Archive for the ‘tournament’ Category

Meet Your Blarch Badness Contenders: Seattle Bubble

When I first moved to Seattle, I casually let it slip to a friend that we were selling our house in Illinois. When I told her what we bought it for, a year and a half ago, she scoffed. A home under $100,000? No one had seen that figure here in decades. I thought surely the housing market couldn’t be that bad. But once I started investigating, I realized… it was.

While investigating how long it would take to be able to afford a home again, I stumbled across Seattle Bubble. It was a lone voice crying the wilderness of over-optimistic realtors and newspaper columnists that helped me keep a little perspective (and hopefully made a few inroads with those columnists, as well).

Seattle Bubble won the first round of Blarch Badness handily, and is now up against USS Mariner in Round 2. Here’s what creator Timothy Ellis has to say:

MB: What was your impetus for starting up Seattle Bubble?
TE: In the summer of 2005 my wife and I were “window shopping” for a house, and the more we looked, the more we realized that something was seriously out of whack with home prices around here. I started to do some research online, and began finding news articles, blogs, and most importantly hard data that seemed to show that the real estate market was in an irrational frenzy, and the wild price increases were not sustainable. I tried to find a site where I could find specific information about Seattle’s market, but it didn’t exist. So, I decided to start collecting all this information I was finding, and put it online in a blog so that anyone else with the same interest wouldn’t have to re-do all the work I had already done.

MB: Are you from Seattle?
TE: Well, if by “from Seattle,” you mean was I born here or did I live here as a child, then the answer is no. I have lived in Seattle for about ten years. I came up here for college (SPU), and have lived here since.

MB: Where do you find your content?
TE: There are a lot of places to get information about the real estate market. We get some of it from news reports, some is based on data directly from the local MLS, some of it is just analysis based on statistics like census data, or even stories from personal experiences. I generally try to indicate my sources directly on each post, so that people aren’t taking my word on anything, but can go out and see the data or information for themselves.
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Blarch Badness Interview: Lookout Landing & USS Mariner

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Last year, the two heavyweight sports blogs in town made it to the finals of Blarch Badness. Over 5,000 votes were cast and USS Mariner came out on top over Lookout Landing in what amounted to an easy victory [m-b]. Given their huge (and naturally competitive) readership, it wouldn’t be surprising to see these two blogs in the finals again (especially if SLOG continues to ignore us).

USS Mariner’s first match started this morning [m-b] and Lookout Landing’s first match will begin tomorrow. After the jump is the transcript of an email conversation I had with Dave and Jeff about last year’s experience, among other things.

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Meet Your Blarch Badness Contenders: Vintage Seattle

Without a doubt my favorite local blog (well, besides this one) is Vintage Seattle. Jess Cliffe has created a wonderful look at Seattle’s history in illustrated form. Every new post has something wonderful in it and I love being able to look back at old Seattle from when I was a kid and even further back to long, long before any of us living here now were even born.

Jess is really excited to be part of the Blarch Badness and was gracious enough to answer a few basic questions for me:

MB: What was your impetus for starting up Vintage Seattle?
JC: I’ve been a little obsessed with some of the older architecture in Seattle for quite a while, but I didn’t really know anyone who was interested in discussing it with me. I was constantly boring my friends. As a regular blog reader, I thought a blog would be a pretty natural outlet to find like-minded people who appreciate this stuff who could come together and discuss. I had run websites in the past (mostly gaming sites – I’m a game designer for a living), so I had some experience on the technical side.

MB: Are you from Seattle?
JC: I’m from Seattle in that I consider Seattle “my home.” I was not born in Seattle, though. In fact, I grew up in about 11 different states and never really had much of a grounding. A lot of people scoff when they find out that I’m not a native, but I just chalk it up to the fact that this is the first place I’ve felt at home. Having grown up mostly in suburbs and never in a home more than 20 years old, I’ve come to really appreciate the history Seattle has. It’s something I never knew as a kid growing up and as a result, it’s something I cherish now and approach with a sense of wonder.

MB: Where do you find your content?
JC: All over! Libraries, Ebay, just walking around with my camera, talking to folks who’ve been around for a long time – wherever I can. The problem is that it gets expensive, since I have to procure a lot of it from auctions, rubbish sales, shoppes, etc. I’ve spent far too much money on the blog, but I enjoy it so that’s ok. I have had a number of readers submitting content lately and that’s great. Pushing the community driven content is something I want to do. Someone just recently sent me a late 1800’s photograph of their great-grandfather (who went on to become a supreme court judge) as a kid climbing a light pole on Pike Street, and I just about died. It was beautiful.

MB: Do you have a regular posting schedule?
JC: I try to post every night. When my girlfriend falls asleep at about 11pm – I sneak off to my computer and stay up into the wee hours of the night looking for interesting things to scan and post about. The problem is that sometimes I have to post tons of photographs and I end up staying awake late and show up like a zombie at work the next day. Good thing I work in the gaming industry where 10am is considered “early.” I try to post every day since when I read blogs, I check for updates every day – I’m just obsessive like that. And I try not to post more than that or with overly long posts, because I feel like keeping things succinct and digestible is important.

MB: What types of posts do you think your readers are most interested in?
JC: Well, my stat tracking software tells me that they’re most interested in multi-million dollar houses with great historical architecture. Luckily I am too – so it all works out. I also have a habit of posting tons of images of 1970’s era powder blue uniformed Mariners players, which my stats tell me no one cares about but me!

MB: Do you have a specific audience of readers in mind for your blog?
JC: Anyone who appreciates Seattle’s history and character, or whoever will listen

Blarch Badness 2008: Round 2, Day 1

Have you all come down from the madness that was the caucuses? Good. Because it’s back to Blarch Badness.

Outside of the sudden and complete failure of the Hood Group poll (that’s the last time I hire the Washington State GOP to run the balloting system), things have moved along pretty smoothly with the first week of Blarch Badness.

Now the second week dawns, and with it the start of the actual brackets. The Squirrel Bracket goes first.

In the People group, Seattle Bubble popped everyone else out of the tournament. Now, they get last year’s champion USS Mariner. In the Food group, Accidental Hedonist held off some feisty challengers to advance. Now, they have to tackle the upstarts Vintage Seattle.

So… here we go.

Still time to vote in the remaining three sections of Round One: Tuesday’s groups and Wednesday’s and Thursday’s.

Tomorrow, it’s the bottom half of the Squirrel Bracket, featuring last year’s runner-up and a certain neighborhood blog we’re fond of.

Blarch Badness 2008: Round 1, Day 4

And now, we close out Round 1 with the artists and the neighborhood bloggers.

Come up with your own humorous remark here.

Art/Fashion/Photography
Glitter Pissing
I Make Things
I See Seattle
Not Martha
Pike/Pine

‘Hood (Neighborhood Blogs)
Ballard Avenue
Blogging Georgetown
Capitol Hill Triangle
Mid Beacon Hill
Miller Park Neighborhood Association

Five neighborhood blogs, but only one north of the Ship Canal. Is Blue Ridge that unbloggable, people?

UPDATE: Yes, the Hood Blog poll crapped out on me. I’m working to resolve it. Unfortunately, I might have lost the numbers on that poll. In the meantime, here’s a replacement poll with the numbers reset. I’ll come up with some sort of solution shortly.

Polls close Wednesday at 9pm. Vote early and vote often.

And that concludes Round 1. But that’s not the end of things. You can still vote in Monday’s round or Tuesday’s or even Wednesday’s.

Oh, and it looks like some very nice and generous sponsors are stepping up with some most excellent prizes. More on that later.

Blarch Badness 2008: Round 1, Day 3

Day 3 brings us People. It also brings us this year’s Group Of Death.

People
Chris Pirillo
Electrolicious
Izzle Pfaff
Kirida
Nerd’s Eye View

Friends/Enemies of Metblogs
Big Blog
Citizen Rain
Enjoy the Enjoyment
Field Gulls
Seattlest
Slog

People features three return nominees and two West Seattleites. Friends and Enemies features two big media companies, our closest rivals in the market, two appearances by Seth Kolloen, and the Slog, the most wretched hive of scum and villainy in Seattle blogdom. You must be cautious.

Remember, at 9pm next Tuesday, these polls are GONE FOREVER! ACT NOW!

While you’re at it, vote in Monday’s round And Tuesday’s. And and Thursday’s.

And really, again, if you want to sponsor any of this, it’s just an e-mail and a large check made out to “CASH” away.

Blarch Badness: Round 1, Day 2

Day 1 went off with minimal hitches. Let’s hope Day 2 does the same.

Today, it’s the thing that brings the bourgeois people together (according to Madonna) and the paper that brought the Seattle proletariat together. Sounds like we should be launching this in front of the Lenin statue.

Music
KEXP Blog
Line Out
Seattle Powerpop
Sound on the Sound
Three Imaginary Girls

P-I
Art to Go
Bus Chick
Digital Joystick
Ear Candy
Huskies Fan

The struggle of blog against blog is a political struggle.

A blog post is impossible without a blogging situation; furthermore, not every blogging situation leads to blogging! OK, enough Communism for the day, lest I get nasty e-mails and crates of Solzhenitsyn books.

Both these polls end at 9pm Monday night. And while you’re at it, why not check out the groups from Monday? Also, Wednesday? And and Thursday’s?

Oh, and we weren’t kidding about prizes and sponsorship. Really. We want to actually buy a trophy this year.

blarch badness: sponsorship opportunites abound

As you already know, the Second Annual Tournament of Blogs kicked off today with group play in the “god, pols, pumpkin” and “food” categories. What you might be wondering is what—besides bragging rights and a really awesome, homemade, gold spray-painted trophy—awards await the weblog that makes it through this gauntlet of webvoting victorious. The answer is: we’re working on it.

SO, if you’re affiliated with a local business and want to contribute a little piece of swag to the prize packages, please drop us a note at seattle.metblogs (at) gmail.com . There are a whole lot of matches to be played, and naming rights are wide open.

Blarch Badness 2008: Round 1, Day 1

And we’re off with Day 1. Sorry, no opening ceremonies this year. We were going to get Up With People to do their tribute to Artis The Spoonman, but the budget wasn’t there, and Artis still has that restraining order out on us.

So, let’s just get it going and hope for the best. Cross your fingers the new voting system holds up under the strain. (Sorry, iPhone users, but it’s Flash only.)

Today, you vote on the Religion/Politics/Great Pumpkin Group, which is blogs talking about “contentious issues,” and the Food Group, which is blogs talking about “contentious issues.” Edible contentious issues.

Religion/Politics/Great Pumpkin
Brave New Leaf
Eugene Cho
Horse’s Ass
Orcinius
Seattle Bubble
Seattle Transit Blog

Food
Accidental Hedonist
Cocktail Chronicles
Gluten-Free Girl
Orangette
Seattle Bon Vivant

Remember, the voting booth is open until 9pm Sunday night. Good luck to everyone, and happy voting!

And check out Tuesday’s groups and Wednesday’s and Thursday’s.

Blarch Badness 2008: The Brackets

So, the selection committee has met for the last few days trying to decide who is in and who is out of the tournament. There was the usual yelling, fighting, chair-throwing, and occasional moments of harmony. But finally, late last night, the committee emerged from their pizza-and-beer-induced stupor to put in my hands the lineup for this year’s Blarch Badness.
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