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A Brief History of & a (working) User's Guide to Purple Row

Off days are never a good thing, but I guess now is as a good of a time as any to have a meta discussion. With an influx of many new members to this community over the last few months, it's time to review what this site is about, its history, and how things run around here. Also, I want your input on what you think new and old members of the community should know.

First, I'll begin with a history lesson. But you'll need to join me after the jump for that.

A (Brief) History of Purple Row

Where to begin? I guess it's always helpful to begin at the beginning of things. On 28 April 2005, Rox Girl made her first entry here to mark the opening of the site. On 29 April, Franchise26 made the first comment on the site. Meanwhile, I was having trouble registering for the site after learning she was moving to SB Nation (I read Rox Girl's previous blog that led to her joining SB Nation and knew of SB Nation when John Sickels moved from ESPN to here). I tried three different e-mail addresses and each time the activation link sent me to Brew Crew Ball, our Brewers blog. I attempted one more registration before contacting the network's support team, and this time it worked. As you can see here, my first comment was about a college baseball game involving Jeff Clement. But I didn't always go by my real name on the site. My original moniker was Rox Fan in NY--not that creative, but accurate.

The 2005 season, as we all know, was a tough campaign, for players and fans alike. Still, Rox Girl got through the entire season. Game Threads weren't as active as they are now, but a core group of followers formed. Look at the draft threads for 2005. It was basically Rox Girl and I going back and forth. Then came the off season.

January was a complete wash and February was almost non-existent. Then just two days before the season started for the Rockies, SB Nation's president and A's blogger, Blez, asked me to take over the site. I couldn't say no. And Rox Girl also showed up again just in time so that we could both shoulder the duties of the site. Purple Row was still a small site, averaging around 250 visits per day. Still, it was a foundational year for the site. More importantly was an entry Rox Girl wrote in her August call:

[...] beyond that it got me to start thinking of the bandwagon, and I just wanted to make sure everybody was aware that this September is the last chance for converting to Rockies fandom and being convincing.

If you can remain a fan when the team is in last place, than you've earned your bona fides, I say. So, Dan, you're in.  Same goes with the other Dan, and Mark and Tom and David and Drew and Gabe and Roxhead and all the rest down in my blogroll. Squeaky and Silverblood? Welcome sisters to the sorority of Purple in pinstripes. Everybody else on the Row? The same welcome has already gone to you, well, except for that sorority part, but I'm sure the frat house next door, Phi Ipsilon Coors, has plenty of space and beer left.

But my point is, rush closes now. Starting next season, when the Rockies regular roll to the playoffs begins, if you join the band wagon we'll welcome your voice and your fandom, but we'll always wonder if you're just another gloryhound riding the coattails of a winner and question your loyalty when things go rough. Just so you know, it's nothing personal, but seriously, those of us who've followed the team these last few years have been through a lot of misery together, a lot of misery. Tears. We're talking torture, and you, my fair weather friend of the future, you Rockies fan since 2007, you just won't know what it was like back in the day.

Two thousand and seven was going to be the start of something great.

Purple Row grew larger in 2007. Rox Girl celebrated Purple Row's second birthday on 28 April 2007 while I was in Aberdeen, Maryland at the U.S. Army Ordnance Museum. The traffic to Purple Row continued to grow larger, as we started to average visits in the 20,000's each month. Then Rocktober happened and we had over 50,000 visits that month.

Over the course of 2007 and early 2008, the amazing SB Nation tech crew was hard at work on SB Nation v2.0. Rox Girl and I were able to beta-test the new platform in January 2008 for a few weeks. A few of the larger site (Athletics Nation, Bleed Cubbie Blue, etc.) made the transition to the new platform early to test it live. Then on 24 March 2008, the rest of the baseball sites started to transition over to the new platform. Purple Row was one of five or so sites to change on the first day. What you see now is the result of hard work then and now (as new changes are rolled out every so often).

But 2008 wasn't as kind to the Rockies. After Rocktober, we were all let down. Matt Holliday's future loomed ever larger in the background as the days wore on. In November, the burden of Holliday's future was moved to the Athletics.

It was a time for new beginnings in 2009. With SB Nation having received millions in funding from Accel Partners and others, the network moved closer to becoming a powerful voice in sports. At the same time, Rox Girl and I knew it was time liven things up here, and we did so by searching for new writers. You know who they are by now. A month into their tenures here, SB Nation reached a partnership with Yahoo! Sports, putting a box on their team pages with links to pertinent stories from the respective SB Nation site (a deal with CBS Sports also took place later). And those cool photos that you see in most posts? An agreement with the AP to use their photos.

It's also been a good year traffic-wise for Purple Row:



As for the Rockies, it was a new beginning--but it took two months into the season to start. Clint Hurdle's dismissal as manager gave a breath of fresh air to the Rockies. Now in the thick of things, the Rockies look poised to recapture so much of the promise of Rocktober.

Onward and upward!

What is this site about?

Now that the site's history has been explained briefly, let us turn to the above question. This site is about being a Rockies fan, looking at baseball through traditional and new wave measures, and having a good time.

How do things run around here?

Rox Girl and I are in charge of things around here. The five other moderators are ultimately answerable to us. All seven of us try out best to adhere to the Rules and Regulations here when monitoring the site (and yes, I'm sure there's an argument out there that we often overlook these rules. We try out best not to.). Usually, the community is able to police itself (though I'm sure the authors of several recent FanPosts might not agree with this).

I'm new, what should I know?

First, register. It's simple and free. Second, read the Welcome Guide on how the SB Nation platform works. You can find it at the top of your user box. Third, get to know the community and read the Rules and Regulations linked above. A link to it can be found when you agree to join the site and at the bottom of your user box. If you lurked for some time before actually joining or just found the site and joined, start commenting.

Either way, I'd recommend that you do not make a FanPost as your first foray into Purple Row. Use the search bar right above the big ad on the right sidebar to learn if anyone has discussed what you are about to post. Get a sense of what topics PR has covered, either in front page posts or in other FanPosts.

Remember, FanPosts are not to be used for advertising commercial enterprises either.

FanShots are for quick little things. Read the tutorial linked to in the Rules and Regulations or in the last box on the left sidebar.

Use the reply button when you are responding to another members comment. When you start a new comment thread to respond to another comment it is possible to misunderstand to whom the comment is directed. And "F*** your reply link" as a serious response will result in an immediate banning. Such a brazen attitude is not welcome here.

We have game threads every night to discuss the game. They're fun and try to simulate the ballpark experience.

Help me add to this and then I'll create a special page for this.