Tuesday, January 12, 2010

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Mets Police: Who am I and why I do this


Today was an interesting day for me.

This article is about The Mets Police and not about the Mets, but whether you're new to the site or a regular, I'd like to tell you a little about me, the site, and most importantly pick your brain.

The basic question is: What do you want when you come here?

I am doubly committed for 2010 to take Mets Police seriously.  I've been thinking about the site a lot the past month, and I have been having conversations with some of my oldest friends and some of my newest friends about the site. I thought I'd walk you through my brain, and see what kind of feedback you have.  Let's start with the basics.

Who am I?  I'm Shannon Shark.   I'm Batman.   I'm a fan.  I hope to be a fan advocate.  I'm not playing a character.  I don't sit here in Mets Police HQ (a basement with a very large television and a smelly carpet) making up things to get a reaction or to be popular.  I'm just writing what I believe.

For example, this morning I wrote that I didn't mind the black mets jacket.  A "character" would just hate all things black and never yield.  Well, the real me despises the black but you know what, that particular jacket looked OK so I wrote that.

Sometimes I comment that I think one particular player is overrated.  That's not to get people to nreact for reactions sake, it's just what I think, and maybe I'm wrong, but it's really my opinion.   I'm a guy that grew up along the 7 train in Queens, sat in the uppers, now I sit in the Promenade...and it's Promenade Left not even the part behind home plate.  I'm you, I'm a fan, I believe this stuff.  (I also must very much thank writers Dan who has written some of the more popular and powerful articles on the site, and Vegas Rich who I've actually never met, but contributes from out west from time to time.)

Why do I do this?  This came up today.   I don't get rich doing this.   I like doing it, and yeah wouldn't it be awesome if somehow this turned into something that gave me the financial freedom to not travel into Manhattan every day?  I'd like that.  Wouldn't you like to watch Mets games and sleep in?  I sure would.

So why do it?   Once the site found its voice, I found that I really enjoy when Mets Police can help fellow fans.  The day Albert asked me to call him because a Mets ticket rep called him a bad fan?  A few hours later he had his apology.  It made the mainstream press.  That was a cool day.

I think of The Mets changing the name of the ticket plan from "Saturday" to "Saturday Plus" after me complaining about it for a year, yeah that felt good and yeah I'm taking credit on that one.

I enjoy posting pictures of Obstructed Views and getting on Dave Howard for not admitting they exist.  Dave went on WFAN  and said fans overreacted.  Well Dave, I'm here for the other side of the story, the side of the customer.

Around all this forms a community.  I liked "5 questions for an average Mets fan" and swapping tales of old with fellow fans.   I like when Peter sends me a text at 8:15 in the morning the day after Thanksgiving asking if he can send me the first pictures of the throwbacks.  I liked last night when Alex sent me the Alabama/Shea story, and because of that, the community grows which leads us to...

What kind of things should I write about?  One of my oldest friends was telling me how he likes the site, but that some articles don't interest him at all, so he skips them.  Another friend used the word "filler."   These are good points, and this is where I turn to you and walk through 48 hours of the site and see what makes sense or not.  Let's start with this morning:

I study the traffic patterns.  I always try to have something in the morning, noon and night.  11pm is the top hour for surfing, and people with jobs like to look at websites when they get to their desks and during lunch.  I like to be read, so I feed the Google monster.  New content moves you up the search engines.  It's how it works, so that's how I approach it.  You'll notice often the 11pm article is fluffy in the off-season or an off-day.  It is.  I'm working Google.

When I woke up the leadoff piece was going to be the Alabama thing. (They used Shea in an ad).  Is that fun for you to read?  I thought so.  It's nice harmless chop-busting, doesn't change how many games the team will win, actually has almost nothing to do with the Mets, but it's fun.  Was it "policing?"  Probably not.  However, the upside of it was that Gothamist linked to it, and was the top traffic feeder of the day.  So I think that was a win.

On my way in I saw the Mets jackets thing, and I decided to move that to leadoff, but only for about 10 minutes because I liked Alabama better, but I was feeling something with the jackets.   Fluff?  Filler?  Should I not bother, or is part of the charm of the site that kind of randomness?  I have some stuff about "Mets couches" next week.  Do you want to read it?

Then was another installment of Meet the Mets Bloggers.  Do you care about the other sites?  I do it because I know how hard it is to get people to read my stuff, and I am very thankful when people link to me.  So I pass along the love.  Hopefully you find some new sites you like.  My question to you, do you care, or waste of time?

Then some McGwire stuff - now this is where it gets interesting.  I could "shut up and talk about the Mets" however last night's McGwire article made Yahoo, so hooray more traffic and hopefully some stick around.  Does the occassional non-Mets thing annoy you?

The article below this is is just informational about a Strawberry appearance.  I don't think most poeple will care, but maybe some will.  Should I not bother with that stuff, or is it just as easy for you to skip it?

Moving on to tomorrow - I think there's a nice day planned.  I'm going to let this one bat leadoff because I'm interested and it doesn't seem like I will wake up to Mets news.  If something happens, I can always change it.  Then I have a piece about "Kid Met", a character I hadn;t heard of, some reader photos of obscure jerseys, and more Meet the Mets Bloggers.  I had a cool photoshoot of the commissioner's office scheduled but I'm holding it for Thursday because "I got nothing" for Thursday yet.   To me that seems like a typical day for the site, I'm sure I'll add stuff as I see it.   You're the reader, is it what you're looking for?

The other question in all this is "do I just do my thing?"   Maybe I'm the only guy in the world that cares about alternate caps, but I like making fun of them.   I like Men's Health magazine.  I like Joe the Bartneder's article, I like some workout tips, I like when they have a feature article on something like Obama's workout.  I don't care about muscle building so I skip those.  So maybe you skip alternate caps, or maybe this isn't a magazine.  This is the stuff I'm sorting out in my head now.

For yesterday and today - the most read articles are the one about me walking into Modell's and taking pictures of Jason Bay shirts, and the Alabama thing.  The #3 most searched keyword that gets you here is "yankee stadium demolition."  Ha.   How did you wind up here?

The re-design.  I went for a run and thought about all this, which is where this post comes from, and I decided that this week's mission is to move to Wordpress.  What that means is a new look (you won't like it at first, nobody likes when a site looks different) and some behind the scenes stuff that will hopefully make it work better and not accidentally cost me followers (will the twitter-feeder break, what about people who get this via email etc).  I worry about that, but a 3-day weekend in January seems a better time to do it than during the Subway Series, and as I opened up with, I'm taking this very seriously for 2010.  If you're kind enough to help me make it better, I'll be very appreciative to listen.

I appreciate any feedback whether it's in the annoying comments system (that will be one of the improvements of the redesign) or at shannon@metspolice.com

Another reason I do this?  Look at this picture.  If it makes you smile the way it makes me smile, you understand me.  I'm you.  Thanks for visiting the site.

Now I have to go to explain to Mrs. Mets Police why it's 10:15 and we haven't watched American Idol yet.

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1 Response to "Mets Police: Who am I and why I do this"
Ceetar said :
January 13, 2010 at 3:55 PM
Good luck. I've been telling myself to spruce up the site(s) for months. years. Maybe I will. You're welcome to float wordpress questions off me if you want, I'm no expert, but I did move my blog there a couple of months ago. I certainly hope you don't write your posts offline in Word first for example (and god forbid you use formatting..geeze.)

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