Since it appears that everyone else is chiming in on this whole blogger v. traditional media, I thought I'd add my two cents. For those of you who don't know, on Bob Costas Now last night, there was a "discussion" regarding traditional media versus the blogger. For a recap, go to The Sporting Blog.
Okay, now that you're all caught up, here's my take. It's not a competition. The first thought that popped into my head while listening to this mess was that this isn't a competition. In no way shape or form am I competing with the traditional media in terms of what they do. I can't talk to players or coaches, and I'm pretty sure they don't want to talk to me. I've had discussions about getting press credentials, but the reality is I don't really have the time to do what they do,with this full time job constantly getting in the way, my time is fairly limited. With that being said, I don't think they can do what I do either.
The way I see it, there's now two sides to this new form of media. There's the traditional side of media that talks with players and coaches and that's great. I know that people think that traditional media will die eventually, but I don't believe that. I think they may have to change their format, but those guys will survive, they've just got to figure out how to adapt to this whole "internets" thing.
And then there's us, bloggers.
I appreciate what these traditional media guys do. I can't do my job without them. But here's the deal . . . IT'S NOT A COMPETITION. Seriously, I really don't think I'm competing with a newspaper or ESPN or the guys who run the message boards. If I had to guess, I think that most of the guys who do write in a more traditional form do consider blogs, "the competition", but I think they couldn't be further from the truth. And no, this isn't intended to be an indictment on every traditional media member. Honestly, I don't think every traditional media member is like this, it's painting with a broad brush and it's not fair. I believe the majority of traditional media guys understand that bloggers can have insightful and interesting things to say.
The way I figure it, the more sources of information, the happier you are as a reader. I'm guessing that you probably don't care where you get the content, just as long as it's worthwhile reading, who gives a flying flip whether or not it's from a blogger or from a guy who gets paid to write.
But let's get one thing straight. It doesn't really matter what I think and it doesn't matter if the traditional press is more guarded than they should be, what really matters is what you guys think and what you prefer to read. I'll go ahead and include myself in that group because in a not so distant past I was a guy who read everything about my teams and I didn't really care about the source, I just cared about the flow of information. In fact, I'm still in that same boat. I checked my Google Reader and the number of subscriptions I read, and as of today, I go through approximately 172 blogs and/or websites a day (I'm such a braggart).
In fact, I think it's safe to say that I get 90% of my information about my teams or from teams around the country from blogs. The reason is two-fold. I like blogs because of the consolidation of information. If I want to know what's happening with Georgia, I don't go to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, I go to DawgSports. If I want to know what's going on with USC, I don't go to the L.A. Times, I go to Conquest Chronicles. Secondly, but maybe more importantly, I go to blogs because of the informative analysis. Quite frankly, I think blogs do a better of organizing and presenting information to me than most mainstream media does. And that's not intended to be a knock against the mainstream media, but rather to compliment the incredible work of Sunday Morning Quarterback or baseball's Beyond The Boxscore. [Digression: Two other distinct advantages of blogs from the others types of media is that it's free (I refuse to pay for "access") and we like comments.]
That last bit, the part about the comments, is probably the most important. It's really what you guys think, as a consumer of the internets. I figure if you didn't like blogs then you wouldn't visit them and traditional media wins. It's that simple. However, the honest to goodness truth is that people really do like blogs. I think people like the writing, the analysis, the interaction and the consolidation of information, otherwise, this blog or any other blog wouldn't have an audience.
So now I hand it off to you, the reader. If you don't like it, then you're not going to read it, and thus far, I think it's safe to say that blogs are here to stay. Besides, I think there's plenty of room in the pool for everyone, so grab a beer, find some sort of flotation device and just soak it in.