For no reason at all, here's Zach Parise surrounded by the kids he read to today. Zach Parise is for the kids. (Photo by Andy Marlin/Getty Images for the New Jersey Devils)
Since launching on November 2008 on SBN, and on October 2006 on Blogspot, In Lou We Trust has grown dramatically. On SBN alone, as of this writing, this blog has tallied 850,165 page views (and growing), 460,115 visits (and growing), and 1,061 users (and growing). While I've added Tibbs as a news-link poster and Steve Lepore for breaking news and GameThread management; most of the 1,105 stories have been written by me. A labor of love, indeed.
I believe for the site to take it to the next level - and ensuring it's the third best Devils blog on the Internet - more voices are needed. And it could be your voice that I'll need.
Basically, I'd like to add a few writers and who better to draw them from but from you, the ILWT Community. While the SBN platform allows users to post up FanPosts and FanShots in addition to just comments, those who have access as writers have more powers. The ability to post directly to the front page. The ability to distribute posts through various avenues. The ability to have more say in the direction of this site; and a few more perks. Maybe you've written a few FanPosts and feel you can handle more responsibilities. Maybe you've never written a post in your life, but you have plenty to say and an actual, reasoned out argument. Whoever or wherever you are, if this interests you, then this is your chance.
Please read on for the important ground rules. Again, this is a labor of love, so I'm setting some important ground rules for what essentially is an open audition. Essentially, those interested will send me pieces, I'll post them anonymously so no one can be biased by the user, and the community will vote as to whether they like it or not.WHAT I AM LOOKING FOR IN A WRITER
#1) Be a New Jersey Devils fan. This seems straight forward, but there may be a few who think that they can use this site as a platform for...something. I don't know, this is ultimately an analysis & opinion site by fans for fans.
#2) Be a registered and non-banned user. If you haven't registered for ILWT, then please, sign up as soon as you can. It's free, it gives you access to join 253 (and growing) other blogs on the SBN network and talk about so many more sports and teams. If you've been banned, then I don't want to hear from you. After all, if you can't follow the rules, I don't see how you can follow direction on, say, how often to write something.
#3) Be willing to commit & communicate. Say up front about how often you can write. Once a week would be perfectly fine. More would be great. However, I stress committment more than anything else. I make a point of it to have something up every day and for the most part, I've adhered to that. Anyone interested should understand that this isn't a "sometimes, whenever" sort of role. If something comes up (e.g. you're sick, you're out of town, etc.), then you should be able to communicate with me about it. You should also be able to keep intra-site communication private as well.
#4) If you have a specialty or can fill a role, say so and show it. If you just want to write posts like I do, say commentary on a recent article from Rich Chere or Tom Gulitti, or analysis of a player, that's fine. Your chances will increase if you are willing to write about something I don't normally cover. Some examples:
- Minor league hockey - If you're in the Albany region or watch the Albany team regularly, then that would be highly welcomed here as Devils AHL coverage is sparse.
- Prospect coverage - Even if the system doesn't seem terribly exciting, the Devils usually have a number of prospects in different leagues achieving various level of success. This would be a bit beyond the simple stat lines on league sites, but seeing how they are playing and developing as well.
- Media coverage - We complain about marketing and the general perception of the Devils, but perhaps things aren't bad as they seem. I'm sure there's interest
- Even further advanced statistics - it's a lot of work doing scoring chance analysis or delving deeper into statistical analysis; but if you're willing, I'll give you the spotlight.
I'm not saying I am looking for those types of writers or only those types. I highly doubt anyone is willing to watch hockey games so closely as to register scoring chances for NJ, for example, as it's a ton of work. Ideally, I'd like to add just one or two writers. However, I want to stress that doing something different will help you stand out and be more likely to get a spot even if I have already made my choices.
#5) Write reasoned and write well. You don't have to be a perfect writer - I'm definitely not - but you will have to take this seriously to a point. One of the big reasons why ILWT is where it stands is because that the posts are generally well-written for content. You don't have to go into stats like I do, but just saying "Hey, Langenbrunner isn't good anymore" won't cut it. You have to explain why that is, show it to those who may not know, etc.
#6) Be willing to deal with the community. Readers aren't afraid to tell you what they think. I may even disagree with what you write. Tying into #5, if you present a good argument, then it should hold up; but ideally you should comment with the other users to explain your point further or just to further discussion along.
THE ENTRY RULES
Write a piece about something I haven't covered recently on the site and e-mail it to me. Do not write comments about it or write a FanPost or make a FanShot linking to it. Write the post out and e-mail it to me.
In the subject line put in "ILWT Audition Post - ", your user name (the one you log-in to use this site), and e-mail me the post from the e-mail address you have registered with. For example, if I was entering my own post to me, this would be the subject line from my registered e-mail address:
ILWT Audition Post - John Fischer - (title of post)
This makes it easier on me to filter out those who got themselves banned and avoid reading what things they'd have to say (see #2).
I will be accepting submissions until midnight, June 4. After June 6, I will post each piece up with your name. No, I'm not stealing your writing, but I will attribute it to Writer A, Writer B, etc. and for each post, I'll put it to a poll as to whether the readers like it. If they do, it won't be because of who you are but of what you wrote; and that will factor into my decision. Depending on how many entries I get, I'll decide if I'm doing this everyday or not. No matter who I decide upon, after it's all over, I'll point out who wrote what post in a summary - so you will get credit.
Be forewarned, I will also encourage the users to constructively criticize the post - something you just need to know how to take when writing on the Internet, much less ILWT.
Lastly, no, I won't help you with an idea for the post or help you write it. The idea is to show me that you can do it yourself. I'll worry about formatting on the ILWT platform for now.
WHAT IF I DON'T CARE ABOUT THIS
Then please use the comments to list what UFA centers you'd like me to focus on. I'm not going to do every single one, but the ones that most of you all are interested in. By the way, expect a With Or Without You analysis on Jamie Langenbrunner and Brian Rolston tomorrow.