Basement Brigade Viewing Party

As Sabres Nation demonstrated over the past few weeks, Western New York is ecstatic to have the game of hockey back full time. Thanks to the end of the lockout, fans get to see their favorite teams and players back in action in a condensed 48-game schedule. While the whirlwind schedule may go quickly, it also allows for plenty of time to watch a lot of hockey.

“The Basement Brigade” is taking advantage of this. Eric of 3rd Man In and Phil of Black & Blue & Gold put their heads together to organize a watch party at Mr. Goodbar on Saturday, February 2 for the Sabres road affair against the Canadiens (event link).

This is a great event to not only bring hockey fans together but to also help inject some life into the bar scene which certainly suffered as a result of the lockout. I’m personally unsure of my availability for the event at this point, but I hope to crawl out of the basement and rub elbows with fans and bloggers alike. Give the Facebook event a once over and come out to Goodbar to support a truly awesome idea from Phil and Eric.

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. Continue reading

Reflections from the Basement Party: Sabres are a major player in social media

There is no point in offering a full recap of last night’s blog summit. There were 16 participants there and I’m certain that the other 15 in attendance are fully capable of offering a full and unique recap of the proceedings.

I want to take a moment to go over something that struck me as truly unique. Not only did the Sabres again open their arms to a community of people who are generally looked at as nerds who reside in their mother’s basement, but they added in yet another wrinkle than they had previously.

Last night’s summit was not only another opportunity for those outside of the traditional media to receive an audience with the team president, it was another step forward for those in the community. Five blogs will be given locker room access for the 2012-13 NHL season due to their continued presence in the press box last season and what would appear to be an appreciation, from the Sabres, as to the quality of the work they did. For the record, those blogs will be 3rd Man In, Buffalo Wins, Die By The Blade, Queen City Sports and Sabres Hockey Central.

What really struck me as special was the fact that the Sabres used a brand-new forum to make a major announcement regarding the team for the upcoming year. The summit was an event designed to bring a number of Sabres blogs together in a forum for discussion on the team. While it was certainly formatted just like a press conference, it was also a forum which has its root firmly planted in social media. What the Sabres did, was use a social media based group of people to launch an announcement for the upcoming season.

I cannot think of a time that a team in the NHL, or any major sport, has taken a new release to social media before providing the information to any other news outlet. This certainly wasn’t an exclusive for the blogging community, so don’t mistake that part, but this was certainly a step towards a new frontier for the Sabres.

Obviously this was a great way to tie in their new social media site, the ICE Network, and that may have been additional motivation for the way in which this news was announced. Regardless, the Sabres are definitely taking a step towards a new way of doing business. Continue reading

The Instigator Podcast 1.12 – Golden Ticket

Eric and I are back in action with another Instigator Podcast. Before delving into our thoughts on the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals, we have a brief chat about the upcoming Sabres New Media Summit (aka the Basement Brigade Summit).

Of course, we play plus/minus with a special Stanley Cup Final spin and look forward to adding some guests to the program for some coming episodes, yet again.