Why We've Decided to Leave ChicagoNow

Why We've Decided to Leave ChicagoNow

I've always been honest with you, the readers of this site. Because although 97% of the content is provided by one individual (me), this place has always been and will always be about you guys. I build the city. You populate it and provide its often insane personality.

At the end of December we're leaving the Tribune's ChicagoNow blog network - our home for the past four years. This was not an easy decision. Being part of a large network - especially one owned by the Tribune - comes with a certain amount of journalistic cache and more importantly comes with a tech team ready to troubleshoot problems as they arise. (It also came with a monthly paycheck.) But for two very specific reasons I could no longer allow the benefits of the ChicagoNow network outweigh the negative experience for both myself and the readers.

First, many of you have emailed me over the last few years, complaining about the awful experience this site provides in the comments section. Comments appearing out of order. Comments taking ten minutes to load. Inability to post links in the comments. Inability to control name-stealing troll monkeys. While I believe the ChicagoNow folks have done their best to solve those issues either they don't seem to improve or new issues arise and we've lost some truly loyal readers/commenters as a result. That, to me, is unacceptable.

Second, I hate the way this site looks. Despise it. And I spend too much time and energy attempting to create something special to be embarrassed when I direct a friend or colleague to DaBearsBlog. I dealt with that embarrassment in 2011 because, quite frankly, I needed the monthly check I was receiving. But two things have changed in 2012. (1) Due to a few things breaking my way, I have more money. (2) We are having a great year - to parallel the Bears - with the podcasts, the tee shirts, traffic...etc. And I want the site to look as good as it should.

Last week I made the decision to go back on our own. Before informing ChicagoNow of that decision I sent them a note asking, in no uncertain terms, for a raise. My thought was I could withstand these issues in the short term while Noah and I spent the early part of 2013 designing and developing the new and improved DaBearsBlog. When the pay bump was refused I said, "Fuck it, let's go." And so we're going.

On January 1st 2013 we will be live at DaBearsBlog.com. The transition won't be seamless but we'll make it as seamless as possible. We'll set up a commenter identification system to limit trolls. We'll have separate sections for news, audio/podcasts and main threads. We'll have a constantly standing store to sell shirts and such. We'll also be adding a new wing to the blog where I'll present some long form pieces about the whole of the sports world: golf, soccer, NASCAR...etc. You don't have to read them but they'll be there. And it'll all look good.

Since we have six weeks, I welcome your ideas and input. Email me (jeff@dabearsblog.com) and let me know what you'd like the site to be. We won't incorporate every idea but we'll do our best.

This feels right. It's time. We thanks Jimmy and the folks at ChicagoNow for their work over the last four years. It was a good period for the site.



Filed under: Uncategorized

Tags: ChicagoNow, DaBearsBlog


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  • Good idea, you guys don't need this place. Can't wait to see the new digs, good luck!

  • I still type in dabearsblog.com to get here. Welcome back.

  • And, first. (and second)

  • First to say yay.

  • Awesome! And congrats, Blogfather, you deserve better(so do we).

  • (kicks over the three rainwater buckets on the floor)

    (swats the rats behind the bar with a broom)

    (collects all the top shelf bottles into a ratty cardboard box along with some dirty glasses and spent ammo casings and one King James bible with tape on the binding that says "trac" and 23 copies of Juggs magazine)

    (leaves notes to landlord: "dear jimmy da gnome: the decision to use wordpress or whatever this site uses was turrible. just turrible. while we appreciate what you tried to do, we are leaving! have fun. p.s. i'm sure jenny milk will pick up the slack in traffic" )

    Let's leave. It's getting cold outside.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    I'm sure you don't need to hear it but that was a great post....

  • In reply to gpldan:

    THAT'S where I left my mags! DAMN!

  • A commenter can put in one link, but you are right, the comment section is a mess. I don't think they helped it by having some bloggers convert to Facebook comments.

    You also raise the situation that some get paid and others don't. Thus, we don't know who is posting certain items just out of economic self interest.

    Now, if Lovie could just abolish "we're in the 3rd quarter of the season."

  • In reply to jack:

    We can post multiple links in comments. What we can't do is link the comments themselves. For some reason unique to CN, individual comments can only be linked via reply. If no one replies, there is no way of linking to the parent comment. And there can be no replies at all, if someone fails to close a tag. One little html typo, and the entire commenting system breaks. Any troll with half a brain could come here and wreck da blog every single day, and there would be nothing anyone could do about it. It's a fucking joke. And yet, the people responsible for this stinking pile are not embarrassed. They're not leaving or being forced to leave.

  • In reply to jack:

    Blogfadder - PLEASE oh PLEASE don't go to friggin' Facebook comments!!

  • screw you guys.... I'm going home!

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    First thing that I thought of, but you so beat me to it.

  • What I'd like to see -

    1. Live chat window during games: The lag between posts combined with constant reloading and scrolling keeps me off game days threads at this point... I think we'd all benefit from some real time "Can you believe that?" or "That chick in the stands is picking her nose!" commenting abilities.

    2. Embedded HTML: I think we all like our bolds, italics, etc... Especially when it doesn't mean we might break the blog. Additionally, I'd love to allow embedded links, images, and videos. It's something I could do without, but if you're going to build it, build it for 2012, not 1995. We'd need a great way to set limits on image size, content (no Packer overused "Bears Still Suck" pictures, etc.), and the like - it may be more pain than it's worth... but hey, a girl can dream. Not having to copy/paste links all day is such a spoiled-kid necessity that I'd love.

    Honestly, what the SBN blogs have is pretty good. It's pretty user friendly, and before the visual-update, was fast, used space wisely, and easy on the eyes. If it weren't for their community being such huge turds, I would actually post their more often... But alas, I know not nearly enough about DragonballZ and ass-kissing the mods to truly ever "belong".

  • In reply to Who is Willie Gault:

    On the whole blog-movement thing ....

    1. Is my two grand a month still good ... what ... you guys don't get paid? That sucks!

    2. Auto-login. We went to the moon. {Yes, we fucking did}

    3. No moderators asking if we'd refrain from dropping F-bombs.

  • fuck that

  • I would love to be able to stay logged in.
    I would also like the post to be numbered again.
    Keep the email notification for new blog post.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76RrdwElnTU

  • In reply to Shady:

    get your ass online right now... you have had a beating coming for 3 weeks now. Doooooood!

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    Soon enough my friend... Soon enough... Actually more like an hour or two.

    Don't forget to buy BO3 tomorrow, or tonight at midnight. It's own!

  • In reply to Shady:

    I workout at 6 my time.


  • If you can avoid invasive and animated ads in da new blog and still afford to maintain it, please do. I don't like to block ads, and I won't if they're simple pic/text ads, but the flashing crap literally gives me migraine headaches, and the invasive stuff causes problems in my browser, firewall, etc.

    If you include a "donate" link, please also provide a way for people to donate anonymously (like, money-order-via-USPS anonymously).

    What ever happened to the Mailman (Hunti), anyway?

  • In reply to Crunch Buttsteak:

    He also went by the screen name The Void. IIRC, he was having some problems joining one of the DBB fantasy leagues and for some reason, thought he was intentionally being blacklisted. People here posted no way that would happen but that was it. He said if he wasn't welcome he was leaving and I guess he did....

  • In reply to tobijohn:

    Whoops, TheFifth already answered below. I should read ahead a bit before I post replies...

  • I can't wait to see the new site Jeff. When the site switched to this look and format it was a step in the wrong direction big time. I've hated it since day one, but dealt with it because I love your posts and all the great commentators.

    Crunch, Hunti got mad because he felt he was slighted or something over a dropped fantasy football league. Didn't quite understand it. I liked his posts, but wish he would have switched to prose for the longer ones. Those got to be tough to read.

    Crunch, did you have a previous name on the blog?

  • In reply to TheFifth:

    Yeah, the prose poetry annoyed me too, but only because of the built-in lack of horizontal comment space here. Don't need to add verticality with purposely broken lines.

    I used to post here under the name 'M. Onan Batterload.' But I never posted at the pre-CN Bears Blog. I didn't even find DBB until it had already switched to CN.

  • In reply to Crunch Buttsteak:

    I pointed out that my old man's name was M. Onan Batterload, and he was cool with that. By the way Crunch, the old man threw a seven so you can have it back.

  • Buttsteak was a gift from Mb. I wouldn't want to appear ungrateful.

    Did the old man say anything about a second family before he crapped out, or a boy named Moe? We could be Artoo's 2 Grand Daddys.

  • In reply to Crunch Buttsteak:

    you're welcome

  • this is a little for the boys, and a little for Al


  • In reply to MB30SD:


  • I've either lurked or posted on the site since the very first one. Even it was better than this, though clearly this served a purpose.

    Yeah, Jeff, please make it possible to donate semi-anonymously, and game day live chat....those both would be awesome!

  • I can not believe its been 4 years, damn time rolls fast for this older crowd. I'm glad you are moving on Jeff. I used to like to post during games, but it got to be such a fucking mess I just gave up and tried to read them or just waited till the following morning. I'd love some kind of chat like Willie suggests, we could have some great stuff going on between us. Good post up at the top gp, I miss Trac's comments. He may have been a little overzealous at times, he was a good guy and had a lot of good comment. It wont be long till the boys come into town for GB. I look forward to a little face to face time. Bear Down boys, the best is yet to come!

  • In reply to #76 Mongo Murph:

    I never disliked Trac but could have lived without the preachy stuff. I could live without the political stuff too but that's just me. I really liked Huntin. I'm still shocked he left due to an over sight. Oh well, I'm sure my Beloved Bride would like it if I didn't spend so much time here.

  • http://www.sportspickle.com/opinion/14635/honest-nflcom-headlines-week-10

    ouch (the bottom)

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    Why do people hate defensive games so much? I actually enjoyed that game because I felt as if the Bears would score on defense or st's..

    Jeff brought up a very good point. In 2010, Cutler had a concussion? Right ? Right. He didn't play the next game. Which is seems most likely this week against the 49ers.

    I sure hope Campbell is putting in some extra reps and tape time.

  • Hard to imagine he's not, r2.

  • I miss the old site...was a lot more fun than this one.....and I like the comments numbered too, easier to go back to where you left off when you bouncing sites or the ole lady starts reading the news to me like I can't read. Just because she has a masters degree and I only finished HS.

  • Great news Jeff. I'd like to have an avatar you could ID without the Hubble Telescope. Also like the idea of numbered posts. The old Trib msg board had a feature where you could block posters. They still posted but were invisible to me. Nice feature when someone is a complete idiot. As far as merch is concerned, if you could resell Bears items legally I'd be willing to pay an upcharge to support the site.

  • In reply to CanadaBear:

    25 GP blog points for working the hubble into a post

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    I'd settle for those Juggs magazines!

  • In reply to CanadaBear:

    ha, me too canada

  • Kellen Davis is the new J'Marcus Webb.

  • In reply to Shady:

    One per team is more than enough.

  • In reply to Shady:

    I was going to use a situation from my previous IT days as an analogy to the Kellen Davis situation but I'm too lazy to type it out when Jeff Dickerson at ESPN Chicago is pretty much spot on:

    4. Bears need to upgrade at the pass-catching tight end spot: Unless Davis goes on a hot streak over the final seven regular season games, the Bears need to take a close look at the tight end position in the offseason. To sum it up: Davis is not a reliable target in the passing game. Nothing else needs to be said. If the quarterback can't trust a player, then he shouldn't be on the team. Davis can make the occasional brilliant athletic catch but he far too often drops passes that kill the Bears' momentum. It happened multiple times Sunday night. Davis still has some value to the Bears, but he isn't a No. 1 tight end. I think that is fairly obvious.

  • If Dobbins doesn't get fined at least $21,000 (same as Conte) there is no justice in the NFL. GP hit it right on the head last thread. If it was Rodgers, Brady, Manning (take your pick) or Brees, they would have brought down the military and executed the perp at half time. I'm half expecting Goodell writing a letter to Cutler to make him apologize to Dobbins for scuffing his helmet.

  • In reply to CanadaBear:

    It was certainly the play of the game. The fact the penalties were somehow offsetting when Goodell and the NFL are supposedly all about player safety seems more then a little fucking ridiculous.

  • I can't believe it's been 4 years here... The ability to use larger avatars would be great, and it at all possible a chat feature that would show members that are logged in would be very cool for game threads. While I knew the Greenberg/King Kiss of Death was on, I still thought with the bad weather we'd pull that game out last night. Uncharacteristic endzone drop by Beast, tough fumble by Bush, that complete bullshit offsetting nonsense that got Cutler leveled and knocked out and KD in uniform was more than we could overcome. I will say, though, that I think we figured out that stupid stretch play at the half, and if we see those guys again we should be in good shape. Monday night we win, put it on the board!

  • At the risk of redundancy...

    1.For sure game day live thread.

    Most game day comments are caveman grunt reactions like, "Davis is anal cancer!"

    As such, it's a pain in the ass continually refreshing the page, while watching the game, drinking some beer, yelling at the tv, eating some wings and checking the FF scores.

    2. Our avatars need to be seen without binoculars.

    I personally like putting up little avatars like Lach, Sweetness, or maybe Rodgers with questionable objects in his mouth (JK, sorta). Maybe MB could put up a gal of the month avatar. Don't know, but having that option would make responding and navigating a bit easier, at least for me.

    3. Automatic link.

    Yeah, I know it's a lazy request. "just highlight and right click search, 85!" Well, I'm a lazy lazy man, and lazy men are responsible for such great innovations as the remote, and Redzone. Besides, wasn't there one crazy bastard that used to literally type in every link in google search? Let's just make it easier for everyone.

    I hate having to put the HTML code to embed a link, like thus...

    Hot Chicks!

    Instead of...


    4. As others have mentioned, I would like to log on, and just remain logged on as opposed to having to type an email address and password every freaking time.

    5. Maybe being able to post limited gifs, images, youtube vids? I know this is a bit dangerous cause then you'd have to trust us crazy bastards, but we could try it out and see how it goes. This is more of a luxury, but it'd be nice.

    6. Some sort of permanent "Beer, Food, Music" Lounge section. A lot of you guys bring up some really good bands, restaurant/food/beer recommendations, and having to remember who posted what where is impossible to track. Kinda like your "non football" section proposal.

    Just a few suggestions.

  • 7. Way to edit our posts!

    Dang, see, this is why. Instead of just editing previous comment, I must add another comment. Sometimes we all make little mistakes and as soon as we press "comment" we go "Doh! it's 'there' not 'their'.

  • +100

  • +101

  • @AdamSchefter
    As @JayGlazer reported, Falcons are releasing DE Ray Edwards.

  • is he hurt??

    I wanted Edwards last year before he signed with the Falcons.

  • In reply to Waffle 3.0:

    Nope. Just hasn't lived up to his contract..

    He should clear the waivers because no one will want to pick up his contract.

  • Yeah, I think he only started like 4 games and has no sacks.

    I think we're good with Wooten, Shea, Pepp and Izzy.

    However, a team like the Lions or even Vikings might kick the tires on him.

  • He has 3.5 sacks.

  • "He has 3.5 total sacks during his 25 regular-season games, and none this year. He started four of nine games in 2012."


    But who knows how accurate PFT is.

  • Another fudge up on my part. Should have read the whole tweet.

    Still, you have to wonder why he thrived so well in MN and not in GA.. I wonder how many of his sacks were from when he played against the Bears.

  • Jared Allen and one or two of the Williams brothers.

  • Falcon fans don't seem surprised at the cut, just that it's happening right now. Good riddance seems to be les mots du jour.

  • I know we have no room and have needs at the off.line and tightend position... but damn, I wish Mike Wallace would take a pay cut and play for the Bears

  • Great "catch" by Wallace in the endzone. Do you think he had control of the ball before rolling out of bounds? I didn't think so. Still, great job by Wallace.

  • In reply to Crunch Buttsteak:

    Agree completely.

  • wow, what a terrible holding call. Chiefs got screwed.

    Big Ben got his arm raped and is having his shoulder examined.

  • In reply to Waffle 3.0:

    holy shit, the Chiefs are going to get robbed of another TD this time because of the TUCK rule...which is total bullshit. it was such an obvious fumble. Who made up the tuck rule???? Brady's dad?

  • In reply to Waffle 3.0:

    The Steelers are one of the chosen teams. It's shocking how many questionable calls go their way. And I like the Steelers (kinda, sorta).

  • In reply to CanadaBear:

    They are. And I don't like them, primarily because of that. It's like the old Dallas teams that used to get everything their way.

  • In reply to Waffle 3.0:

    Are you upgrading like Window 8.0?

  • *Windows

    edit feature, Jeff!

  • Is that an upgrade?

  • I'm looking forward to the new digs.

    I'll be happy to shit on the carpet here before the end, though.

    Seriously, ChicagoNow sucks.

    I'll even disable my adblocker for the new place.

  • I'm guessing Jimmy wouldn't want to clean up a big steamer after we leave.

  • In reply to CanadaBear:

    Cleveland steamer, per waffle

  • I bet Ray Edwards will go to a winning team and I have a funny feeling he is looking at going back to the Vikings.

    The Bears do not need him but I would be okay with giving him a vet deal and seeing if that will motivate him to play hard.

    However, the Falcons cut him for a reason and according to PFF, he is only good at run stopping and not pass rushing.

  • When the fans are gad to see him cut tells us all we need to know.

  • Irish, I was listening earlier to that Luke Kelly song you posted for Hunti a while back. Thanks for turning me onto that. Love the song and the lyrics.

  • btw, we've to mention this, but on shitty rain-soaked turf henry 'i was a running back in college' melton is one beastly, athletic motherfucker when he's on.


  • In reply to MB30SD:

    He looked extremely pissed last night. Having OL diving at your knees all night will do that to you. Gotta get him re-signed.

  • In reply to CanadaBear:

    I don't have a problem with zone blocking or cutting someone low at the line of scrimmage. But when teams use that crack-back bullshit at the side of someone's knees as part of their blocking scheme, I find it extremely dirty and it pisses me off. I doubt any team that does this practices it against their own defense.

  • In reply to TheFifth:

    I can't believe they'd do it after they lost cushing to one of the most blatant cuts I've ever seen. Maybe they thing fuck it, can't beat 'em....

  • In reply to TheFifth:

    Yeah, no kidding. I don't blame DL or LB's getting pissed about it. They are the only ones subjected to it. How the league can justify that bullshit within 5 yds of the LOS is beyond me. I'm shocked one of the steroid monsters doesn't go completely mental and start kicking one of those fuckers in the head.

  • In reply to CanadaBear:


  • That was my first thought!

  • In reply to CanadaBear:


  • In reply to MB30SD:

    He is one beastly, athletic motherfucker that is a free agent after this season is over with....

    Who deserves credit for Henry Melton and Israel Indonjie?

  • lovie smith

  • WTF was that pass interference call?

  • In reply to Crunch Buttsteak:

    It's like last night in reverse. Instead of no calls it's fuck you calls all night against KC.

  • In reply to CanadaBear:

    They need to piss test that ref for hallucinogens.

  • LOL

  • Did you see Cassel go after Timmons on that INT? Neither did I. I thought he was gonna cry.

  • guess who brought a jet... to a gunfight?

  • Tim Dobbins is a bitch. Mouthy bitch.

    Getting all sarcastic with that "Cutler ran into me!" shit. I hope he goes down hard this season.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    What a cunt.

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