Rebooting the Second City Hockey community

SCH 2.0. SCH 2: Electric Boogaloo. Third City Hockey. Third Hock From The Sun. Whatever you want to call it, this place could use a kick in the ass.

One of the more challenging parts of running a website, especially in this online climate, is fostering a good community. Second City Hockey had something great going when I took over the website in Aug. 2014, and frankly, it’s the one area where I feel like I haven’t lived up to the responsibilities placed on me as site editor recently.

Go check out any SCH article from the past few weeks, and in the comments, you’ll notice something: it’s the same people over and over. Now, I love our regular commenters, and I appreciate Liz, L_B_R, Waylon, ADinSC, RS89, Kanelover, Anon Amiss, leslieo54, Mirabelle, Sparky, and all those pals (sorry if I forgot you!!) for sticking by this place through some sticky situations.

But at the same time, I want the SCH community to grow, and bring in more fans from all over the internet. I think even the regulars above would admit that the site is a better, more fun place when it’s not being bombarded by the same few people. You get more diverse opinions and less groupthink, which is something we should all value.

Of course, it’s not that simple. One of the problems we’ve ran into over the past couple years is readers who are frustrated or offended by our coverage of off-ice issues. I’m here to say that won’t change, as we’re more devoted than ever to the understanding that you can’t separate sports from the real world. This is no time to retreat into your hockey bunker because the world outside is too angry or scary. You can handle a little critical thinking about culture and people and all that sometimes, I believe in you.

And I understand that if you’re going to write those things, you’re going to need to take a harder stance with your community or let it get out of control. I think the latter had started happening, and the end result of that has been the pruning of our community to only the most hardcore members. That is not the grand dream I was pursuing for us, obviously.

I wanted to write this to reaffirm that I’m going to try harder to get engaged with you guys, the readers, and create stronger ties between the writing staff and the community than we’ve been doing.

With your help, we’ll make this a new, better kickass place to hang out and talk Blackhawks, and I’m excited to see what that looks like. This place has too many smart, insightful readers not to have a sizable community to match.

So that starts today, and it also starts with a simple question to you guys: What do you want more of from Second City Hockey? This place ultimately exists because of all of you, and I want to make sure that you guys feel like you have real input into what we’re doing. If your answer is “stick to sports,” then you’re gonna get a no, but otherwise, I want your feedback. Old readers, new readers, whatever, please give it a go.

I’m already thinking up some ideas to get the ball rolling here, but I want to make sure you guys are heard, too. Let me know what you’re thinking, and I hope we can all enjoy Third Hock From The Sun (name pending).