Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Welcome – it's about time!

Welcome – it's about time!By Bryce Giesler, Tennessee’ 82

Brother Giesler is the author and editor of Sanguine et Purpure (S&P), the unofficial SigEp blog. This piece is dual posted on the "Official" SigEp Blog and here.
A little over a month ago (Sep. 16 to be precise) I saw a notice from SigEp Headquarters announcing a “
New Official SigEp Blog.” My first thought was, “Wait a minute – I’ve been writing and posting to Sanguine et Purpure the Unofficial SigEp Blog at sigepblog.org for over nine years. Who do they think they are?” My second thought was, “Well, it’s about time they figured out how to use the interwebs!”

I have not posted about this development before now for two main reasons: First, I wanted to take some time to make sure I could express my full opinion and not simply have a list of one-liner comments. Those who follow me on Facebook and Google+ know I am quick with a retort and not always politically correct. Second, I have been doing quite a bit of traveling lately. When the notice came out I was still unpacking from a vacation in Scotland and preparing to help out with an EDGE, followed by a trip to Tennessee and then a weekend in Las Vegas. All that is done now, and so here are my “Officially Unofficial” comments.

Last summer at the Dallas (Grapevine) Conclave, some 35 or so SigEps gathered for a “Social Media Breakfast” where we informally discussed how chapters are making use of the various channels to connect with members, prospective members and alumni.
Beaux Carriere, Charleston ’10, Mike Ellis, Purdue ’84, Steve Hofstetter, Columbia ’02, and I were talking afterwards, and Beaux told us of his plan to consolidate the various information streams from Headquarters into one findable and searchable stream of posts, i.e. a blog format. We agreed that was a great idea and offered our support. Beaux went back to Richmond and got things moving. The result is the new SigEp Blog. I still think it is a great idea and well executed. My only quibble is that it took so long for the folks at Headquarters to get to it. The reason I started S&P was that I felt a broad information channel was needed and was not being developed at HQ.

Since the announcement I have been asked if I feel like Headquarters staff was trying to undercut S&P by offering a similar product. No, I don’t. There is plenty of room for both of us. The “Unofficial Blog” has been running for over nine years and in that time has developed a loyal following as a non-Richmond, no-spin source of information about SigEp and other matters of the fraternity and sorority world. We post items that, quite frankly, would not be appropriate for an official site, such as breaking news about problems at individual chapters and stories of general interest about other organizations. There is plenty of quality and appropriate SigEp information for an official blog. We have been known to “borrow” posts from the Headquarters site to help increase the distribution of good stories. Communication is the goal. And now SigEps have another way to get information.

Finally, I want to acknowledge Beaux, SigEp CEO
Brian Warren, Virginia ’04, and Communications Manager Rob Jepson, Utah State ’12, and everyone else at Headquarters who has worked to bring this piece of the communication matrix to fruition. I know it took a while, but, as I have, you will find it was worth the effort. Welcome to the fray!