June 24, 2006. A day that changed my life forever. For on that fateful day, I pushed Blogger.com's "Publish Post" button for the first time, and Mondesi's House was created. The article was "The 10 Worst McClatchy/Nutting Pirates Moves", and it was a blast to put together. Finally, I could speak my mind on all things Pittsburgh sports. Fortunately, people listened, which only gave me more motivation to gripe, praise, and laugh about our favorite sports teams.
Since that time, a lot has happened. I never believed that the site would have as many readers as it does, and that became a double-edged sword for me. I had an audience, but I had to feed it enough fresh material to keep it happy. Faced with a schedule that became more demanding with each passing day, I felt that I did not have an adequate amount of time to keep Mondesi's House going.
I don't like to do things at half-speed. I either do them at full-speed or not at all. I was forced to turn down numerous projects in 2007 for this very reason. So you can imagine how unhappy I was having thousands of visitors coming in each day with only a few paragraphs of new material to offer.
I pondered "retirement", but I knew that wouldn't work. I had to think of a Plan B. What could I do to not only maintain Mondesi's House, but somehow make it better?
The New Year came, and with a new year comes a flood of fresh ideas. One of my ideas was to create a team of writers to give the loyal readers the quantity of quality material that they deserve.
I targeted several people who I thought would be up to the task: people who certainly have the talent, the knowledge, and the sarcasm that this site demands, but not necessarily the time to operate a blog of their own. So I reached out to a few friends, and they came through. Big time. A few emails later, The Mondesi's House Team was born.
Today, I'm proud to announce the addition of 12 new contributors to the site. Some will be writing weekly, some bi-weekly, some monthly; all will have unique assignments. You will be meeting each member throughout the day today, with a detailed bio on who they are and what they'll be doing. They'll be responsible for their own words. Sure, I'll do some minor edits of grammar here and there, but as the saying goes, "The opinions expressed by each individual writer are not necessarily reflect the views of Mondesishouse.com."
Where does that leave me, you ask? While we are adding a number of voices, I will continue to be the loudest voice. I'll be sliding into the editor's chair (which is pretty much the same chair, unless I buy a new one), but I'll continue to write several times a week. Ultimately, I think this will make me a much better writer. At times, I truly felt burned out under the pressure to deliver fresh content that's responsible, funny, and most importantly, made sense. The bottom line is that you'll be getting a better "Mondesi". And that's the beauty of the new format. Not only will I be fresher, but so will the other dozen writers. They'll be writing once a week on a certain topic, so there should never be a shortage of fresh material for them to tackle. Think of it as the site going from a one-back offense to a running back-by-committee.
Personally, I'm thrilled at the prospect of what we have here. Is it a risk? Absolutely. The regular readers are used to a certain style, in a one-voice format. But at some point, I realized that I can't be everything to everyone. As much as I'd like to sit at my computer and muse about Pittsburgh sports all day, that's simply not a realistic option (although it would be pretty cool). To take this site to the next level, I knew that I needed help.
So while this is a risk, I think it's a safe bet. You'll probably be familiar with a few of the new guys; some may take some getting used to. But they are all more than capable of handling the task at hand. I wouldn't do this if I felt it wouldn't vastly improve the quality of the site.
The real winner, though, is the reader. You're going to get an avalanche of new content from a number of fresh voices. Frankly, I'm excited to read the new site.
So sit back and let the new team members introduce themselves. We'll be here all day. I'll be rolling them out, one-by-one, throughout the morning and afternoon. And say goodbye to Mondesi's House as you knew it. The new season starts Monday morning.