How the Stupidity of the B/R Fan System Ruins the Integrity of Its Writers

Thomas H.Correspondent IJuly 17, 2009

It has become a disgrace to the system of how writers are respected, as the word "fan" on Bleacher Report has become almost useless.

Though the word is now looked onto as almost ridiculous and unneeded on a writers statistical list, many users of Bleacher Report still look at that number with greed, wondering how someone could get that many fans.

Others look down at the number of fans, wondering how someone could write that many articles and have so few fans.

Some actually look at the ratio of articles per fan, amazed when they see someone have over a 1:1 ratio, and look at a 1:2 ratio as supreme.

A 2:1 ratio is accepted, but anywhere below that is falling under the curve.

I know, after reading that kind of information I have the same thought: This is absolutely ridiculous.

The fact is that on Bleacher Report we need to understand how some people get fans for what seems to be no reason. There are editors getting over 50 fans because they edit work and are shown gratitude but don't write pieces.

There are writers who say "feel free to add me as a fan," as if it was middle school and they were hoping the cool girl said they hung out yesterday.

There are writers who get fans for just being on the site at all. Most writers should subtract one fan when remembering every single person has Zander Freund on their list.

Here is my first example of the almost-funny system:

Jeff Allen has not written a single article, writes many rude comments on others' articles (probably this one too), and yet, somehow, he has four fans. His ratio to those who care is infinity.

Meanwhile, Leroy Watson has never written a rude comment. He asks for all articles on his BB (this one will be there) and has 16 picks of the day. He deserves over 250 fans, as he currently has 285.

Another case is Todd Civin. He is a head Red Sox writer, yet he is also the head of the Boston Breakers (women's soccer). You think the Boston Breakers get a large fan group on this site? No, but to Todd is doesn't seem to matter. He writes about them all the time anyway.

And you know what? They are very good articles about the Breakers. Feel free to take a look:

James Thompson is what you might call a cycling fanatic. He has written 84 articles on B/R, and all of them are about cycling.

Yet James has only six fans; his views do well and his writing is very impressive on a tricky subject to capture in writing, but he doesn't get the credit he deserves because, like many, he doesn't focus on the most popular sport in the world. Here is James:

That is a key problem with the fan system. Writers truly aren't going to get fans if they write for a smaller sport, which ends up meaning even if your writing is incredible and POTD-worthy, you're still destined to be relatively unknown, with few followers.

The system has become a "You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours'" idea, and it's ruining the community.

Some quit the site without enough followers, beginning to doubt their work just because they don't have as good standards as the next guy.

The stupidity of the fan system on Bleacher Report is becoming very clear, and soon we will need to end this system to save the integrity of many writers on this site.

I hope you agree with me, and, if not, feel free to voice your opinion.