Introducing InstaGraphs

Here at FanGraphs, a normal post runs in the range of 1,000 words. We’re wordy folk, basically. But sometimes, we have things that might be interesting at 200 words and would be ridiculously boring at 1,000 words. Maybe it’s a link to something someone else wrote, or simply a fun little tidbit from the leaderboards. Or, hey, the Astros just offended someone else, but what else is new? These things are worth pointing out, but not worth writing eight paragraphs about, so they’ve generally ended up on the cutting room floor. Or Twitter.

Over the last few months, I did a few experiments with shorter posts on the site, and the reaction was mostly positive, so today, we’re launching a dedicated section for these kinds of posts, and we’re calling it InstaGraphs. Essentially, this will be the place for things that are interesting enough to note but aren’t full articles, though maybe eventually they’ll turn into one. Or maybe not. Maybe they’re just interesting standalone items that don’t need extrapolation.

InstaGraphs will be part of the main FanGraphs blog, but we wanted to make it a little more clear when you should expect 200 words and a GIF instead of 1,000 words and a formula, so you’ll note the new InstaGraphs box on the home page; the most recent articles will show up there, and you’ll be able to click through straight from that dedicated box.

Overall, we think InstaGraphs will be a fun place to note things that otherwise probably wouldn’t have turned into content, and hopefully you guys will enjoy the extra pieces each day. Just a heads up, though: it will probably mean more Cistulli GIFs of mediocre curveballs from the California League. You’ve been warned.




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Dave is a co-founder of USSMariner.com and contributes to the Wall Street Journal.


53 Responses to “Introducing InstaGraphs”

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  1. #KeepNotGraphs says:

    I like this idea. And I appreciate the hard work you guys do trying to get quality stuff to us quickly.

    #KeepNotGraphs

    +88 Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. Max says:

    I like the idea, but I can’t help but wonder if this is the replacement for NotGraphs…

    +26 Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. tomhaywood says:

    Baseball Joe anyone?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Steven says:

      This is exactly what came to mind for me. Rob Neyer on FG Audio discussing how nice it is to have 200 word posts, the FG decides to copy it almost exactly. I wonder if Neyer has any hard feelings towards this or thinks imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Dave Cameron says:

        We’d been planning something like this for a while before Rob approached us about being involved with Baseball Joe, but yes, the two concepts are very similar. He has no problem with us doing our own version of the same thing, and in fact, you’re going to see my Baseball Joe posts cross-posted to InstaGraphs.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • robneyer says:

          Right, not to mention the fact that we were doing the same thing at my last job for about three years. It’s hard to be original! I’m really thrilled that Dave’s going to be cross-posting on Baseball Joe, though.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • John Elway says:

          Hay Rob, glad to see your post. Just checked out jabo.com and good stuff there too – though Fangraphs is still my mane source for summertime reading pleasure.

          Just neighing.

          #KeepNotGraphs

          Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. Clock says:

    Sounds cool, but #KeepNotGraphs!

    +41 Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. dang says:

    these are like little m&m’s

    they’re sweet and short and I just keep reaching for more because what the hey

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  6. Perv Next Door says:

    Awesome! I love mediocre curved balls from the California League.

    #KeepNotGraphs

    +33 Vote -1 Vote +1

  7. jesse says:

    Man, I was expecting a difinitive ranking of instant coffee…

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  8. Pinstripe Wizard says:

    Definitely seems like they are using this to replace NotGraphs, which is still quite depressing. With that being said, I can see these articles getting a bit snarkier than the usual post. It might end up being a combo NotGraphs and FanGraphs side of things. They will be shorter posts and possibly a bit more reactionary, which could allow for a more emotional response to things.

    +5 Vote -1 Vote +1

  9. Evan says:

    tl;dr

    +34 Vote -1 Vote +1

  10. #KeepNotGraphs says:

    #KeepNotGraphs #InstaGraphsSoundsAlrightThough

    +45 Vote -1 Vote +1

  11. Good Riddance NotGraphs says:

    I think this will be good and will probably generally avoid comments like, “Did you ever read the article before commenting?”

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  12. vivalajeter says:

    Excellent idea, Dave (or whoever thought of the idea). I’m interested to see how it pans out. Unlike every other site I visit, a big part of fangraphs is the comments section. I think instagraphs will allow the comments section to take a short blurb, and turn it into a nice discussion.

    And I’ll be honest – I never really read NotGraphs, so if it wasn’t for ‘#KeepNotGraphs’ showing up in the comments section, I wouldn’t have realized it was going away.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  13. JackR says:

    I’m able to get RSS feeds for Roto, Fan, and NotGraphs, but can’t find one yet for Insta. Will there be one coming soon?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Clock says:

      you won’t get one for NotGraphs after this season….

      #KeepNotGrpahs

      +18 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • InstaGraphs posts should be included in the regular FanGraphs RSS feed. If you are looking for just InstaGraphs you can get it here:

      http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/instagraphs/feed/

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Urban Shocker says:

        David-you’ve got a pretty vocal set of fans here for NotGraphs.
        isn’t that what websites want? what gives on the mothballing?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Jason B says:

          In all fairness, it would be nice if it was addressed a little more at length. Just some thinking behind the reasons or rationale. Your writers do an excellent job of interacting with and responding to useful user feedback – witness Dave’s recent changing of the format of the trade value list back to the old, preferred format. Just something to help us better understand why would be nice, and thanks for all of the wonderful (free!) content.

          +8 Vote -1 Vote +1

  14. Steve-O says:

    Can we share selfies with cool vintage filters on Facebook!?! #FANGRAPHSRULZE

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  15. Great.

    #KeepNotGraphs

    +30 Vote -1 Vote +1

  16. Anon says:

    Excellent.

    The box on the home page only has three links right now. Will that increase when more content is available?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  17. MDL says:

    TL;DRgraphs

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  18. TheoK says:

    Isn’t this just NotGraphs with a different name?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  19. KCDaveInLA says:

    Man, leave the country for a few weeks and this is what happens.

    #KeepNotGraphs

    +21 Vote -1 Vote +1

  20. David says:

    maybe change the logo to a baserunner to represent the whole speed/instant/fast idea?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  21. Joe says:

    I honestly won’t miss NotGraphs at all.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  22. Basebull says:

    Can Jeff Sullivan be editor in chief of this section?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  23. John Elway says:

    This is GREAT!!!!

    Now we have a place to post our photos within FanGraphs.

    https://twitter.com/J0hnElway/status/494157751786807297/photo/1

    #KeepNotGraphs

    +25 Vote -1 Vote +1

  24. Bip says:

    As a follower of many baseball tweeters, I definitely see the value of baseball facts that can be expressed in very few words. The only potential problem I see is that we might start to see concepts that deserve a fully developed article instead tossed on to InstaGraphs because whoever came up with it was too lazy to do the investigation. I’m not particularly worried about this, though a mechanism to get an idea from Instagraphs to the main page would be cool.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  25. david says:

    I like the idea, but I overlooked it on the homepage several times today because it doesn’t have a colored box around it (fangraphs are green, hardball times are red, etc). Maybe you could add a border around it?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  26. Matty Brown says:

    I for one, love InstaGraphs. I love the brief and interesting content. I was never a fan of NotGraphs.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  27. Josh B says:

    I, for one, welcome our new InstaGraphs overlords.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  28. Ian Smell says:

    Has anyone thought that maybe the “new project” to replace NotGraphs will be InstaNotGraphs? Fewer and fewer Adrian Beltre Longform pieces and more Booger Gifs…

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  29. ReuschelCakes says:

    SnotGraphs

    #KeepNotGraphs
    #HowCanIPayToKeepNotGraphs
    #HowDoIExplainThisToMyKids

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  30. J.Henry Waugh says:

    Looks like we’re copying the Fourth Estate here….reduction in size/content. Why can’t we be like “The Grey Lady” and have the baseball news that is so loved on the RIGHT side of the mast head.

    #KeepNotGraphs

    Vote -1 Vote +1

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