Monday, March 8, 2010
Steve Perrin- CLIPPER Blogger!!!!
Below are my answers. I don't really do pictures. Here's one that one of my members took of me at Staples Center in press row at a Clippers game. I guess that does a decent job of representing me and my blog.
1) Talk about your blog, how it started, what was your inspiration to blog?
How did ClipsNation start? Basically, I was a huge Clippers fan, with a penchant for analysis, strong opinions, and a lot of time on my hands. Which, if you think about it, is why blogs were invented - just for me. For years, I would send novel-length basketball emails to an ever-dwindling circle of friends - draft analysis, trade analysis, and the always unpopular "here's why the Clippers aren't going to suck this year" email. When they made the playoffs in 2006, I got motivated to find a better dissemination vehicle for my brilliance, and started clippernation.blogspot.com in May of 2006. To my own surprise, I kept writing daily through the off-season, which got the attention of the overlords at SBNation, I guess plenty of NBA blogs start during playoff runs, but the guy who is still writing in July is the guy who's just unstable enough to join your network. I was invited to join SBNation, ClipsNation.com was born in September 2006, and the rest, as they say, is history.
2) Talk about the misconceptions people have about blogs/bloggers
One of the main misconceptions about bloggers is that bloggers can talk about the misconceptions about bloggers. Bloggers are a pretty diverse group. I don't think I can speak for them. For instance, of the bloggers I know, relatively few of them live in their parent's basements and play Dungeons and Dragons - I'd say fewer than 50%, but don't hold me to that number. I will say this - the good bloggers are good for a reason. The web is a meritocracy, and if you can write well, people will read, and it doesn't matter whether you write on blogger or for the New York Times.
3) what are the stereotypes about blogs/bloggers that you dislike the most?
There's an idea, held by some though certainly not all traditional sports journalists, that bloggers are just fanboys and that their fandom somehow invalidates what they have to say. I'm troubled by that. I understand that objectivity is a bulwark of American journalism. but I wonder if a fully disclosed bias isn't preferable to the pretense of impartiality. Everyone has a bias. When you come to ClipsNation, you know that you're going to get the rantings of a passionate Clippers fan - and you can do with that information whatever you please.
4) What advice would you give to someone starting their own blog?
There's a lot of things I could say. But the most important advice is to be yourself, which essentially would invalidate any other advice I could give. It's the old joke, right? Rule 1, be yourself. Then you give them 40 other rules, and at the end you say, refer to Rule 1. Blogging, it seems to me, is an intensely personal thing. Are some people making a modest living at it now? Sure. I don't happen to be one of them (though I'd like to be), so for me it's really just an incredibly time consuming hobby. There's no way I could do this if I wasn't doing it exactly how I want to. There are lots of things people tell me to do to increase page views, or to improve the content, or whatever, and they're probably right. But I also know that this blog only exists if I'm writing it, and that I'm much more likely to write it on my terms. So when someone else gives me advice, I take a look at it and do it if it makes sense to me and it fits with what I'm doing - otherwise, I ignore it. The best way for the blog to be successful is if it has a life of it's own, and I can't give it that life on anyone else's terms. So my advice to other bloggers is be yourself.
5) Why do you blog? Is it therapy? A release?
Whoa, that's a big question. I started blogging more or less as a more efficient distribution mechanism for things I was writing and saying anyway. It's more than that now, but I don't know exactly what. The Clips Nation community is very important to me, and so the question of why I blog now, with a large and established community following the blog, is necessarily different than when I first started. I definitely found out that I enjoy writing, so it's certainly a creative release. And there's some ego involved, knowing that people care what you think, and seeing your words on FoxSports.com or Yahoo! or ESPN. I used to tell myself that I'm not spending any more time on the Clippers with the blog than I used to just being a passionate fan - I used to watch the games, I used to obsess about them afterwards. But I know that's not true. I put a ton of time into it, and there must be a reason, right? I'll get back to you on that one.
6) Do you have a day job? What are your hobbies outside of your blog?
I don't. I used to be a technology exec - CTO of a dot com. I quit shortly after the technology bubble burst - I just really needed a break from it all. At the time, I thought I'd be going back to work in six months or so, but I found out that I really enjoyed staying home with my kids, so my wife and I decided that she could be the breadwinner and I would be Mr. Mom. As the kids got older, I found myself with more and more time on my hands, which is one of the reasons I was able to start Clips Nation. I honestly can't fathom how people run big time blogs AND maintain a real job. I've recently gone back to school - I'm getting a Master's in Journalism online, and I'm also getting a teaching credential because I've always wanted to be a middle school teacher. Right now, I'm crazy busy with school - probably busier than if I actually had a job. As for hobbies, I try to play basketball two nights a week, but that seems to get cut down to two times a month more often than not. And my kids keep me busy. I have been coaching them in AYSO soccer for many years now. We tried basketball one year, but that's a tough sport for little kids, and I was frustrated by the fact that I knew something about the game. Here I wanted to put in the flex offense, and the reality was that if you could get them to set a screen - ONE SCREEN - it was a major accomplishment. Soccer, a sport I knew nothing about, was a much better fit, because I could just have some fun and figure it out with them.