Sunday Housekeeping

by: Peter Bodo January 10, 2010

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Wow, how about that Jackie-Oh? Her Friday Deuce Club attracted 2,243 comments - and counting! I didn't know people could go on with such enthusiasm about their favorite slasher movie. . .  Ha! I know that the bulk of the comments had to do with Justine and Kim, Kolya, Rafa and Andy. If this weekend is a preview of what tennis is going to be like in the new year, bring it on
.I'm kind of sore at Kim; why didn't she keep her foot on the gas and close out Justine in stress-free straights? Once again, the WTA game was about who can hold, not who can break. Unfortunately, it isn't entirely because the women's returns are so much better than their serves.

This is probably a good time to insert a programming note. I hope you all like the re-design of the Tennis.com website, including the blogs. Personally, I think they look much cleaner and more, well, professional. In our new format, the headlines of the blogs don't automatically refresh on the home page. The web editors (including our much missed Monday Net Post-er Ed McGrogan) feature red-meat, game-related posts, checking frequently to see if this or that post ought to et a headline on the home page.

Many of you long-time readers know how we used to provide Watercooler and Your Call posts during regular ATP or WTA weeks, and Crisis Center posts during major events and Davis Cup. Those were, in effect, message board type posts although the intent was for you to be able to converse and discuss on-going real time action. I think that's still a powerful asset, and over the coming weeks I plan to think a little more about how to enhance that service. I'll look into creating a "broadcast booth" where all you can sit with headphones on, commenting.

One problem we encountered was that TennisWorld wasn't entirely new reader friendly, what with a lists of headlines like: USA vs. UK DC CC Day. Nor do headlines like Watercooler, or Your Call, demand reading on. The main issue was that I never wanted to turn TW into a message-board, with X-number of conversations going on at once, ad nauseum. But I also wanted to foster a sense of community and give everyone a chance to be heard. That's how TW ended up where it is today - fast approaching 1,000,000 comments posted.

So if you're accustomed to accessing TW from the Tennis.com home page, be aware that the headline doesn't necessarily refer to the most recent post; the action might be hoppin' at TW at one or more of the more recent posts that aren't billed on the home page. I don't think we'll retain the Your Callposts going forward, but I plan to have Crisis Center posts where you will be able to chatter about the Australian Open to your heart's content. I still think this approach, while confusing at times, beats the message-board approach. That format has zippo appeal for me as a reader/comment poster, and even less as a blogger.

Back tomorrow with and a new ESPN post, we'll also record a podcast with our very new - and very professional - equipment, and I'll feature a new contribution by our WTA wizard, Bobby Chintapalli. Have a pleasant Sunday everyone.

-- Pete

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