Monday, September 23, 2013

Wither the Baseball Bloggers Alliance

I joined the Baseball Bloggers Alliance a few years ago and it was a proud moment for me and my site. Founder, Daniel Shoptaw, had grown the BBA to a viable and meaningful entity with press releases that were picked up by major new sites. Writers like Larry Granillo, Bill Parker and Mike Bates were early success stories and members. But since Shoptaw stepped down as president, the BBA has become mute and a nonentity. To say I am disappointed would be an understatement.

When I became president of the General Chapter of the BBA, I was so proud. I represented the largest group of the organization which was steadily growing in size. The general chapter included sites that did not support one baseball team or genre and wrote about baseball in a general sense. I used to receive regular new admissions in my e-mail. I have not received one in forever. There used to be a spreadsheet that was kept to keep track of membership. I don't even know where that is anymore.

All of us affiliated with the BBA had the bonus of having each one of our posts sent to Twitter as a tweet under the #BBBA hashtag and it boosted and broadened our readership. About a year or more ago, half of our sites, including this one, stopped having our posts tweeted. Something broke in whatever it was that used to do that. Despite several reports of concern from many writers, whatever broke was never fixed.

For a long time, I bit my tongue. I sent several e-mails to the current president with my concerns. I felt it was my duty to do so as the head of one of the chapters. Though I pulled no punches with my concerns, I did them privately. Despite assurances in return, nothing has changed and nothing is happening. So I will remain private no more.

Communication is a key to success. Instructions, news and announcements were sent once a month on the state of the BBA. Shoptaw may have been late a few times, but those communications were always there. Those communications gave detailed instructions about BBA awards and announced new members. We have not received more than two communications from current leadership in the last year and a half. Do we still have awards? Do they matter?

Press releases about our awards and particularly about our writing award were effective and elicited news stories in the mainstream media. When is the last time that happened? When was the last time anything happened that could make members feel good about being a part of the BBA?

Any momentum and gain the BBA made has been lost. It has become this dead thing that just lies there. All benefits of being a member site are now void and meaningless.

Assurances and promises no longer mean anything. Trust has been broken. Current leadership should step down and a new election should take place. This must be done immediately or we might as well pull the plug on the whole thing. If it is the latter, just let me know so I can take the logo off my site. But, oh yes, that would require communication.


Steve Helsing, One Strike Away...Twice! said...

Great post, William. While not as active in the BBA as others, I was proud to consider myself a member and take part in the voting on post-season awards, All-Star teams, etc. I am fortunate that my posts still get announced through the Twitter link, but know many others have had those problems. This season, there was no attempt to chronicle All-Star game selections by the group. The Google feed still keeps us somewhat in touch, but the interest is waning, probably because the leadership's interest has waned as well. Don't know how the situation can be rectified, but leadership is sorely needed to right the ship.

Captain Canuck said...

tough break... but I haven't heard of this bba... what is it?

William Tasker - Caribou, ME said...

Gabe Alge said...

I wish I would've seen this post earlier. I just applied to become a member last night for my Indians blog. That definitely is frustrating. I was looking forward to the increased readership.

William Tasker - Caribou, ME said...


Since I wrote this post, change has occurred. The founder, Daniel Shoptaw, has resumed the presidency and I believe the organization is heading towards righting itself.

Niko Goutakolis said...

It's funny, because Pepper was ready to join in late September; yet I never got a response; I think Daniels return is fantastic. We now have State of the BBA emails, and the Twitter link is working again.