The Welsh Gull

Torquay United, the Football League and other stuff

Club blogs – not all can work…

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Self-indulgence alert.

At the start of the season, I suggested I was going to try and make this a more Torquay-centric blog, with more match reports and the like, as I thought it was a nice niche to establish myself in. This obviously hasn’t worked out. There are a number of reasons for this:

– Commitment (or lack of): I like writing about loads of things, and I find it difficult to motivate myself to write about those loads of things, let alone a Torquay side that’s been lacklustre all season

– Attendance (or lack of): I just haven’t got to enough games to write those match reports, as I’ve been in Coventry for most of the term, and other games I went to over Christmas were postponed

– Stuff happening (or lack of): other than increasingly poor performances, there’s not been much to write about

The last point I feel is quite important here. I know there are blogs for each of the Premier League clubs – multiple blogs for the biggest clubs. But when you’ve only got an average attendance of only around 2,500, it’s going to be more difficult to find the committed people who could run or write for a good blog. But it’s also easier to run a Premier League club blog because there’s more to talk about – there are more news stories, more rumours and more communication from the club (especially compared to Torquay, who seem to be stuck in 1995).

I’d also suggest there are more potential readers. Consider how many, say, Spurs fans there are. Then consider the demographic – many will be young and use the internet. With Torquay, not only do we have a lot less fans, we also have a different demographic – a lot more middle-aged fans who, talking from experience, aren’t that interested in reading blogs. Forums are enough for them – there are at least three Torquay fans’ forums that I know of. When there are few people reading your work, there’s not much motivation for you to keep grinding out the articles week in week out, especially when not much has happened. It’s not my intention to go into journalism full-time any more, as I’m chasing the academia dream, so I don’t feel as if I have much to prove in that sense

There is definitely a gap in the “market” for a Torquay blog to develop. Ben, aka Greenwich Gull, did a great job but has reduced his blogging of late due to work commitments. All I know is I’m not the man to fill that gap – I don’t have the time or energy to write about Torquay every week alongside my MA work and all the other areas I like writing on, particularly with the club going in its current direction (i.e. not the right one for me). I’d be happy to write for another Torquay blog or for other websites about Torquay, but I’m not the one to assume responsibility for writing regularly – there’s not enough vibrancy or intrigue to keep me motivated to write regularly.

This blog will stay as The Welsh Gull, because it’s a good descriptive name. It has always been about more than Torquay and so it will remain. In the mean time, I want to work on improving my writing in order grab the attention of more people over the next 12 months – that’s my New Year’s Resolution, if you want to call it that. Additionally I am now writing for the African and Asian specialist football blog/website Sandals for Goalposts for the Africa Cup of Nations. I will be doing match reports alongside a Beginner’s Guide series.

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Written by James Bennett

January 18, 2013 at 21:10

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