Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Welcome to Wang's blog box

The Islanders will introduce a “NYI Blog Box,” separate from the Nassau Coliseum press box, and allow fans press access to select games to help them start their own Islanders blogs, which will not be censored as long as they are professional. Following the games, an area will be set up for the bloggers to ask questions of players and coaches. The offering, which is the first of its kind for a N.Y.-area pro franchise, also includes linking the fan blogs from the team’s official Web site.
This is a step in the right direction, and it's nice to see more NHL teams are making allowances for blog coverage, but you can certainly sense the organization's apprehension here when it comes to putting "fans" in the actual press box.

The biggest problem with professional sports franchises accepting fans into the traditional press box is that the word "blog" still emits an odour for the wide majority of the population. Guys like Eric McErlain can't get credentialed for events as humdrum as the NHL draft (in Columbus!) simply because their writer's resume is littered with the 'B' word.

Despite the fact that many mainstream media organizations and journalists are using the medium, blogs continue to be thought of as 'that crank in the basement'.

No offence to the team involved here, but 'that crank in the basement' has, in some cases, overtaken most MSM websites in terms of online influence, and it's time for a plan that doesn't involve herding bloggers like mindless sheep into some sort of a lesser press box and giving them controlled access and a pretzel.

But as I said, it's a start, and kudos to the Islanders for that. Capitals owner Ted Leonsis has made overtures about spreading the gospel with regards to bloggers in the press box, something he has wholeheartedly embraced in Washington, and this may be the first sign of things to come.

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At 1:14 a.m., June 13, 2007, Blogger Matt said...

The NCAA goes one way, the NHL goes another.

Finally, something the NHL is doing right, between embracing Youtube and now blogs, slowly but surely.

At 1:49 a.m., June 13, 2007, Blogger Knotwurth Mentioning said...

Yes indeed! If there's one medium the NHL seems to be emerging on, it would be the Internet. They also signed a deal with a site recently to encourage the spreading of NHL footage, which could potentially pay off in the long run for getting fans hooked on seeing some of the sport. But ultimately one can't help but think that as the league continues to spread online, it only makes it more likely that people will give up on television as a source of the sport. Why bother watching when you can just get all of the best plays handed to you on a silver platter the following day? Only the true fans of the sport will really have the cause to watch. People looking for water-cooler conversation will be happy to see the highlights and forget about the rest of that boring Anaheim hockey!

...not that I think there's much chance of the television ratings becoming higher by ignoring the Internet, of course. Just one more straw on the haystack that's slowly breaking the camel's back is all!


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