The Common Man has listened to a lot of podcasts since he got a big kid phone a few months back. He's not quite at Gleeman-level yet, but he's trying out a few new ones in his regular rotation. So as The Common Man drove in today, he listened to Greg Behrend and Pete Holmes make wicker furniture seem hilarious on You Made It Weird, and a thought occured to him.
At some point, with all the podcasts, and all the blogs, and all the websites, and all the Twitter feeds, are we eventually going to run out of things to say to one another? Probably not, but (and this is something that TCM has been thinking about a lot lately given the dust-up over The Hall of Nearly Great/Hall of Very Good ebook name) we're going to be stepping on each other's toes a lot more.
So how possessive can you actually be of your thoughts and your ideas when 17 other people may be thinking (and writing) the exact same thing you are while you're doing it (TCM isn't talking about actual plagiarism, which remains uncool)? How much credit and ownership do you get, should you get, over the ideas and concepts you come up with? Given the limits we all have on our time, we can't read every site every day anyway. We have our own circles that we move in, and only occasionally do we find ourselves in the same space.
The Common Man can't even really understand how you can charge anymore for the similar information that's likely to show up on a free site the same day. People don't need or want to pay for information anymore (even Jon Heyman is demanding uncompensated access to Kevin Goldstein's opinion) but enough seem willing to pay for personalities who come with that information (Keith Law, Kevin Goldstein, Joe Sheehan, the annual BP books, the combined braintrust that created The Hall of Nearly Great) to make it profitable for at least a few. But for how long?
How much can any of us really lay claim to what we do? How are we unique? What makes us different? What's ours that nobody else can have? TCM doesn't really have any answers to these questions, and he doesn't know if he's right or not. But these seem like debates worth having.
Hey, speaking of paying for things, why don't you buy a copy of the The Hall of Nearly Great through TPA, since it will throw a little money our way on the back end. Consider it an early birthday present for The Common Man. TCM wrote about Frank Viola, Bill on Brad Radke, and Cee wrote about Kenny Lofton. There’s also Rob Neyer, Joe Posnanski, Jonah Keri, Will Leitch, Old Hoss Radbourn, Craig Calcaterra, Jon Bois, Jay Jaffe, Jeff Passan, Grant Brisbee, Jason Parks, Josh Wilker, Emma Span, Dave Brown, Steven Goldman, Jon Weisman, Wendy Thurm, and more.