in 1977, at San Diego Stadium (now known as Qualcomm Stadium). The only things I remember from that game are that Gene Tenace hit two home runs and that at some point I asked my dad what “quarter” it was because we used to go to football games.

I didn’t start following baseball closely until a few years later, probably 1980 or so. Then in the mid-’80s I discovered Bill James and my interest transformed into an obsession, which is pretty much what it remains today.

As for my favorite players growing up, I grew up in Los Angeles and followed the Dodgers, so most of them will be guys that Padres fans hate. Players that stand out to me are Mike Scioscia, Orel Hershiser — they seemed like average guys, which I liked — Mike Schmidt, Robin Yount, probably some others that I’m forgetting.

I always appreciated the way Tony Gwynn played the game, even when I was rooting against his team. To this day, he remains one of my all-time favorite players.
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Accounting for Bloggers

by Bill Ferris on December 7, 2005 · 13 comments

in Interviews,Making Money

With the year coming to a close, those bloggers who earn revenue from their sites may want to think about tax implications. Brian Borawski, who writes the business pieces for the Hardball Times as well as his own blog (Tigerblog), is an accountant by day. Brian generously agreed to answer some questions related to blogging income and taxes.

Before we get started, it is important to emphasize the following:
The topics in this column are for informational purposes only. It is imperative that you consult with your tax advisor with regard to your unique situation before implementing anything found in this column.

BaseBlogging: What income do bloggers have to report?

Brian: Technically, anything they receive should be considered income for tax purposes, no matter how small. Whether it’s $10 or $10,000, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) considers it income and it should be reported on your tax return.

BaseBlogging: What are the business structures that bloggers should consider?

Brian:The easiest structure is a sole proprietorship, and in this event they basically do nothing. All of their income and expenses are reported on Schedule C of their Form 1040. This is probably the recommended version if the blogger is making a small amount of money from their blog. Once you get into the thousands of dollars and especially if you have a network or several people writing for you, it might be time to put something a little more formal into place.

One option is a Limited Liability Company (LLC) and these have become pretty popular. They’re less administratively burdensome then a corporation (which we’ll get too) and they’re usually easier to set up. A single member LLC would be set up if there’s only a single/owner member while a multi-member LLC would be set up if there’s more then one owner.

A single member LLC is taxed the same as if you were a sole proprietorship and all of the income and deductions are reported on Schedule C of your Form 1040. A multi-member LLC is required to file the same return that partnership would, Form 1065, with the income and expenses eventually “flowing” to Schedule E of their Form 1040.

Another option would be to incorporate. While there are distinct benefits to incorporating, this is the most administratively burdensome of available entities. This form of entity would be preferred if you have a large network of writers that write, but only a small number of owners. One of the burdens of a corporation is that the owners have to be on the payroll, so if you have a corporation owned by one person, they’d have to go through the process of keeping payroll records and filing payroll tax returns with the IRS and their respective state. Another burden is that the corporation needs a formal board of directors, which requires board meetings and minutes from those meetings. Some states let you have a one person (usually the owner) board, so that makes it somewhat easier.

There are two types of corporations as well. The S Corporation is pretty popular because you avoid double taxation on the income of the corporation because it doesn’t pay an entity level tax. So similar to a partnership, the income gets recorded on your Form 1040 and is taxed at your own marginal tax rate. However, to qualify as an S Corporation, you have to make a proper and timely election.

The C Corporation has some distinct benefits as well, although it has its own pitfalls. A C Corporation pays an entity level tax so the corporation has to actually cut a check to the IRS (assuming it makes money). One nice thing is the first $50,000 in net income is taxes at 15%, so if you’re in the 25% tax bracket on your Form 1040, there’s some savings there. The problem is, if you pull the money out as a dividend, you’re tax again so this might no make as much sense if you’re basically going to funnel all of the money from your corporation into your personal finances.

The other thing to keep in mind is to respect the entity. If you have an LLC or a corporation, you’ll need to set up a separate bank account and the business’ funds should not be commingled with your personal funds.
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Interviewing Schuerholz

by Bill Ferris on December 6, 2005 · 0 comments

in Blogs & Journalism,Interviews

Talking Chop has posted part 1 of an interview with Atlanta Braves GM Jon Schuerholz. In addition to the interview, there is another post explaining how they earned the opportunity:

A few years ago I started Baseball Digest Daily, a baseball news and information web site that covered all aspects of professional baseball. Through a lot of hard work and persistence, we managed to arrange interviews with many minor league players and high profile personalities (such as Bill James) across the nation. From there, we became a credentialed affiliate of Major League Baseball, who apparently were impressed by our volumes of content. We jumped at every opportunity and capitalized on our newly accredited status.

In May of 2005, we arranged an interview with Braves phenom, Jeff Francoeur. The interview with Francoeur went so well that we approached Jeff about writing a weekly diary for the web site. Jeff agreed to do the diary, and he posted 6 updates over the next few weeks before his callup to Atlanta.

Our relationship with Jeff Francoeur afforded us the opportunity to get to know many members of the Atlanta Braves staff…who I might add, treated us wonderfully. We expressed great appreciation and began to build on our already strong relationship. To make a long story short, it is this relationship that has enabled us to remain in contact with the Braves and ultimately arrange interviews like the one we just posted with John Schuerholz.

While not all bloggers will be able to get credentialed, there is something valuable to learn here. The site started with a minor league player, Francoeur. They simultaneously built a relationship with the player and they built their reputation. It also gave the author time to hone their interviewing skills and become comfortable.

Like many things, there are advantages to starting small.

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