If you’ve been to Derby Frontier before you’ve likely noticed that a lot has changed over the past couple of weeks. With less than a month to go before DF’s Second Anniversary, I’ve decided to completely and utterly re-approach this blog.
As I mentioned in my last post Derby Frontier has been many things to me and to visitors. However, at its core it was always a personal blog. It is a place where I can learn about the history of the sport and how it has affected both others and myself. A place where I can share things I have learned from others during my travels and a place where I can discuss my experiences of the bizarre culture and unique community that has developed right alongside the derbs. Yet at the same time, I got it into my head that I could develop this into a phenomenal resource and news site for the sport in my region.
I created and maintained a Master Bout List for Saskatchewan and some of our neighboring provinces (2012-2014), I was writing player profiles and event previews, running votes, giveaways, and I put together a Western and Central Canadian Roller Derby League List outlining all the leagues in those regions, their websites and social media and how they were affiliated. Meanwhile, I continued to discuss my personal life and interactions with the community. Writing advice pieces, answering questions from peers and discussing how I felt about issues within the sport that were incredibly important to me.
The blog had essentially developed a dual identity that ultimately led to a great deal of frustration and miscommunication between myself and many readers.
Clearly, it cannot be both. So, I finally had to ask myself the big question: what is Derby Frontier? Is it a personal blog featuring guest writers or is it a news and resource site?
After a great deal of reflection and consideration the answer was pretty clear, its the former and always has been. As such, many changes have been made to the overall perspective, mood and focus of the site. Aside from switching up the layout and dropping that black and gray color scheme, below are all of the major changes that have been applied so far:
- The site heading now states “a personal blog exploring the culture and community of roller derby.”
- The Blog Staff & Contacts page is now the Blog Support Team. Some titles have been switched and gone is the overall concept of any of us being “staff”. We’re a team, sharing in this fun, passionate, now completely casual blog.
- The “About” page has drastically changed. Firstly, I have deleted the “mission statement” and “goal” sections, including all accompanying text. The page now includes a small personal bio, a short description of the blog, a list of Awards & Nominations the blog has received and a section highlighting press that the blog has received over the years.
- Much like the Master Bout List of 2012/2013, the Western and Central Canadian League list is now gone as well.
- Both the Derby Frontier’s Pink Shirt Day and Derby Frontier’s Trans Awareness in Sports Week pages have undergone a name change. They are now called Stop Bullying in Sports and Trans* Awareness in Sports Week.
- The Partners and Sponsors page has been renamed to Friends and Donors. Everything about looking for sponsors and partners has been removed, including blog sponsorship/partnership opportunities and the site sponsor call out. I will no longer be seeking these things going forward.
- Wrote up a very small Contact page highlighting the preferred contact methods should you wish to speak to somebody involved with Derby Frontier
I’m currently working on an articles for fiveonfive magazine and for Derby Life. I’m hoping those go well and that I can continue to write for them. Additionally, I’ve been hard at work on a novel that I’ve been wanting to finish for a long time now and I’m excited to be getting back to it.
As for upcoming content for Derby Frontier, I’d be lying if I said there was a lot on the horizon aside from Destination Derby next month. I think it’s time to step away from a while. Perhaps I will return to writing here with the same vigor and excitement I had earlier this year, perhaps not. Time will tell. For the time being though I think the healthy thing to do is take a deep breath and enjoy what’s left of this Canadian prairie summer with my fiance before I’m on the road in August.
NOTE: As some of you may or may not have noticed, I am no longer on Facebook. I have deactivated my personal profile and I am committed to staying off of it for the remainder of July (bare minimum). If you would like to reach me for any reason please feel free to contact me at email@example.com.