In the two years and four months since this blog began, the community has grown by leaps and bounds. Now there are nearly 600 registered users and traffic is consistently well over 1,000 visitors per day. Much of that growth has occurred in the last six months.
For that, I thank you. I'm thrilled that the community has become what it has: a place where like-minded Brewers fans can chat about what matters to us. I'm particularly excited by the continuing high level of the discourse here. I don't mean to cast aspersions on other sites, but I'm quite sure there's no other Brewers site with such a relentless focus on the analytic aspect of the game; heck, I haven't seen many blogs for any team with such an intelligent group of contributors.
Unfortunately, popularity and visibility come with a price. I began to discover that last postseason when I first wrote regular columns for The Hardball Times. Some people are jerks, pure and simple. Then, the negativity was confined to personal e-mails. I guess it comes with the turf.
Lately, the same phenomenon ("vitriol," perhaps?) has reared its ugly head on Brew Crew Ball. It's one thing when immature teenagers (and adults who act like teenagers) feel the need to flame me directly; it's yet another when they try to torpedo the quality of discourse for an entire community. If you've been around for the last week or two, you know what I'm talking about. I'm not calling out all fans of opposing teams; just the obnoxious ones who think middle-school-like trash talking is appropriate.
It's not, and I'm not going to stand for it.
From now on, I'm adopting a no-tolerance policy to trolling of any kind. For regulars, I hope the only thing you'll notice is a slightly better experience here--or at least one that doesn't get worse. For interlopers, well...don't troll. It's not welcome, and it'll get your comments deleted and your username (along with anything on the same IP address) banned immediately.
Inevitably, there will be times when reasonable people might disagree about the line between trolling and spirited debate. I recognize that not everyone would draw the line in the same place as I would, but insofar as it applies to how I run this site, I don't give a damn. This is my site. I'm doing it for fun, and I want it to be fun for my guests. That's my foremost priority here, and if you blatantly stand in the way of me achieving that, you're gone.
As I mentioned before, if you're a regular (or a lurker, or a semi-regular, or really anyone who isn't a disruptive jerk), this doesn't apply to you. Since I've started the site, I've only erased a handful of comments, and every one of them was either a blatant troll or, more commonly, a spambot of some sort. I'm not about to start banning people just because they disagree with me.
Thanks for reading. Thanks for making this site such a great place to be. And Cubs fans: Play nice or go home.
Update [2007-7-7 0:32:43 by Jeff]: Hmm, after these two years, I still don't know how the site works. I tried to turn off comments now that the resulting conversation has run its course...and I nuked the whole comment thread! Those of you who commented on this post, please accept my apologies.