Column: Basketball blogs like dogs

By Ryne Nelson

I want you all to join my new club at the University of Illinois. It’s going to be the biggest, best, most colossally cool club in the entire University universe! It’s going to be so huge, I’m already allowing non-Illinois students to fill out pre-registration forms.

It’s called the “Blogs are like Dogs” organization!

Look out world, registered student organization No. 1123 is going to change this civilization for the better (and for the worse because, let’s be realistic, nothing’s all good all the time … well, except buttered noodles)!

So how did I come up with this amazing plan? Well, it all started Tuesday, July 19, 2005. I was talking to a fellow intern at my local public access television station about my blog (weblogs for those uninitiated).

I created my blog over winter break in January, figuring it would be a great outlet for all my writing and article links. If someone wanted to find my article about me sleepwalking for Deron Williams and Luther Head NBA uniforms, I could direct them to my blog, and they could read all my other writing while they were at it.

I built up my writing, posting whenever I had the time and inspiration. Quite often my work was about basketball and the NBA. My blog had everything from basketball columns to voice recordings to music downloads to commercials to pictures to poetry.

Just this summer, I sent a link to a couple people I know in the online basketball news business. Reading my work, they offered me opportunities to write a column for their sites.

Four different sites!

Always looking for opportunities to step-up my visibility – one site averages 20 million hits per month! – I started writing weekly basketball columns for the four websites. My blog started to collect basketball columns like an NBA wire service.

While my blog gave me the opportunity to take another step forward along my career path, it also created more opportunities for others to be hurtful. This past week, “anonymous” readers posted some malevolent comments.

The readers had no quarrels with how or about what I wrote. Their beef was with my posting frequency.

First off, I had no idea what they were talking about. C’mon, who doesn’t write four hoops columns every week?

After thinking about it for a while, I began to see their point … for a grand total of two seconds and then lost it again. Why not click to another blog if they find my article frequency offensive? Why make potentially hurtful comments to someone just trying to achieve his dream?

So with that said, I guess I should fast forward to my conversation with the intern at my local public access television station. She asked me how I would describe a blog to people who don’t have one. And that gave me the idea of a lifetime: blogs are like dogs!

I don’t mean just any dog. I’m talking about a dog with the heart of Lassie but with a very flip-switch multiple personality of a rottweiler with rabies (don’t ask). More or less, I was envisioning something more like The Mask’s Milo with the green mask on. Somehow, I don’t think I did a great job of explaining this to her because I swear the very staid Tim Duncan just morphed into her skin.

Blogs are like dogs because they can either be man’s best friend or man’s worst enemy. They can be loved by some and shunned by others. One person may enjoy looking at your blog while another thinks it’s the ugliest thing ever. And above all, blogs can be one of the most rewarding parts of your life, but also a pain in the butt when encountered by the wrong people.

So now that I came up with the idea of “Blogs are like Dogs” organization, I can’t wait to receive my $200 a semester to unite the University bloggers!

With a united force of bloggers, no news would go unnoticed or underappreciated. Illinois would have the largest news and rumor source in the nation!

Just be careful for that dude who writes about basketball too much.

Ryne Nelson is a sophomore in communications. His column appears on Fridays. He can be reached at [email protected]