Wednesday, November 9, 2011

On the Guardian Sport Blog redesign

A year ago last month, I wrote a six part series for Pitch Invasion called "Football, blogs and newspapers unite?" in which I pushed for a newspaper/blog network as the future of digital sports journalism. Here's me:
Moreover, many papers are mulling over switching their hard news content over to paid-for smart phone, or iPad-like apps. If that model becomes the basis for most news providers to secure payment-for-content, their shadow WWW sites aren’t going away—and bloggers could help fill in this content gap. A series of blog networks linked to a newspaper main page with several rotating feature posts awarded to bloggers based on editorial merit. Think of it as a kind of like a much-expanded Guardian Favourite Things, split into blogs of a specific type, with rotating sponsors.
The series, which included interviews with Michael Cox and Sean Ingle, made a minor splash when it came out with a write up in WSC magazine (it's also likely the reason that tiny little AMSL ended up in the Guardian's 100 blogs to look for last year).

A year later, and the Guardian has an Apple newsreader app, and now, a redesigned sport blog. Sean Ingle:
The partnership involves cross-posting the most interesting, provocative and quirky pieces from our 15-strong network (a figure that will grow in the weeks and months ahead) on our Sportblog, with a link back to the original site, thus showcasing bloggers' work and hopefully driving more traffic to their sites. It is the intention of the Guardian to move closer to what our editor, Alan Rusbridger, has called an "open model of journalism" which promotes a far greater richness and diversity of content, and this is another confident step on this journey.
I'm not going to presume I had any part in this development (although it would be awesome beyond words if I did), but it's a fantastic thing for the bloggers involved, which range from the Run of Play to Zonal Marking to Snap Kaka Pop. Though I don't know much about the financial terms/advertizing scheme (if any),hopefully this will become a model for other newspapers who will in turn snap up their own cadre of talented soccer writers. The future is now, as the cliche goes.