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Thread: The Future of the Hangout
02-14-2012 09:36 AM #1
The Future of the Hangout
Last night I sat down and wrote a four and half page response to Mr. Bader's post that also included the way ahead for the Hangout. Throughout the night last night, I saw posts, PMs and e-mails with advice, all of which ask me to stay on the high road. I decided to sleep on it last night and when I awoke I decided to go with my gut feeling. There is nothing to be gained for the Orioles, me, or most important of all to me, my Hangouters by continuing this fight publicly. Things are what they are and there is nothing that's going to change that, so it's time to move on.
My plan is that we are no longer going to produce Orioles major league content any longer and that we will eventually change our name to Baltimoresportshangout. We will remain the same great community, but we will no longer have a staff developing game reports, minor league game summaries, news, or spring training reports (although Hangouters are encouraged to post their own experiences on the board). We will still keep a prospect tracker and I still plan to do some minor league scouting as it's part of my next soon to be announced venture. as of now I still intend to do my top prospect list like always. As for plus memberships, I will make a final decision on pricing soon. I'm working on subsidizing the loss of revenue with another sponsor and a unique and fun idea for a new forum that could help offset things as well. I do not intend to raise the price of our memberships despite the loss of revenue.
I realized long ago that our community is the strength of the Hangout and I have no reason to think it won't become even stronger is it evolves. The Orioles boards and its contents will always be there along with the Ravens and Terps talk. As you guys know, our community is much bigger than the Orioles anyways. Although our one common denominator is that for good or bad, we are all Orioles fans, but that we evolved into so much more. We are a true family or sorts. We share our triumphs and tragedies while discussing current events, movie, music, video games, TV and more. I've laughed and cried while reading posts and I've made friends with people I would have never had met if not for the Hangout. I've learned more about so many subjects on these boards then I've ever learned in a classroom. We have two marriages and two kids in this world by people who met online at the Hangout.
I love the Hangout Community. It's truly part of my life and I know it's a valuable part of lot of people lives. Not everyone gets it and not everyone likes it, and that's ok, but at the end of the day I know how many people's lives are affected daily by this community.
As for Hangout nights, although we will not be having them at Camden Yards, Hangout nights will continue. My plan is to find local establishments where we can do exactly what we always did at the game, drink, eat, and talk about the Orioles. It'll probably end up a cheaper night for most anyways.
At the end of the day, this is the end of one chapter and beginning of another. Our community will continue to grow stronger and I'm looking forward to the future. I want to thank everyone for the well wishes and support over the last few days and I want to again apologize for this becoming public.
02-14-2012 09:48 AM #2
Thanks Tony. Let us know if there is anything we can do to support the Hangout moving forward.
02-14-2012 09:52 AM #3
I'll second that. It is going to be quite impressive how strong the OH community is. We appreciate the virutal community you have created for us, Tony, and I know that myself and most others here will follow wherever the new roads take us.
02-14-2012 09:53 AM #4
I'd be lying if I said that I didn't want to read that response you wrote up in response to Bader's post, but fully understand that it's for the best that you don't air out your dirty laundry in public. Kudos to you for being the bigger man in that situation. This has always been a classy website and it shows with how the guy in charge handles things.
Nobody likes change, but sometimes things have to change and this clearly is one of those times. I'm sure it will take a while to get used to the changes and calling the site Baltimoresportshangout will certainly take some getting used to as well, but knowing that the message boards aren't going anywhere at all and we will still have a place to hangout and discuss the O's, Ravens, and everything else is fantastic news.
02-14-2012 09:55 AM #5
The High road is the best road. Thanks for trying to keep the Plus Membership cost down Tony, but I'm would gladly pay more if need be.
02-14-2012 09:55 AM #6Hangout Blogger Hall of Fame
- Join Date
- Dec 2003
- Bethesda MD
Classy as always, Tony.
This is a really good time for me to say a public thank you to you, Scott, and all the people who have been moderators, columnists or reporters for the Hangout over the years. I first found this site in 2001, when I was looking for any information I could find about who the Orioles had in the minor leagues that might give us some hope. At the time, there was no other site that even tried to provide any decent Orioles minor league coverage, and OH was like an oasis in the desert. It was probably about two years after I first started visiting that I even realized that there was a discussion board on the site. The discussion on this board has made me 10 times more knowledgeable about the nuances of baseball than I was, even after 35+ years as a rabid fan of the O's. I really, really appreciate what you've built here.
I will miss some of the content, especially the post game quotes from minor league players and coaches that Adam Vencill and Mike Miller used to provide, and some of the analytical pieces from you and your staff. But the board is the centerpiece now, and rightfully so. Thanks for preserving it and the other core features that have made this site so great.
02-14-2012 09:58 AM #7
I didn't actually see all of what went down last night, so I can't comment directly on it, but I can imagine that it didn't go so well. It will admittedly be an adjustment not calling the place Orioles Hangout. I guess that's what happens when you spend almost ten years viewing material and content. But, we all have to make changes and adjustments, no matter how hard they may be. But, while this site has primarily been focused on the Orioles, the heart and soul of it are the people, everywhere, be it long-timers or newbies, that is what makes this site, both on the board and elsewhere. I've learned so much about the game of baseball that I never did, more about this organization than I ever did, and through it all, be it through passion or insanity, hung right along with everyone else in the eternal hope that next year would be different. Deep down, I know a lot of people will continue to do that, and I'm one of them.
The name may change, but the spirit and soul will carry on through the support of its people, and you can count on me as one of them.
02-14-2012 09:59 AM #8
In one way I wish you had followed the advice of Peter Clemenza and gone to the mattresses. But that's me. I have much respect for your decision to take the high road.
However, if you ever change your mind, you know who to reach out to; we're on your side. Capische? (Just trying to add a little, emphasis on little, levity to the situation)
Pretty ******* bad. Probably all the other Families will line up against us. That's alright --
this thing's gotta happen every five years or so -- ten years -- helps to get rid of the bad
blood. Been ten years since the last one. You know you got to stop them at the beginning,
like they should have stopped Hitler at Munich, They should never've let him get away with
that. They were just asking for big trouble.
02-14-2012 10:02 AM #9
Just so I understand this issue clearly, is this all happening because the Orioles won't shell out $5,000 for their most loyal fan group or am I misunderstanding?
Much appreciated Tony. I only found this site a year ago, and only have been posting here for a few months, but I genuinely enjoy having a place to talk Orioles baseball with knowledgable fans.
02-14-2012 10:04 AM #10
I'm missing something here. Who is Mr. Bader and what was his post about??? I take it he has something to do with the Orioles? I've been by the boad at least once a day for the past few weeks, so I don't know how I missed whatever it is this is talking about. But I did, even though Tony's initial post makes it seem like everyone should know what he's talking about.
02-14-2012 10:11 AM #11
02-14-2012 10:20 AM #12
02-14-2012 10:23 AM #13
The Hangout is usually the first site I navigate to after checking my email. I'm certain that I will continue that trend.
02-14-2012 10:36 AM #14
Well, I have to be honest, there was very little chance I was going to read a 4 1/2 page document.
You have to do what you have to do. I hope that the message board continues as I find it a valuable source of information.
02-14-2012 10:43 AM #15
You have my continued support in whatever direction you take things, Tony. This site is directly responsible for building my interest in the Orioles in the first place, and for keeping me in the loop while I've been out of town for the past 4 (and probably soon to be 5) years. Bad decisions hurt everyone, and I think the Orioles are making yet another bad decision in their ongoing saga of mediocrity. This team is poorly run in every aspect of things. They complain about people not coming to the ballpark, yet they do little to encourage people to come. Terrible product on the field, and terrible product off it. The marketing/advertising for this team is awful and uncreative. The promotions are stale and minimal (hint: you should have a promotion/giveaway of some sort almost every single game that the Yankees, Red Sox or Nationals are not in town. Bargain nights and Student nights do not count. People don't consider discounted tickets to be a promotion or a giveaway).
This team should be trying to get all the good press and publicity it can muster, yet it plays the role of the persecuted one and says "everyone's picking on me; everyone's being unfair." This is a sign that the whole team, from ownership to management to the marketing department, need to look at themselves and ask, "do we like feeling this way?" If the answer is no, then everyone needs to take a long, hard look at themselves and identify where the flaws in character lie. Then, they need to get some help to fix those flaws. This isn't that hard to do, especially from the off-the-field side. There are many ways to build good rapport with the community, and the Orioles are severing one of the last decent ties they had left. Once you've alienated your die-hards, you've got nothing.