Detroit4lyfe joined Bloguin, an up and coming blogging network, a little over a month ago. We joined because we fully believe in the direction Derek Hanson (and now co-CEO, Ben Koo) have in mind for the overall network and individual sites. We have goals that we want achieved that we don't think could be done without the help of these two.
When we first joined we didn't think twice about the three giant penguins you see on your screen before you even start scrolling down the page. In fact, including the tabs on Mozilla Firefox, I think there are a total of six penguins on the site. Those penguins planted on our page never really irked me until recently, when I realized the Detroit Red Wings would probably be playing the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Stanley Cup Finals. Eery. That didn't sit well with me.
I let it go and watched Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals while live blogging it, and being sick as a dog. When the Wings scored in OT to seal the Finals date with the Penguins, I figured I may as well write a post while my mind was on hockey and not waking up in a feverish shiver. When I brought up the web page, those pesky penguins were staring me right in the face reminding me of my previous discomfort. I started thinking like Billy Madison, "You don't belong here penguin. It's too damn hot for a penguin to be hanging around on this site." I tried to chase them off the screen, but it didn't work. My fiance started speaking to me in an uncharacteristic spanish accent, "No Mr. Biscigliano. You've had too much sun today." I wrote the post and tried to forget about it.
The following day I was texting with Chip Stevenson, one of our other esteemed writers, telling him to check out thepensblog.com, our Bloguin enemy blog. Chip and I are fond of photoshop (even though we suck at it) and I admire their work. They also get great fan participation which is the greatest goal of ours. His reply was, "speaking of Bloguin, how much does it suck that their little logo is a penguin?" It was at this point that I was inspired to type a "shot in the dark" email to the network CEOs, Derek and Ben to see if something could be done.
I immediately emailed them asking for a rather large favor. It went something like this:
"As you know, the Red Wings are in the Stanley Cup Finals and we are playing the Penguins. As you also obviously know, the Bloguin penguin is all over the place. Right now, we hate Penguins. Is there a way, just for this series, we could get the giant Penguin Ads and the logo on the tab for firefox removed?"
Basically, I was asking a huge favor for the sake of our fanhood. We want to support our team to the best of our abilities and the last thing we want are penguins logos mocking us on our own website in the wake of the Stanley Cup Finals. That won't fly...like penguins.
Yet, it was still a huge favor to ask and we're the n00b blog in town, so we do have to know our boundaries. I reluctantly sent the email anyway, regardless of me believing I was going to get an email back saying that I was a greedy bum, essentially asking for more porridge when I've already had four helpings.
Less than 24 hours later though, Derek sent out an email to me and the Pensbloggers notifying everyone of the change that has been done to Detroit4lyfe.com. As you all have already noticed by now, if not immediately upon entering the site, the penguin has been changed to a blogtopus in honor of our Detroit Red Wings!
The blogtopus now shows up everywhere on the site where normally a penguin would have appeared. Even in the Forum, the bulleted penguins were replaced with blogtopi. I am in as much awe of this as I was when I first saw how sweet our banner was on day one. Derek has once again outdone himself in not disappointing his bloggers, whether it be by providing a state of the art platform, constant email support, or accommodating a Detroit website's seemingly trivial desire to not want penguins logos, symbolizing our opponent in the Finals, all over.
At Detroit4lyfe.com, our personal goals are that we provide the best and most original content to Detroit fans and general sports fans around the Earth, while ultimately staying true to our Michigan roots. We want this to be a safe haven for all sports fans, particularly Detroit, to come and feel comfortable voicing their opinions whether it be via the comments section under each and every post or the Forum, which is constantly being updated with brief recaps, previews, and news; stuff that becomes monotonous and hides the more clever stuff if it's put on the front page. I think this unorthodox style for the fans' convenience and enjoyment is what sets us apart from other sports and city specific websites. This site is a luxury and Detroit fans and even general sports fans should take advantage of it.
Derek working hard to change the logos specifically for our page is another perk to all that we've already been given. We knew that having penguins surrounding our content from now until the series was over would not make people (or ourselves) feel comfortable or safe in coming to detroit4lyfe.com. We realized that and requested their removal. Derek did not disappoint.
This type of favor is unlike any other I've ever seen in the blogsphere. Derek completely changed the network's name on D4L to appease die-hard fans and keep in spirit of a somewhat fresh rivarly. For that, he deserves an uproaring standing ovation from all parties.
Detroit fans...for the next few weeks Detroit4lyfe.com will be known as a member of the Blogtopus Network!
Al Sobotka would give it a huge twirl!