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Nov 16 / King Kaufman

Chicago meet-up: A heated time in the old town last night

Bob Warja

Longtime B/R writer Bob Warja.

To paraphrase an old Rodney Dangerfield line, Bleacher Report writers went to a writers meet-up in Chicago last night and a hockey game broke out.

OK, not really, and not a fight either, but the conversation at our third Office Hours meet-up was at times heated. It was great.

We hold these meet-ups so Bleacher Report writers can meet each other and a few of us staffers during a fun night out, but also, as site co-founder and V.P. of Content Dave Finocchio mentioned last night, because we want to hear from our writers what the experience of Bleacher Report is like for them. What we’re doing right and, especially, what we could do better.

That’s where the heat came in last night at Timothy O’Toole’s Pub in Streeterville. We got some good suggestions and comments, and there was some disagreement in the room over whether various issues were problems or not, and how we might fix them if they are.

Dave Morrison

Community Manager Dave "Sweet Mo" Morrison lays down the law: You all get T-shirts!

It was all respectful and even good natured, of course. I’m kidding in making it sound like a fight. It was a lively conversation. And afterward more than one person said something like this to me: “That’s Chicago!”

The two main issues writers brought up were their frustrations with copy editors sometimes missing their mistakes, and with some of their better stories not getting the placement on Bleacher Report that the stories’ quality would seem to merit.

Those are both real issues that we’ve been trying to deal with at the B/R home office, and we’re going to think about them some more.

Update: See Copy Editing Coordinator Tim Coughlin’s comment below.

Internship Editor Joel Cordes drove in from western Michigan for the event, and Andrew Kulha, Community Manager for the Sports Writing Internship, came all the way from Detroit.

But a special Bleacher Report Blog shoutout goes to writer Saqib Ahmed Dadabhoy, who came all the way from Toronto, about a nine-hour drive. You can just see Saqib partially obscured at right in the photo of Bob Warja above.

I told Saqib to keep an eye out because we might be having a meet-up in Toronto sometime, and he said, “You have one anywhere in a nine-hour radius of Toronto and I’ll be there.” I’m thinking of scheduling a meet-up in Sault Ste. Marie just to test that theory.

Wherever the next meet-up is, my goal for it is to get some decent photographs, a task my iPhone has not been equal to so far. I apologize for the poor quality of the photos presented here. If anyone got some better pix last night, email them to me and I’ll post them on the Blog.

  • Isaac Smith

    I’d be up for a Toronto meeting spot, I’ve got a buddy who just joined B/R from Toronto, but we both go to school in Ottawa.

  • Robert Warja

    “Partially obscured”? Anyone standing behind me is definately obscured, LOL. Great time and yes, the Bears division used to be called the “Black and Blue Division” for a reason!

  • Joseph Vito DeLuca

    Any chance of scheduling an international meetup? I’m an FC currently living in Berlin, Germany

    • Anonymous

      Technically, Toronto would count as an international meet-up, no? But no, there are no plans at the moment. The idea of London has come up, but not seriously. Yet.

  • Mohamed Al-hendy

    A meet up further South, somewhere near Atlanta, GA maybe, would be awesome. I live in Nashville, TN, and I’d definitely be willing to drive three or so hours for one of these meet ups. Don’t know if I could match Saqib’s dedication though, haha.

    • Anonymous

      Atlanta is a pretty good bet. It’s high on the list of potential cities to do meet-ups in in the near future.

      • Tim Wood

        I vote for Hilton Head. Of course, that’s a five-minute drive. But I think you’d get a ton of participation in Atlanta.

  • Lisa Laich

    Hi Joe im a big fan and im real mad that they are trying to crucify you did the right thing by telling your boss. you are a legendi hope you get your dignaty back please reply Love you NITTNEY LIONS My Email is

  • Tom Firme

    Sorry I missed out. I had an interview south of Fort Wayne yesterday and didn’t return to northwest Indiana until late last night.

  • Alexr17

    If I wasn’t down at school in Southern Illinois, I definitely would have been there. Wish I could have made it.

  • Tim Coughlin

    Just want to assure everyone that the copy editing team has all kinds of checks and balances in place to ensure quality. Further, we have been increasing our number of paid copy editors over the past few months, and that should continue to pay off.

    It’s rare for a true typo to be missed, but our editors do have to work under certain productivity guidelines to maintain an efficient enough system to handle the thousands of submissions we receive per week. While we’d appreciate extra care in proofreading by authors so there are fewer potential things to miss, we know a massive program like this can never be completely perfect, and one of the checks and balances we have involves you guys. Please make use of our Editing Evaluation form, which you should find linked with every edit notification email, whenever you have something noteworthy to pass along:

    We check these on a regular basis to supplement the extent to which we can review editing work. It’s obviously impossible for every single edit to be reviewed by a supervisor, but these—combined with randomized and targeted editing reviews—have proven to help us effectively identify areas of need and rank editing performances.

    To be honest, the average score of the “How satisfied were you with the outcome of the B/R editing process?” question since Oct. 1 currently stands at 4.41 on a scale of 1 to 5. We can take some more criticism than that! So don’t hold back. Let us know when you experience a subpar edit. The editor in question will not know you did so.

    Thanks in advance for any feedback through that form,

    Tim Coughlin
    Copy Editing Coordinator

  • Scott Harris

    Next time in D.C.!

  • PJ

    I’m in for Sault Ste. Marie :)

  • Brendan O’Hare

    Anyway it can come back to NYC or to Philly? Kinda missed the last one…

    • Anonymous

      Yes, there’s a good chance that we will return to our two home bases, San Francisco and New York, somewhat regularly. Philadelphia is also high on the list of potential sites, so keep an eye out.