State of the Hall: March 24, 2010

  • 03/24/2010 8:53 am in

Hello, ladies and gentleman of the ITH blogging republic. It’s been about five months since we last talked. Glad to see you are still here. And of course, thank you for visiting. This site wouldn’t exist without you.

+ First, a recap of this past season. I was able, for the first time in the three seasons we’ve been covering the team, to make my way onto press row. (Thanks to Indiana Media Relations and J.D. Campbell for this opportunity.)

While I didn’t make it to every home game, I did make it to quite a few and was able to provide some coverage above and beyond the past few seasons (postgame audio and videos). I also got to rub elbows with the likes of Chris Korman and Dustin Dopirak, which was in a word, thrilling.

Ryan continued to produce the best post-game analysis on Indiana basketball you’ll find anywhere and we welcomed Zach into the fold and his work has exceeded expectations. The future of ITH is bright and all of us are excited about it.

+ We’ll continue our “That’s a Wrap” series over the next few weeks, hit the Indiana state finals at Conseco Fieldhouse this weekend, the Derby Festival Classic game on April 10 in Louisville and then hit some AAU events in the spring and summer.

+
Ryan and I have discussed the potential of adding a message board as the next phase in enhancing the ITH community. There are certainly pros and cons to consider before a final decision is made, but since we built this site with you, the reader, in mind, we wanted to throw this possibility out there for your discussion. There are a couple of ways we could do this:

1. An open message board where anyone is able to register and start topics. (This is a bit scary from a moderation standpoint. And also, how would it detract from comments on posts?)

2. A message board where only established users are able to start topics. Everyone else would be able to respond. (Of course, we’d need to come up with the rules.)

3. A “fan posts” option where readers would be able to submit topics and we would publish the best ones.

4. No message board. Leave things as is.

We realize there’s no “perfect” solution here, but we wanted to open this up for discussion. If you have a suggestion that’s not listed, please feel free to bring it up.

+ In closing, we’re reaching out over the next few weeks to ask for your support of the site. We’re not asking for a monthly donation and as I stated last fall, by no means should you feel obligated. Maintaining this site and consistently producing quality content is no small task, so anything you’re able to contribute is appreciated.

Consider the spring “donation drive” as starting … now.

If you’re able to donate, please click the Make a Donation button in the top right corner next to the search bar. Thank you for all of your support.

Filed to:

  • Garrett

    No message board. The comments on each article can be more than enough sometimes.

  • HoosierDavey

    I completely agree with valpohistory. You all have a great thing going here, so there isn't much need to make big changes. However, allowing you guys to pick from our message ideas could be of some value.

  • Chi_NWI_Hoosier

    First time commenter here, long time reader – I’d reiterate what the others have stated (no message board). I do like the idea of #3 as you all do have some quality commenters here. But message boards tend to lead to a rapid devolution of thought, unfortunately, on hoops sites.

  • plane1972

    Agreed! I appreciate the journalistic integrity of this site. The current configuration allows people to post news tips for the pros to hunt down. A message board, imo, would bring this site ever closer to some other IU boards that simply have a lot of knucklehead prognostication going on.

  • Sallad

    If had to pick, I would say #3 or #4. Maybe it's just previous bad experiences with the way message boards quickly devolve into absurd braggadocio and bickering, but I feel like the discussion here in the comments is pretty fine as it is now. People are able to have substantial, civil discussions. When someone wants to bring up a topic not mentioned in a post, they usually do it in the comments, and people will still see it that way and discuss it.

    That said, this is not an idea I'm married to and my thoughts are often swayed by the other posters here, so we'll see.

  • peaychris

    Thanks to the ITH staff for all you do!! I would vote no for the message board.. i think it opens up a can of worms that makes it really difficult for you who would have to moderate the boards.. i think the time and effort it would take to do what you all do and then have to moderate the board far outweighs the benefit of the boards.. thanks again guys!

  • Kelin Blab

    I am with Sallad on this, but more on the side of NO message board. Message boards to me, are highly rumor driven….hence…the Christian Watford and Derek Elston transferring rumors. I think the attraction of ITH, is the opinions, fans, and blog post….not what someone heard from a cousin who happens to be standing outside of Assembly Hall and was able to see Crean's cell phone dial Marquis Teagues number…..

    A fan post option would be a good way to include us more….not sure how the misses will feel about me being on here even more now.

  • Casey

    I'm with Kelin. I'm mainly just a reader rather than a poster, but what I enjoy most about this site is that you writers tend to keep the topics relevant, the positive tone (regardless of opinion) among writers and posters, and the overall respect and intelligence displayed. In my opinion, by adding a message board it will just take away from what most of us enjoy about this site. Thanks again for everything you guys do to keep ITH the best IU basketball blog around.

  • valpohistory

    #3 is probably the most logical if you want to have a message board. Otherwise, I'd say as is. Thanks for all you do guys

  • JerryCT

    I vote #4. No message board. I think you will attract too much thoughtless noise on the site and detract from the thoughtfull posts that this site is now known for.

    If you want fan input on topics I think all you have to do is ask for it.

    I always donate and encourage others to do the same . It makes me feel good to support you guys and in a way I feel I am also supporting Hoosiersmitty, Kelin, GFDAVE, Cooper, Millared and others who enjoy the site so much

  • James

    no board, no fanposts…leave the best college basketball site in the country the same way it is now. anyone in favor of these options (other than 4 obviously) just head onto any team site on sb nation and you will realize how much better this format is.

  • Druid

    I would vote leave the site as it is. A message board is mostly rumors and bullshit. If there was any substantial news on a message board, you guys at ITH would have already known about it and reported on it. You guys have the best site out there and do the best to keep us informed without some message board posters who have a person who knows another person who saw this or that. Keep things as they are. Go Hoosiers AND Inside The Hall.

  • My vote is also to leave the site AS IS. Thanks for all you do-I always look forward to your posts.

  • nwfhoosier

    i always go here but do not have an account. but what if there was a way for fans to write their own peices and submit them to you guys. you could post the best

  • This probably falls in line with option #3. We could probably set up a form on the site where fans could write posts and we'd publish the best ones.

  • Indiana Red

    Here here. You guys are great, and I am happy to give. I've dillied, I've dallied, but I've made ITH my IU blog. One of the reasons is the lack of annoying posts from NickelbackFan74 about how Crean and IU are “gay” or whatever. This site maintains integrity, and that's one of the main reason I read it daily. I say keep it up.

    As I'm sure you know, SBNation has a cool way of adding fanposts to blogs. It's an interesting thought. But you guys already have added a few user posts to the blog, so we have an outlet. But I say no to a message board.

  • IUDan

    Agree with all above. I think this site is superior to others for the content, as well as the community that has been established. Alex, Zach, Ryan and co do a great job with content, and I think there is an intelligent group of posters that can have reasonable debate without resorting to childish antics.

    I like the format in that it allows a generally focused discussion on the topic at hand, which I think cuts down on random comments.

    All in all – great job guys – keep up the good work. And I will do my part as well with a donation.

  • kesims

    no message board. That is what makes this site superior. Alex, A little off subject, but is there any truth to a John Wilkins visit this weekend? Have you seen him play before?

  • marcusgresham

    Just remember, if you have a message board it can be infiltrated by buffoons from West Lafayette and Lexington. They can't spell, of course, but they do type.

  • That's what The Indianapolis Star is reporting. I have not seen him play.

  • CrazyJoeDavola12

    I come to this site because it doesn't have the message board feel. There are too many idiots on Peegs, and not as many on Hoosier Nation. If anything the discussion here is fine for the most part.

    Maybe since it is a blog of sorts, people could submit stories on down times as “contributing writers”

    Keep up the good work, I should have a donation coming soon.

  • Coming from a guy whose job partly consists of moderating a message board full of paying members, I'd steer clear of it unless there's a huge outcry to have one. Even when you only allow registered members to post it opens up the possibility for a lot of stupidity and adds a whole new element to what you'll do on the site, namely spending a lot of time shooting down rumors so guy brings to the message board.

    I'd says leave the site as is. The conversation around here is pretty healthy and far exceeds what most places provide in terms of intelligence.

  • HoosierDavey

    I completely agree with valpohistory. You all have a great thing going here, so there isn't much need to make big changes. However, allowing you guys to pick from our message ideas could be of some value.

  • MillaRed

    I agree with Jerry 100%

  • MillaRed

    Exactly. I for one am not logging in to Kentucky Wildcat blogs and doing whatever I can to irritate the faithful.

    There are hundreds of very bored morons that covet our 5 banners. Another 300 that are just plain miserable with their lives.

    As nice it would be within our ITH circle, it pales in comparison to the 19 year old failing Econ logging in and smearing the site.

  • Disco_Briscoe

    No message board.

  • hoosiernuc

    I would like to see a message board that organizes the comments made on each story. I absolutely do not want an open message board, but I do find that sometimes I will come back to the site and find that I have read all of the posts but I would like to be updated on where the comments conversations are going. I got caught up in the Moses Abraham recruitment and I frequently found myself looking through the comments to see what people had to say but I found it cumbersome to look through all of the comments to find the one's I had already read.

    I don't comment on here much at all but I think the comments provided by some of the regulars are very insightful. Just a suggestion and I agree with most everyone on here that an open message board would be bad. I guess I am voting for a hybrid of #2 and #3 along with adding the comments from each post. I love the site and have encouraged alumni and my family (also alumni) to read it as well.

  • GFDave

    I am in complete alignment with everybody else: No message boards. Isn't it interesting that it is nearly unanimous. Why? Because the discussions are civil, the topics current and the posters are honest brokers and Hoosier supporters.

    You all do a great job. I'm just waiting to get on the payroll as the DC area recruiting analyst. vbg

  • GFDave

    Its mutual. Definitely.

  • Hardwood83

    +1 from me on this.

  • BaseballBuc

    No message board. I think the way it is is great.

  • SB_Hoosier

    I agree with no message board. I don't like message boards because they usually end up with some profanity laced argument about something that isn't even related to the original topic. Now, if we fans weren't as fortunate to have such a great ITH staff that continually feeds us accurate information then a message board might be needed, but that's definitely not the case. I say keep it as is, if it ain't broke don't fix it!

  • GFDave

    My, perhaps uninformed, understanding is that he didn't even play this year at the JUCO he attended. He is listed on the roster, but not in the season box score (http://blackhawkboosters.com/season_box.htm). I have no idea what that means for his eligibility.

    FWIW his is listed as 6' 9″, 215 and his hometown is Gary, In.

  • marcusgresham

    DC area, huh? Get Moses here and we'll discuss it.

  • chihoosier05

    Of all the Indiana sites this is the best one I have seen. I am in agreement with everyone else that the message boards are not needed, because as we have seen on other sites a majority of people (not all) posting frequently on message boards are not people that I want to get information from or listen too. Keep up the good work though I am happy there is a site like this around.

  • Matt

    I agree with the pretty much unanimous choice not to add a message board, however I think the Fan Post addition could be very cool and think it is worth exploring.

  • runelord

    I agree with the vast majority as far as not having a message board. I enjoy the commentary of the “regulars” although personally I do not comment much. As a fan in Texas, this site is great to access for my Indiana news. Keep up the great work.

  • BFowler

    Do not change this thing. There is good conversation with the current format. Topics and off-topics are discussed all the time. No need to add a message board. This is by far my favorite site and I always look forward to the comments from informed, balanced readers and commenters. You have been my go-to site since May 12, 2008, when Leonard Washington pulled a Devan Dunes (or is it the other way around?).

  • Wow. Leonard Washington reference. I don't know if I should award you a point or subtract one.

  • CutterInChicago

    Everytime I answer the call from ITH for a little financial helpside, I always channel the spirit of Coach Mike Davis and pretend my donation is like Bracey Wright and Marshall Strickland showing up in ITH PayPal account.

    As for messageboard, think we are fine without one around here but if something like #3 was chosen, that would be OK in my book.

    From Bloomington where I have no Moses Abraham sightings to report,
    CIC

  • Thanks for your support, Cutter.

  • I kind of like things without a message board. Fewer trolls that way, and the way the comments are structured through Disqus kind of opens things up for the kind of discourse that you'll be having on a forum board, anyway (and, you're right, that's a major headache to try and moderate).

  • Sallad

    It's funny, when I posted that this morning, I was afraid it would be followed by a bunch of people saying, “No! We want a message board!” Good to see that the sanity of the commenters (Big draw #2 to this site) didn't disappoint!

    The reason #3 has some appeal is that there is such a strong community of established and respected posters here. I would be interested in fan pieces occasionally, as long as they don't overwhelm the great content that Alex and Ryan and Zach put out (Big draw #1 and the reason that once I get paid I'll be hitting PayPal). I guess my only worry would be people who would get upset about their content not getting chosen.

    We've got a diverse variety of perspectives–Current students, alumni, Bloomington residents, fans scattered around the country–which could make for interesting viewpoints.

  • We've actually talked about people getting upset about not getting their content chosen, which would be a downfall, but maybe part of the nature of the beast, no?

  • ariufan

    I vote to keep this Great site just the way it is.

  • IUMIKE1

    No message board…..please. The fact that there is not one is one of the biggest draws of this site IMHO.

    Maybe #3 if anything different. You guys have done everything right since I have been coming here so I for one will trust that whatever decision you make will be the best one and the right one. The fact that you ask the people that come to this site what they think and might want differently is one of many examples of what seperates ITH from all of the other sites and it is one of the main reasons that ITH is the favorite place for the dedicated and hardcore, OK maybe obessed, fan to go to for everything IU bball. Thanks for everything you do and keep up the great work.

    I know it would be really selfish of me to ask for you guys to do even one more thing IU bball related but…………….there is one other little thing that I would ask of you and if you will do it I promise not to ask for anything at Xmas, hell make it two Xmas' this is important, and that is

    GET MA TO COMMIT.

  • IUMIKE1

    Alex, just came back here to say that I seen what that freakin' idiot 4guards (wanted to use a whole lot different wording but won't) had to say over at the HT site and may I say that I for one was glad as hell to see you call him out for his thinly vieled dig about this great site. What he said and how he said it is sooooo typical of, as I like to refer to him as, 4cells. Saying he has four active brain cells may be real reach though. I could not care less if you refuse to post his comments because every time I come here I thank God I don't have to read all the BS comments that that brain dead idiot continually posts. Again great job here and great job of defending this great site!!!!

  • CutterInChicago

    My pleasure. Got a chance to see the practice facility yesterday in Btown and its coming along nicely. And for the record, I did not see Moses Abraham while I was in Btown.

  • Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this point. We'll leave this up for a few weeks.

  • Cory

    When will the torture of being an IU fan end?