Blog is a funny word. It was initially a short-hand way of referring to a so-called “web log,” or a sort of diary on the Internet (like this one). And just like a few other Internet-based terms, it has now become a normal part of the English language as a noun (“I’m writing a blog”), a verb (“It’s time to blog”), an adjective (“His writing style is very blog-like”), and a way to describe someone (“He’s a blogger”). It has even morphed into a term for the blogging community in general, “Blogosphere,” which is often used by the mainstream media as if it’s a dirty word (“The Blogosphere blew the pregnancy of Sarah Palin’s daughter out of proportion!”).
I thought of this Wednesday night as I visited some of my favorite sports blogs to devour any and all information about the start of football season this weekend (You knew I’d sneak that in here today, right?). Just five years ago, the so-called mainstream media (of which I was a member for a few years) ripped blogs as laughable and unnecessary. They’d argue that the “real” sports reporters were in the locker room after the game, watching from the press box, and had years of perspective. Sports bloggers were depicted as unemployed 20-somethings living in their parents’ basements.
Well, most of those mainstream media members now have their own blogs, and some of them are great daily reads. But aside from some sports blogs, which seem like they may actually be written by unemployed 20-somethings in the basement, sports blogs have joined political blogs as mainstays in today’s information age. As a sports fan, my first stop on my laptop is not a newspaper website or ESPN.com, it’s somewhere like Deadspin, The Big Lead, or Awful Announcing. All of these blogs provide unique and lighthearted insight into the sports world, are updated dozens of time each day, and often showcase and link to must-read stories from the so-called “mainstream media” all over the country.
A quick case study on the impact of blogs, at least in the sports world: Deadspin.com, which is by far the most-read sports blog out there, posted its season preview of the Super Bowl-champion New York Giants at 10:45 a.m. this morning. It is now 11:45 a.m. In the last hour, 1,334 people have viewed the article and 44 have commented on it. Many more than that have likely been to the site but chosen not to read that story. In the last 24 hours, the blog’s authors and editors have made 35 posts.
At DDA, we understand the importance of blogs in a completely different way. These daily entries are not only a fun and light-hearted way to break up a busy day at work, while also getting to know our colleagues a little more, they allow us to share some insight into what it is we do here, whether it’s copywriting, graphic design, video production, search engine optimization (SEO), or advanced programming. And because search engines like Google, Yahoo!, and MSN prefer sites that are constantly updated, our 22 daily blog entries (sometimes not all of us get to it if we’re busy) are a good way to update our content and help the site leap even higher up the rankings than it already is. Our clients have taken notice, as well, and we have installed blog systems for them, giving them yet another outlet for their work and better traction in the world of search engines.
So while this blog entry may not get 2,000 hits in an hour, it will join the “blogosphere” in just a few seconds, when I click “publish.” That click will also mark another task on the Thursday obstacle course separating me from the first NFL Sunday of the season.