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Jun 16 / King Kaufman

Shoutouts: Why we’ve stopped doing them on the B/R Blog

Regular readers of the B/R Blog are familiar with the Shoutouts category, and may be wondering where it’s gone.

I decided to discontinue it.

I started posting Shoutouts—links and praise for particularly good Bleacher Report stories—in the early days of this blog, in April 2011. The idea was to give a pat on the back and some recognition to those among B/R’s hundreds of writers who were standing out from the crowd.

Also, because reputations always lag behind reality, B/R was still often criticized for having nothing but poor content, even though the level of the writing had begun to rise, and some genuinely good pieces were being published, like green chutes of quality. When defending Bleacher Report against charges that it was a content farm, or “nothing but babe slideshows,” I wanted a single link I could point the haters to. “Read these pieces,” I’d say, “and then tell me that B/R has nothing good to offer.”

It was pretty effective. I won a lot of converts that way, a lot of “I’ll have to give B/R another chance”s.

Three years later, Bleacher Report is the second-biggest sports website in the United States, trailing only ESPN. The site’s top writers and video talent are no longer overachieving early-career heroes but talented and recognized veterans of CBS Sports, the Worldwide Leader, the New York Times and other top newspapers and websites. They don’t need pats on the back from this blog.

More importantly, these days, if someone criticizes Bleacher Report as “nothing but” … whatever … I know they haven’t been paying attention. All I have to do is point them to the front page of the website or tell them to download Team Stream. They’ll figure it out on their own.

There’s still the matter of getting a little bit of recognition for those B/R writers who aren’t stars. We’re going to use the B/R Writer HQ Twitter feed to point to the finest B/R content, and I’d love to hear any ideas you might have about how to promote the best of what Bleacher Report has to offer.

  • Ryan Dilbert

    I can certainly understand your points here. Maybe it is time to move on. I am glad though to see that writers are getting recognition via Twitter. As a writer, my biggest complaint with B/R is the unbalanced ratio of negative to positive feedback. So much of the process is aimed at what is wrong with one’s work and not enough about one’s strengths or what is working. Make a mistake and the Content Moderation Team swoops in (with good reason.) Compose a brilliant piece, though, and there is not a Content Awesomeness Team that comes in and says, “This is particularly outstanding. Do more stuff like this.”