Feedback Needed: Game Threads

Going into the season, we decided adding game threads for every game would be a great way to get more of you involved. There appeared to be a good amount of interest in April, but as the season went on, the participation waned. Last night’s game thread had less than ten responses, perhaps the ultimate justification of the 90-9-1 rule. However, The Good Phight’s thread had over 500 responses for the same game. Not that we’re competing, but 534-10 is very imbalanced and indicates that we could be doing better. The threads tend to have life when I am participating, but I can’t always be in front of my laptop while watching the game, and they should be self-sustaining anyway.

As a result, we are discontinuing the game threads and Cover It Live chats until further notice.  However, we want your feedback on what you liked and didn’t like about the game threads. What would get you to participate on a regular basis? Feel free to leave feedback on anything else about the blog as well. We can’t improve without your constructive criticism.

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36 comments

  1. LTG

    May 22, 2012 07:05 AM

    I just have an extremely busy life. I haven’t seen a complete game, or even half of a game, since mid-April.

  2. Gaël

    May 22, 2012 07:26 AM

    Similar reason here, except my excuse is that I live halfway around the world, which makes watching past the first few innings of night games a little complicated. I really liked the game threads; I just like sleeping more.

    (On an unrelated note, thanks for posting Emancipator’s “Anthem” on Twitter the other day. I haven’t listened to anything but his stuff for two straight weeks now.)

  3. ease

    May 22, 2012 07:58 AM

    I just think that site has more regulars. Along with the ease of posting there, automatic refresh on new posts, addition of pictures ( ponies ) & i am not sure but I believe that site is mobile friendly. Not sure about here.

  4. Brian

    May 22, 2012 08:03 AM

    Game threads tend to be about who is the fastest at posting the most ‘witty’, circlejerky comment. I like this site because of the thoughtful analysis and usually good discussion in the comments.

    One thing I wouldn’t mind seeing is sanity checks on the stats that TMac and Wheels say during the broadcast. Like, they’ll say a given player has a BA against the Phillies in CBP. OK, well, are any of the pitchers this player had success against still on the roster? There’s a lot of stats that get thrown out in the midst of a game that seem to have little to no relevance to what’s actually going on.

  5. JettMartinez

    May 22, 2012 08:10 AM

    I think the Crashburn crew being so active on twitter has something to do with it. A Phillies rally just isn’t complete till I get a Coorch! or SHANF! in my timeline. I’m usually paying attention to that and forget about checking the thread. I think the exception was the live chat, that felt more lively and interactive.

  6. LTG

    May 22, 2012 08:33 AM

    Word to Brian on the in-game stats. I’d also like to echo Gael’s sentiment that I love the chats and were I able to watch more I would be commenting more.

  7. Noah

    May 22, 2012 09:17 AM

    I’d like to echo some of the sentiments above. While they aren’t as active as the Good Phight game threads, these game threads are more of a discussion and personally more fun than others I’ve seen. The level of discourse feels much higher. I do think I’d be able to participate more if it was easier to access via mobile. If I’m home it’s no problem but if I’m watching elsewhere it’s a pain.

    Lastly, more consistency would help. If you are going to have the threads there should be one for every game. Often there are a couple games that are skipped. This has to depress the response some.

    If they are gone for good I’ll miss them.

  8. Ben

    May 22, 2012 09:33 AM

    I agree with Jett about twitter. I have come here for the game chats several times (earlier in the season mostly) but mainly I look at twitter during Phillies games and since I follow so many people who talk Phillies, it is almost a gamechat all on its own.

    Also, I thought the CoverItLive chats were better and more interactive along with the benefit of not having to refresh the page constantly. I would probably tune in more if the were more CIL chats

  9. BDF

    May 22, 2012 09:38 AM

    I’m new to the game threads and hate to see them go. Everyone who comments is so easygoing and many of them very smart and funny–all rare on the internet. I’ve noticed the decline in participation, too, and I think a lot of it has to do with the Sixers (and to a lesser extent the Flyers). That’s what I was watching last night but that will be over soon and then it will be all Phillies/all the time.

  10. pedro3131

    May 22, 2012 10:13 AM

    Couldn’t place a finger on why some game threads are popular and some aren’t. I know I really enjoy it, and I do enjoy the higher level discourse (minus the timely outbursts of Chorch and Shanf of course) here versus most of the other places

  11. Jonny5

    May 22, 2012 10:26 AM

    You have a large amount of stat heads for regulars fretting over their fantasy teams during games too Bill. I’m 6-1 on the season btw.

  12. LTG

    May 22, 2012 10:29 AM

    Fret out loud.

  13. Ryan

    May 22, 2012 11:03 AM

    The discussion on TGP is 90% mindless drivel. I wouldn’t even bother to add comments to it. That being said, I rarely make it to my computer mid-game to comment as I have a little baby and the Sixers are on.

  14. NavyJoe

    May 22, 2012 11:41 AM

    Not sure if this happened to anyone else but, last night for example, I couldn’t access your website for about two hours from my iPhone or iPad. This has happened a few times in the past two weeks (usually during games). If that problem is widespread it obviously will limit the number of replies.

  15. Bill Baer

    May 22, 2012 11:49 AM

    Yeah, my web host has had some problems recently. Nothing I can really do about that, unfortunately.

    Sounds like there’s support here in theory but not in application, and a bunch of people reading but not commenting. :(

  16. BDF

    May 22, 2012 12:52 PM

    I’m sorry to double post, BB, but I think it’s worth reiterating that the other Philly teams’ playoffs runs have doubtless affected your game thread participation. It’s too soon to pull the plug. There’s nowhere else for me to let off all my nervous energy during Phillies games. My friends won’t take my phone calls or even my emails any more, and all those guys at Phillies Nation are d*cks. Please don’t make the game threads go away!

  17. Richard

    May 22, 2012 12:53 PM

    “The discussion on TGP is 90% mindless drivel.”

    This is an exaggeration, but I will say, as a regular on The Good Phight boards, that the game threads are dragged down by lots of whining, plus there are side threads about a variety of topics. Those side threads are often awesome, but not always. But the game threads are dominated by lots of people who rarely seem to show up for the generally excellent discussion on the site’s other posts. Why they don’t just go over to Beerleaguer is beyond me.

    When the smart core of TGP regulars are in the game threads, the discussions are much better.

  18. Richard

    May 22, 2012 12:54 PM

    (I’ll also add that my being a regular over there already is the reason why I haven’t come over here.)

  19. WholeCamels

    May 22, 2012 01:26 PM

    JOIN US!

    Speaking from our perspective, the game threads are a “pressure release,” there tons of circle jerking going on, but like Richard said, there are some real gems that emerge as well. It mostly comes down to your tolerance for reading sixteen comments in a row saying “Fuck you Hunter Pence!” after a bad play in order to find the moments of inspiration.

    It took us quite a while to get the Game Threads to that 500+ comment level. Pretty sure some of our game threads from the 2008 postseason were below that number. It’s an organic process.

    I guess my advice, for what it’s worth, would be to not give up on the game threads too quickly, unless you think it’s a real burden/distraction from what you’re trying to do otherwise. Our sites have different aims/audiences, which is a pretty cool thing, and over time your readership will let you know through use or non-use if the Game Threads are a feature you want to continue.

  20. Bill Baer

    May 22, 2012 01:48 PM

    The game threads aren’t too much work but I’d like for them to be self-sustaining, as there have been a few games recently where I’ve not been in front of a computer (I know, shocker).

    I also like the circle-jerking, to continue using that term. People forget that being a fan is inherently irrational, so it’s nice to let lose with a CHORCH or complain about SHANF swinging at the first pitch.

  21. WholeCamels

    May 22, 2012 01:51 PM

    Exactly. You lose some amount of “control” that way, but it means much less game-to-game responsibility, which is a good thing.

  22. jackieinertia

    May 22, 2012 01:55 PM

    game threads are fun, but i agree with the people saying that you can just follow the writers on twitter and get the same thing. i like to comment while i’m watching the games, since i live in chicago and don’t really know any other phillies fans personally, but i am also insecure to the point that i feel stupid and stop posting when nobody responds to my inane bullshit.

  23. Bill Baer

    May 22, 2012 01:57 PM

    i am also insecure to the point that i feel stupid and stop posting when nobody responds to my inane bullshit.

    I’m the same way except I never press the stop button. haha

  24. Eric Seidman

    May 22, 2012 02:15 PM

    I think everytime Poochie isn’t in the Phillies game, commenters here should ask Where’s Poochie?

  25. Dan K.

    May 22, 2012 02:49 PM

    I enjoy the threads when I can make it to talk in one. I was more active earlier on because I was still in school, but now it’s summer so I’m working and have less time (I can crank out a 10 page paper in a couple of hours and then devote the rest of my time to whatever I want, but if I do my job faster I just get given more work to do…).

    Also, there were a couple of times where I would post something and no one else would say anything for 10+ minutes. I don’t like to talk to myself, so in those instances I just leave my computer and occupy my mind with something else during the commercials while the muted Phillies game is on (I’ve tried multiple times, but I just can’t deal with the Phillies announcing team).

    Anyways, ideally I’d like the threads (even more ideally the CIL) to stick around, and I’d also like to contribute. Just my .02.

  26. Bob

    May 22, 2012 07:08 PM

    Also, titling the game thread for the game on the 21st ‘Nationals-Phillies Game Thread 5/18/12′ might not help, as people thing that game is long over.

  27. Noah

    May 22, 2012 08:40 PM

    The more I think about it, the more I think last night’s thread was an aberration. It came right after 2 games that had no threads and like Bob said was titled with the wrong date. I think it’s early to give up on these. I know I would of liked to be discussing a few things tonight. Even if they were mostly frustrating.

  28. HBP

    May 22, 2012 09:04 PM

    1. Twitter is my first choice during games
    2. Your game threads are my second choice when no one is responding on twitter but I’m busy and not always able to make to my computer
    3. I like Brian’s idea of stat checking on seemingly irrelevant stats from the tv broadcast crew. Anything to further discredit TMac has my approval.

    Conclusion: continue the game threads, give it at least a season

  29. Frank Reynolds

    May 22, 2012 09:24 PM

    First time comment here. Bill what was up with all those negative tweets? I am a long time phillies fan. I don’t like what I have seen from this team this year but as a fan I am not going anywhere.

  30. LTG

    May 23, 2012 06:45 AM

    /sarcasm

  31. Josh G

    May 23, 2012 06:41 PM

    I have a few thoughts

    1. I am not a fan of the “circle jerk” stuff, but I get why it’s fun and being a fan is about having fun, so if that is an inherent component of game threads that’s fine.

    2. I don’t know why you have to have a competition with Good Phight game threads. Either you want the threads or you don’t.

    3. When I watch a game with my friends/family I don’t tend to use the computer during the game. I think it’s pretty fun to come after the game to see what kind of inane bs you came up with. It’s good for a laugh and an occasional postgame comment. Count me as part of the 90% if you insist.

    4. It would seem to me that you are looking for a live chat experience that you don’t have to participate in. If so, then thread format might be working against you.

  32. Bill Baer

    May 23, 2012 08:55 PM

    @ Josh

    #2 — As mentioned above, it’s not a competition. However, TGP shows the upper limits and indicates that we’re doing something sub-optimally.

    #4 — Interesting, can you elaborate more on this? My feeling is just that the threads are dead when I’m not around, which doesn’t seem healthy. I like participating, but I also don’t like doing something else away from my computer and knowing that my being away is lessening the enjoyment of others.

    Thanks for the feedback!

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