Rebuilding the Promise of Rocktober: Community Outreach

Purple Row opened its doors on 28 April 2005, the season in which the Rockies lost 95 games. The losses alone could have turned someone off from blogging about the team, but Rox Girl persisted throughout the rest of the season (the offseason was a different story). Then in 2006, the monster grew a bit larger as I moved from the community to being one of the head bloggers here. Rox Girl and I continued to build Purple Row. On 1 June 2006, Rockies assistant GM/VP baseball operations Bill Geivett posted a diary here (FanPosts took the place of diaries when we transitioned to the SBN 2.0 platform in March 2008). We were still a small community, but there was proof that the Rockies organization knew about us and thought us to be credible.

2007 came, which led to those 21 days. Those 21 days that we'll always remember. The Rockies looked as if they were no longer fighting for defeat. The fans were waiting for this moment for so long. Then the Rockies fell flat on their faces against the Red Sox. In 2008 the Rockies returned to the same failed state that had persisted for years. The Rockies remain there this season.

No, we're not going to have another Rocktober in that way, but the promise of Rocktober that the Rockies had finally turned a corner is still broken. One step to rebuilding that promise is #6 in Rox Girl's manifesto: community outreach. I made a comment about how the organization could do that, and I want to expand on that here.

Bill Geivett's appearance here almost three years ago was fleeting. Maybe that's because the Rockies are afraid of, or, more likely, don't understand the evolving media. Oh, there are teams and leagues that do treat blogs differently. Athletics Nation, SBN's flagship blog, has interviewed Billy Beane, Lewis Wolff, and a few others that don't come to mind right now. AZ Snakepit, our friendly rival, has interviewed Josh Byrnes. Did you know that the NFL credentialed two of our football bloggers to be at the NFL Draft? And look at the front page of the NHL.com website. Did you catch it? They actually link to an SBN hockey website when appropriate.

Remember back in February when we were wondering who Joe Gorshe was? Through certain channels I eventually wound up asking for an interview with the guy and was basically told it wouldn't be a good idea. You know, Purple Row is a blog and all. Yep, can't do an interview with someone who we will most likely never hear about again. Just because we're a blog.

We're just a blog? We don't have any big entity behind us? SB Nation isn't big enough yet? Well, hey, look at the bottom of the page. We are an official partner with Yahoo! Sports. Doesn't that give us some legitimacy? It gives Tim Brown some legitimacy, I guess. Even with something like this. (Yes, yes, I know Tim Brown has a couple decades of work behind him, but still.)

We're not out here to make friends, but we're certainly not trying to be the enemy. We are just fans who want honest answers. Obfuscation might work with others, but it doesn't lead to honest answers.

Here it is: The Rockies organization knows about this site and reads it. But if the organization wants to build a better relationship with its fans, reach out to them in 21st-century ways. Bill Geivett's entry here was a move in the right step, but that was three years ago. Others should come here and post. Oh, I don't mean that they should stick around and just make comments here and there. But why not create a FanPost here to speak directly to the fans, answer their questions? Members won't take you seriously or believe that you are who you claim to be? E-mail Rox Girl or I so we can help smooth things out. Or let us interview you. I'm sure RockiesMagicNumber would love to meet Dan O'Dowd in person and interview him. You have nothing to fear from us, unless you fear being asked honest questions that seek honest answers. Again, we are not your enemy.

It has been 572 days since the promise of Rocktober has gone unfulfilled, and all it takes is a minute to start rebuilding that promise in a small way.

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