If you made it beyond the headline and that two-word lede, 1) Are you insane? 2) Welcome to my new blog.
I plan to write a longer post that resembles a bio and provides a current update on my life, but to get the basic details out of the way, my name is Drew Balis. I am a 23-year old guy from suburban Philadelphia attempting to turn my passion for sports and social media into a career after graduating from Penn State last spring.
The majority of people I come across have called me a “nice person” or some variation of that. I don’t think that is particularly special as there are plenty of nice people throughout the world, but it can serve as a small confidence boost when you want it to.
I decided to start this blog because there was a two-year span where I more or less wrote every day, most notably for Onward State covering Penn State football.
The last eight months though have been quite different. The only writing I have done has been in a 140-character format, and I have that itch again.
Despite my aforementioned background, this blog will not be all about sports. I feel more comfortable writing about sports than most other topics, but I am not a one trick pony. (If you want some proof, here) After covering players, coaches, and teams on a regular basis, I’m looking forward to touching on some personal thoughts and opinions here.
I plan for one of my initial posts to be an aggregate list of my favorite websites that will also focus on news consumption and asking people how they Internet. On that list will definitely be some sports outlets that already have the digital market rather cornered. I may pop off after some select Phillies game or share some viral GIF that I come across, but my goal is not to reproduce their content.
At times I may appear a tad cynical and then come across as optimistic one post later. We’ll see where things go.
Before we get any further, I should probably explain the — tentative — name of this thing. My friends at Onward State call me “Balls.” The site’s founder, Davis Shaver (brilliant guy by the way) once told me that he actually thought my last name was indeed Balls during my first few months on staff. The soccer league that printed my name wrong on a championship trophy when I was in 9th grade was also under the same impression. #MakesYouThink
Anyway, my friend Grant suggested “Balls of Wisdom” and it was far better than “Da Crew’s Views” or any of my ideas.
If you think I sound a bit wishy-washy so far, that’s understandable. I don’t currently have a clear vision here, and projects without one normally are not too successful. If this is getting nowhere after a week or two maybe I’ll shut it down, but I’m confident it won’t get to that point.
Community management is very important to me. You shouldn’t have to pander to readers — especially not on a personal blog — but I can’t stand writers who act like you need them more than they need you. That’s not my style. It’s never been my style. It never will be my style, and that’s why I’m inviting you to share any feedback — positive or negative — that you want to provide.
There is no point in bringing potential readers to a mostly empty site, so my plan is to have a few different pieces of content up over the next day or two before I promote this on any type of social media. If you happen to find this beforehand, feel free to share your thoughts below (name suggestions, any topic you want me to touch on, etc.) I like to think of myself as a bit of a grammar and copy editing nerd, but of course I’m human, so if you spot a mistake don’t be shy about pointing it out.
In addition to the comments section, I’m on Twitter @drewBbalis where you can find me rambling about Philadelphia and Penn State sports, making occasional dumb jokes, and just in general interacting with my Internet friends.
I’ll have more for you soon.