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Welcome to Rocky Top Talk!

What's in a name?

Welcome to Rocky Top Talk!  Apologies up front for the tongue twister, but I think you'll find that after you flub it up a few times, you'll actually enjoy saying it.  In fact, you might not be able to stop.  Go ahead and try it.

Rocky Top  Rocky Top  Rocky Top Talk, Rocky Top Talk, Rocky Top

See?  We could have our own cheer.

Okay, so what is it?

Rocky Top Talk is intended to be a little bit of me and a whole lot of you.  First, a little bit about me.  In 1996, I enrolled at the University of Tennessee College of Law and got bit by the Big Orange bug.  As a first semester law student, I studied under the tutelage of the BlogFather himself, and after graduating I closely followed Instapundit as it blazed a wide trail into the blogosphere.  I didn't dip my toe into the blogwater until November 15, 2004, when in a fit of boredom, I clicked on that mysterious, squiggley orange B on my Google toolbar.  I posted intermittently over the next several months whenever the mood struck me, such as when my daughter puked on the family dog, when I discovered the sundry perils of bunk bedding, and when I felt compelled to inform the general public of all the things one absolutely must do to enjoy a proper Hillbilly Holiday in East Tennessee.

In August, 2005, I wrote my first post on the Vols.  A few weeks later I moved to my own domain, and I spent the next few months chronicling The Season of Which We Do Not Speak.  After the season, I moved all of the football content to View from Rocky Top, and it's been pretty much all Vols all the time for me ever since. The logo up there on top of the left sidebar is sort of a tribute to the old site.

David Hooper and Will Shelton are also front page writers here at RTT, and you can find out more about them by clicking on their screen names: hooper and wshelton2. Jackson the Mule, well, he's the mule that lives behind my house, but other than that, he's a mystery.

As I've monitored the ongoing sea change in the college sports blogosphere, I've become increasingly impressed with the stable of SBNation bloggers covering college athletics and their uncanny ability to make really bloggy blogs.  That's why I'm here.

As you probably already know, blogs fall somewhere between traditional online newspapers and simple message boards.  They are similar to online news sites in that they communicate information, but unlike traditional news sites, the communication on a blog is a conversation.  Bloggers link to their sources and solicit fact-checking and feedback from readers and other bloggers by enabling comments and trackbacks.

Which brings us to the important part: you.  The bloggiest blogs have the most and best reader participation.  I've packed it up over at View from Rocky Top and thrown in with SBNation because SBN blogs are really, really bloggy.  Whether Rocky Top Talk becomes one in a million or just another one of the millions depends more on you than on me.  So get involved!  Make it great.

All right. Um, so how do I get involved?

Glad you asked.  Stop by regularly, but don't just read.  Add your two cents to a post by clicking on the Comment link at the end of the post.  You can post a comment as Anonymous Hero to any post without registering or logging in. Update [2007-1-3 10:7:51 by Joel]: Due to vast amounts of comment spam (computer programs that basically repackage those emails we all get in the form of a bogus comment to a blog post), we've had to disable anonymous commenting. Registering is quick, painless, and private, though, so see the next paragraph on how to register.

Even better than commenting, though, is the diary section FanPosts and FanShots. If we're not posting enough for you or you're wanting to talk about something I'm missing, head on over there and start up your own conversation.  It's also a really good way to test the waters, so to speak, if you're considering blogging but not quite sure whether you want to jump in head first.  To start a Diary, click on the Create Account link at the top of the right sidebar.  Doing so will take you to a registration page where you can choose your user name and password.  Once you're logged in as a registered user, a Post New Diary link will show up at the top of the right sidebar.  Click on that and post away! [Note by Joel, 06/13/09 5:07 PM EDT ] Everything changed in May, 2008 with a fantastic site upgrade. Diaries became FanPosts, and a bunch of things were added and improved.

I'm very grateful to all of the excellent SBNation college bloggers for welcoming me into the fold.  Many thanks especially to Peter at Burnt Orange Nation and Kyle at Dawg Sports for the beckoning and for setting the standard.  If you want to see how a blog gets bloggy, you need look no further than those two.  That's what we're after, Rocky Top.  Let's do it.