On Blogging

Steelers Depot has become a home for many fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers over the years. Founded by Dave Bryan and solidified by myself, Alex Kozora, and a platoon of others over the years (currently, Dan Vasko, Daniel Valente, David Orochena, Josh Carney, Melanie Friedlander, Michael K. Reynolds, Nick Farabaugh, Tim Rice, and Tom Mead), our platform has grown year after year through a great deal of hard work.

And we have by no means been alone in that, a fact that we acknowledge directly or indirectly every day.

Make no mistake, we by no means regard ourselves as professionals, nor journalists, with a capital J or otherwise. While we produce a great deal of our own work, and even original information, analysis, and news, so much of what we are able to do is built upon the labor of others.

Bob Labriola. Teresa Varley, Missi Matthews. Mike Prisuta. Will Graves. Ed Bouchette. Chris Adamski. Jacob Klinger. Gerry Dulac. Joe Rutter. Jeremy Fowler. Jim Wexell. Ian Whetstone. I’m not going to compile an exhaustive list because names being left off will be inevitable. The point is that there is a long line of professionals or experts from which we gather and relay information.

Not only do we aggregate their content, their information that they provide us does a great deal to enlighten our understanding of the daily comings and goings of the team that we cover, which aids us in our more original work as well.

We certainly like to hang our hats on our original information, whether it be reports from training camp and the Senior Bowl, the occasional breaking news (for which we rarely receive the credit, truth be told), in-game and post-game analysis, as well as statistical and analytical contributions.

But we also spend a lot of time sharing with you the work of others. From the names that I highlighted above to many others, they are among the primary reasons that a blog like ours can not only exist, but also thrive.

A large portion of blogging relies upon—depends upon—professional journalism, to state the obvious. When we include a link to a source that we use, it should be taken as implied that you should click through to the primary source of information as well because it is something of value that we built from and we would like you to support it and learn from it as well.

Being a sports blogger isn’t fun sometimes. In an ideal world, blogging and journalism in the sports world would be a symbiotic relationship, but it often is not when the journalism industry is fighting for its survival with a far larger overhead cost.

As a result, we do receive no shortage of animosity, both from some of the names mentioned above and from their supporters who despise what we do. Our aggregation is labeled as theft, even though it is not. Regardless of what colorful label one might put on it, it is still argued that proper sourcing and credit is ‘not enough’.

We can only do so much to guide the eyes of our readers. Because we have created something of value over the years, we have many supporters who come only to us for everything related to the Steelers, including the news and information that we relay, interpret, and analyze from the professionals.

Everything that I have written above is and has always been implied in what we do. It’s something that we never hid from nor pretended wasn’t true. It’s not going to change things or make us any more friends with the Capital J Journalists, but it’s time it was said.

What we do is a product of our own labor, as well as the labor of others. We could exist without it, but we would be far poorer, and more poorly informed, as a result. We love that we have built not just a fan base but a community here, which values what we bring to the table. But remember that others have helped to set the table, and that they should be supported as well.

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