Whoever is making up the rules at the SEC, and in this case I mean the Southeastern Conference, should probably learn why blogs are successful before they make useless edicts.
I’m of course referring to the new rules the conference has placed on non-credentialed media members. To put it simply, the SEC is saying that fans who buy a ticket and watch the game from their seat cannot use that access at games to shoot and post video and take photographs for their money-making fan blog.
I understand the line of thinking. Some media organizations have paid for the rights for these games and images.
But all the rulemakers at the SEC had to do is look at these blogs to find out that’s not how it works. The reason these blogs are successful is not because they have great video angles on a play that you couldn’t see on ESPN. The reason why companies want to advertise on these blogs is not because their blogger has shot incredible photos from the stands.
The reason why these blogs work and are relevant is because, in most cases, they are well written by the biggest fans, they are willing to talk about all the rumors that every fan wants to hear and, despite having less access, come off as being closer to the team and fan sentiment than most beat writers.
Just to make sure I wasn’t alone, I called up my colleague Dan Shanoff, a media industry consultant and blogger, who also runs TimTeblog.com, a site that solely covers Tim Tebow, University of Florida’s quarterback and the SEC’s MVP.
“Most great SEC bloggers I know rely on their original analysis, rather than game-action photos or videos obtained at the game,” Shanoff said. “Most are too obsessed with, go figure, actually watching the game to worry about snapping a crappy picture or turning the flip camera on to capture the game-winning play. They have bigger things to worry about like how they will ad value to their readers’ own game experiences with some great post-game analysis.”
The Internet is a survival of the fittest. The fittest are often made up of these bloggers who probably didn’t get hired at the local paper to cover the team because they didn’t necessarily have the right background. But, I’ve read most of these blogs, and most of the time I'd rather read their posts than what the beat writer is writing.
The joke of it all is that many of these bloggers are writing up their relevant posts while watching the game on their couch. Maybe the SEC will have rules for home viewing next year!
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