Most SB Nation followers know Chris Mottram as the force behind the new SBNation.com, but Mottram built an impressive resume before coming to SB Nation by getting Sporting News to put time and resources into this new fangled blogging thing. I know it's not easy to get these old school media organizations to pay attention to online, but Chris was able to pull it off. He was very successful in building a good general blog over at TSN with Sporting Blog. It was one of the most successful properties of Sporting News over the last few years and Mottram helped get the blog to that leadership position.
We're thrilled about Chris and have no doubt he's going to make SBNation.com a huge success. But we want everyone to get to know Chris a little better since he's in that unique position of running a central hub for SBNation.com. So without further ado, get to know Mr. Irrelevant, or at least one of the Irrelevants, Chris Mottram.
Blez: You're a big part of what will be the biggest site launch in the six-year history of SB Nation. How are you feeling about the new SBNation.com?
Chris Mottram: I'm feeling ... exhausted. I mean, excited! (But mostly exhausted.) It was a lot of hard work put in by a lot of people smarter than myself, and right now, I feel like it was all worth it. The site obviously looks awesome, but I think the content is what makes SBNation.com different that anything out there. And by different, I mean better.
Blez: What's your goal with the site?
Mottram: The goal is to give people a one-stop place to find out everything that is going on right now in the world of sports. We want it to be as current and open as possible. Meaning that we want readers to come to SBNation.com and know they'll find not only timely news and analysis, but news and analysis from multiple angles and sites from around the web. What we're doing with storystreams seems like the smartest, most efficient and useful way to present content that there is anywhere. Stories aren't stagnant; they evolve and change overtime, and our storystreams present that in such a digestible and comprehensive way.
Blez: Describe the kind of sports fan you're trying to reach with the new SBNation.com.
Mottram: I think most sports fans care, at least on some level, about what's going on elsewhere on a national level beyond just their teams. And by "national level," I mean outside of New York and Boston. I'm probably not the only person who thinks Jeter getting his 2,722nd hit is the biggest story of the day. Hopefully our front page and sport-level pages serve as a snapshop of what is happening across all sports at any given moment. And that snapshot should be stuff fans actually care about, not what they're being told to care about.
Blez: Would you like to have community around it or is the aim to be a place to just read about the most timely sports news?
Mottram: Yeah, community is good. It's nice to feel like people are responding to, and talking about, what we're writing. We want the tone of the site to be conversational, in general, and less robotic than most MSM news sources, so hopefully that helps open conversation. We will all be in the comments sections throughout the day, interacting, as well.
Blez: How will the site be different than other generalist sports sites out there already?
Mottram: It should become obvious to anyone who spends more than five minutes on our site how we're different. I think what really separates us is that we pull in content from all over -- if it's good content, it's good content. Of course, we're gonna use SBN content where we can, but we aren't handcuffed by being limited to just internal content. All of this allows readers to come to SBNation.com and feel like they're getting a 360-view of a story, instead of just one site/side's take.
Blez: Do you think it's going to be tough to do a generalist site as the hub of a company that was founded on individual team passions?
Mottram: Those teams sites are what helps give us an advantage. We have built-in experts for every single team/school out there from which we can draw analysis and opinion.
Mottram: No. When I was in middle school I wanted to be a meteorologist. But in high school, I quickly made the obvious transition from weather-infatuation to writing. I kinda blacked out for about 10 years after that, but four colleges and seven years of undergrad "studies" later, I was creating The Sporting Blog for Sporting News, which led me to this gig with SBN.
Meteorology is just a hobby of mine now.
Mottram: All of the DC blogs, including Camden Chat and Testudo Times, 'cause I'm a Maryland fine despite gradutating from George Mason. If we had a Mason blog, however, I'd read that, too. I also love reading Nunes Magician, Black Heart Gold Pants and The 7th Floor (who I pray every night will start updating 10x a day). I enjoy the more satirical/whimsical take on sports. Oh, EDSBS, obviously. And The Daily Forehand. And I try to read our combat sites daily, even though I don't follow those sports very closely yet. And ...um ... am I rambling yet?
Blez: Will it be tough for you to write stories and separate your personal passions from it, like the Redskins?
Mottram: Yes. I don't even plan on trying. The Redskins are more important to me than this job, so if that's gonna be a problem, lemme know and I'll show myself out ...
Blez: So what's the next challenge for you and the Cooleys?
Mottram: I think we decided on beer pong. I don't know. They should probably try to pick something they can actually win though.
Blez: Finally, I ask all our bloggers this question, but tell me something about you that might surprise people.
Mottram: I have never used Facebook.
Blez: Thanks so much for your time. We're thrilled to be having you running SBNation.com.