New Year, New Directions

It’s been one year since my referee adventure began in New York on an early Saturday morning. Unlike other “SATURDAY IS RUGBY DAY” days however, I woke up on a couch in my friend’s apartment to silence and apprehension about the day ahead. It was a quiet and contained excitement about rugby and officiating, covered by a layer of uncertainty, and ultimately overshadowed by my outpouring of energy and hype for the Lord of the Rings Movie and Themed Foods Marathon that was planned for Sunday. Without going into too much detail about why, that was one of the best weekends of 2013. This blog post might give you a glimpse as to why.

One year later I returned again to Brooklyn for our 2nd annual LOTRTD/MME! Unfortunately, like last year, the Patriots lost in the playoffs again (I admit, I’m a bandwagon Boston sports fan. But who doesn’t like winning?) Fortunately, like last year, the parties, festivities, food, and friends were magnificent!!! With all the symmetry, full-circles, New Year celebrations, and recent rapid developments in my ref adventure, I feel that it’s only right to pause, step back, and reflect on my first year as a referee. I also want to share my ideas and visions for the future of this blog and the new directions I hope to take it in. Thanks for joining me on the journey!

First, the easy stuff – my dreams and schemes for the future of this blog!

Whenever I’m asked why or how I started my blog, I answer with many different reasons, motivations, and stories, but the truth is that none of it would have come together if I hadn’t cropped my face onto Bilbo’s. However, this blog quickly evolved into an effort to document my personal journey because I thought it could be entertaining for my friends and maybe strangers too. While I’ll still document my own adventures, I want to focus more on the readers and consider what might benefit you! That was one of the original motivations after all, “to create a massive online following so that they have to send me to New Zealand!” Last year I thought I was focused on entertainment value with all the video game and nerdy references, but I think they might only be entertaining for me…. seeing as traffic is low besides the few days after I post an update on Facebook and get a plethora of Likes (which, let’s face it, is way more EZPZ nowadays than it was a few years ago). Hopefully this puts less pressure on me to create polished stories of my experiences. In the future I’d like to write more about the things I hope will make readers think, “Hmm, interesting!” “I hadn’t thought of that before!” “I’ve always wondered that myself!”, or anything relating to rugby and officiating more than just Emhsieh. Like Google preaches, focus on the user and all else will follow. Maybe I should do some bottom up research…

I’ve been thinking about these things throughout 2013 and often being discouraged by the limitations of wordpress.com. But I have to accept that in my current work/life(rugby) situation I probably won’t dedicate enough time to solving the problems and should stop complaining about wordpress. I do have tech visions for the future though, and some could be implemented in our current format:

  • Searchable, filterable, sortable content and blog posts
  • More visible Latest Updates, more short updates (Twitter?) on the front page
  • Tabs that separate different blog topics (this relates to the first bullet. I’m visualizing a tab for my personal stories, a tab for referee resources, etc.)
  • Connect a more social and user friendly photostream (Instagram?)
  • Build a website or model this blog as much as I can after Day[9]s website
  • The ultimate goal is to have a website with a blog function, rather than a blog which mimics a website. I’d like to get rid of all the WordPress inaccessibility and non-customizability, but that doesn’t come freely or without effort.

Now for the harder stuff – reflections, lessons learned, summary statistics, and the feels.

**Coming soon!**

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New Year, New Directions

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