Pimping the RAB peripherals

Now, why would Selena Roberts' publisher do that?
There are exceptions to the Verducci rule

Regular baseball coverage will resume at 9 a.m., but we’d like to take a second to point out the many ways you can follow RAB throughout the 2009 baseball season. Specifically, we’re going to pimp our RSS feed, Facebook page, and Twitter feed.

RSS feed

If you use RSS feeds, hopefully you’ve already subscribed to RAB. If not, you could do that right now. Click the Feedburner icon in the right sidebar and you’re set.

For those who don’t know, RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary, depending on who you ask. To use RSS, you need an RSS reader like Google Reader. Instead of visiting your favorite sites individually multiple times per day, you subscribe to their feeds and the information comes to you. For a much more comprehensive overview of RSS, including links to a number of RSS readers, check out this site.

In case you need convincing, I present an IM Mike sent me in January:

Michael: i did something over the weekend that changed my life
i started using an RSS reader
it’s wonderful, everything comes to me

Do you really need any more convincing than that? Subscribe to our feed today. If you don’t, you’d better dead or in jail. And if you’re in jail, BREAK OUT!


For the longest time I tried to ignore Twitter’s existence, but eventually it became too powerful. It’s this really annoying Web service where you send “tweets” to your “followers.” Then they can respond to your tweets, and everyone can see. Essentially, these are pubic mass emails, limited in size to 140 characters.

(Aside: One might think that William Strunk would approve of Twitter for the brevity it enforces. Alas, instead of omitting needless words Twitterers regularly omit “needless” characters and replace others with phonetic truncations. I weep for our language. Keith Law knows what I’m talking about.)

If you’re on Twitter, you can follow @riveaveblues. I swear, we don’t tweet our every post. That’s annoying. In fact, we hardly tweet any of our posts. It’s mainly just banter with the readers.

If you’re not on Twitter, I salute you.


Every so often I check the RAB Facebook page and see who has become a fan recently. Not that I’d recognize any of the names — though seeing my little brother had joined without my prompting him was pretty cool. Anyway, this is the most neglected of our social media presences, but we promise we’ll work on it. Follow us, though. It’ll give us more motivation to better utilize it.

That wasn’t that bad, was it? Cool. The baseball talk will be back any minute now.

Now, why would Selena Roberts' publisher do that?
There are exceptions to the Verducci rule
  • Tom Zig

    Is the RSS feed that ingenious?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      I’d call it downright adroit.

      • Tom Zig

        So what feed reader do you recommend?

        • Simon B.

          On Mac, I think Safari has a great built-in RSS reader.

          On Windows, I just use Google Reader, though I haven’t experimented with many others, so I don’t know if that’s the best.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

          Google Reader. Easy to use and organize, and you can access it anywhere.

        • mko

          See my post below.

  • Simon B.

    Twitter strikes me as a more of a fad than the rest. I just don’t see what great functionality it offers.

    I love my RSS feeds though.

  • Rich

    I draw the line at Twitter.

  • http://dylankidd@earthlink.net dkidd

    i’ve lost my wife to twitter. the world’s biggest time-suck

    • Klemy

      I’ve lost mine to facebook. I refuse to use that or Twitter.

  • http://dylankidd@earthlink.net dkidd

    also, why is chuck knoblaugh doing ads for red energy patch?

  • Spaceman.Spiff

    Just a question, not necessarily related to these new functions but just curious. Do you think we’re gonna need spillover threads fairly often or was the Opening Day thread just a natural Opening Day spike? I do know that this blog has been increasing in terms of readership and with the YES partnership, I expect it certainly will go up a bit from here. Just wondering what you think is gonna be the norm.

    • radnom

      I think if it gets to be a issue they will upgrade the server. Probably just opening day spike though. Even the lohud blog crashed at some point in the 1st.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

        I’m going to cry if we have to upgrade the server AGAIN. You might remember we upgraded to a huge, huge new server back on July 31.

        We’re working on paginating the comments so we can keep the whole thread in one. Barring that, spillovers will be necessary.

        Also, the new comments indicators might need to go. They’re a big part of the reason we had troubles Opening Day.

        • radnom

          Also, the new comments indicators might need to go. They’re a big part of the reason we had troubles Opening Day.

          Maybe replace the NY logo with just a different colored square box? It might help not having to load the bigger image all the time.

        • radnom

          Eh, nevermind now that I look at them, the grey box is almost as big as the NY logo.
          You guys could use smaller images for both, a simple color change, retaining the functionality while not slowing it down too much.

          • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

            The image can be as big or as small as we want, but if it’s making 300+ MySQL queries per thread, it’s a problem. It’s going to have to go.

            On another note, we use multiple game threads because 500-comment threads slow down most people’s computers.

            • Joe R

              Damn. I really like the new comment box. Helps alot.

  • mko

    For anyone looking for a good RSS reader for Windows, I can recommend RSS bandit. I have been looking a long time for a good reader, and like that on the most. It’s free, of course.


  • Stormrider6

    On a similar note, do you guys have an RAB Mobile site? Its a pain the way the site loads on my phone, and going without reading is not an option.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

      That’s been a problem we’ve had for a while, but have kind of neglected. If you click the RAB Mobile link from your browser it will show up in list format, and that’s honestly the best option right now. The method we used before was all sorts of messy.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

      It’s in the works.

  • Will (the other one)

    See, this is why I avoid Twitter – I’m just not comfortable with the idea of “pubic mass emails.”

  • jsbrendog

    just say no to twitter. i’m on facebook but i hate that damn thing. havent logged into my myspace in over cause I hate that too. facebook was great, until it became everything I hated about myspace.

    so I guess i’ll do the RSS reader thing then. wonder if it’ll work at work or if it will be blocked

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    “Do you really need any more convincing than that? Subscribe to our feed today. If you don’t, you’d better dead or in jail. And if you’re in jail, BREAK OUT!”

    Out of curiosity (and feel free not to answer this if it hurts the brand or whatever), how does people subscribing to you via RSS impact the bottom line? Do RSS feeds draw away from your pageviews and junk like that for ad revenue calculations? Do you get some sort of a bounty or bonus for the number of people who subscribe to the RSS feed?

    Just genuinely curious.

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    Apparently, I’m in the minority here regarding Twitter; I use it and like it and think it has value.

    Here’s my pitchjob (and ironically, it’s way more than 140 characters):

    If you want to use Twitter in the literal sense of “What are you doing right now?” then yeah, it sucks. Nobody cares that you’re at the grocery store buying some mallomars. If you use it as a news aggregation and topical interaction service, it’s valuable. If you use it because you have something interesting or useful to say about the events of the day as they are happening, or to present your viewpoint to the public and debate it, it’s valuable.

    I have hundreds of people I follow from all walks of life. My twitterverse is full of policy wonks and partisan flagbearers from both sides of the American political divide, and we basically debate the issues as they arise. I also follow tons of sports people (mainly basketball at the moment, probably because the other two sports have been dormant for the past few months) and we discuss the games happening at the moment, draft stuff, etc. Media people like Stephanopoulos and Tapper and Joe Scarborough and Contessa Brewer, NPR, CNN, FOX, and so on… Plus I’ve got a group of music people who talk all things hip hop and so on… Breaking news, marketing people, blogging people, inspirational quote people, fashion people, etc. There’s everything on there, just depends on what you’re into.

    Now that RAB @RiverAveBlues is on there, including a few other Yankee people like our own Rebecca @firerosearien and Jamal @JamalG and others like Andrew Fletcher @ProctorsArm ,Tim Dierkes @mlbtraderumors, Sky Kalkman @BtB_Sky, Greg Cohen @SlidingIntoHome, etc. there’s lots of good Yankee news coming in as well.

    It’s basically like constantly being in a room full of people having tons of conversations about tons of topics, and you can wander around the room and poke your nose into any convo and throw your two cents in, or just listen and glean useful information from them.

    But the bottom line is, in order for you to get any benefit from Twitter, you need to be able to do the following four things:

    A) Speak like a grownup (no stupid CAPS or leetspeak or CAPS or text-messaging shorthand or CAPS) so that people can take your words seriously
    B) Have something interesting and worthwhile to say to add to the conversation and be willing to listen to others
    C) Be willing to engage others in an actual dialogue where the entirety of the strength of the dialogue rests on your ability to be a good conversationalist, since these people know nothing of you beyond your words
    D) Treat it like an information exchange: when people say “Hey, look at this interesting link”, look at it and respond with your thoughts, and when you see something informative, share it with others and listen for their responses.

    If you look at it like that, Twitter’s super useful. It’s kind of like thousands of little mini RSS’s all pushing content into a big discussion space, only the content is limited to headlines. If a headline interests you, you talk about it communally; if not, it gets ignored in the general stream and floats downriver unnoticed.

    (Oh, and if anybody’s RSS stream is annoying and worthless, you just stop following them and poof, their blather is gone from your life forever.)

    Twitter gets a thumbs up from me. (And yes, Mike/Ben/Joe, you should use it more and should link more of the RAB content in your Twitterfeed. It builds the brand, and it’s not annoying in the least. There’s plenty of blogs I never read on the computer, I only get on their pages on my iPhone via their Twitterlinks. Do it.)