ESPN's weblogs suck
First off, let me say I think the content ESPN's writers are providing in these
weblogs is quite excellent, which is why the way they're implemented disappoints me so much. It's well written and entertaining info that you can't really get anywhere else, even on ESPN. Eric Karabell's fantasy weblog is particularly good, great (almost) daily opinions on who you should start, trade for, or pick up for your fantasy team.
But this is the crux of the problem, much of the content is time-sensitive information and they don't offer any way to keep up with when the weblog has been updated. I complained about their lack of RSS feeds when I first found the Fantasy Games Blog back in March. (ESPN offers feeds for each writer, but no Insider content shows up in them.) If you have a site that is updated on a regular basis and has time-sensitive information, than you have to let me know when itís been updated or else it's useless. Iím not going to run through all of my bookmarks and check in on each of their five weblogs every couple of hours, so by the time I read the latest updates itís already old news that I can probably find someplace else for free. Despite really enjoying the content of Karabell's blog, before I saw Malik's post I had long since forgotten about it.
My other big issue is their idea of
feedback that appears to allow you to comment on each entry. But you click on it and all it does is link you to a generic email form where you can contact the writer and never get any response. Some sort of commenting system would be a great opportunity for them to create some interactivity and community and theyíre whiffing big time. Comment spam is an enormous problem in every weblog system, but in this case it would be pretty easily moderated. The content requires a paid account and I don't think the poker/viagra/diet pills spamming jerks are going to be signing up for too many of those anytime soon. A commenting system with writer interaction would be a huge selling point for me when it comes time to renew my Insider account in a couple of months. Right now, other than the free ESPN The Magazine subscription I don't get that much value out of my $25 per year.
I think overall the ESPN blogs are just a case of a big media outlet latching onto a buzz word without really getting into the concept. The only thing that makes these
blogs different from any of their other articles is that more than one might appear on a page. Right now, ESPN's blogs are still a couple of important features away from being a very cool service.
Comments and TrackBacks
2 From reemer.com...
My response to Om Malik's criticism of ESPN's blogs:Our blogs are encouraging the spirit of opennessĖthereís nowhere else on our site where writers like Karabell, Ford, etc. express themselves as frequently or candidly as on their blogs. You are insinu...
Posted on May 19, 2005 at 10:20 PM