Answering Questions about Blogging for Melanie

We received some interview questions from Melanie, a co-ed at CSU East Bay.  She asked us a bunch of crazy personal questions for a Sports Media class she's taking.  To be honest I thought her email was spam until Dex told me he got it too. When we realized she didn't want us to loan her money, we decided to help.

As a lover of the Padres (I'm from San Diego originally, woo!), I've been reading your blog for the past couple of months, and I wanted to get in touch with you and learn more about how you became a blogger.

Where did you grow up?
j and d: San Diego’s East County.

What was it like to be a kid, a teenager, or a young person in that time?
j: "It was a time of innocence, a time of confidences."

Did you decide to go to college? If so, did it help you in pursuing become a sports blogger?
d: Yes. No.

j: Yeah we went to college, but I'm not sure if we learned any transferable skills.  Actually Dex has a Sports MBA, you'd think that would have helped a little bit, but he says "no".

How did you first become interested in becoming a sports blogger?
d: I was chatting with jbox one day and I said, "We should start a blog." It was February and when we thought about what we should blog about, we said, "the San Diego Padres" .

What did you read before you became a sports writer (newspapers, books, magazines, etc)?
j:  Mostly non-fiction.  Real life is always more interesting and entertaining than an author’s imagination.  I had a subscription to Reader’s Digest for about 5 years.  See the truth is stranger than fiction.



Who are/were your favorite authors?
d: David Sedaris. Kurt Vonnegut.  Malcolm Gladwell. 
j.  Elizabeth Gilbert

What sports did you play?
d: I ran track in high school.  We played adult league baseball in college.


j: I’ve dabbled in everything from Badminton to Distance Running.

Did you have a favorite sports team growing up?
d and j: The San Diego Padres. San Diego Chargers.

Did your parents have a favorite sports team that differed from yours? If so, how did that affect you?
d: My dad rooted for the Padres and the Chargers though he isn’t really a die-hard. My mom hates baseball and was a Bills fan during the 90’s.


j. My parents aren't interested in sports really. My paternal grandparents were huge Padres fans.  They always had Padres games on their hand held transistor radio.  When the radio wasn’t on my grandma would be talking about how much she hated Steve Garvey.

How did you use media in your everyday life before your career?
d: Before becoming a blogger? Mostly leisure. There was no YouTube or Twitter or Facebook then and the Gawker network barely existed. I did a lot of emailing.


j. Dex would write really long and funny emails, similar to his blog posts, then send them to my friends.  He’d cc me I think to try and make me jealous.

 

How has the internet, instant messaging, instant video uploading and other new technology impacted the way you report today compared to five or ten years ago?
j: We try to use new technologies when they become available.  We do a lot of our brainstorming using instant messenger and Google Docs.  In the past we’d use instant messaging, the telephone or meet in person.

How do you deal with coaches or club owners who may or may not want to share information? For example, the Giants issue with Barry bonds and the Balco investigation.
d: This has never really affected us. As bloggers, we’ve been pretty conscious of not taking ourselves too seriously.  When we do get access to people, we probably come across more as fans than sportswriters, which is basically what we are.

How have sports news and entertainment changed in the span of your career? For the better? For the worse?
d: The year Gaslamp Ball launched was the same year that YouTube launched. Deadspin also launched that year. Facebook became really popular a bit later. Twitter became popular around ‘08 or so. So plenty has changed. Is it better? Sure.

What would you say is the most challenging part of being a sports blogger?
d: The most challenging part is writing something regularly and not getting sick of readers.

What is the most exciting part of being a sports blogger?
j: I watch Intervention on A&E and I hear heroin addicts talk about the feeling they get when they shoot up. The rush of euphoria and warmth through their whole body.  When you write something especially mediocre and then you press that "Publish" button - I feel like I can understand the feeling those addicts get.

What are some major sports events you recall covering? Did that change your perspective?
j: Probably the only major sports events we've covered have been when the Padres were in the playoffs.  We'd been to playoff games before we were bloggers so it didn't really change our perspective.

I can't imagine these answers will help Melanie in the slightest.  Okay now let me just press "Publish" and feel liquid lightning shoot through my veins.

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