For those of you who may not be aware, my name is Anthony Broome and I have been running Maize n Brew since 2015. We have turned over a lot of staff members in the five years that I have been here and many of them are on to bigger things, including myself for awhile!
The management of this site and this community has always been on a part-time basis for me, which was always a fun release from my other projects, but our voice was muddled because of it and I think that we have struggled at times to figure out who we are. The great news is that things have changed on that front in a big way.
As of last Monday, I am now running this site as my full-time job and I could not be any more appreciative of Vox Media and SB Nation for the opportunity. Once the initial congrats subsided and the newness wore off, it was time to get to work. And over the last few weeks as I have transitioned into this new role, my staff members and I have worked hard to streamline our plan and our vision for the rest of this year and beyond and I’m pumped about where this site is heading. With both hands on the wheel, hopefully now we can make this thing what it has the potential to be.
We know what we want to be now. Here is what you can expect from us and how this site is run moving forward.
This is perhaps the hardest one to nail down, but it is the most important. We want you, the Michigan fanbase, to have an outlet with smart and conversation-starting content and analysis that does not go over your head. At the end of the day, this is a blog, and a blog serves as a voice of the fans.
Basically, we want to talk about sports the way that you talk about sports without being preachy, pretentious or talking down to our audience. And heck, maybe you might learn something or get a laugh somewhere along the way. Our analysis, praises and criticisms will be objective while still speaking the fan language that you understand.
This will be a big emphasis moving forward for us. You are going to see a lot more of this site in and around Ann Arbor, whether it be at watch parties and fan events (keep your eyes peeled on that very soon), charity drives, etc. You name it.
We look forward to growing here and working alongside the folks at places like ChadTough, Mott Children’s Hospital, and more.
In addition to our plan for content moving forward, we want to highlight the fan experience. YOUR fan experience. We’re going to do the bar and restaurant reviews. We want to see what your tailgate looks like. We want to know about the guy who has the game program from every week since Bo was on the sidelines.
Something else that is important is making sure our comment sections are an open forum for discussion and good debate. In the past, we have developed a reputation as a place that gets ban-happy when we do not like what is posted. And I’ve seen a lot of what those bans have been and some of them have been pretty petty and impatient on our end. So we’re going to relax that a bit with our moderators. Know that there is an ABSOLUTE ZERO TOLERANCE policy on bullying, racist, sexist, vulgar remarks, etc. and we will absolutely crack down on this.
But I want to make clear that your voice is important here as long as that privilege is not abused.
Also, while we are on the topic of community-related activity, the first example of an initiative that you can be a part of is SB Nation’s FanPulse poll, which will be a top 25 curated by us each week. All you have to do is sign up here and you get to join the rest of Maize n Brew in filling out our ballot each week and having it included in our national poll.
As you may have noticed over the last week or so, you are seeing a lot less aggregated content here. We’re saving that for the Daily Brews, which will be posted Monday through Friday and include quick hitters on the local and national conversation around the Michigan Wolverines in all sports.
We will also be re-establishing our recruiting footprint in this market and the Monday, Wednesday and Friday recruiting roundups are coming back full-time. You’ll also get recruiting class predictions, high school game roundups from commits, player analysis, original reporting and interviews and more. We’re excited to be able to deliver this to you for FREE.
You’ll notice that opinions on our end will be trimmed back a bit with content moving more toward analysis and engagement that drives a conversation. We want the opinions and chatter to come from you, not us standing at the altar and telling you how it is or needs to be.
As far as some of the other sports go, we will obviously have full-time football and basketball coverage, but are seeking help in the other ones, as well. This includes hockey, baseball, softball and more. We plan on expanding in that realm and are always looking for voices!
This might be what I’m most excited to work on, and that is a more streamlined podcast schedule. Back in the spring, we jumped onto SB Nation’s Podcast Network and our shows are currently available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify and more. Things have slowed down the last month or so, but there has been a reason for it.
Starting next week leading up to the season opener, you’ll be getting a podcast a day from us. We’re still working on the final schedule, but each day will bring something different to the menu and we’re excited to be with you on Monday through Friday. In addition to the shows that we already have, there will also be a sit-down interview program, recruiting podcast and college football picks program.
The plan for now is also to have a quick postgame reaction podcast at the end of every football and important basketball game, but those plans are still coming together.
You can find us wherever you get your shows and at Apple Podcasts here. Be sure to subscribe and keep your eyes on your feed!
As always, if you have any feedback, comments, questions or suggestions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me or to us. We want this place to be as much yours as it is ours, so we would love to hear what you feel like the Michigan community is missing!
Much love and sincerest thanks,
Anthony Broome, Team Site Producer