by Gregg Pearlman
Saturday, August 26, 2000
To my delight, people are still reading this stuff. Last year at this time, EEEEEE! had boasted about 12,500 visits, not including mine -- up from 5,200 the year before. This year we're up over 20,000. I truly appreciate your readership; thank you so much. Many of you have taken the time to e-mail me and let me know how you feel about the site, and you've all been so supportive. That means a great deal to me. It's also fun to note that the Giants Usenet newsgroup has kind of adopted this site, which is fair, considering that in large part, the voices in EEEEEE! are the voices in the group -- a group that's blessed with a bunch of knowledgeable, funny people who can write. I can't imagine a better newsgroup anywhere.
The contribution from newsgroup members, in both posted messages and personal e-mail, is invaluable. There was a time, very early on, when EEEEEE! was pretty much one voice, but I like it better this way. I appreciate the fact that some of you have asked if I might deign to run an article written by you -- as if I wouldn't be honored by such a request. I mean, EEEEEE! isn't print media -- yet; more on that later. It's not "mainstream," except inasmuch as the World Wide Web is so easily accessible and that anybody can put up a website with minimal effort. So maybe "mainstream" isn't the right word. Perhaps I should have said "inherently credible." There's still the widespread perception that print media is credible from the get-go, unless it's written by people self-publishing their own material. Good or not, such stuff is looked upon as being a little unclean because, say, Random House or Gannett News Service has not seen fit to publish it. Certainly that applies to Web-based material, except that which comes from established publishers or writers -- Time Inc., Stephen King, Reuters.
That's why it's so hard sometimes to do a site like this. However inherently credible the things we write may be -- I won't quantify or qualify that; I'll leave that to you; your mileage will certainly vary -- simply the fact that this site on a website, instantly available worldwide without having to go through established publishers, agents, or (as you know) even editors (except me, and I'm not sure I count) casts a kind of unsavory shadow over it. Or at least that's my perception -- not necessarily about EEEEEE! itself, but about websites in general.
But I don't care much. EEEEEE! is primarily about entertainment. And writing. I value writing very highly, and firmly believe everybody should do it, even if they're not vastly skilled. Writing helps one think, express oneself, solve problems. On the other hand, I do not want to write, say, engineering textbooks, treatises on earwig taxidermy, content for other people's websites on topics that don't interest me. That's a nice hope -- not only to write, but to write only things that interest me. But that's how I feel. I can't help that.
That's what the Web is about, really. Sure, there's advertising and sales, but from a creative standpoint it allows writers to disseminate material that means a lot to them, irrespective of the size of their market. Indeed, I don't really know how many people read EEEEEE! (as opposed to accessing the site, seeing what it is, noting that there's no porn or it's otherwise not their cup of tea, and moving on). I'd love to know. But it's not a major focus. When it comes to EEEEEE!, the major focus is, of course, the San Francisco Giants. But also I'm taking readers into consideration, as well as the people I'm writing about at a given time. I take my own interest into consideration, heavily. And it's nice to know that there are people out there who don't even know me, but are interested in what I have to say. I cherish that.
As I've said in previous anniversary pieces and such, one thing EEEEEE! has done is lead to some terrific friendships. Indeed, I've had the pleasure of meeting several folks who'd first contacted me about some piece they'd seen on the site. And it's great to meet newsgroup people, too -- I'd love to do more of that. This year, for instance, I've attended games at Pacific Bell Park with newsgroup regulars John Gutierrez, James Farrar, and Steven Rubio. Steven writes for Baseball Prospectus, and I've enjoyed friendships with two of the book's other writers, Greg Spira and David Pease. (I still haven't met David, but it could happen.) After I'd known EEEEEE! contributor Tom Austin, who has become a close friend, for a year or so, he started writing for The Big Bad Baseball Annual. So I do actually have personal friends in the Baseball Writing Industry, which I think is very cool.
It's something I'm very thankful about. Also, that writers would think enough of EEEEEE! to send me story queries, then submit articles. This past year has seen a lot of action from Todd Hawley, for instance. I met Todd at the second alt.sports.baseball.sf-giants day at the 'Stick in 1998. That's when I first met Richard Booroojian, too, but we'd talked on the phone a couple of times. It's a joy to know these people.
They both contributed to the 1999 Postmortem articles, as did Jesse Thorn and David Beck. Jesse's a busy college student -- we haven't seen much of him lately on the group -- but he's tremendously smart and a good writer. Dave, of course, is the closest friend I have to whom I'm not married. We've known each other since roughly 1977, and he gets a lot of credit for the fact that EEEEEE! exists in the first place. The idea for the site came from discussions we'd had, starting in around 1982, about trying to find a way to put out a newsletter "by Giants fans, for Giants fans." This, you might guess, would've been cost prohibitive, but... along came the Web.
Other contributors this year have been David Fox, Rick Braverman, and David Malbuff. I correspond frequently with David F. and Rick, and their friendship and contribution mean a great deal to me. David M.... well, I can't find him. David, if you're reading this, please drop me a line. I'd like to run your 1998 season journal, and I hope your doing all right.
Finally I'd like to mention Jay Roberts, who does a site called The Giants Journal, which you'll find at http://members.aol.com/Jaybird926/giants.htm. We both got brief mentions in the July/August issue of Giants Magazine, which we deeply appreciate. Jay has been in touch with me for at least a couple of years, even before he started his site, and I'm so impressed with all the work, the research, and the love he's put into it. If you haven't seen Jay's site, shame on you. On a personal level, Jay's a very friendly guy who'll go to the effort to touch base with me even when I forget to reciprocate (and I can be forgetful in this way; it's not my favorite quirk). Without trying to sound grandiose, as Giants sites go, I see Jay as a colleague, not as "competition"; I think he'd say the same -- we're working for the same cause, each in our own way.
As always, I'm grateful for the support of my family. My wife, Kimberly, and our son, Adam, have inspired me to write all sorts of things over the years -- especially Adam lately, with his T-ball escapades -- and besides that, I like 'em. My parents and sisters seem to understand that for better or worse, I'm a writer who, at least for now, has to make a living in another field, such as it is, and I get a special kick out of learning that one or the other of them has read something in EEEEEE!. If I've left anybody out, I apologize. So many people are so important in making EEEEEE! what it is, dubious as that may seem. I'm thankful for all of you, from friends and family to newsgroup members and other readers. You're all important.
Copyright © 2000 by Gregg Pearlman
Gregg Pearlman, gregg@EEEEEEgp.com
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