Elevating the Conversation

Now seems like a good time to remind everyone to go look at Redleg Nation‘s commenting guidelines.

Over the years, we’ve put a lot of time and energy into making the Nation a different type of destination on the interwebs. We require our editors to use their real names (no pseudonyms, though I really wanted to be known as RedzFan4LIFE!), and we’ve tried to provide a better quality of writing than you seen see at most blogs. You can be the judge of whether we’ve come close to accomplishing that goal.

A huge concern for us, from day one, was that we wanted to elevate the conversation in our comments section. Comments at most places on the internet are pointless, mean-spirited, and impossible to read. Here again, the Nation wants to be different. We want Reds fans to discuss, argue, disagree, and fight (within reason)…but we also want this to be a community where everyone feels like they can contribute. On that point, we’ve added a paragraph to the commenting guidelines:

Oh, and contribute. If you make pointlessly repetitive comments that add nothing to the discussion just to be contrary, you’re getting the hook. That stuff just makes people grouchy and we don’t want to be grouchy.

I encourage everyone to go read the guidelines; I bet many of you have never bothered. It should give you an idea of what is expected if you’d like to be a Loyal Citizen of the Nation. I want everyone to be able to contribute here, but I’m past the point of putting up with the nonsense you see on other sites. As also noted in the guidelines:

We encourage lively debate, and even arguing various points among ourselves. However, this is not a public street corner. While we are rabid free speech supporters here at RN, your natural right to self expression does not require us to publish your opinion and spend bandwith and resources doing so.

This is our ninth season covering Cincinnati Reds baseball here at Redleg Nation. We hope it will be the best yet, both on the field and here at RN. We look forward to sharing all the excitement with the best community of Reds fans anywhere: you guys.

37 thoughts on “Elevating the Conversation

  1. Sabermetrics is destroying the soul of the game………

    Er, I mean I welcome the great diversity of opinion out there on this grand old game that we all love.

  2. Excellent and appropriate challenge. The RN staff is superb and must lead by example – no subtle jabs of disliked/struggling players or fringe defending of favorite players. Facts are fine, naturally.

  3. I think most fans have already exhausted all the ways to express their feelings about Dusty so lets talk baseball and all the talent they seem to have accumulated without necessarily breaking the bank. The A’s have cornered the market on small market, small payroll success. I think the Reds are about to establish the Small/Medium market, medium payroll success story.

  4. “we’ve tried to provide a better quality of writing than you seen at most blogs”


    Sorry for the obnoxious grammar comment, but this is a very funny typos.

    More generally, thanks Chad. Love the blog, and I hope it continues to be a great place to discuss the Reds for many years.

  5. @jas_428:

    I’d actually disagree with this – and it’s a pretty fundamental question. Criticizing and praising players is fine. Offering opinion about the game is great. You can subtly – or ham-handedly – jab this year’s Wilson Valdez, or stick up for Ryan Hanigan beyond the point of rationality. When you come down to it, it’s technically irrational to spend more than 3 minutes a day debating baseball, in any context.

    And you’re perfectly welcome to remind me that Adam Dunn struck out too much. Sometimes. The issues are tone and volume. The issues, as Jason so eloquently put it, are the “pointlessly repetitive comments that add nothing to the discussion just to be contrary.” Trolling, in other words. We all know it when we see it.

  6. This is a great blog for Reds fans to discuss everything Reds. The comments over at on their threads are so hateful at times. No respect shown for others opinions. It is one personal attack after another over there.
    You guys at RN should be proud of what you have created here. Good, well written articles that produce some healthy debate. Good commenters on here and some offer some good insight. Not the powder-puff pieces written by Mark Sheldon at or that we find at the Enquirer.

  7. First spring training game starts in just TWO days. About 52 hours until first pitch. Ladies and gents, spring training has arrived.

  8. I also would like to take this opportunity to thank Chad and co. for this forum. I even enjoy the off day random thoughts/open thread as much as I love the daily Reds’ banter.

    If I would have realized at the time when I registered here how long and how loyal of a RedlegNation Citizen I would be, I would have used my real name (Mike). However, my avatar is actually a picture of me. So there’s that.

  9. @RiverCity Redleg: Speaking of, we need Pinson343 back in the fold!!!

    I kinda like the anonymity of an usernames and avatars and how it makes this place more of a meritocracy.

    • I kinda like the anonymity of an usernames and avatars and how it makes this place more of a meritocracy.

      I value anonymity when discussing the Reds.

    • @RiverCity Redleg: Speaking of, we need Pinson343 back in the fold!!!

      I kinda like the anonymity of an usernames and avatars and how it makes this place more of a meritocracy.

      Sultan, I agree about Pinson343. And Chad didn’t say we mere commenters have to use our real names — just the editors. And any baseball blog that’s so cerebral that the word “meritocracy” fits right in is fine by me.
      I will reveal this much: when I first started hanging out here at the Nation, I wasn’t RedInTenn, I was RedInFla.

  10. I found The Nation about 5 years ago, and the mods of this site do an amazing job of running this place! It is much appreciated.

    I’m sure there are many of us who’ve had favorite web hangouts over the years, only to watch them go sour. The more popular a site gets, the more new people show up who don’t “get” the tone of the place, or who think a bit of trolling actually livens the joint up. Things heat up, and even the best site hosts get tired of babysitting their comments 24/7. Down goes the site.

    I’ve seen this cycle dozens of times – even on the internet, entropy rules. The most helpful thing we can all do is not rise to the troll bait. Much easier said than done, I know. But this place is special, and we who see that need to do what we can to keep it that way.

    • But this place is special, and we who see that need to do what we can to keep it that way.

      Bravo, RC. My hackles go up when it feels like someone is abusing the great culture here… but you’re right, ignoring it is more effective than trying to logic with it, for that’s the stuff trolls live for. I’ll own my part of troll chasing and will work hard to pass on it. Hard to avoid it sometimes, like you said. Feel free to chase me away from a baited hook anytime.

  11. Heh, I checked the archives for the first time cuz I was curious to see when I started stinking up the place. 2006. Wow, it’s been longer than I thought.

    It’s pretty comical to go back and read some of the debate about guys like Jerry Narron and Buck Coates. We really need to get lives.

  12. I’ve been sort of serial lurker here for the past few years. I want to say out loud that I really value the smart posts and the reasoned discussion I find here (and the absence of a lot of the nonsense), and I hope Chad, et al., keep in going ad infinitum with the same high quality controls. It’s a real pleasure to think through all things Reds with all of you — I read just about every post, and whether I agree or not, I learn a lot.

  13. I have been reading for three years and occasionally post. This is one of the first two sites I go to everyday (the other is for the #1 Indiana Hoosiers) because I know there will always be something relevant posted. One thing I really enjoy during the season is Chad’s off-day posts about things not relating to the Reds, along with the links. Thanks and keep up the good work, looking forward to a great season for the Redlegs and Redleg Nation.

    p.s. Chris Garber is a great one to follow on twitter.

  14. I want to say something snarky that feeds my inner troll, but I feel this is the year the Reds win it all. I don’t want to be blocked from my favorite Reds blog this early. Rounding third and heading for the World Series…

  15. This is an excellent reminder as the season nears. Thanks to Chad and all the editors for creating this place that really adds to my Reds experience on a daily basis. @RC: is exactly right – this is a special place.

    -Kyle Farmer

  16. Stumbled on this blog in 2010…Feel like I’m a better person for it…ok, thats a bit much, but I do love this site. I don’t comment often, but read it everyday during the season…

  17. I still go to this blog instead of the others because even at its worst, it’s better than the others. The editors and the posters here are generally respectful. Even when there are disagreements and when there is argument bating by a few of the posters, it doesn’t seem malicious. I have also seen very, very few personal attacks.

  18. “Do we want a Strasburg Redux this year in Cincinnati, when your team makes the playoffs but enters post season play without its best damn pitcher and loses in seven games to the damn Cardinals?”

    This question says it all. Excellent question, and way to get to the real point of the matter. I love this blog.

  19. Hey, thanks to all that run this site and those that contribute! I don’t post a lot but I do read it regularly. As a Reds fan out in Colorado it’s nice to be able to read this and interact with * knowledgeable* Reds fans. Yeah, we disagree at times but we’re all fans and in the end we want the Reds to win.

    Heading to Arizona in a few weeks and can’t wait to see a couple games at Goodyear….among other parks.


  20. @RedinTenn: @Sultan of Swaff: In 2010 I had to take a break from RNL for about 6 months because of one particular poster who didn’t make it fun anymore. That poster is still here, but now I have no issue with him anymore. I believe if someone stay long enough, and we can be patient with them, they eventually morph into the type of poster that are enjoyable to read.

    I remember the thread that upset Pinson343. He (and Preach) have been favorites of mine for many years (I think I started lurking here in 2006 and started posting in 2008). I hope he, like me, will return to the fold after a little time off.

    • I just finished reasing Sheldon’s article on

      Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto would not be permitted to pitch for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic. First baseman Joey Votto’s status to participate for Team Canada still remained officially unresolved.

      “Reds exercised right to disallow Cueto’s participation in WBC as he finished on DL. Despite his desire to play, he respects their decision,” Cueto’s agent, Bryce Dixon, posted on Twitter.

      I happened to glance at some of the comments following the article (a big mistake as it caused my acid reflux to kick in) and I realized why my time is better spent on a quality blog here with the Nation.

  21. Thanks to all of our readers and contributors, but especially to Chad. I certainly abuse the privilege of popping in and out of the site, writing something when it suits me, and poking my nose in the operations of the site. But Chad’s the guy who has to deal with the day to day nonsense of keeping the site running – while balancing a real day job and a family. I know it’s been a challenge, but I’m glad he’s come back for one more season — and big thanks to the newer editors who have done so much to improve the site and community.

  22. The discussion here, to quote my favorite MadTv character, Eugene Struthers, is at a “Hole Nother Level.” Keep up the good work Chad and crew.

  23. @Chris Garber: Thanks for the kind words, but I think I’m being given more credit than I deserve. We have an outstanding group of editors, without whom this site wouldn’t exist.

    It is true, as noted above, that I recently (very recently; you’ve probably noticed my lack of posting since last October’s collapse) made the decision to keep going for another season. I am sure I’ll regret that decision at some point, when the site goes down and I have to deal with it (probably on Opening day), but I genuinely love what we’ve built here.

    Keep in mind, as well, that we’re always open to suggestions on how to improve the Nation. RN is yours as much as it’s mine, at this point.

  24. I’ve been turned off at times by a few commenters who seem to need to have the last word on stuff they can’t do anything about anyway – but I always stalk all y’all, whether I actually dive into the conversation or not. The Nation is still the absolute best. Let’s hope we see very little of the goat in 2013!
    …and did y’all see that Votto IS on Canada’s roster — but he may not actually play?

  25. Thanks for the kind words TC. I miss Pinson as well. I hope he rejoins, especially for the game threads. Game threads are definately a different animal. He always made me laugh out loud; or give me reason to say: “huh.” I appreciate both. This is a fun place, most of the time, and it has been the only sports blog which I have consistently posted. Sometimes I feel a little like a fish out of water due to my ‘evaluate players like a scout’ mentality as opposed to using stats as the predominant indicator, but overall I feel respected and appreciated, and that’s what makes this place worth the investment of time that it is. I am a daily reader. Thanks.

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