Thursday, April 19, 2007

Bloggolalia: The Technology Gap

Let me first apologize in advance for all the blogs I will leave out of this attempted analysis. Sorry. Tell us about yourselves in the comments.

I wanted to analyze a gap in sports blogland, and that is the underuse of technology. I really think that blogs should create more of their own stories, but unless you have a locker room pass or something, that's unlikely for most of us. However, all of us have access to some pretty sweet technology nowadays. So why don't we use more of that on our sites? There's video and photos and wikis and podcasts and radio and TV and mobile Internet applications that can really help spruce up one's blogs. Anyway, here's my survey of the bloggosphere so far. Hey, it's Friday: you've got time, right? And I wanted to respect people's content, so I tended to link to the site rather than put the pretty pictures/video here. So go visit them already.

Video: Ok, nearly everyone by now knows how to link to or embed You-tube on their site. (And hey, don't forget about and other video sites; not all the cool videos are on Youtube). But what else could we do?

Well, you could use videos as a footnote to your story to help readers find out more about the individuals/teams involved. Tedhas really outdone himself with matching video to the first round of the NBA playoffs. Standing ovation, sir, nicely done.

You could create your own videos with your own characters, as TSW did
here: I have to warn you about the objectionable material, though; I'm pretty sure I saw some Steelers gear on one of the characters. Proceed with caution.

Sony Muvee, a program that is free on many computers, allows you to mix photos and music very easily. Or, try Windows Movie Maker, or other freeware programs. Here's a video I did about Rasheed Wallace; all I had to do was toss in the pictures and pick the track, and the program mixed it together for me with special effects.

And...deep could actually show your own face and do a videoblog! Now look, perhaps bloggers aren't the most comely lot in the world. But really, there has to be some lovely lass or gregarious gent who doesn't mind showing a little face, right? Well, I tried to lead the way...but I have to admit, it's harder than it looks!

Radio and TV:
This is out of reach for most of us, but here's a few applications: had a radio show a few times. I don't know exactly where their links are to it now, though.
Every Day Should Be Saturday does a call-in show, apparently using the magic of Skype. Details are as follows: "EDSBS Live Tuesdays 7:30pm-9pm EST Call in! (310) 984-7600"
And who could forget the Sports Blog Show? It's on TV! The dream of couch potatoes everywhere to be on the other side of the screen has finally been realized. And Dan talks about cheese! Reason #2342 to move to the Maryland/Virginia area.

The Basketball Jones does a podcast on a regular basis, which I really will listen to in detail one of these days. Promise! Maybe this is a nice compromise for you who have a face for radio but have great voices?

True Hoop set up a wiki to track the elusive William Wesley, I believe. Nice idea: perhaps a wiki would also make play-off live blogging more fun? Or, I'd love to see how much controversy a Kobe Bryant or Terrell Owens wiki would create. But I'd hate to be the web-site owner having to keep that wiki peaceful, so why don't you try?

Pictures can be used to better understand the subject or enlighten us, and here, you know I'm giving lots of appreciation to freedarko. This is one shining example. It's been a while since I've self-promoted, so let me fix that by referring you to my OJMayo analysis using pictures:

You already may know of the Photoship and Paint magic of and Miss Gossip. Wonderful work on the NBA. You can either get existing sports pictures from the games themselves from Yahoo! Sports or perhaps one of the big three sites like, or create your own from scratch.

There's also using pictures for objectifying hot athletes, as practiced by The Big Picture, LADIES..., and Girls Gone Sports. It can be fun to read, until the readers/posters provide TMI about their desires. Eww.

Finally, if you want to find pictures of your favorite athletes in their more candid moments, I suggest,, picasa (through Google, now with community features), and But please, take it easy on the "smear reputation via photo" route. There's no lack of that in sports blog land.

Mobile Internet:
The AOL FanHouse is readable via wireless phone, something I did not know before. Check out the clean yet small view at But I have to think some other sites would also look great on wireless, too. Withleather, thebiglead,, and deadspin all are sites that focus on current news and have shorter posts. Consider it?

Additional comments?


  1. great post! a good all-around analysis.

    all of those things you mentioned -- video, creative use of pics, podcast -- are all ways some of these sites have used to carve out a niche in the cluttered sports blogosphere.

    perhaps the next site to really make a move and use this technology to bring a new style to sports blogs, will come out on top.

  2. Hey, I am sorry for the tardy comment. I thought you only updated Thursdays, and last I saw you just had the Arenas post.

    I'm not a fan of too much video or audio to be honest, although I know it is where all of technology is going and soon we'll all have one giant box in our living room that is our tv/stereo/internet/nanny.

    Words are still interactive, (when when they are tardy - such as these posts), and while you can post video responses via YouTube, it does not have the same turn around time.

    1) Read post, type response to post, move on to the next site. Just a minute of time.


    2) Load video, watch video, respond with words? Make video response? Now we're talking about at least 10 minutes of time.

    I'm not saying that video does not have a spot in the conversation, I just think that it is still to clunky if you want a truly interactive site. (And isn't that what you want with your readers? Give and take? Reaction? Discussion?)

  3. Sorry for the rambling. I'm working on only a few hours sleep.

    And thanks for the video love! It was a blast to make and was the best way to convey my "joke" of how I see the guys of KSK.

    Isn't that the point? The best tool possible for the job?

  4. Thanks Zach!

    Despite how easy it is to leave comments, few people do, and thus we don't have the interaction we would like on blogs. Frankly, if I knew that people wouldn't leave comments anymore, I would give up writing. I get paid in comments, not money, is how I feel about it.

    However, if we had video and audio, I somehow feel it might make people feel more at home and promote a more interactive blog. I may be wrong on that, but it's a thought.

    TSW, good point about the best tool for the job. I'm not sure we could live with video all the time either. Words are more interesting and shorter. But sometimes technology does help make a point that words alone can't make.

    But it just surprises me that hardly anyone has made serious attempts at video blogging. Oh sure, there's the over-excited fan shtick on Youtube, but that doesn't count for me.

  5. I would probably be more inclined to do a podcast than a video, but that's probably just because I have done radio and am comfortable with it. There is a guy who does good video blogging - he has it down to a science: