Thursday, May 8, 2008

Baseball: Maryland Terrapins vs Towson

Baseball's not my favorite sport to shoot, but this afternoon I was longing for Shipley field. I walked outside around 3pm to get something from my car and the weather was so nice. I really looked forward to packing up my laptops and heading down to College Park to shoot a game.

I arrived and found there to be no photographers present. Well actually there was one photographer present: a person from the Diamondback who I've only seen at one other game (the one last night).

I was hoping I'd bump into Greg so we could catch up. I haven't seen him in a few weeks and I've been curious if he's been working a lot on Nationals games in the new stadium. I also wanted to ask him what his plan was for the weekend to see if there was any way we could help him out. But he wasn't there so I guess our catching up will have to wait.

The Terps played Nate Steelman (aka Nathan Steelman, aka Nathaniel Steelman) this evening. He faced 2 batters. The guy from the Sun missed him, and who knows if Steelman will get another shot at pitching this weekend. Hopefully he will and the Sun shooter will get his shot.

Dave Lovell did a good job today with sending out an invite to our entire photos group that details this weekend's activities at Maryland. I set up a schedule a week or so ago in Google Calendar and Dave moved it over into Excel so he could send it out in PDF format. I would've preferred Google Calendar for the collaborative aspect of it, but in the end it probably doesn't matter much with this group of people. They don't seem to be the most technically savvy people I've met and asking them to do collaborative calendaring might be asking a bit much.

The important thing I'm looking for is that people other than me are communicating and doing it in a way that allows the rest of the group to learn. I don't want to create a chain-of-command, or a master-slave relationship at the DC Sports Box. I'm shooting for an informal loosely-knitted group of people that self-organize in ways that are highly transparent. I view the role of the DC Sports Box "editors" to be: provide infrastructure, get out of the way, and help people excel at what they do. The three roles go hand in hand: infrastructure (email lists, IMs, peer-to-peer relationships between photographers and writers) allow the management structure to get out of the way. Management still exists, but it's focus is to make sure that the engine is running efficiently and to make sure we're going in the right direction. Management doesn't necessarily take care of scheduling the timing of the events, who works them, etc ... it just makes sure that the events aren't getting missed. Lastly, we need to just get out of the way and let people excel at what they do best. We should offer some coaching advice when necessary but we need to let photographers go work the crowd, writers to promote their work, and IT people to go wire up new extensions for our site.

All of this is unfolding and will come together in the next few weeks as a business plan for our group. Right now I'm just focusing on putting together thoughts, defining roles, and encouring people to begin thinking of us as a cloud rather than a bunch of individuals. It's a challenge, but hopefully it's one that we can overcome.

In the meantime, please go read about Maryland Baseball's 7-4 win over Towson at the DC Sports Box. Or you can go directly to my Flickr Page that shows pictures of Maryland's 7-4 win over Towson.


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