Emerging from the basement
Every now and then there will be some sort of comment or insult tossed out by a member of a traditional media outlet with regard to how they think of those who run blogs.
While I haven’t kept a running tally, I believe there has been two or three references printed by The News and two or three other instances in which a comment was made on Twitter. I would imagine that some of Buffalo’s radio hosts have had a few choice words for blogs, but I have XM so it doesn’t even matter.
In addition, Chris Smith made a suggestion in a recent Artvoice story that the blogging community consolidate their combined efforts into a singular entity that could potentially give mainstream media a true run for their money. This is interesting simply because it was a thought that had crossed my mind previously and is an idea currently being championed by Joe at Buffalo Wins.
Perhaps Chris decided to focus his energy on blogs because any chances of consolidation in Erie County are about as likely as building a Bass Pro at Canalside. I do want to point out that Chris’ opinion was more constructive and thought building that just criticizing or insulting. What has become common practice is to mock those who write blogs for living in their parent’s basement or having tiny readership. These comments don’t register much with me, however. My goal isn’t to attempt to mimic or compete with John Vogl or Mike Harrington. In fact, I’m not even trying to be Bucky Gleason.
Chris Smith is very correct in one aspect. What is the point of piling on with a million versions of the same information with regards to game recaps? If there isn’t a unique spin given to what you’re writing or covering, it all just becomes white noise.
There are at least 50 Sabres blogs floating around the internet and plenty of Bills blogs as well. Practically every blog has its own unique angle and mission but there is certainly plenty that overlap in some sense. That does add to the problem because the ability to run a blog is open to everyone and their brother. The exclusivity factor goes way down with such a saturated market, if you will.
Because there is such a varied mix of blogs, I think creating a consolidated site of content would be difficult. Not only are there “too many chiefs and not enough Indians” – as Joe said – but there are too many different angles taken to writing about the Bills or Sabres.
For me, I hope to exist somewhere in the middle. I certainly want to provide those 15 people who read me with information, but I want to provide more analysis than simply reporting news. I will leave that to the News and those blogs that already do a terrific job of reporting news stories.
Two in the Box exists to offer my thoughts and opinions on the Bills, Sabres, Bandits and other stories in the world of sports. I also dabble with development around the city. However, my goal is to provide some thoughts in hopes of creating an open discussion on a particular topic. If that conversation gains steam, then my goal was accomplished. No where in that mission is there a hope to knock down those in traditional media.
Consolidating sites and creating something that may be able to serve as a true alternative to your traditional media is something that had bounced around my head at times. However, I didn’t see myself as the person to head up such an endeavor. This is something that has come up recently and is a mission that Joe from Buffalo Wins has tried to take up.
I think that having a go-to site for thoughts, conversation and opinions on Buffalo sports would and will be a great resource. While I certainly think that it will pull those who strictly read the News or listen to WGR, I don’t necessarily feel like it needs to be in direct competition with those outlets. In fact, I don’t think the mission of most Buffalo sports blogs is to try and beat the pros at their own game.
There are many blogs that operate on reporting news and providing somewhat traditional game recaps. There are also some that exist to toss out ideas and create conversation on Buffalo’s sports teams. If the sites that come together as a combination of writers can find the proper balance of news, opinion and open conversation, they will be wildly successful.
Think of it this way, the internet has become a tool for sharing and discussing information. Buffalo and Western New York pretty much operate with only a handful of traditional sports reporting outlets and there is room for other voices to join the conversation. Somewhere down the line there is the potential for a blog to “join forces” and create a singular resource for news and discussion. Joe has certainly taken the first step in the process, as have a few others.
If the quality and access for these sources continues to increase, traditional news sources may see a change, but it doesn’t necessarily mean there needs to be a Twitter fight over it.