It is Sunday night, which usually for me means a time to get ready for the new week ahead. This past week has been an unusually awful one all the way around, so I am fully ready to turn the page. With that said, a couple of housekeeping notes for the KSR family:
— A regular source of comedy for the past 3 years or so has been the elusive “KSR Site Redesign” and when it will occur. One person even suggested to me it is like the movie “The Great Gatsby” with Leonardo DiCaprio, previewed for decades, but unlikely ever to see a movie theater near you. But from what it seems, Gatsby is on the way and the Site Redesign is as well. However, more importantly than just the look of the site, this is going to be a Summer of Transition here at Kentucky Sports Radio. For the past year or so, we have been contemplating a number of rather large changes/additions to what we do here at KSR and most of those will be implemented over stages over the next four to six months. Part of that will include some tweaking to the way the site looks (it will still however feature the same general viewing pattern…scroll down and see the posts), but much more importantly will be some additions that I am very excited about unveiling. You will see a number of new contributors/employees under the KSR umbrella (including a couple that may surprise you), some new sections to the site (things we have not done before), some cleaning up of what we already do (a complete change of how we do the comment section…in part to eliminate trolling…and a new way to get fans’ opinion and conversation is coming) and the venture of KSR into some new media worlds that we have never entered before. It is very exciting and probably the biggest undertaking we have done since the site became full time. In today’s new media world, including the huge change caused by multimedia platforms, all the various types of social media and other outlets, KSR has to continue to stay on the cutting edge in order to survive and grow. This summer is where we make that happen. Our goal is to be in a place in five years where we have a toe dipped in all media forms on many subjects…and we begin that process this summer. We will be doing each step gradually, with the first in a few weeks. The core of what KSR does will remain the same…Drew, Tyler, me and the rest of the crew giving UK news in the most ridiculous manner possible. But we will also be doing a lot more and I for one am really excited for the future.
— Secondly, a quick note on a subject that we generally have to address here about once a year or so. Since its third year or so, I have had the same policy at KSR on the use of news from other outlets. We will give UK/KSR fans all the news that is out there on UK sports, no matter the source. That sounds simple enough, but the devil is in the details. My belief is that the doctrine of “fair use” allows blogs like KSR to report the news that is out there, no matter where it comes from, so long as a citation is given to the source (you can read more about “fair use” here from the simplistic, but helpful Wikipedia entry). In virtually every facet of journalism, most every one agrees that fair use should apply (including the Supreme Court saying it is required by the Constitution). Where it has become tricky for some reason is in the realm of “premium” sites that charge money for information…particularly those in college sports. In this realm, some seem to not believe “fair use” applies. I disagree. If the Herald Leader reports “Person A” has committed to Kentucky or will visit Tennessee, everyone will note the commitment and say it came from the Herald Leader. My belief is that if that piece of “news” comes from a “premium” site, it doesn’t change the news value or the fair use value of it at all. We have always believed this and generally most, although not all, of the premium sites have disagreed. To be fair, this wasn’t always our policy. In the early days of KSR (mostly Tubby/Billy Clyde years), we had no journalistic standards (as opposed to the minimal ones now) and just ran around and gave all the information, regardless of source or citation. This was mostly because we were idiots and juvenile. We are still both, but now attempting to give credit where it is most certainly due. If we hear information on our own, or while verifying another report, it will be a KSR post. Contrary to some folks’ belief, we do talk to people, although admittedly most are while standing in line at Qdoba. But if it comes from somewhere else, we will say it, no matter if they charged you for the privilege or not.
Why does this matter? Well it matters because I want you to know where information comes from on this site. If a premium website or message board breaks a commitment, visit or important recruit quote, we will give the information here. It is news and if that news comes from the Herald, Courier Journal, Tom Leach’s radio show or the premium Cats Pause site, the principle remains the same. We will cite the sources always, but we will give the news. That is our policy. That doesn’t mean there isn’t value in those premium sites for those that care. There are rumors, innuendo and “leans” that can be entertaining for those that care deeply about a sport or simply want to communicate with other fans (although KSR fan chatter is coming this summer too). While none of the message boards do a particularly great job on giving unique information basketball recruiting (Some do great profiles but at this point, Cal only recruits the best and it is literally covered by every journalist in America…so any real info is going to come out), football has given some market for this type of stuff. Justin Rowland in particular at Cats Illustrated is good at such tidbits and for really hardcore football recruiting folks, I can see why that board makes sense. But when it comes to news, everything newsworthy will be here, with cites to the source. Not only is it legal (due to fair use), but in today’s Twitter world, where information moves at the speed of a click, it is the only viable way to keep a site such as ours successful.
The reality is this…the world of sports journalism has changed immensely, even in the last 18 months. Twitter has made everything different, and what worked for KSR on day one can’t work the same now. That is in part why we continue to evolve. But one thing remains the same. KSR will continue to be your one stop shop for UK news, opinions, commentary and general nonsense. The KSR of today looks different from that five years ago and the KSR of tomorrow likely will look vastly different as well. But at its core our goals are the same…bring UK fans our team in a fan-centric way. I firmly believe this is the best, most thorough independent college sports site in America. Our goal is to continue at that level and make it better. Thanks for being along for the ride as we head towards #9 next Spring.