As the 2014 season begins, we're starting to see more and more new faces popping up in the comments sections. To those of you who fall into that category, I'd like to extend our welcome and a virtual, but hearty, handshake. To those who are here day in and day out, I'd like to say thanks again for making this the best Rockies community on the web!
Purple Row was founded back in April of 2005, when Rox Girl basically spent most of the time talking to herself about the games that she was watching. Since those days, Purple Row has grown from a 1 person staff to the 11 people you can see here and from Rox Girl's self contained discussions to over 4,400 active members (and many more lurkers - hi lurkers!), all excited to see the news and share their opinions on the Colorado Rockies.
Along with growing in numbers of users and staff members, Purple Row has distinguished itself among the various alternatives as being the best resource for Colorado Rockies baseball, both in news and analysis. We are part of the SB Nation network, which showcases unique websites and communities covering all 30 MLB teams as well as every major sports team in the USA along with a large number of college teams and non-team oriented sports (MMA, for example). To visit our other communities, there's a pretty handy button at the top of your page called "SB Nation" that will allow you to see just how far the rabbit hole goes.
If you're new, the next question is: "Ok, I've registered, now what do I do?" Well, the best place to start is either in the Rockpile or in the Game Thread (more on those below), as they tend to be the most offbeat places for discussion. A good rule of thumb is that if you want to talk general Rockies/baseball or just say hi and introduce yourself, those are nearly always the best places to do so. Feature articles typically take a lot of specifically dedicated time from the author, and we like to keep those on the specific topic of the article.
Before we go any farther, have you read the Rules and Regulations? Take a moment and review them again. Not being mean and nasty, but I fear that they're pretty regularly breezed over. Don't worry, I'll wait.
I'm going to highlight a few:
First/Golden Rule: Practice civil discourse.
We're a pretty tight-knit community, and we'd love to weave you in. 99% of the time, this isn't a problem. Of that remaining 1%, 0.5% of it causes mods to step in and lay the hurt down. The other 0.5% tends to go down easier with a sense of humor. Most everything is in good fun around here, and like I said, if not, there's a banhammer keeping the peace.
Third Rule: Fans of opposing teams are acceptable. Just remember to follow the rules. We will quickly ban you if you get out of line. No warning, just a ban.
Somewhat related, don't visit opposing team blogs to make snarky/trollish comments before, during, or after a game ends. If you do, whatever happens is in your hands.
Again, most of the time this isn't a problem, as most of our visitors are coming over in an information-swapping venture, or just to experience a different community. But come August, after many a hard-fought series, things can get a bit dicey. Purple Row has your back, but if you step into inter-divisional waters, you're out of our jurisdiction. If you adhere to the First Rule, there shouldn't be problems.
Just to make this clear, the level of discourse practiced on this site is a source of pride for us. There will be zero tolerance for asinine comments. We are not talking about writing, "Cory Sullivan was the greatest Rockie ever!" As stupid as that may be to write, it's your opinion. There's a problem when you start making ad hominem attacks against a baseball player or a member of the community. Oh, and don't use an asterisk to hide your curse word. Just don't.
As part of being the premier Rockies website around (as Dick Monfort would say, "Head and Shoulders" above the rest), we also pride ourselves on having some of the best commenters around as well. Strive for excellence and remember to always BE BETTER.
* A FanPost should not be your first foray into Purple Row.
FanPosts are meant for individual research and opinion (as well as Off-Topic discussions, see below). If you just joined Purple Row, go ahead and do what I suggested up at the top. Comment in the Rockpile or Game Thread, get a feel for the community, get acclimated, and hold off on making that FanPost. There's nothing wrong with having opinions you want to share, but remember: Everyone on this site is a big-time Rockies fan, and there's an awful lot of discussion, analysis, research, and coverage of everything the Rockies are doing.
We pride ourselves here on being educated on the current status of the team and its players. If you're coming from a more casual discussion environment, it might seem like something huge to reveal "gosh that Troy Tulowitzki sure is injury-prone" or that the Rockies don't play well on the road - trust me, we already know. If the FanPost doesn't meet a certain standard, it's likely to get a friendly request for more effort/content and then taken down.
It seems a bit harsh, but we have some regularly awesome FanPosts from some of our members, and they get pushed off of the front page if too much clutter comes around. Know that if you publish a great FanPost, we'd love to promote it to the main page of the site and get your opinion some exposure.
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CHANGES FOR THE 2014 SEASON
I'll go more in depth on a few of these changes later in this post, but here's a high-level view on what is going to be different this year at Purple Row. Some of these changes have already been implemented during the off-season and some of them are brand new. Either way, here's what's going to be different in the 2014 regular season from the 2013 regular season:
1. Bryan Kilpatrick is the new Co-Benevolent Overlord of Purple Row. Bryan's been instrumental in keeping this site running during the week as a moderator and a contributor when I'm unavailable at my job, tweeting up a storm, and most importantly of all, consistently writing strong thought-provoking articles. I'm grateful to have him and look forward to even more great work in his new role in 2014!
2. Rockpiles are a little different. Namely, what you previously knew as the Rockpile has been separated into a Rockpile post and a "Scaling the Rocks" post. More on that below.
3. Off-Topic is now The Party Deck. Previously Purple Row staff members had been responsible for these threads, but in 2014 this will be entirely community driven. Last Party Deck thread gone stale? Start a new one! All Party Deck threads will be moderated by staff members, but the posting of them will be up to the community as they see fit. All Party Deck posts will be located in the FanPost section of the site.
To reiterate, the purpose of the Party Deck is to give our community members a space to discuss their diverse non-baseball interests. One of the great things about this community is that it really does have people from all walks in life, with a common thread being their love of the Rockies. The Party Deck is a forum about non-baseball interests that will stay within the community guidelines referenced above.
Ok, those are the big changes for those of you who have been around for awhile. For those of you who are new to this corner of the internet, there's a lot of great content daily that you get as a member of our site.
When you visit Purple Row during the regular season, be expecting the following articles to be popping up at you on a daily basis:
1. Rockpile. This post, which will often be the first of the day, is the post containing the best Rockies and general baseball links of the day. This post will be pinned to the cover at the very least until the game thread is posted. Rockpiles are free for any baseball discussion and new items of interest pertaining to the Rockies and MLB in general.
2. Scaling the Rocks - This is the daily opinion post specifically on the Rockies, often written by that day's Rockpile author. It could be an expansion of one of the Rockpile links or an exploration into a completely different topic.
3. Pebble Report. Every day, we will rehash the previous day's game results from all of the Rockies' minor-league affiliates. Usually we'll include a very short recap and/or top performances. Purple Row prides itself on providing the very best Rockies minor league coverage anywhere, all in one spot.
4. Feature Articles. On a near-daily basis, our writers will put up a column specifically devoted to one particular topic. Some of the columns you'll see:
- Know Your Foe - A preview of upcoming series, the opponent's strengths, weaknesses, etc. It's basically the kind of stuff that you'll see in the NL West Report, except about the team the Rockies are about to play.
- NL West Report - a weekly breakdown of the other teams in the division. This feature will keep you posted on transactions, injuries, general performance, hot and cold performances, and basically everything you'll need to know to talk smack with fans of other NL West teams.
- Other feature articles - most days of the week, there will be at least two feature articles covering a specific baseball topic, including Rockies prospects, Rockies history, general baseball commentary, a semi-regular podcast, and some off the wall ideas.
5. Game Preview - Before every game, we'll give you some interesting tidbits about the upcoming game. The game preview will be up a couple of hours (or at least an hour) before the game and will serve as a place to read about the upcoming game, discuss the lineups, strategy, etc. It's an anticipatory thread for the game ahead.
6. Game Thread - Every game the Rockies play in spring training, the regular season, and the postseason (yeah right) there'll be a Game Thread. The Game Threads are literally used just to talk about the game that you're watching. The thought is that if we can't all physically go to a sports bar together, we might as well simulate the experience by BSing about the game as it's happening. Pictures, cheers, mockery - all are accepted, expected, and usually encouraged.
7. Game Wrap - We'll provide a short recap of every game with the top performers from the game and some general reactions from that day's Game Wrap author. It's a place to celebrate/commiserate with fellow community members about the result of the game, as well as a place to discuss late night baseball happenings.
8. News Desk - We'll be keeping our fingers on the pulse of Rockies baseball, bringing you updates of transactions, rumors, injuries, and other noteworthy happenings involving the Rockies. This is a part of our commitment to you, our readers, to give you the comprehensive coverage of the Rockies that you crave and to make Purple Row your one-stop shop for Colorado Rockies news, notes, and analysis from a fan's perspective.
Here is the 2014 writing schedule in case you were interested:
|Rockpile / Scaling the Rocks||Matt||Bryan||Jeff||Jordan||Jay||Kevin||Drew|
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Along with the plethora of front-page content, the Purple Row community has expanded past PurpleRow.com to include RockiesRoster.com, the fruition of Greg Stanwood's Project Libra and the ultimate up-to-date resource for the current status of every player in the Rockies organization.
Also be sure to check out PurpleRowRadio.com, the additional housing for the podcast (mostly set up for the inclusion of RSS feeds, which should be available through iTunes soon), and staff member Charlie Drysdale has set up Purple Row Cares, a CafePress site with Purple Row branded merchandise for sale, the proceeds of which will go to charity.
Whew, that's an awful lot to take in, isn't it? Keep this page in mind if you have any questions during your visits with us, and if you have any questions that AREN'T covered in here, feel free to ask in a Rockpile or email one of the staff directly.
Again, Welcome to Purple Row, thanks for reading, and GO ROCKIES!