What many call the blogosphere, I call the cardsphere to distinguish the community of card-collecting blogs from all blogs on all subject matter, since lord knows there are a trillion blogs out there... politics, parenting, TV shows, whatever. I don't think the term is really catching on, but screw it, I'll keep on calling it that. Cardsphere! Cardsphere! Cardsphere! (Failed attempt at a Simpsons ref.)
While the cardsphere is somewhat of a tight-knit group, with just a few hundred active blogs (291, to be exact, according to Sports Card Blogroll's last count), it's still big enough to where no one with a life and job can be expected to keep up with all of them. Plus you probably wouldn't want to, as not everybody cares about every type of card. For instance, I tend to quickly scroll through most non-baseball posts, if I click on them at all. And certain blogs might just not grab your interest.. maybe they're boring to you (I'm not a fan of those short "here's one card; the end." posts), or perhaps you think the author is an asshat or whatever. I'll admit there are 2 or 3 card bloggers out there whom I simply don't like much. And I don't doubt there are folks who feel that way about me, too (though it eats me up inside!) Posts such as this one are kind of obnoxious, I know. I was a little drunk when I typed most of it up a few days ago. But back on topic...
Maybe you guys have noticed there seem to be cliques on the cardsphere just like any other social setting. I don't mean it in a negative connotation like snooty Mean Girls or anything. Groups of guys tend to be frequent trading partners and comment on each other's blogs, but don't often venture off into other avenues of the cardsphere outside of those few familiar blogs. It's kinda funny.
I see a lot of guys regularly comment on Night Owl Cards who just about never seem to pop up anywhere else. I get it. If I only had like 5 or 10 minutes out of my day to spend on card blogs, Night Owl would probably be the one I made time for. When I first got into card blogs, they were a few months there where his was the only one I read with any frequency. But now I've branched out and am a regular reader of a ton of blogs, plus a casual reader of even more (via Sports Card Blogroll) on slow days at work when I get caught up but still have time to kill.
I'm worried that once my current job ends (which will be by the end of the year), my next job may not afford me the ample downtime that I put toward blog reading and writing. So it's a possibility 2016 will see Baseball Card Breakdown slow way down, and me having to make some tough choices about which blogs to try keeping up with reading. I'll probably just have to start being more selective about which posts I read.. you know the deal: looking at the title, the top picture, and the first couple sentences.. deciding if I care enough to give it a few minutes of my time. But I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.
As I've mentioned in the past, I'd love to get a job in sportscards. Then, reading card blogs would be like doing market research! I'll take this opportunity to brag that I was recently recruited for the possibility for working for Beckett Media. Some of you guys probably got the same email. It was flattering to be approached, but I'm not willing to relocate to Dallas or New York at this time, so I had to turn them down. Last year, I was approached about the possibility of working for Upper Deck down in Southern California. I'm definitely honored to be able to say I've twice been approached about working in the sportscard industry, though sad I haven't been able to make it work yet. Perhaps in a couple years, my wife and I will be ready to move and I'll be able to seriously pursue that path. For now, I'll just hold out hope that a card-related company might consider me for a remote position where I could work from home the majority of the time. There aren't many jobs in the card industry here in Portland, OR. There's actually one of the bigger eBay card consignment sellers based in the suburb Lake Oswego, which isn't too far relatively, but would be too much for a daily commute. And selling cards on eBay isn't exactly a dreamjob.
But all this rambling it leading up to a trade post! See, Shane from Shoebox Legends is a guy I've heard about on other blogs for a long time, but for whatever reason, we "ran in different circles" or whatever, and neither of us followed each other's blog. But after reading so many trade posts from great packages and PWEs he sent out, I figured I'd try to get something going with the guy, so I started reading his blog and throwing a comment here and there.
Happily, Shane welcomed me with open arms and offered to send me a card package with no return needed. What a great guy! (Of course I'll do my best to shoot him back with a return package of cards he'd like.)
And so here's the initial bunch of cards from Shoebox Legends!:
Here are some current guys, with a Goldschmidt parallel, a couple Trouts, a McCutchen insert, and a few Pujolses.
Here are some more favorites from the not-too-distant past.
Some heavy hitters here!
Nice selections of Rickey and Ozzie that are welcome additions to those respective PCs.
Some "guilty pleasure" PC guys for me. I figured I'd try to get all the Springfield Nine into the Hundred Card Club. Well, Mark McGwire wasn't on that classic Simpsons episode, but he did have a funny little appearance in a later episode. Looks like he's a Padre now, with sources reporting he'll sign on to be San Diego's hitting coach. I'm not super thrilled about that, but we'll see how it works out.
Finally, cool vintage card of a hockey guy. Love old cardboard, especially sets I'm not very familiar with.
Thanks for the cards, Shane! I really appreciate it, and again, I'll shoot you back some cards soon.
But back to my ramblings on cliques on the cardsphere, what do you guys think? Do you ever read a blog and its comments and feel like an outsider? How many blogs do you read on an average day? For a fun little challenge, after you read this, check out the Sports Card Blogroll and try to comment on a card blog that you've never commented on before. Who knows, you might just make a friend and a new trading partner!
Shane is great to trade with. My only regret is not trading more regularly with him!ReplyDelete
On your questions, I have definitely felt like an outsider from time to time when reading and commenting on blogs. When I had more time to spend reading -- i.e., when work was super slow for me earlier this year -- I came across a few blogs where I did not comment because I was an outsider. I try to click through to new posts that catch my eye on my blogroll, and I'm always trying to keep it up to date and full with active bloggers.
Of course, I'm so used to being an outsider of sorts -- having moved both to college and to law school without knowing a soul in either place -- that it doesn't bother me too much. The only thing that does bother me sometimes is when I have someone in my blog roll and they don't reciprocate. But even that isn't a big deal.
Definitely have noticed certain people commenting on other folks' blogs because they're "buddies," or whatever it might be. It seems odd, but that's probably because I comment solely based on whether I think something is interesting, it doesn't matter whoses blog it is. I do read certain blogs more than others, but again, it's purely related to interest and time, and not due to any "relationship" I have with a blogger. This isn't Facebook.ReplyDelete
I think comments and readers ebb and flow a bit. I think certain bloggers are better at making people come back more often (whether it's by responding to comments in a timely fashion or simply the content of the posts). For myself, my readership was down from what it used to be but now things seem to be picking back up again. I would certainly hope that no one feels like an outsider though, after all, the circle of card collectors is small enough as it is that we don't need anyone being an outsider to the group!ReplyDelete
Happy you could use so many of the cards! With all those player collections it makes it very easy, I'll definitely drop you a PWE from time to time going forward.ReplyDelete
I maybe comment too much on blogs sometimes. I know that it takes a lot of time out of your day (sometimes time you really don't have) to scan or take pictures and put together a blog post, and I feel like getting a couple comments feels kind of nice, so I try to spend an extra 30 seconds or so to let someone know I stopped by to read if there was something that interested me.
Cool post. I often feel a little bit like an outside, mainly in that 1) I'm not a very good writer nor do I edit my posts 2) I mostly collect football more than the typical baseball and 3) I typically player collect whereas most bloggers team collect at least a little. I do think I had a lot more readers back when I focused on baseball PCs and have noticed a slight drop in readers/more clique-ish-ness of who I trade with since moving to football stuff a few years ago. But it's who I am and what I collect so I just kind of roll with it...doesn't bug me.ReplyDelete
Great post Gavin. I'm liking these commentaries, for lack of a better term, you've posted recently.ReplyDelete
I've felt that since I started my blog back in July that I've been welcomed with open arms. In the beginning, I felt like an outsider but now, I feel like I have a steady readership base (at least I hope I do). As far as leaving comments, while I do read posts everyday, I don't necessarily leave a comment. Perhaps that's laziness on my part as I probably should at least let someone know I read what they wrote. It's definitely something I need to get better at though.
By the way, I'm still working on gathering material for the trade pack I owe you. I'm behind on stuff but should have it out in the next two weeks. Oh, and those cards look great! Did I notice a Kay-Bee Toys card in that group?
I definitely feel like trading does strengthen blogger relations,but the stuff In my collection Is so pedestrian that I refrain from even trading with anyone,unless I have some of their set needs. Ultimately I think that It's the subject matter that draws views and comments.Face It,I'm asking for no one to comment on my site with posts dedicated to Jose Canseco and Kenji Johjima,lol!In the end ,you should do it for you.If your looking for views and comments than write for Yahoo or the local newspaper.ReplyDelete
it's the old guard vs the new.... dungarees vs the suits! (obscure tv reference)ReplyDelete
read what you have time for, comment if it feels right, not just for the sake of it. Other than that.... meh. It's not the end of the world if no one comments on something I write.
I definitely feel like the outsider often...being one of the few blogs not focused on baseball will do that. I'm not taking it personally, I know I'm dealing with topics that most bloggers don't have much interest in. I do it for myself, more than anything. I would like to get more comments and readers, but who wouldn't? I will be curious to see if my hits go up when I do get to my baseball sets in my Sets in my collection project. My oldest baseball set is 1963 Topps and I'm still in the 1930s so I have a way to go before I get there.ReplyDelete
Also...I try to follow every card blog that's active. I am sure I've missed some. If anyone reading doesn't have their blog on the Cardboard History Blogroll, it means I've never seen it so leave me a message and I will add it. I think my blogroll is pretty impressive for only doing this for a year now.ReplyDelete
I hope it doesn't seem like I'm being exclusive/snobbish, but I tend to not follow blogs done on WordPress very much. It has a tendency to lock up my computer so the subject has to be something I'm REALLY interested in reading for me to click on it.
I usually just read/comment on whatever posts interest me in my blogroll. I've had to cut back a ton on my reading over the past few months, but I still try and stay active with all the blogs I read before my time crunch. The one time I usually go out of my way to comment is if I see a new, interesting blog sprout up, because I know how much readers/comments can matter to up-and-coming bloggers having gone through the process myself. Great post, Gavin!ReplyDelete
I have the same reading habits as Nick. Time is an issue for sure. (I'm typing this as I have a mouth full of bagel while trying to get ready for work.)Delete
When I have downtime in the summer the Cardsphere can't seem to put out enough posts, but during the school year I tend to feel a bit clique-ish.
Thanks to the comments left here, you will know who your clique is ! I usually read about a dozen blogs (5 or 6 regularly) and try to comment when I have something to say or just to encourage someone I like. I don't trade as much because of the distance (Gavin, you sure know what I mean), but I still enjoy being part of the community from afarReplyDelete
I read a lot of blogs and try to comment as much as possible when time allows. My blog is more about trading than anything else so I probably subconsciously favor my frequent trading partners more than others, but I keep my blogroll pretty up to date. I try to go out of my way to welcome newer bloggers either by offering a trade or commenting on as many posts as I can. Several people did this for me when I first started so I try to pay it forward if possible.ReplyDelete
Even with my one year blog-aversary coming up in a few weeks, I still feel like an outsider some of the time. It's well worth it for the trade partners that I have established, but I won't lie about consistently checking up on my blog stats and going through periods where I wonder if there is anyone out there besides the crickets. In the long run, I'll keep writing about what I like and hopefully it makes it to the eyes of someone who gets some little bit of entertainment out of it. As for where my comments mainly end up, it's wherever there is a post that catches my eye for one reason or another. I try to keep up with as many blogs as I can(current blogroll is at 55+), but like everyone else, time is at a premium so it comes back to being interesting to me.ReplyDelete
Thanks for a great, thought provoking post!
Interesting topic. I've never really concerned myself with it too much. I blog with the mindset that if one or a hundred or a thousand people read it....I'm writing it the same way. I blog for me. Mainly to help my writing.ReplyDelete
As for blogs I read...it's a matter of "what's interesting to me". Once I find a blog I like, I tend to go to it often. If the blog post generates a comment from me, I'm typing. I enjoy reading all different types of card blog topics and so it's a real free-flow attitude for me.
That said, I do only link to a few blogs in my blogroll. I check out the "master list" at times to see who's posting what, but it comes down to time and investment in blogs as well.
Great topic. Thanks.
Good topic. I just started my Cleveland Browns blog a couple of months ago after enjoying reading as many other blogs as I could. Now, most were baseball card blogs, but I still found them interesting. I've commented on a bunch of posts over time, but tend to sometimes forget where I commented to see if there are any follow-ups. Oops.ReplyDelete
As for the cliquish nature of things, I look at the fact that I've sent the most packages to Tony and it started because he had a wantlist that I went through and picked out cards that I knew he needed. I enjoyed the write-up, and the emails back and forth with him, and then just started picking up cards that I thought he would like if I saw them cheap. He has received the most packages from me, but others have too, and it is usually because I remember that so-and-so likes whatever team and I pick up interesting cheap stuff that I see for them. And once the address is in my phone it is easier than having to reach out to find one for a person.
The big problem is knowing that I have stuff I want to give away and just not having time to go through it to get it out to people. I've got stuff ready to go for people that I already have addresses for; I also have small stacks put aside for people I haven't reached out to yet (including some Padres put aside for you when I finally decided to reach out), and with this post of yours you've given me a great idea to find a way to send out some random cards, and maybe get organized and gather addresses together. Thanks! Time to put a post together...
I have a list of links I go through almost every day (at work) of card blogs that put out diverse and interesting content. I only comment when I have something to say that isn't repeated several times by others.ReplyDelete
I've seen several bloggers "defect" to Twitter and other social media, none of which I'm on, so I feel like the "old school" outsider to those guys. Am I missing out on lots of current card news and interesting (albeit abbreviated) discussions by not Tweeting? I do this on a PC, not a phone...
Wow a multilevel concept post. My thoughts will probably be scattered on this so bare with me. First about the blogiverse being sort of clicky. I've noticed it some, but as others have mentioned it seems to ebb and flow. For some it is because they have found a fellow (insert fave team name here) fan or discovered another blogger who digs (yeah I'm showing my age here a bit) miscut cards, players who wear #42, or some other oddball collecting niche (ha there is a word that can be the subject of its own post with how people pronounce it for starters). For others they find some other common trait or like that bonds them to another blogger. "Hey you're also left-handed, from Chicago AND like obscure 1980s German Punk Rock Bands?" (or some such thing, I am left-handed but not the other things in that example.)ReplyDelete
As for myself my blog reading is usually the subject that interests me. That is especially true for blogs that are new to me, and often gets me to continue to follow the blogs. For blogs that have been around for ages (Like Night Owl for example) I tend to read semi-regularly and occasionally comment on. Some of those guys probably think I'm bonkers. If they even know who I am but whatever. I read blogs from all over, but mostly "follow" the blogger/blogspot blogs, other formatted blogs (Wordpress) I either follow a saved link to their homepage, or on rare occasion "subscribe" via email. Some of those blogs I don't read as often.
In the last few months and for most of this year I have been less active in blogging than in some years past. This effects my "trading" and gifting (to and from) some. It does make ones voice softer and softer when one stops being as active. Lately I have barely managed to make one post per month. Partly due to being so dang tired on a typical work day, some due to other things in life, and some due to watching more TV and getting hooked on a few more shows. OK so I have 3 blogs my regular non-card blog, my general card blog (which I cover most sports and non-sports as well) and my Washington Baseball card blog.
Oh and with commenting I usually like the post, or some joke in it. Then there are those "contest" posts. I used to comment and "sign up" for just about every contest I could find, but now I have to be interested in the prize, or the subject of the contest has to be really really interesting to me. A plain giveaway for "nobody" Dallas Cowboy Rookies won't do it for me. Now an essay contest, comment on the card, make a history for the card, or some other interesting concept sort of contest I might enter even if those same Cowboys cards are the prize.
I usually don't mind the lack of attention some, but sometimes it makes you feel like the last kid picked in gym class (or one of the non-athletic "nerds" not picked at all, yeah that happened to me a few times).
OH and years ago I used to read every update to every blog I was following. Well that is OK if you only read/follow a handful, but once your reading list gets over 20some blogs that almost all have new posts daily you have to start making some cuts on what to read and sometimes even how much of the post to read.Delete
No comment. Hee-hee. I usually only have much time to read blogs, and then it's usually those on my blog roll and in the top ten of most recent posts. Even then I'll just peek at maybe half of those. I don't comment too often. And maybe that's because I don't receive many comments. I typically go several posts and receive one or no comments at all. That's cool though because my blog is set up for me: I'm not a great writer but I wanted a place to document my collection. And although I love sharing my collection, and trading, in the end it's for my pleasure. Your words have got my thinking though that maybe I should comment more for the sake of encouraging others.ReplyDelete
I didn't realize there were that few card blogs even though 200 is a lot. I'm still fairly new around here and have felt very welcomed by the cardsphere (love that word by the way). Funny that most of the people that commented I have traded with. Love your drink ramblings sir.ReplyDelete
That number is ONLY the blogs that have joined the Sports Card Blogroll (by sending the blogmaster) and are ACTIVE. Blogs that have 6 months of inactivity are removed from the list. I forget how long I had been blogging before I had even seen a link to that list on somebody's blog, or chanced upon the list. So there are way more card blogs than those. That doesn't include any non-sport card blogs that don't do any sports, blogs like my general card blog that covers all the sports and Non-Sport are listed on the "multi-sports" section.Delete
Oops the part in the parenthesis should read (by sending an email to the blogmaster). Don't know how I "edited" out the email mention)Delete
keeping up wih all the blogs is hard work when combining it with work, kids and life in general. It has its ups and downs with me, trying to following everything and leave comments here and there but lately even posting on my own blog seems slow and a challenge. As long as it doesnt feel too much as work !! keep up the good work !ReplyDelete
Hmmm...Once again you've got me thinking and influenced a post...so my comments will continue over on ATBATT :)ReplyDelete
Gavin - I've been guilty in the past of reading with no comment and have been working to improve in this area. Time is precious for all of us and sometimes it's hard to make it work. It's also true there are many of us who trade regularly with the same cardspherians, for whatever reasons. I'm always looking for new trade partners, especially for the 18 or so teams who go unclaimed from my collection. My reading interests are very specific to baseball but there a blogs I follow which sometimes share other sports cards or collections. I consider it educational to read these. Your post is quite thought provoking - drunk or sober, matters not. ;)ReplyDelete
I have always felt like an outsider. I have tried to fit in but know there will always be those cliques where I won't. Which is fine. I don't have a lot of blogs on my read list, mostly because I usually do a you add me I add you type of thing. Some I do follow that I stumble on. But many of the clique ones don't have me anyways. I think first impressions weren't that great on my blog as it lacked so a lot never added me.ReplyDelete
If you aren't on my list however, I would love to add any bloggers reading this so I can read some new blogs. I have been around for almost four years and most still don't know me lol.
I have a few that I comment on quite often including this one. Some I rarely do and others have to have something that intrigues me to comment. But that doesn't say that I still dont' read it.
Speaking of comments, I get 0-1 on an average day. This one has 27. That's awesome! Very jealous for sure.
Good post. With a few hundred blogs, it's natural to gravitate or be "closer" to some.ReplyDelete
In my last job, about 200 people worked in my building. I was friendly with everyond I passed and would say hello, but there was only a small group I'd actually grab a beer with. But on any given day I could have a nice, long conversation with someone about a game over the weekend or a project they were working on or what that bad smell in the fridge was. However, most days we just say hello in passing, but every so often we have a longer, more substantial chat.
I'm never concerned with who comments on my stuff or if anyone even reads it. It's for me. Having a place to post about cards is really the main driver of what keeps me interested in collecting.
Also Napkin Doon was my good card buddy and I don't care who knows it!Delete
I goes in waves with me. Sometimes I have more time to blog read than other times. I'll comment anywhere if I feel like I have something to say. I am an outsider but I don't feel that way visiting the baseball card blogs I follow. I don't consider myself part of the "real" card community, with the trading and sharing you guys do, but I really find this community most welcoming to others who love baseball cards and full of genuinely nice people. I do have a small card collection from the 80's and 90's. I only really want the Mets players and the rest of the stuff is just gathering dust. I might get involved someday and trade off this excess stuff for some more Mets cards for my collection. I think this is a pretty kool community you card people have.ReplyDelete
I make custom throwback Mets cards and stuff and I don't know that there is a community for that. I have met some fine custom card makers on line, also nice people, but we just make cards and display them. There's not that much interaction. I made a message board for cardmakers to chat but that didn't go anywhere. That's fine with me. I like seeing their stuff and I hope they like seeing mine. The extent of my hopes are that someday people see me walking down the street and say,"there goes that crazy Met fan guy!"
I didn't know about that Sports Card Blogroll. That's pretty kool too.
Good luck in whatever future endeavors you embark on Gavin. And late Happy Thanksgiving!
I try to at least click on and skim every new post that pops up on my blogroll. I also watch other people’s blogrolls for new posts and new blogs to follow. I don’t comment all that often, mostly because I either feel pressed for time or don’t feel that I have anything interesting to say. I tend to comment more on blog posts featuring content that is interesting to me, and I assume that other bloggers are the same. That means I probably interact more with a certain subset of bloggers than I do with others, and that I might feel a bit out of place in the comment sections of other blogs. My readership and comment numbers suggest that baseball is king in this corner of the blogging world. Any of my posts that deviate from baseball see a large drop in pageviews, especially when I venture into comic books, wrestling, and NASCAR. I try to click and comment on posts that feature that kind of non-baseball and non-sports content to encourage more of that kind of variety. I don’t usually comment on WordPress blogs because that system gives me fits when it comes to logging in and getting my comment to post the first time I write it.ReplyDelete
I don’t try to be exclusionary or standoffish when it comes to trading, although I can see how other bloggers might see me in that light. I know I’ve missed a few comments and e-mails with trade proposals over the last couple of months, and declined a few trade offers while still posting occasionally about trade packages I’ve received. From the outside it might look like I am only trading with certain people or unfairly screening my trade offers, but most of the trade packages I receive these days are unsolicited or come from prior agreements, and likewise most packages I send out are to make good on previous deals. I just haven’t been up to starting new trade relationships lately. I hope that I have not offended too many bloggers in that way.
I’ve found that when I assume the worst about people I am generally wrong, and I hope that others will afford me the same benefit of the doubt. I have had e-mails and trade packages go without response before. That can be frustrating, but I understand that everyone has something slip past them every once in a while. Sometimes if someone posts a comment on an older blog post of mine, Blogger doesn’t send me an e-mail and I never read it, or I read it by happenstance months after the fact. Sometimes e-mails get past me or disappear into the second page of my inbox before I can address them. I’ve had a few trade packages that got separated from their packaging, and so the name of the person who sent them is lost to me. I assume that these things happen to other people, too, and I try not to let it stress me out. I will still post comments on their blogs and read their posts without any long-standing ill feelings. This is a hobby, not a job, and I try not to let those things stress me out.
Great post Gavin! I read as many blogs and posts as possible, but sometimes that isn't very much. I try to comment as much as possible when I read a post, but I've noticed that I've been slipping lately. I've mentioned before on my blog that I not only have my blog, but YouTube, and am part of various cardboard related groups on Facebook, so it can be tough to keep up to date on all of them, I haven't been concerned about page views for a long time, but I had a contest recently that I ran through my blog and YouTube and you were the only blogger that participated. I did think that was odd. Wondered if I had offended people or something. I did have a couple other comments, but it was after the week long deadline. Great post though!ReplyDelete
i am not good at leaving comments with any sort of consistency. i wrote posts about my collection as a way of connecting with my collection, and i didn't really track comments or views, so i didn't think too hard about leaving a lot of comments for others. now, i think my lack of commenting (although i was/am reading a lot of the blogs out there) has limited my connection with many of the newer blogs.ReplyDelete
the last couple of years, most of my comments have been on blogs that i was trading with, even though i read most of the other bloggers that would show up on the various blog rolls, so i may be one of the people you are referring to whose comments show up on just a handful of blogs. perhaps in the future i'll comment more on posts that i find interesting, like this one.
Thanks to the blogging clique, I was alerted to your awesome post - I'm sorry I missed it the first time.ReplyDelete
I try to read everything - - but lately with the holidays and with moving I have been way out of the loop. I don't even have internet at home these days, so my posting and reading has been sorely lacking.
I think trading can become a habit, so a group or groups of bloggers can get into a rythm of sending things back and forth to one another so that it becomes weird not to send anything. I'm definitely in the middle of a severe case of blogger and trader guilt.