Blogs on content sites: first sighting

Just spending a bit of time cruising round the various US sports sites, to see who’s doing what with Superbowl coverage – when I noticed that is offering readers the ability to create blogs. Fairly bog-standard as blogs go, really: and most disappointingly, no (evident) particular attempt to tie the blogs to content, in either direction.
I’m glad to see this happening, but I expected much more (although to be fair, it looks like the project manager recognises it’s only a first step). Imagine how it could be. The big content sites get lots of extra content, lots of extra ad impressions, and the goodwill of the blogosphere. Bloggers get lots of lovely photos and audiovisual to complement their passionate ranting, which – frankly – is usually more fun to read than the usual bland match reports. Readers have a natural ‘speakers’ corner’ destination for when they want something a bit more ‘juicy’, a bit more ‘us’. The brand is seen as ‘ours’, not ‘theirs’, and in step with the whole ‘2.0’ zeitgeist. Everyone’s a winner.
Sooner or later, a content site will work this out. Allowing readers to create amateur blogs alongside professional editorial, with the usual blogging techniques to tie the two together. Movies seem to be the most natural topic for this: lots of content, lots of copyright-released media assets to offer your bloggers, and everyone has an opinion. There’s even a natural revenue model, in the form of profit-sharing on cinema ticket or DVD sales. Amazon/IMDB, what’s keeping you?

4 thoughts on “Blogs on content sites: first sighting”

  1. Simon,
    The team working on blogs is a small and focused one, and we believe in releasing small upgrades, listening to feedback, and iterating.
    We’re currently experimenting with the best ways to relate blog content to professional editorial content. One of the challenges we’re facing is how to sort the signal from the noise. There are filtering models (Digg, Newsvine, etc) that we’re experimenting with right now, and we plan to launch some interesting updates in the next few months.

  2. Sounds promising. I hear what you say about incremental releases; certainly the safer approach, although not without its risks, especially if someone delivers the ‘big bang’ product before you. Good luck in what you’re doing. Interesting to see the same names cropping up in these discussions each time, by the way. I think we all know Digg and Newsvine are on to something.

  3. Good point about the “big bang” product. I’m not terribly concerned, though: I believe we have one of the most forward-looking product & mgmt teams at a big media company!

  4. In fact, our editors just linked to FS bloggers talking about super bowl refereeing directly from the top story…

    On a day when everyone should be talking about the Steelers’ return to glory and Jerome Bettis’ fitting finale, it seems all anyone wants to talk about is how terrible the officiating was in Super Bowl XL. Kevin Hench runs down where it went horribly wrong.
    Full Story …

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