Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Stage 1: Anger

Baseball Toaster is toast. And I am pissed. The Toaster was a little network of blogs that included a daily visit of mine, Cardboard Gods. And all of a sudden, the guy who runs the whole thing announces that it's over and that we should have seen the end coming! I didn't! He even says that the "largest part of our engine" is leaving--and he's not even talking about Cardboard Gods! I don't see how any of their other blogs could be better than that one.

I just don't get why they have to end it. A couple of blogs get picked up by bigger sites, so that's it? Suck it up, man, and get some new writers! This is total bullcrap. Cardboard Gods is the lever-thing that toasts the bread within the Toaster! You've still got that one, and some other ones, and if you need more, I know plenty of bloggers who would be happy to be a part of the site.

At the very least, I wish the people over there were as pissed as I am. Instead, it's like, "oh, we knew this was coming, and oh well, see ya later." The readers did not know this was coming!

You know what, though? Cardboard Gods will live on, and it'll be independent again, which can't be a bad thing.

I appreciate the emotion. I was definitely sad that it ended. I think it came down to Ken, the creator of the Toaster, realizing that he no longer had the time he needed to do all the behind the scenes stuff he needed to do to keep the thing running, especially considering that the two blogs that generated the biggest reader numbers BY FAR (Bronx Banter and Dodger Thoughts) were movin' on.
What Josh said. I also appreciate your passion. I'm sorry you're angry about the decision, and I hope you can quickly move onto the other stages of grief.

I would have liked to give people more warning, but Jon's deal with the LA Times prevented us from saying anything until they were ready.

This offseason, we tried to recruit some of our favorite other bloggers we thought would keep up the high-quality writing we enjoyed at the Toaster, so we could grow and continue on. None of them accepted our offer. We don't pay our writers anything, and it was becoming more and more difficult to compete with outlets that do.

And without the traffic from Bronx Banter and Dodger Thoughts to offset some of my costs, I was going to have to switch over to a much cheaper blogging platform, or face running the site deeply in the red. I just don't have the time for that kind of project in my life right now, or the willingness to eat those costs.

So we lost Bronx Banter a couple months ago, while most of the other blogs had started writing less frequently, and DT was about to leave.

So the question was, do we want to start this cycle all over again, and risk falling into mediocrity? Or do we just quit while we're on top, with good memories? We chose the latter.
Thanks for your thoughts on this.

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