Into The Cauldron: Talking to Jamie O'Grady About Medium's New Sports Site

Share |

The internet is big, and that is in a value-neutral sense maybe its defining attribute and virtue. There are parts of it that you will never visit, just as there are parts of the world that you will avoid for perfectly reasonable reasons. There are parts of it where you and I might choose to live, for reasons that make just as much sense. But wow and good lord, the whole unspooled mass of it. It is the earth without oceans. It is endless, or at least big enough for everyone. It is certainly big enough for innumerable websites dealing in Words About Sports/Sporps.

And yet there's something audacious about starting a new website of that kind. This was true when we did it, and is maybe even more so now, with so many more sites and so many bigger sites and so many more places to hear the same sportsthinks and sportsfeels.

It's daunting, but at a certain point it boomerangs and justifies itself. If there is a new sports site that clearly wants to get it right -- to do good work and run good words written by people who write well -- that wants to enter this particular environment, then they must mean it. Jamie O'Grady, a friend of The Classical and editor in chief of Medium's new sports endeavor The Cauldron, means it.

I can vouch for this for various reasons, none of them as compelling as the work that The Cauldron has put out during its first month in existence. (It helps that they have terribly good taste, and have run work by Classical buddies Jim Cavan, Robert Silverman, Joe Flynn, and Jack Moore.) They are looking for writers and they are looking for good reasons. I talked to Jamie O'Grady about what he wants to do at The Cauldron, and how he plans to go about doing it.

Medium is cool-looking and generally good, but web people could perhaps be forgiven for not totally knowing what it is or what it's about. What does Medium want you to do with The Cauldron, and what do you want to do with it? Also, if you're up for it: what IS Medium, exactly?

Great questions. Medium was started by two of the three founders of Twitter. Basically, it's part writing platform -- like Blogger or Wordpress before it -- and part publisher. As a writing platform, it is unrivaled in its execution, accessibility and user-friendliness. As a content provider, Medium delivers a clean, elegant, and intuitive reading experience that simply cannot be found elsewhere.

At The Cauldron, we are leveraging Medium's easy-to-use content management system and its gorgeous layout possibilities to deliver sports content that is (hopefully) as thought provoking as it is easy on the eyes. There are lot of sports media publications out there, but other than "traditional" blogs like The Classical that blazed the trail -- and, I suppose, the recently reformed Bleacher Report, which once relied upon questionable crowd-sourced content that was rarely vetted -- writers have had few places to showcase their work to a massive audience andreceive legitimate editorial guidance.

The Cauldron wants to act as an incubator for up-and-coming writing talent, where unknowns can have their fine work published side-by-side with that of established professional journalists and bloggers.

There is, of course, a great deal of sportswriting on the internet, for better and worse. How do you see The Cauldron contributing to that conversation in a unique way?

As I mentioned earlier, setting ourselves apart in such a crowded vertical won't be easy, but when it comes to great content, I truly believe that "if you build it, they will come." We are fortunate in that neither I, nor my Executive Editor, Andy Glockner, must conform to traditional media notions. We are not in this to provide #HotSportsTakes and we are not beholden to the almighty pageview model. We simply want to give people a place where they can indulge, and hopefully be given perspective that they hadn't previously considered. Again, when you consider how beautiful things look when published at Medium, adding great writing should appeal to a great many of those who like to read about sports.

For all the sports-related noise in the world -- and there is, as mentioned earlier, A LOT -- there is still the sense, at least for me, that there is room in the conversation: stories not yet told, ways of telling them not yet utilized, and a general wealth of ways of seeing all this that we haven't seen just yet. How, when you were working on pulling The Cauldron together, did you think about fitting in to the conversation as it exists? Where is do you think there's the most room right now, and how do you think The Cauldron can fill that space?

It's funny you should ask. I, too, often feel like there is a dearth of great sports content that is accessible, unique, compelling and not overwrought or condescending. Take Grantland, for example. We all know that Bill Simmons -- love him or hate him -- was and is a visionary, a pioneer. He's been able, with the might of ESPN behind him, to collect a stable of talent that can crank out (mostly) excellent content.

That said, at least in my view, there is a certain level of condescension in the writing there, a too-cool-for-school vibe that permeates a lot of Grantland's content. And this is coming from someone who reads the site on a daily basis! For me, I think there exists a place in between low-hanging-fruit and you-lost-me-there-I-am-not-as-well-read-or-educated-as-you-are. With any luck at all, The Cauldron can fill that gap.

Share |

Comments

Hi, of course this post is fully fussy and I even have learnt lots of things from it. Thanks.
Mark Curry cash advance lender

All your hard work is much appreciated. Nobody can stop to admire you. Lots of appreciation. http://pbn-shop.de/

I admit, I have not been on this web page in a long time... however it was another joy to see It is such an important topic and ignored by so many, even professionals. I thank you to help making people more aware of possible issues. Minicab Reading

This blog is so nice to me. I will keep on coming here again and again. Visit my link as well.. best penis enlargement pills

I admit, I have not been on this web page in a long time... however it was another joy to see It is such an important topic and ignored by so many, even professionals. I thank you to help making people more aware of possible issues. Minicab to Gatwick

What a fantabulous post this has been. Never seen this kind of useful post. I am grateful to you and expect more number of posts like these. Thank you very much. billig skiurlaub- bei snowtimes.de

This particular papers fabulous, and My spouse and i enjoy each of the perform that you have placed into this. I’m sure that you will be making a really useful place. I has been additionally pleased. Good perform! Phen375 GNC

thanks for this usefull article, waiting for this article like this again. online bank login

Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I'll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon. Big thanks for the useful info. Managed IT Services Richmond Hill

I really like the dear information you offer in your articles. I'm able to bookmark your site and show the kids check out up here generally. Im fairly positive theyre likely to be informed a great deal of new stuff here than anyone else! local movers Charlotte NC

Hey what a brilliant post I have come across and believe me I have been searching out for this similar kind of post for past a week and hardly came across this. Thank you very much and will look for more postings from you. como hackear un facebook gratis

I really thank you for the valuable info on this great subject and look forward to more great posts. Thanks a lot for enjoying this beauty article with me. I am appreciating it very much! Looking forward to another great article. Good luck to the author! All the best! how to make your dick bigger

Make sure you carry on this particular excellent function as well as We anticipate much more of the amazing websites. Preventivo ristrutturazione

I was reading some of your content on this website and I conceive this internet site is really informative ! Keep on putting up. Winstrol for women

I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! keep up the good work... Buy Clenbuterol

i am always looking for some free stuffs over the internet. there are also some companies which gives free samples. prescription diet pills

Just admiring your work and wondering how you managed this blog so well. It’s so remarkable that I can't afford to not go through this valuable information whenever I surf the internet! testosterone for sale

wow, great, I was wondering how to cure acne naturally. and found your site by google, learned a lot, now i’m a bit clear. I’ve bookmark your site and also add rss. keep us updated. fire suppression system orange county

Nice post! This is a very nice blog that I will definitively come back to more times this year! Thanks for informative post. Semenax Results

You delivered such an impressive piece to read, giving every subject enlightenment for us to gain information. Thanks for sharing such information with us due to which my several concepts have been cleared. travel house luggage review

I admit, I have not been on this web page in a long time... however it was another joy to see It is such an important topic and ignored by so many, even professionals. I thank you to help making people more aware of possible issues. legal steroids

Nice blog and absolutely outstanding. You can do something much better but i still say this perfect.Keep trying for the best. selena gomez weight gain

This article is actually remarkable one it helps many new users that desire to read always the best stuff.Steve clayton seven figure cycle reviews

Indeed one fascinating blog, I am so much thrilled with all the information and would love to see some Longboard here as well, Keep up posting more of such great information about Cauldron.