Sunday, February 15, 2015

Less is more. Old is new.

Hi, I'm Matt. You may remember me from such blogs as SB Nation's And Down The Stretch They Come, or from Press the Pace on Twitter. I've been away from the keyboard for a while but now I'm back. Sort of. It's new but also the same.

The creation and beginning of "You're gonna need a bigger boat" is kind of a "new/old, back to the beginning" transition to blogging about horse racing from my perspective. I spent 4+ years writing for SB Nation and loved every minute of it even though the daily demands of keeping up a blog on that network ultimately led me to step away last fall. However, I knew stepping away from ADTSTC would not end my desire to write about horse racing, which is why I'm now here.

So why am back to blogging in relative obscurity, without the support of a large network and cutting-edge publishing tools?  Here are just a few reasons why I'm here and what will be different at You're gonna need a bigger boat as compared to ADTSTC:
  • Less structure to the content

    One of the great things about blogging is the fact that you have this blank canvass in which to convey an assortment of thoughts and ideas on particular topics. That's really why so many of us do it: to use a medium to express our opinions. Blogging is typically not something we do to try and be a sports writer or a mainstream journalist. Unfortunately, there's a tendency to drift towards what I'll call "No passion news" as a crutch to generate content and page views.

    Over at ADTSTC, I'd have posts on entries and odds, followed-up by a results post with payouts and other information. Those posts teeter-tottered between those sprinkled with opinions and analysis, and ones with simple, plain-fact information that could be found anywhere. The page hits were nice (and, unfortunately, addicting), but the sense of pride in the work was less than fulfilling. 

    This place is going to have a lot less structure than anything I ever wrote at ADTSTC. There will be handicapping pieces and writing about the goings-on of the horse racing world, but I want there to be more "me" in the writing and less "general news". I don't know if that makes any sense but it does to me and, really, I'm probably the only one reading this (other than the Basset Hound sitting next to me on the couch).
  •  Posts that wander off-topic

    I like horse racing. And baseball. And college football. And pro football. And fantastic movies like Die Hard, Road House, Jaws, Die Hard 2, Groundhog Day, Die Hard with a Vengeance, Point Break, Top Gun, A Good Day to Die Hard, Road House 2: Last Call (100% straight-to-video goodness) [edit: and, of course, Under Siege 2: Dark Territory. Under Siege... on a train!]; you know, the "Classics." I may, from time to time, post miscellaneous thoughts on any and all of those topics.
  • Less is more

    Yeah, I don't have access to thousands of photos that I can legally use in my posts. Or a network that can link and promote my posts across the vast landscape of the internet. But in many ways, that makes things easier. Sometimes simplicity is refreshing.

    While this platform provides fewer publishing tools as compared to my old location, you'd be amazed at how much time fine-tuning posts can actually take up when you're just listing out a table of entries for a stakes race. And while those tools invariably increase the reach of your writing, they can also cause the whole process to feel a little "heavy."

    Ultimately, this is just a place that feels right at this point in my writing/blogging life.
So that's what I'm all about here at You're gonna need a bigger boat. Less focus on key words, page views and Search Engine Optimization, and more emphasis on just writing about horses or discussing whether or not Steven Seagal could kick Dalton's ass. (Correct Answer: he could not.)

If you followed me over at SB Nation and have made your way to this site - "thanks!" If you're stopping by for the first time - also "thanks!" If you wandered here in a stuper and have no idea what's going on - cool.

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