Let’s get a credential

A couple months ago, I decided one of my goals for 2010 would be to get a press pass for a San Francisco Giants or Oakland Athletics game.  I used to get media access all the time as a journalist and have had passes to Arco Arena for a Sacramento Kings game, AT&T Park for a college football All-Star contest and Raley Field in Sacramento for maybe two dozen Triple-A baseball games.  There’s a certain feeling that having a press pass around one’s neck grants, that special knowledge of getting to hold up the plastic shield and go somewhere others aren’t allowed.  It’s been a couple years since I last had a press pass.  Call it ego, but I miss that feeling.

So I decided in December to try for a pass this year, for this Web site.  My thought was that I would get a credential for an A’s game, when they play the Yankees so that I could interview Nick Johnson, who went to my high school in Sacramento, McClatchy and is married to the sister of a woman I grew up with.  Then I got to thinking I may as well request a pass from the Giants too, as they also have a former McClatchy player in their organization, Steve Holm.  I figured I would see about a Cubs-Giants series, when a great baseball player from Sacramento, Derek Lee, would be in town.

Thing is, my search engine ranking wasn’t great at the time I had this idea.  There is a Web site, Alexa, which ranks every site on the Internet according to total number of visitors and page views.  Google is ranked #1, Facebook #2 and Yahoo #3 and so on.  I have an acquaintance that founded a popular guitar Web site that’s ranked 20,000th roughly and that’s awesome– he’s able to make a living with that sort of ranking.  Personally, I’ve been ranked as high as 1.3-millionth (which probably wasn’t accurate, since it came early in the life of this site) but in December, my ranking was maybe 3-millionth.  Now, it’s 7-millionth.

I don’t know what’s going on, because I’ve tripled my number of monthly unique visitors since I quit my job in November and am starting to approach a thousand, but my fear has been that any Giants or A’s employee looking to grant me access would see my ranking and think, “Okay, who the hell is this guy?  Next!”  And I don’t know if I have an especially compelling reason for needing a pass.

Nevertheless, I impulsively picked up the phone a couple of weeks ago and touched base with members of both teams’ credential departments.  Each representative gave me instructions on what to do next.  The Giants employee emailed me some paperwork to fax in and said he hoped to see me at the ballpark.  The A’s rep told me a specific person to contact with the Yankees and gave me his email address, saying the decision would be up to them and that it might be hard to get a pass for the first game of the series.  I haven’t taken any action since then and don’t know where this will lead, but for some reason, I’m feeling slightly hopeful at the moment.

6 Replies to “Let’s get a credential”

    1. Hi Joe,
      You and Rich are awesome. I can’t stress enough how much I appreciate the chance to write here; this is a great network of sites to be apart of and I’m glad I got brought into the fold early.
      I feel that if I want to get a credential for a major sporting event, I’m going to need a substantially better search engine ranking– I’m talking several million places better on Alexa, ten or twenty times the visitors that currently hit my site. To accomplish this, there are a couple things that need to be done:
      1) I need to post quality content frequently
      2) I need to have good sites linking back to me
      The first item there is my responsibility and mine alone, and I’m working hard on this front. I generally try to write for an hour or two every day. I’ve recently begun to think, though, that if I invested a similar amount of time in link-building activities every day, I might get a lot more visitors.
      I feel like if I just keep doing what I’m doing writing-wise, I might build a decent-sized organic following over time. But if you guys want to help out with getting me linked up, I would definitely be game.
      Thanks again for everything you do.

  1. Ezine is good. When I wrote that article I was thinking more sports specific sites but I have learned more about ezine and they are good. Also, Squidoo and hupbages are good too. Basically anywhere that allows you to submit an article or create a page about your site that has really good page rank on their main page. Squidoo is an 8 and hubpages is a 5.

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