Sunday, February 10, 2008

Welcome new readers

By Rick Morris

This is going to be one of the relatively few occasions here where I take off my columnist hat and speak as the Managing Partner of FDH Enterprises, LLC. I want to give a brief overview of The FDH Lounge brand to all of our new readers, inasmuch as has indicated that our traffic has shot up an insane amount over the last 10 days (I know that we have picked up many eyeballs here as a result of our overall political coverage -- perhaps specifically our Super Tuesday liveblogging -- and our Super Bowl liveblogging and overall huge flurry of recent new material on so many new subjects -- but regardless of how you first strolled into The Lounge, we welcome you and urge you to keep coming back).

The FDH Lounge (the home page of the brand has a detailed overview and a directory of everything to ever appear on this blog and is located here) was conceived as a sister venture of, the Internet's leading independent provider of fantasy sports content. My partner, FDH Enterprises Senior Editor Jason Jones, and I decided in the fall of 2006 to put together an all-topics webcast to augment our other programming on We assembled a crew of contributors capable of opining intelligently on any and all topics; they were christened along with us The Dignitaries of The FDH Lounge.

From our very first program on January 14, 2007, the Lounge distinguished itself as exactly what we proclaimed it to be: The Great American Radio Show on Internet TV. As was fitting given the initial sole focus of FDH Enterprises, sports served as a foundation of sorts, but it was merely a jumping-off point for an amazing array of subjects to be dissected in an enlightening and entertaining manner. A wide spectrum of viewpoints in these areas have been highlighted, and although the majority of political sympathies on the show emanate from a similar area, the free exchange of ideas has thrived unabated from Day One.

Nearly seven months to the day our show came on the air, the second phase of our burst on to the scene manifested itself. The premise was exactly the same: The Dignitaries letting loose on anything and everything relevant in the world today, speaking in a variety of voices and tones. Frankly, it took awhile for this to evolve into the "group blog" we visualized when we started; a perusal of the archives will show that almost all of the columns were written by me until at least November (every column is labeled with a byline). But our evolution has really picked up steam over the past few months, with my fellow Dignitaries coming on aggressively here, a factor which I know has been instrumental in making this a destination site on the Web.

Before I give my final few points about what we are trying to build on this blog, let me first highlight some recent offerings from my fellow Dignitaries:

^ Jason Jones, our Senior Editor, wrote one of the finest and most inspirational pieces I have ever read. Making sense of what appears to be senseless tragedy is one of the hardest things anyone can ever do in this life, but he just absolutely nailed it and identified perfectly the destiny of a recently deceased young man as being a lasting inspirational figure to others. I'm really humbled that something this powerful appeared on this blog of ours.

^ Tony Mazur is the co-host of our franchise-anchor daytime program at STN, the Don and Tony Show (weekdays, 11 AM to 2 PM). He came on board recently and has contributed the same kind of fine insights you will hear when he is behind the mic. Specifically, his recent ruminations of the failings of the modern sports fan and the worthlessness of the Pro Bowl as an entertainment option typify the sharp commentary he is known to provide.

^ Nathan Noy, in terms of raw genius, is probably the smartest person I have ever met. How he uses his intelligence is often controversial and he even makes an opinionated sort like myself look bland and beige by comparison, but that's what keeps life interesting! There's something about him that seems to relish getting under people's skin to the point where they want to thrash him physically, and I've been there with him myself, but that's what makes him a born entertainer (if I'm going to say that, I should note to be fair that he is also one of the best and most loyal friends I have ever had). Over time, he has been one of the most dedicated critics of Congresswoman Jean Schmidt and his most recent blast was right here on our blog.

So by now I've painted a picture about the variety of our content here. I'd like to close by identifying how we see ourselves and aspire to be seen by others. Since I began furnishing programming to STN back in 2003, I have been a fan of great bloggers in different genres and I am proud to say that I was an early and loud proponent of the work they were doing. So I mean no disrespect when I say that I don't want this product to be thought of as merely a blog as they have come to be known -- because the successful blogs today are all transcending that way of being classified. It's not 2003 anymore, when I first stumbled upon the blogosphere; the top blogs of today are multi-media entities capable of engaging the senses in a multiplicity of ways. After recent upgrades to The FDH Lounge blog, I can proudly say the same is true of us. In addition to such standard features as an archive guide, a brief overview about The FDH Lounge, a list of our blogging Dignitaries and a compendium of all of the websites in the FDH family, we have added other advanced elements:

^ rotating polls taking the pulse of our readers

^ news feeds on various subjects

^ a video bar that enables a screen with content on a thematic basis

^ usage of picture capability to convey images for additional entertainment

Also, we are posting embedded videos in our columns on an increasing basis to bring the desired all-around sensory effect to the highest level possible. We view this entity not merely as a blog as they have come to be known, but the greatest realization of the blog ideal: an electronic magazine providing analysis of a wealth of current topics from different and provocative voices with links to the most compelling content elsewhere and much for you to read, watch and hear right here in The FDH Lounge. Regardless of how or when you found our brand, be it on our program first or right here on the blog, we appreciate your consumption of our material and humbly ask that you spread the word to your friends about what they may find under our banner.

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