It is time to address what Big Blue View is supposed to be, what it has become, my role here, and yours.
This site was founded way back in 2007 on the idea that it would be a place for mature, intelligent discussion about the New York Giants. It has grown beyond what I could have imagined, to a place where we sometimes have more than three million page views per month. I'm proud of the work we do here, the intelligence and depth of the writing and analysis, of the fact that Giants players, members of the PR department and others who cover the Giants see me, and Big Blue View, as a legitimate place that does quality work.
To be honest, what I'm not proud of is what too often happens in our comments section these days. There is too much name-calling, too much vulgarity, too many personal insults. Too many back-and-forth battles between people hiding behind Internet anonymity to say things and treat people in a manner that is not consistent with what this site was founded for, that its Community Guidelines state are not acceptable, and that you wouldn't dare say to someone face to face.
I won't bore you with the full Community Guidelines, but I do encourage you to go back and read what you signed up for. The crux of the guidelines is this:
This site is a community of fans who love the New York Giants where we look for mature, intelligent and friendly discussion about the Giants and football in general. It is not a place where you can say whatever you want to whomever you want in whatever language you want. We expect you to be mature, to be respectful of everyone and to have something to say that advances the discussion. We don't want juvenile name-calling here. ...
Be Respectful: We each have the right to our own opinions, and we have the right to express them in a thoughtful, intelligent manner. If you can't take people disagreeing with you, don't give an opinion in the first place. NO PERSONAL ATTACKS. No name-calling, no telling people they know nothing about football. State your argument in an intelligent way and use facts to back it up.
The site has been getting away from that for too long and during the recent Coughln-Reese wars, I think the train had gone completely off the tracks.
Be honest with yourselves. If you are crossing that line, you know who you are. Simply put, that stuff doesn't help the website.
Everyone who comments -- except for the occasional visitors from other blogs -- is a Giants fan. In the end, you all want the same things. It's OK to have different opinions on how to get there. If you are willing to share an opinion, you have to be willing to face the reality that people have a right to disagree with you, and that there is a possibility you are wrong. If you don't want to be disagreed with, perhaps sharing an opinion in any forum on the Internet is a bad idea.
Which brings us to yours truly. I have been writing professionally for 35 years now. I am used to being disagreed with. I'm not always right. I truly don't care if you agree with my opinions or not. I do care that too many of you have chosen to make me the story, to use the comment forum to personally insult my professionalism and the work we try to do here, again and again. The job is to cover the Giants the best way we can, to drive page views, to create discussion. To do that, sometimes you have to offer an opinion. Disagree with whatever opinions you like, mine or anyone else's. Just do it in a respectful manner and try to back it up with some useful data or information that adds to the discussion.
I have instructed the moderators here to be more aggressive in reigning in some of the personal nonsense. That will continue. Let's try to make this a place people enjoy visiting, and let's try to make these discussions productive and not personal.
[EDITOR'S NOTE: I will allow comments on this post. At the first sign, however, of nastiness, personal attacks, vulgarity and anything else that violates the guidelines and the spirit of what I'm trying to do here, comments will be closed.]