Posted: 10:23 a.m. Monday, Aug. 26, 2013
By Joel Hollingsworth
So GoVolsXtra and the Knoxville News Sentinel have apparently erected a paywall and gone to a subscription-based system (at $12 per month or $13 if you want the paper, too) one week before football season starts. This would be a good time to remind y'all that Rocky Top Talk is completely 100% free. Always has been. Volquest is not. The Tennessee 247 site is not. We are.
If you're new here, here's what you can expect during game week from us: On Mondays, we generally have three posts that look back at the prior weekend's game. One monitors Tennessee's improvement (hopefully it's improvement), a "trending report" post that looks at key players and whether their stock is rising or falling, and a post reacting to the Monday press conference.
On Tuesdays, we take a look at what UT's future opponents did the prior weekend, take a look at the Top 25 in college football, and have a live podcast at 9:00 p.m.
The rest of the week is basically previewing the upcoming game. On Wednesdays, we have a statsy game preview and take a stab at predicting the outcome (along with some recruiting news), and on Thursdays the preview turns more toward Xs and Os. Then on Friday, we have a sort of storytelling game preview, a community Guessing Game, and a discussion of odds for the weekend's slate of football games.
Things really heat up on the weekends, when we have open game-watching threads using the internet's absolute best commenting system. It's auto-updating (no need to refresh) and threaded (so replies and responses stay stuck to each other so that they're easier to follow. Really, it's like the best of Twitter (auto-updating without having to refresh) but with the ability to keep things organized. And it's full of Vols fans.
After the game, we'll have an immediate reaction piece and a place to either celebrate or commisserate, and then on Sunday, we'll have another in-depth recap by our master Storyteller, Will Shelton.
All of that is our regular stuff and doesn't even account for the breaking news, recruiting, and other spur of the moment stuff we'll do throughout the week. (Teaser: Stay tuned for something extra special tomorrow or Wednesday.)
Yes and no. Yes there, no here. The reason newspaper comment sections are so ugly is because they are mostly unmoderated and almost universally ignored by the writers themselves. The columnists write their column and give it to their editor, and then go have coffee and never talk to readers. We're extremely active in our own comment threads and believe the front page post is just the beginning of a two-way conversation.
We also have community guidelines that we actually enforce:
The first thing to know about us is that we're fans. You will find no pretense of objectivity here. We want the teams to win. We also aren't "professional" journalists, but part timers with day jobs. We do this for fun. We sometimes neglect to correct typos because we're off to a meeting right after hitting publish.
And yet we try to be as professional as we can about it. SB Nation's tagline, after all, is "Pro Quality. Fan Perspective." That's us. We also like to have fun, so don't expect us to be all serious all of the time. Or even very often.
The site's been in existence since 2006, and our writers include me (Joel Hollingsworth), Will Shelton, Brad Shepard, Jay Brantner (who goes by Incipient_Senescence here), Chris Pendley, and a host of other folks who also contribute somewhat irregularly. David Hooper hasn't written here in awhile, but he's a nuclear engineer, and we're afraid to take him off the masthead. I'm a former attorney and current business owner, Will's a pastor in Athens, Brad's a former journalist now working in defense or something, Jay's getting a Ph.D. in Philosophy at North Carolina, and Chris . . . well, nobody knows what Chris does, exactly.
Well, we've put out the only Tennessee Volunteers preseason magazine that is All Vols and no ads for the past five years. And you've probably heard Will on WNML with Josh Ward and Will West Friday afternoons at 1:45. But mostly we just quietly go about our business here.
So thanks for stopping by. If you're looking for a new place to read about the Vols and hang out with respectful Vols fans, welcome. Have a look around. A great place to start is the 100 Days of Vols series that we're winding up this week and our annual Idiot Optimist's Guide to the 2013 Season.