Defending Big D's Annual State Of The Blog Address

Getting the Defending Big D community ready for the 2014-2015 NHL season.

I hope you all enjoyed the summer. Got a tan, enjoyed time with friends and family, and whiled away the hours until the Dallas Stars hit the ice again for the upcoming season.

As we do every summer, we recently asked for your feedback regarding Defending Big D and its coverage. And every year, we like to take the time to address a few things about the DBD community entering into the new season, for both old readers and new.

What can you expect DBD to cover this season?

We'll have the usual fare: in-depth game previews, recaps, breaking news, analysis, etc. What we're going to look at adding this year will be the weekly player analysis (a revamp of the old feature Ups and Downs is in the works) based on the feedback some of you gave us. Also, a weekly divisional/league-wide kind of recap also has been requested. Personally, I like that idea and we'll look to incorporate that -- while you may not care about each team's wins and losses to the degree you do the Stars', the success or failure of other teams can shape things like trades (due to injuries or pending UFA status) that will, in turn, affect Dallas. We will try to bring that to you here in addition to the daily links we have in-season; and yes, they do go back to actual daily links! It's hard in August when NHL news is kind of keep it daily.

Podcasts are going to be more consistent this year. We all like doing them, and it's very evident everyone wants to hear them again. The thing to understand with these is that it has been a struggle these last two years due to the compressed schedules (lockout, Olympics) and the need to turn out so much content for you, our dear thirsty readers. The additions to the DBD writing staff will help alleviate some of this as well and free people up to participate in lively Stars discussions more consistently this year.

There are a few other things we want to experiment with this year, but we can't be exposing all of our secrets at once.

Thoughts on community guidelines and moderation

The ideal of the DBD community has been, and will continue to be, the growth of a place where people can come to discuss the Stars without fear of retribution for their opinions. It seems as though this tenet isn't being respected at all times here over the summer. We don't want to censor people because they have dissenting opinions -- that is certainly not the type of "free speech" we hope to enlist. The "free speech" idea doesn't mean you can post whatever, however you want; respect and sensitivity to those around you help to keep the DBD community open and welcoming for both old and new readers.

To that end, we do want to take the time to remind everyone of a few key things regarding commenting here.

Gratuitous profanity is not permitted. Some people have expressed that they don't like this, but let us explain the rationale behind it. Analysis articles, game previews and the like are often printed off for the media prior to games. Sometimes, these printouts catch the top part of the comment section. We want to put our best foot forward to continue to build the respect the DBD blog has garnered with our professional approach to covering the Stars -- something all of you have helped to build and contribute to. We realize that in the heat of a game thread, occasional blue language may slip through. Please try to keep it to an absolute minimum.

Creating multiple user names for the purpose of trolling or disrupting the community is not permitted. Persons creating such user names will have those names banned and/or deleted without notice. Similarly, posts made for such purposes will also be subject to deletion without notice.

Posts created for the sole purpose of advertising or other commercial purposes will be deleted without notice.

Personal attacks on community members, directly or through sarcasm/belittling, e.g., "You're an idiot", "You don't know what you’re talking about, moron", "Apparently, you've never seen a hockey game, or you'd know?", "My Chihuahua knows more about hockey than you do", etc. You aren't going to agree with every person's opinions. There may be some you'll never see eye-to-eye with. Be respectful is what we're asking; would you say the same thing to that person face-to-face? If the answer is no, reconsider what you're about to post.

Comments that are intolerant or prejudiced (sexist, racist, homophobic, etc.) in nature, e.g., "Why don't you go play with your dolls?", "The Stars shouldn’t sign black players", etc.

Harassing/Baiting of users, e.g., "The Stars will never win this game" posted 10 times in 3 minutes, etc.

Comments that bring politics into DBD (which is a non-political blog), e.g., "Obama/Bush/Clinton ruined this country by", "Check out this link about the war in Iraq," etc. That said, you may occasionally see a political advertisement on DBD. Running such ads does not imply an endorsement of the candidate or views expressed in the ad, just as any such ad on a television station or network or in a newspaper does not imply endorsement by such an entity. Editorial and advertising at DBD are separate, and we do not have control over advertising.

We're not trying to hamper the fun here. We just want everyone to enjoy their time here at Defending Big D and to feel welcomed to post their opinions and engage in discussion about the team that everyone is so passionate about here.

Thoughts on perceived positivity/negativity and advanced stats

We strive to present a balanced look at the team throughout the course of the year. What this means is that some articles may be positively skewed, while others will look at the shortcomings of the team. It's been an exciting offseason and there is plenty to be optimistic about. There's also plenty to question. Some of us on the staff are more inclined one way or the other, and that's why we have that diversity -- to provide the balance.

Advanced stats is obviously a divisive topic. In our survey, advanced stats was one of the top most requested thing people wanted more of as well as one of the top most requested thing people wanted less of. We will have advanced stats articles and breakdowns this season. It's a side of analysis that we wish to present to go along with the more "editorial eyeball" analysis we have about games. Just a heads up for all the advanced stats disliker crowd out there. If you don't like it, that's fine -- but the debate of advanced stats and its merits is one of those beaten up topics around here. Let's all try not to suck out the fun something like this provides to the other part of the community.

Final word

We're pumped about this season, and we hope you all are too. Let's have as enjoyable a roller coaster ride as this season is bound to be. Go Stars!