May 5, 2005
TORONTO -- In its continuing effort to provide the best possible tools to the best of Canada's baseball fans, Batter's Box Interactive Magazine is introducing a new "Game Chat" option beginning with the Monday, May 9 game at Kansas City.
"It's a decision we've come to after months of discussion," said Batter's Box Senior Editor Jordan Furlong. "The Batter's Box roster sees this as an opportunity to expand our usefulness in two critical ways."
First, explained Furlong, the "magazine" portion of the site, including Game Reports, features, interviews, news and analysis, will become even more the focus of the site.
On the other hand, he continued, "The so-called 'Game Threads' that have been relatively popular in the site's short history move to where they always should have been -- a truly interactive, real-time space for the 'Going, going Zaun!' and 'DUDE!' comments that come througout the course of a game's natural ebb and flow. The new game chats are an interactive, and perhaps more importantly, a reactive space."
Of course, conversation about the games won't disappear from the "magazine" portion of Batter's Box. "The next-day Game Reports will continue, as they have already turned out to be, as the place for our readers to post their thoughtful commentary -- positive and negative -- about the most recent Jays game," said Furlong.
Back on February 18 during the site's original relaunch, Batter's Box technical director Joe Drew referred to plans for "some additional bells and whistles ... [a] springboard to something better and more interesting." This move is the next step in that process.
"But this isn't just a bell-and-whistle move," added Drew. "We've chosen to host our new live chats on IRC, or Internet Relay Chat, a very popular medium for real-time communications. We're located on irc.freenode.net, channel #battersbox. IRC clients are available for almost every operating system; popular clients include mIRC for Windows, Colloquy for Mac OS X, and XChat for Windows, Linux and many others." For the record, Drew himself said he uses X-Chat Aqua for Mac OS X.
That sound like a whole bunch of technorrhea and now you're feeling "IRK"ed because of "IRC"? Batter's Box co-managing editor Craig Burley says not to worry; the easiest way to get to the live chat is to use Batter's Box's own Java applet. "It will automatically use your Batter's Box account name -- if you have one and you're logged in, but a Batter's Box account isn't required to chat. Everyone is welcome," said Burley. Plans are to add this link to the blue navigation bar at the top of the site.
As Batter's Box co-managing editor Mike Moffatt said back in February, "The ... upgrades to the site [mean] it's cleaner, better-looking and richer in content. We intend to continue the site's evolution from our humble beginnings as a simple one-man 'baseball blog' to a full-scale online baseball commentary and analysis publication."
Batter's Box Interactive Magazine is a not-for--profit Web site founded in October 2002 by Kent "Coach" Williams. Though its primary focus has been Toronto Blue Jays baseball, Batter's Box has more than a dozen contributing editors from both Canada and the United States, from Toronto and New York to Texas and Washington state, and hundreds of regular contributors. Visit Batter's Box free on the Web at http://www.battersbox.ca.
Jordan Furlong, Senior Editor
Mick Doherty, Manager-Media Relations
For Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
Baseball News & Analysis From a Canadian Perspective
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