Way back at the end of 2018 Mark Armour wrote a post about how where most SABR committees produce something concrete like a database, book, or online project, the Baseball Cards Committee ended up building a community. Twitter has been a huge driver of that community with so many fantastic and fun discussions centering around @SABRBBCards. Mark gave us a great start and Jason has carried the torch wonderfully.
For my part, I would not be collecting cards, a member of SABR (let alone a committee head), or enjoying Twitter nearly as much had this committee not ended up there half a dozen years ago. Which is why Twitter’s current instability feels like such a gut punch. I’m not trying to predict the future here but I’ve already seen too many people bail from the platform as well as enough warning signs that I’ve been dipping my toe in Twitter alternatives.
No, none of them are the same; for starters the community isn’t there. Yet. But there are a lot which feel very promising and it’s amazing how few people you need for things to start feeling fun the way they used to be.
To whit. In the scenario that Twitter becomes unusable for you,* you can find us in the following locations.
*For whatever technical, social, ethical, political, personal reason you choose.
SABR’s in-house group feature
This is an old-school email list which will remind those of us who were around for it of the late-90s, early-2000s internet. Subscribing is easy enough, just email firstname.lastname@example.org. Once you’re subscribed you can access the webpage at sabrgroups.org/g/sabrbbcards and configure your email delivery settings or browse the archives.
Mastodon feels a lot like Twitter. It can get complicated but thankfully one of the Sports Reference guys set up an instance at hellosports.page which is really simple to sign up for. Jason and I are on there at @HeavyJ and @vossbrink respectively. No blog account yet but for now most of the active accounts on there are us.
As with SABR’s group email list, Discord feels very much like the halcyon days of Internet Relay Chat. A few of us have se up servers to discuss things like custom card design or through the mail autograph returns but the nature of those chat rooms is such that they often become more free-wheeling discussions about cards in general. Since Discord is sort of an invite thing I have no good permanent links to put here but if this seems interesting to you hit me up in the comments on this post and I’ll try to get you in contact with someone.
There are also a few other legacy platforms where the community is present. I’m no longer there but we do have a Facebook presence/group if the Facebook experience if more your style. A lot of people are also migrating to or increasing their Instagram presences.
And yeah, I can’t say that this community isn’t going anywhere because it very much is. It is however way too big to disappear. I’ll miss what I had on Twitter since I suspect that the best-case scenario is something like the post 1994 strike MLB world where a lot us just fell out of the baseball habit for a few years. But I’m absolutely looking forward to reconnecting and keeping in touch with as many of you as possible.
This blog isn’t going anywhere and if we end up with discussions in the comments like we used to have in the glory days of blogging that’ll be just fine too.
2 thoughts on “Just in case”
For what it’s worth, I don’t use twitter, never have, and never will. My primary objection to twitter is the limited reply nature of the platform. My observation is that people whip out quick reactions rather than thoughtful and measured thoughts. It seems to me that a reasonable discussion requires some explanation and development of ideas. The bluntness and drive-by hit nature of twitter just isn’t for me. So in my opinion, looking for an alternative platform that most closely matches the characteristics of twitter is a very unattractive idea.
Very timely. I am just about done with Twitter.