Summer's winding down, but I've still got time for a few house-cleaning posts to sneak in here.
SB Nation. A bit of a wild ride. First of all, I owe a long overdue thanks to Greg Wyshynski for his kind words on the network (and for putting us ahead of Mike Commodore's disturbing money shot). Wyshynski himself has only been up and running for about 16 months, and he's already a big, big influence on hockey coverage online so kudos to him.
When Tyler Bleszinski contacted me last October and asked that I join SBN, I honestly knew very little about the network outside of stopping by its Leafs blog once in a while. And, looking over the hockey content they had at the time — six or seven NHL blogs, with at least one abandoned — pulling together what they had in mind in the next five months seemed, well, a little nuts.
Thankfully, with a lot of smart people behind the scenes and many more signing on, things have turned out quite well. It's incredibly satisfying to now see sites like Pension Plan Puppets and PensBurgh with audiences 10 or 20 times larger than what they were only eight or nine months ago. Other established sites like Japers' Rink, Canes Country, On The Forecheck and St. Louis Game Time — several of which are credentialed to cover their teams — joined early on, and the rest was easy.
People just started to buy into what we were building, and they still do.
Along the way, there have been a lot of pleasant surprises, with new bloggers like Brandon from Defending Big D and Jim from Blueshirt Banter starting sites from scratch and putting together impressive communities in only a few months time.
(And because I'm going to get grief from those I didn't mentioned, check out all 31 of the hockey sites here.)
In any event, Year 1 at SB Nation was really about developing the network's hockey side and then using partnerships like those with Yahoo! Sports and NHL.com to promote some of the best work being done in the NHL blogosphere. We'd like to add a couple more sites before this season starts, including individual blogs for the Ducks and Kings, but for the most part the focus will be on improving the quality and depth of coverage in 2009-10. SBN will have more writers credentialed for more events than last season, and we'll be far more organized from the get go.
So, 10 months into all this, here's what I'd like to know: What do you think of SBN so far and what else would you like to see on the network? How do you think the transition has gone from Blogger to here and how do you think hockey blogging in general can continue to improve?