Thursday, July 16, 2009

Evolution at the Speed of Thought

There is another “rebuild” of sorts going on in Caps Nation, and it isn’t on the ice (even if what is on the ice is often – although not always – the focus). Or maybe it’s just a “build.”

If you haven’t been paying attention these last few days and weeks, there is a “grass roots” building of coverage infrastructure that has fairly exploded across Caps Nation. Start anywhere you like…

OK, start with the usual suspects. We’ve had “Capitals Insider” and “In the Room” for a while now, but although they are “blogs” in the more traditional sense of the term (we’re already using the term “traditional” with respect to blogs?... my, but the world moves fast these days), they already have the vague sense of being somewhat quaint. That isn’t any dig at Tarik El-Bashir, Corey Masisak, or any of their colleagues. They do really fine work. And beat reporting is still the first, consistently best source of information on the team. But…

We have all these other blogs… Japers, OFB, Capitals Kremlin, A View from the Cheap Seats, and others (check over there on the right margin for some of them). These folks have been working at their craft for a little while now, and all have carved for themselves a healthy niche in Caps Nation, providing new and unique perspectives on the team. But…

Here is where things get interesting. In a short time, we’ve seen fans jumping into the fray with impromptu video (some of the stuff being posted on the Caps “unofficial” message boards is interesting, as well as what Reed-CK is doing over at Capitals Kremlin – real-time posting of the what’s and the who’s from Kettler during development camp). And…

There is “Twitter.” We’re not entirely sold on the concept as revolutionary, but it has been a tool used by many to “real-time” their thoughts and observations of what is going on, either at camp or with respect to the latest moves the Caps are making (tweets on the Jeff Schultz contract situation have become a cottage industry in a matter of hours).

We want to reserve a special comment for some really fine work, too. If you haven’t taken a look through the photographic work being done by Jimmy Jazz over at Tic-Tac-Toe Hockey and TTT Photo, do yourself a favor and page through his work. Today’s images of Braden Holtby and the "search and destroy" look in Joe Finley's eye are just examples of the fine imagery you’ll find. He certainly has a knack and a keen eye.

What seems like a long time ago (August 30, 2006 it turns out), a “Guidelines for Granting Press Credentials to Bloggers and Other Online Media Representatives” was published at Off Wing Opinion. Today, however valuable they are or might have been, they seem like the Articles of Confederation of 1781. Fans have taken their own paths to covering the team they follow, “guidelines” be damned. And those paths have trampled on some traditional methods of covering teams that yesterday were considered cutting edge. We feel positively ancient writing this blog in the shadow of embedded video and Twitter. And we’ve been at this for less than four years.

We have no idea where things are headed. It would be a fool’s errand to try and predict or anticipate such things. One thing we’ve learned in doing this over the last four years – it won’t be “managed.” Twitter is barely three years old, although as a phenomenon its life might be measured more in weeks or months. A year ago, no one ever heard of SB Nation; today, it is as close to a media colossus as there is in the blogosphere.

When Albert Einstein was but a teenager, he pondered the idea of what a beam of light might look like if you rode a bicycle next to it. Well, take a look… things seem to be changing that fast.

10 comments:

FailedNinja said...

I don't suppose you could link us to the unofficial forum?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Peerless said...

I would think it bad protocol to provide the address without the permission of the board administrator. We offered the example only as an illustration of new outlets emerging.

Anonymous said...

Did you really remove a link to a forum? Really?

Since when did linking something on the internet rely on the concept of permission? Do you think they'll get offended because I provided an opportunity for them gain more users?

This is getting a little ridiculous. If you didn't want to let users visit that forum, then don't even bring it up in the subject. There is nothing illegal, immoral, or rude about linking to something on the internet.

Be serious.

Anonymous said...

Whats bad protocol is mentioning something in your blog about some new things popping up and mentioning a new forum or board that is apparently private or invite only. The whole point i think of all this fun new stuff is that it is out in the public eye, apparently not all of it.

Anonymous said...

Cry me a river.....

The Peerless said...

How many anonymouses are we dealing with here?

The Peerless said...

If I thought it appropriate to include the link, I would have. Deleting comments is not a regular feature of this space -- we've probably done it fewer than half a dozen times in almost four years, but we do reserve the right to moderate content.

Jimmy Jazz said...

Thanks for the shout-out, Peerless. Your own little project isn't too bad, either.

Steven said...

Peerless -

Have enjoyed reading your blog for sometime - it is humorous and insightful - and have commented here many times.

Generally, I agree with you. This time, however...concerning the "unofficial boards". I do respect your unwillingness to provide the link to it, especially since it appears the mods of said forum have asked you not to do so.

What I'd question is the mentioning of it in the first place, referring to it a place where Caps fans can get information on hockey/the team/etc. Given that the link is not for public dissemination, it really doesn't qualify as a source of new information, or an emerging new outlet. It appears this particular "outlet", is by invitation only, and doesn't exist for those the administrator deems undesirable, or the unwashed masses. Of course, I could understand if, after providing the link, the administrator of such forum asked you to remove it...

Hey, his forum, his rules...that part I get. The part I don't get is all the advertising this "unofficial board" has been getting from those who appear to have been invitees, without providing/sharing the link with those to whom they're advertising it. That makes it look like an elitist sort of thing.