Once a week, SEC Digital Media Director Eric SanInocencio will share insights on the inner-workings of the conference office.
Birmingham, Ala. -- Everything changed yesterday. Well, in reality, everything changed for me personally two weeks ago, when I welcomed my first child into the world. Not that birth should ever be used as an excuse (but with the lack of sleep that comes with it, who am I kidding?), but now you know why this blog has been dormant over the past few weeks. But again, that all changed 24 hours ago.
I've chronicled my work week before, and I think this group gets the general idea of what and how we do things here at SECSports.com. It is like an octopus with 100 tentacles, with hands reaching in every direction across a multitude of sports.
Getting something new added to my plate is a daily occurrence, and most times you don't even look up from the keyboard to realize you are doing anything different than normal. You just keep rolling along. However, Pandora's Box was opened yesterday for me, and I am not sure I can ever go back.
When you read an article here at the website, at the bottom of every page, you may notice an email link that asks for........ "feedback".
"Feedback" in the eyes of many SEC fans can take the shape of whatever they want to talk about at the moment they see that link. While reading a piece on volleyball, they may want to comment on football officiating. As they skim through the men's basketball Players of the Week, they might want to know seating assignments for the SEC Championship Game. As they read a football game recap, they may want to comment on football officiating. That topic seems to be a bit more popular.
However, prior to yesterday, I was completely out of that loop. That email (once we corrected it) was in the hands of a different group of people. That group used it to monitor issues with the website, and gauge whether fans liked the new ideas and content we tried to unveil. They never, never, never engaged in response.
Well, seeing as how SECSports.com is kind of my entire job, the thought occurred to me, shouldn't I see this list? Shouldn't I be privy to this flowing conversation with our fanbase? I mean, if anyone has the means to answer a question regarding the website, shouldn't it probably be me?
So, despite my better judgment, I asked to be added to that email chain. From now on, my inbox would be merged with the mysterious "Feedback" domain, and I'd now have access to every word written into SECSports.com. I should have dreaded this, but I can't lie, I got excited.
Once the email account was set up on my computer, messages started to pour in the space. Questions about rule changes, dead links and highlight videos flooded in. As I took a moment to scroll through, the thought occurred to me. Should I answer?
Co-workers here at the SEC weren't so sure. The term "Pandora's Box" was mentioned a few times, but I couldn't help but proceed forward. I mean, if the question is valid, and the emailer is courteous, why not answer the inquiry? So, that's what I did. For the next three hours.
It got to the point where I could save a few stock answers, because most of the questions that came in had familiar rings to them. They wanted to know the home team for the SEC Championship Game, where the South Carolina and Auburn part of the stands where, and whether or not infants needed tickets to attend the game (seriously, I got this question more than 10 times, and the answer is yes, they do).
I had fun. A dialogue was quickly opened, and as soon as I started sending out responses I got emails back from those fans. Some thanked me for taking the time to write back, others had more questions they felt comfortable asking since they got a personal response. Pretty interesting banter ensued.
Again, I've only been monitoring this box for 24 hours, but so far things have gone well. We have gotten video requests for games, questions about lodging in Atlanta and general thoughts about the website. I'm sure there will be moments where I don't want to read every email, but for the meantime I check whenever I have some spare time. Honestly, it is nice to hear from you. 99 percent of the time.
So, now you know where that mysterious link on every story page goes to. Your email is not lost into space, it is not forgotten forever. It comes to me. So, if you ask nicely, I might even answer you....when I get a chance.