Meta: Me, Our Community, and the Job that is Bleacher Nation

This post is pure, unadulterated meta (i.e., it has to do with Bleacher Nation, itself, and has nothing to do with Cubs news, rumors or commentary). You’ve been warned; but if you’re a fan of BN (or want to know who the “Brett” is that’s writing this piece), you’ll probably want to read on.

I’ve always believed – my own anonymous handle, “Ace,” notwithstanding – that you can build real, meaningful and long-lasting relationships in online communities. Usually it’s a shared belief or fandom that brings and keeps you together, but undoubtedly, it helps to share a little of yourself. Your real self.

So, for those who are inclined to know a little bit more about me, read on. For those who aren’t, that’s fine with me. I do hope you’ll continue to read Bleacher Nation, though.

My name is Brett Taylor, and, for the last four years, I was an attorney at a large, corporate law firm.

I was one of those college kids who was adequately-good-at/moderately-interested-in a variety of things, and so, when it came time to graduate, I took the path of least resistance: more school. Law school, to be precise. I enjoyed writing, as well as the construction and meaning of language, so joining a profession whose frequent purpose is to debate the meaning of the word “the” made some sense to me. And, whatever your idealistic notions when entering law school, if you do well enough to join a large law firm at the end of your three years, you do. So I did.

While there were many things I enjoyed about the practice of law, in time I learned it wasn’t for me. The hours were miserable, the stress was constant, and planning for the future was nearly impossible. Worse, I didn’t like the effect it was having on me as a person. I sometimes joked that I was paid to be a professional asshole, and, too often, the joke proved more accurate than I cared to admit.

So, when my family circumstances changed earlier this year (including the addition of the world’s newest and most ardent Cubs fan (she has no choice in the matter)), it was time to move on. It was time to be more present at home – not just in time spent, but in actual, engaged presence. It was time to get my life back in order.

And along with becoming a full-time dad, I decided to give writing a more concerted go. Bleacher Nation has always been a hobby of mine – something I did in my spare time for fun. But now I’d like to make it something more. I’d like to make it a job.

So, this is what I do now. My name is Brett Taylor, and I write about the Chicago Cubs. It’s a dream job if I’ve ever heard of one, and I consider myself very fortunate to have this opportunity. It doesn’t pay much, but I’m hoping that with a rededicated effort, I might be able to squeak out a living. So please don’t crucify me about the ads – I’ve tried to make them as innocuous as possible.

Why the name dropping?

I suppose I just figured that, if I’m going to make this my job, I should be myself. Until today, I wrote from the comfort of an anonymous handle not because I intended to use it as a shield (for which “anonymous” Internet types are too frequently criticized), but instead because I always assumed no one would care who I am. The who doesn’t matter. The writing matters.

But I think I was wrong, at least in part. It’s not that I think I’m so important as to matter, but I do now think that the who affects the writing. It gives it context. Color. Personality. So you may see a little bit more of me in my writing around here (not so much as to be obnoxious), including my real name. And you can still call me Ace if it really bothers you.

Thanks, as always, for reading. I look forward to continuing to bring you the latest Cubs rumors, news and analysis. I also look forward to implementing “community” features that will improve the experience around here. But, please don’t be impatient – I’m going to take my time and make sure I do it right. You’d be surprised at how few good integrated blog/commenting/user profile/message board software packages there are out there.

So, with that all said, I look forward to continuing to build real, meaningful and long-lasting relationships in our corner of the Cublogoverse.

At least until the Cubs finally win it all, and the Earth collapses in on itself like a dying star.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

115 responses to “Meta: Me, Our Community, and the Job that is Bleacher Nation”

  1. Caleb

    So wait… you like hot chicks, Simpsons, Cubs, beer, and went to law school. I like hot chicks, Cubs, Simpsons, beer, and I’m going to law school next month.

    Whoa… this is weird.

    “We’re looking down on Wayne’s basement. Only that’s not Wayne’s basement. Isn’t that weird?”
    “Yeah, that’s weird, man, that’s weird. Garth! That was a haiku!”

    Thanks for the site, Brett! It’s my internet Cub home.


    Reader of the Decade Caleb

    1. Caleb

      Holy shit I got my gravatar to work!

      Only took me 2 months…

  2. Bric

    This article was like a Lost episode…interesting, and answering a few questions, but bringing up many more. Such as where did the name Ace come from? In the interest of self disclosure, Bric comes from Bri C (first name and middle innitial) the closest I could get from AOL when I had an account with them.

    1. TWC

      Yeah! And is Ian Afterbirth really the smoke monster?

  3. oso

    Im not sure what your trying to accomplish here Brett, if thats your real name. Seems like Ace was working just fine, besides which Ace is a cool name. Brett would be super cool if it were your last name, but alas. In any case, if your on the run or something like that, you have a good deal of friends here, dont be afraid to reach out. Good luck with the new identity.

    BTW, I know some folks over at the witness protection program. Just sayin…..

  4. Bric

    Another ancillary benefit of this article is the fact that alot of readers that don’t post are joiing in to say hello. That’s kind of cool because BN reminds me of Moe’s sometimes- no women. Apparently your foray into self disclosure has appeal to the feminine readers. Well done! And phase out the games. People drink less when they’re having fun.

  5. Cody

    Brett, Ace, whatever name you go by, just keep up the great work… the enhanced box scores alone keep me coming back.

  6. CapnCub

    Agree, love the enhanced box score, love all your posts and well I just love bleachernation. The only fan website I go to or ever will. Thanks Ace/Brett

  7. Jeff

    Woah, actually had to click on page 2 to finish reading the comments. Keep it up people, we are getting close to the record.

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  9. Brian

    So it took me until the beginning of this season to discover bleacher nation. I wish I found this site when it first launched because it would have made the last few seasons much more entertaining.

    This season is a bust so far (I leave breathing room for optimism) but this site really lightens the mood for Cubs fans.

    I post on here when I get the chance and I’ve always wondered how you keep up with all of the Cubs news and such. After reading this it does answer a handful of questions. There have been too many times where I sit at work and wish my job was similar to yours where I could post about one of the few things I am truly passionate about. You are truly living the dream!

    But this post is my way of thanking you for making this your priority because it really is a great Cubs blog and from all of the responses I can tell that you keep baseball alive in a dead season for Cubs fans.

  10. Cardfan

    My world is completely upside down – Ace is no longer Ace, some dude named Brett is subjecting a baby girl to a lifetime of torture, there’s a Cubs fan who admits that Cardinal fans make better pizza, and the Pirates are in first place after the all-star break. What the hell is going on?!?

    1. Jeff

      Welcome to Bizzaro World buddy, glad to see we’re not the only team baffled by the Pirates anymore.

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