Welcome, or welcome back

Blogging may have been a fad, a semi-comic emblem of a time, like CB Radio and disco dancing, but independent writing and publishing is not. Sharing ideas and passions on the only free medium the world has known is not a fad or joke.

We were struggling, whether we knew it or not, to found a more fluid society. A place where everyone, not just appointed apologists for the status quo, could be heard. That dream need not die. It matters more now than ever.

Jeffrey Zeldman, 11th December 2013

Welcome, or welcome back.

This is BfB and it has changed a little on what it was before I took it down a few years ago. It has changed in the past from online newspaper to blog to opinions and reports and to what it is now. Everytime its found an audience and that audience has always come on the basis that they want to read what I write.

And it is me writing. In the years 1998 to 2012 BfB published articles from over 250 passionate Bradford City supporters and was proud to do so but now that writing list is shrunk to one, me.

There is a lot of good reasons that it will stay like that, at least for a little while. Back in 1998 there was a lot of skill involved in getting something on the Internet. Even five years ago the vast majority of the BfB writers would not have known where to start if they wanted to be put something online. I owned the printing press and was happy to publish. These days everyone who wants to be heard on the subject of Bradford City can be heard on the subject of Bradford City and if you don’t believe that then look at #bcafc on Twitter.

This is my contribution to the Bradford City debate. Its smaller, but deliberately so and yes I’m more than happy with that. I’m not going to write a preview and a report on every game nor am I going to write an article every day. Those things can be got elsewhere.

The old pages are still where they were and a lot of graft and quite a few quid has gone into making sure that that history is not lost.

As for the writing it will be as it always has been, my opinion, and if you do not like that then I’ll only say that that opinion is the only one I have on a subject and now I’m over forty I can’t even be bothered to apologise for that any more. I welcome correspondence – both in support and against – but I’ve got a standard and this is my house so I expect you to stick to them. If not #bcafc welcomes you and I’ll not get involved in any debate outside of BfB unless a comment is addressed to me and I’m sufficiently motivated to answer it which I rarely am.

If you want to talk to me about Archie Christie then feel free to but what I know that you don’t could stun a herd of Wildebeest in their tracks. If you want to talk to me about Mark Lawn then you can do that too. Despite what mischievous sources would tell you there was no legal action against BfB that shut it down, and no agreement or gagging or anything between myself and Bradford City or Mr. Lawn. People sometimes say my attitude towards Mr Lawn comes from sour grapes that he closed my website down but that does him, and me, a disservice that this should rectify. I shut it down, I open it back up, and I welcome you to it.

Finally, if you are wondering why BfB returns having missed the best bits of City – Wembley twice and so on – then do not worry I saw it all, and more.

Michael Wood

BfB & The OMB

There are questions about why BfB has asked the OMB to remove full articles from that website. These are the answers.

BfB has never been, and never tries to be, to everybody’s taste.

We understand that we present a view of Bradford City but never seek to portray this website as representing the views of all supporters. We go to great pains to point out that this site is the views of those who write it and nothing else. We like it that way and – judging by the readership which tops 1,000 a day most days – that is how you like it.

Our readers make a choice to come to this website and read what we have to say and over one hundred of them have chosen to write their own articles for us. BfB lets readers – and non-readers – decide how involved they want to be with our site.

Two months ago a series of articles written for this website appeared in full on the Bradford City Official Message site as forum posts and we got in touch with the club to ask them if it would be possible to remove those post and replace them with links back to the article.

There is no problem with the copyright on the article – copyright of BfB articles are owned by the authors anyway so it would be impossible to have a global possession on that – so the only issue over copyright is that someone else owns it. Nor was there a worry that we would be sued although our conversations with Mr Lawn would tell us that were the OMB to publish anything worthy of legal action then he would expect the club and not the author to be subject to that action.

There is no real benefit to people reading the articles here as the site has no advertising and the extra page views do not make us anything (rather, they cost us, but we are happy to have you here)

The important point was that readers make a choice to engage with BfB’s content and a choice not to.

I do not want BfB’s articles being shoved down the throats of people who did not want to come to this website. I respect those people’s right to not want to hear what we have to say to be able to go about their business without having BfB articles thrown at them as they try talk about City somewhere else.

Everyone knows where we are, everyone is welcome to read, every article has a link on it to point people at and people can decide if they want to read it, or if they don’t.

Nothing about getting sued, nothing about traffic, nothing about trying to stop people talking about the articles just a desire to make sure that people who do not want to read BfB do not have to read BfB.

New BfB design

You will have noted, dear reader, that BfB has a new design. It is an evolution of the current design to update a few elements and (hopefully) make the website better for more modern browsers and for mobile phones.

If you are one of the one in ten who use BfB on IE6 then I’ve kept some support but you need to tell whoever controls your computer that it is not 2001 any more and things change. Jim Jefferies was manager when your browser was launched!

Things that you will note, should you be of a mind to, is that the detail on archive pages is improved, that there is a menu at the top of the page, that each article has more information (and some of it is hidden behind a tabbed interface) and the comments interface has been altered. Good web design always evolves and things may come and go in the next few weeks.

If you have any bug reports, comments of the like then add them to this message unless – of course – it is that the comments do not work in which case I guess we shall never know.


BfB Wants You

Here at BfB we are looking to add a few good writers to the team for next season. We are looking for people who are passionate about City, can string a sentence or two together and make their own minds up about football.

If you are interested write us a report on the Barnsley or Carlisle games or send us an issue led article about what is going on in and around City at the moment. You do not need to think the same as any of us – seriously, you don’t – but you do have to think.

You read the site and you know the kind of articles you like to read and we like to publish.

Send any and all things to michael.wood@cabinpressure.co.uk.

You might have noticed…

You may have noticed that BfB has been having a few problems in the last three weeks after our (now former) host decided that they would move the site from one server where it worked correctly to another where – well – it didn’t so BfB went funny, Everythingball died and may never live again and Dalliance.co.uk had a funny turn but is now fighting fit.

The problems were solved by moving to a new host server and a new company who will no doubt be really, really good until they stop being good for no reason in eighteen months.