Way back in April of 2005, this weird little baseball community with a wide array of interests and an extremely high collective IQ was formed as part of a collection of sites operating under the banner "Sports Blog Nation."
Back then, Rox Girl was responsible for each of the posts on what was known as "Purple Row," and the threads were dominated by about three different people (all of who may or may not have actually been different aliases of Russ' when it was all said and done). But there was no place like it, and almost 10 years later, that's still the case; Purple Row is the go-to place for all things Rockies, only now there's about seven or eight of us regularly contributing and several hundred people weighing in with their thoughts in the comment threads.
We don't plan on stopping now. In fact, we only plan on getting bigger and better. But in order to accomplish that, we need your help.
What's in it for you?
I'm not going to beat around the bush: not money. Sorry, it's a labor of love. But there are a ton of perks, not the least of which involves being able to contribute to something that you feel passionate about, which is very underrated in itself.
But that's not all. Ever heard of Grant Brisbee? Jeff Sullivan? Dave Cameron? Those are just a few of many names within the baseball writing and blogging industry who started their careers writing for team-specific blogs. Don't know them? Well, you can look no further than Russ and I, who both have paying gigs outside of Purple Row but within SB Nation, for proof of this. Heck, SB Nation and Vox Media themselves were launched as a direct result of the work of Athletics Nation founder Tyler Bleszinski. You can use Purple Row as a launching point for anything you want to accomplish in the journalism, baseball and/or writing industries, depending on how well refined your skills are in those areas. At the very least, you'll definitely have exposure on your side.
Additionally, some of us have been fortunate enough to be given credentials to Rockies games or access to their minor league affiliates, or both. Those are definitely attainable achievements for most current and future staff members.
As far as the other benefits go, our friends at Clips Nation put it best, and it definitely applies here as well:
If you're a journalism student looking to build your resume, give me a call. If you're someone who wants to become a better writer, the best way to do that is to write. And if you want to direct the conversation rather than simply follow along, there's a place for you.
- You have to be a Rockies fan. That one is pretty self explanatory!
- You must have knowledge about the inner workings of baseball. That doesn't mean you have to be a sabermetrics expert (though if you are, that certainly helps). But we don't want your hot takes on how the Rockies should spend more money like the Yankees do, or about how they should be more like the Broncos. Baseball is different than football, and the Rockies don't have anything close to the money the Yankees have. If you already knew those things, you're off to a good start. Let's talk.
- Getting along with the community is a must. As an extension, people already familiar with the posting and commenting guidelines are preferred, but not required. We'll give you ample opportunity to brush up on those things. But whatever the case may be, incessant arguing with the commenters won't be tolerated. Encourage friendly banter and intelligent discussions in the threads, but don't start fires.
- Oh yeah, you should probably know how to write. You don't have to be a professional, but you must know how to execute the usage of proper grammar, punctuation, capitalization, sentence structure, etc. Those are definite musts for feature writers and copy editors (more on that later), but if you lack some of those skills, we still might have a spot for you. See below for openings, and don't hesitate to inquire!
What we need
- Rockies game coverage -- We are unique in that, like beat writers, we cover every single game in the Rockies' 162-game schedule. That includes previews (that should go up as soon as lineups are out), discussion threads and postgame stories. If you thrive on working on deadlines, or would like more experience doing so, this is for you. We want the wraps up as close to the last out as possible. That can mean having a 150-word, nuts-and-bolts recap published immediately and adding more meat to the story later. Either way, game coverage should always include pertinent stats and facts, strong opinions, and -- oh yeah -- the final score! As a form of a tryout, we'll have candidates simulate game coverage (for a live game in a sport of your choice) twice over a two-week period.
- Minor league game/team coverage -- The minors always have been, and should always be, our bread and butter. We currently do Pebble Reports that outline the final scores and major happenings each day on the farm, but that's not enough; we want to provide the readers with all they need to know on each of the Rockies' farm teams. Live in Albuquerque and want to cover the Isotopes? Let us know! Same goes for New Britain, Modesto, Asheville, Boise and Grand Junction. Are you in the Phoenix area and would like to cover spring training and Arizona Fall League games? We're looking for you, as well. Tell us why you're interested in covering minor league games and provide a writing sample.
- Social media -- I handle 95 percent of the Twitter duties and Russ and Jeff do a lot of pitching in on Facebook (and I shouldn't forget Charlie and his work on Instagram), but we need more! We want people who can find interesting things on the Internet -- whether it's on Twitter, Instagram, other social networking sites or literally anywhere else -- then add it to the site and share on Facebook (we'll have a best practices document that outlines how to effectively do this). A lot of people are already constantly perusing Twitter and the like anyway, so if you'd like to continue to do that while giving us a hand, let me know. We'll have potential candidates take over the Purple Row accounts for a certain period of time so that we can get a feel for your social media skills.
- Copy editing -- During the season, we're pumping out anywhere from five to eight posts per day (and with added staff, that number should increase). We need help making sure that content contains the quality that Rockies fans deserve. And it'll look darn good on a resume. Strong knowledge of the art of writing -- as well as AP style and, eventually, SB Nation baseball style (a special version of AP) -- will be required here. We will have a quick copy editing test for you to take that will help us determine if you're cut out for the job.
- Moderators -- Our comment threads often get spirited about topics ranging from the Rockies to The Walking Dead. And a lot of times, they get too spirited. Holly (bless her heart) does a good job of keeping incessant negativity and unnecessary banter out of the comments, but she also can't always be around. We need a person or two to help steer the comments section in the right direction when things get snippy. We take a lot of pride in our community, but the lack of moderation admittedly has negatively affected it. We'd like to fix that, and you can help. Potential candidates will be asked to provide examples of how they'd deal with certain scenarios.
- Define your role -- Do you want to write but aren't necessarily interested in any of these openings? Pitch me an idea about a subject that you enjoy! Are you an avid baseball card collector and would like to write a semi-regular feature? Let me know. Do you love fantasy baseball and want to highlight how certain Rockies players fit into different types of leagues? Hit me up. The point is, I'm all ears when it comes to posting ideas. Don't hesitate to contact me if there's something that piques your interest and you'd like to write about it. For this, we'll definitely want to see a writing sample.
The Rockies are entering an exciting period after finally making significant front office changes for the first time in 15 years. It's going to be a heck of a ride, and we want you to join us on it.
If you have any questions or comments. or would like to put your name in the hat for an opening, feel free to comment below or contact me via email (firstname.lastname@example.org), Twitter, Facebook -- wherever.