NOTE In The Cheap Seats has some good thoughts and links on this topic posted as well
Needless to say I think this guy hits the nail right on the head. It's a fantastic article. We've gone over this before, but this is a conversation I think needs to happen often. The less people talk about it now, as blogger's role is being developed, the less chance we have of actually getting that role.
I think one thing that is going to be defined in the upcoming years is the role of the sports blogger. The problem is that every blog is going to have to be treated on a case-by-case basis. I envision this blog as a virtual sports bar. Where people get together and talk about the Avs, you know without being in a smoky bar and in the same physical location. I try to look up some fun facts, and get the opinions of other bloggers and come up with something that is at least entertaining to read. some blogs, like Offwing have a much more journalistic approach.
For example my 5 questions series. I'm trying to get access to ask questions to another team in relation to the Avs. I mean it's nice to know how another team 's fans feels about a player. Now i know, from reading some edmonton blogs, to stay away from Joffrey Lupul at all costs. He's hated, absolutely hated, by Edmonton fans. So when he comes up as an FA in a few years we know we don't want him, without that resource, As fans, we might learn to late that Edmonton fans hated him.
One thing I noticed in Dear Lord Stanley's interview with Adrian Dater of the Denver post is the Dater seemingly thinks that the blogger and him are working towards the same goals. (this is his response to DLS's question about should bloggers get press passes?
I think I'm on the side of anybody getting a credential who diligently "covers" a sport, and that means someone who travels to different cities to do it. That creates a problem perhaps to many bloggers, but to me, if you're going to get a real credential in the press box to a real big-league event, you've got to put in the hours, the time and the money getting the job done - not just sitting in your underwear and delivering sermons from the mount. To me, there are starting to become too many self-proclaimed "experts" in this business who like to think of themselves as serious journalists who deserve credentials to all the big events, but too many of them have never really done the job.
I can understand his point. His goals are to keep an accurate account of what's going on with the team. His job is to talk to people and be around the organization to get a sense of what's happening, what's going to happen, and whose going to make ti happen. If that's a blogger's goal, then yeah I think he needs to put in the legwork as it may be. The problem is, that's not every blogger's goal.
The thing is, I don't see that as my role. I don't have any outside access. I am seeing the game as a fan. I don't want to sit in the press box, because that might warp my view from the fan's perspective. However there is access that would be beneficial to my blog, and the organization, that would enhance that niche I am carving out for myself and others. Would an interview with an Avs scout be beneficial to In the Cheap Seats?. How about inviting Tapeleg from Jersey's and Hockey Love to the new Avs jersey's unveiling? But do either of these bloggers need access to the press box for a game? maybe, maybe not. Do either need to be in the locker room after a game asking questions? I'm not so sure. One thing I would love to see for myself is the Avs work in the community, and with the fans themselves. I know the Avs, players and organization, does a lot of charity work and spends a lot of time in the community. I think it would be beneficial to invite a blogger to this, and get a fan's take on how they act with the fans. I know I would want to go and give my take on it (I'd also want to hear DLS's, Draft Dodger's and Tapeleg's version too) because this is an example of distinct organization-fan interaction.
I think it's also a good idea for an Organization to allow blogger's access to the games more. I can give my take on all things about the game, parking, concessions, fans, ushers, food etc. A blogger's voice can be an organizations opportunity to get unfiltered voices of the customer (one of many), and I think blogger's inputs can really help organizations optimize their fans (i.e. customer's) experience. If I go to 5 games and there are drunk unruly fans distracting everyone from the game, all 5 times. The Avs can use that to tell their usher's "We've been having unruly fans lately and it's becoming a distraction to other fans, please keep an eye on your section and identify any unruly behavior." (I can even dream that they may outlaw the wave, but I don't think it will happen).
Well I've rambled on for far too long, but I think this is a good topic to be talking about. The sports media landscape is changing, and the blogger's niche is being carved out. I see this blog as a virtual water cooler, where fans gather in the morning, or afternoon to talk and listen about their favorite team and the going's on of the day. Maybe we're discussing Terri Frei's latest column, or Ovechkin's sick goal, or Sakic's latest heroics. But we have a place to go to get other fan's opinions and insights into our favorite team.