As you guys know, if you've been coming here for awhile, we like to try different things sometime and when we can, to innovate. Uh, where's this going, you say? Well, someplace pretty cool.
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We've been intrigued by the changes in publishing brought about by the digital revolution for a long time (it led pretty directly to this site actually), and that curiosity in part led us to acquire an iPad, largely to see how things were being done in that world. That in turn led later to retiring a dumb phone for a smart one, and then when Apple announced their publishing software in mid-January, we thought, you know, we could do that.
Well, maybe. There is still a bit of a learning curve and in some ways it doesn't really fit the needs we share with you guys, those primarily being a quick way to find and pass around information about Duke Basketball, ACC basketball, and basketball in general.
Like many of you, we're junkies and March just quickens our addiction. Upsets! Great hopes! The sky's the limit! What more could you possibly want?
Well, now that you mention it...
What we think is missing and could be a lot of fun not to mention being seriously useful as the Drive For Five begins again for the Blue Devils, is an epub dedicated first to Duke, second to the ACC and third to the larger tournament scene.
Serendipitously, we learned that an old friend from Julio's Total Sports days is now working at a Cary firm which is concerned with epubs and digital magazines.
Fast Forward a couple of weeks and we're pleased to announce a partnership between our old and new pals at BestThinking.com and an informal group of contributors we're calling the Triangle Basketball Reporters (TBR - get it?).
You already know the writers and the extraordinarily high quality material they produce - Al Featherston, Barry Jacobs and Jim Sumner have decades of experience covering Duke and the ACC, working outward from the Triangle. You've seen their work on DBR and in magazines, periodicals and Web sites for a long time. Carl Heimel has contributed to DBR for some time and has developed a well-earned reputation for analyzing teams and as a writer with a tremendous flair for humor.
We'll also have photos from Robert Crawford, who himself has decades of experience and sports an imposing resume, having been the official photographer for the Atlanta Hawks, the New Orleans Jazz and having shot 31 (coming up on 32) ACC Tournaments.
Julio will contribute also and serve as editor.
We'll focus on Duke first, but will also cover the other ACC teams extensively and the tournament in general as it unfolds.
Given the scale of what we're trying to do, this is necessarily a commercial venture - our partners at BestThinking have contributed capital and advertising and man hours and of course the contributors would like to be minimally compensated for their sterling work.
We're calling it The Duke Basketball Bluebook: A Round-by-Round Guide To the NCAA 2012 Tournament, but bear in mind that we'll also be dealing extensively with the rest of the ACC teams in the field as well.
The first installment will be available the morning of the 12th on Amazon and also Barnes & Noble (Apple's approval system simply takes too long to do it over there in a timely manner) and on BestThinking.com as well and will list for $9.95. The next two weekends will be sequentially cheaper - the Sweet Sixteen will be $5.99 and the Final Four will be $2.99.
If you're not sure how to get it on an Apple device, we'll be detailing how to do it via the Kindle app. It's dead simple.
And here's the key thing: we'll use this as a Proof Of Concept. If you guys support it, we're all keen to pursue more ambitious projects, to have a strong and exciting presence for Duke and ACC fans which can fit in your pocket or in your briefcase or purse or wherever you keep your tablet.
We'll leave it at that for the moment, but suffice it to say, if you guys drop a dime on this, there's some really good stuff coming behind it. We'd really appreciate your support on this one.