The Great Blogger Debate Continues - Colorado Avalanche Updates, News and Game Reviews at Avs Talk

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Great Blogger Debate Continues

I was going to keep my mouth shut on the whole Covered in Oil fracas that went down yesterday as a lot of people had it well covered.

I think the best post came from Elliotte Friedman and was posted on Puck Daddy. Elliotte Friedman is one of the best things CBC has going for it and his viewpoints are always measured and well thought out. In this case, he's siding with the Oilers on tossing David Berry out of the press box. And I can see the Oilers point.

Criticism is one thing but saying you would have liked to spit in a players face? I wouldn't say that about Dion Phaneuf and you know I'm not a huge fan of the guy on or off the ice. I don't think you need it spelled out to you that you shouldn't say things like that when you are a guest of the team.

However what finally ended up prying my mouth open - because you know it's so hard to do - was a piece by David Staples of the Edmonton Journal

He has an interesting quote from J.J. Hebert, Edmonton's media relations director on credentialing bloggers:
"We say no to all non-traditional websites -- that's the best way to put it."

I don't think that's the best way to put it at all. Come up with a definition of "tradional website" and then rename it to "Mainstream media website" and it will be more accurate.

In fact, the best way to put it comes a bit later in the article when it was noted that Watt felt many blogs are trying to get increased traffic so they can make money, but the Oilers don't want to give up that traffic.

Because it always boils down to the Benjamins, doesn't it? The Oilers are worried about losing page views - which equates to revenue rather than popularity in their eyes - so they don't want people live-blogging from the press box taking away visits from their site.

Ok, but do the Oilers even have live-blogs on their site? Not that I could see in their prolifically populated Blog Central. It renders that point somewhat moot.

And since when are live-blogs only relegated to being done on-site? Mr. Hebert may be unaware of how ubiquitous the Internet and TV are these days.

But back to the money issue. I think if you asked bloggers if they do it for the money, you wouldn't see a lot of hands pop up. In fact it's near the opposite. We do it in spite of the lack of income for our efforts.

I maintain this blog because I'm able to have a voice and I choose to exercise it. I choose to sit down 82+ days over the course of the season - much to the chagrin of my better half - to cheer for and analyze the team. I choose to be objective or to let my emotions win out in my writing. I choose to be respectful but I'm allowed to make that choice because I don't have to answer to an editor. 

If that freedom comes with the price of not being allowed into the hallowed press box for fear I may be disrespectful without someone watching over me, so be it. That's my choice.

But the real kicker is when Hebert reveals his true colors:
"There are a lot people out there who are gathered in threesomes in a basement somewhere, and you have to read that for awhile and then skip over it, and you might have to go to two or three more before you get anything that's any good." 

For the first half of the article, I was on your side, Mr. Hebert. Once you went to the "geeks in mom's basement" cliche, you lost me.

I think you need to take a harder look at the Oilers blogosphere if you want to get a true pulse on your fan base. And if you want to truly understand a new form of media before you start directing it.