THE BIRTH OF THE NEW MAINSTREAM MEDIA
[January 9th] -- When I was a kid, the information I could get about the Washington Senators was pretty much limited to Shirley Povich, Warner Wolf and three or four paragraphs in the back of the Sporting News. The mainstream media offered me little more than a superficial picture of the team that I lived - and died - with 162 nights a year.
And even then, the reporters and newscasters never seemed to ask the right questions -- the things that I wanted to know about.
That's all changed with the advent of the Nationals' blog-o-sphere.
At first, we would just link to what MSM reporters were saying about the Nationals and then we'd say how stupid they were. Later, we stopped the attack pieces and began to write original work, saying what we thought and why we thought it.
We have continued to improve and continued to expand our coverage and have today become - dare I say it - the ones that are mainstream, the place where Nationals' fans get their information first.
And why shouldn't they?
From the beginning, Nationals' Farm Authority has been interviewing minor league general managers and writers and others with a first-hand knowledge of the Washington Nationals. Other sites have followed. One of "The Beltway Boys" most read stories was the interview I did with Vermont's general manager C.J. Knudsen. Right now, I'm firming up an interview with Hagerstown's Will Smith, and more are on the way.
And today - wow - Nats 320 has an in-depth interview with Nationals' president Stan Kasten. And please, you've got to read it. Screech asked questions that fans want to know, not questions that beat writers decided we wanted to know. It's a well written, well crafted piece.
So, in the last month, the Nationals' blog-o-sphere has interviewed both the lowest level manager (Knudsen) and the highest level (Kasten) in the Nationals' family.
Why in the world would Vermont's GM give me the time of day, or Potomac's GM give NFA the time of day, or Kasten give Nats 320 the time of day? Are they being generous and kind to us -- kind of like bringing home a can of Pepsi for your kid and then patting him on the head and saying "leave me alone now, I've got to pay the bills?"
No way. They know that the most loyal members of the Nationals' fan base write blogs, and the ones that don't write them read them. By creating a relationship with us, they are only making their product more valuable.
I'll bet you that most of the readers of "The Beltway Boys" and "NFA" and "Banks of the Anacostia" and "Nats 320" and "Curly W" and all the rest head to one of the team blogs for their Nationals' news first before checking out the Post or the Times or the team's "official" website. Goodness knows that I do. Many times, JammingEcono has reported and discussed a news story hours - heck days - before the Post got around to covering it.
Striketwo.net keeps track of the almost 700 major league blogs in terms of "influence" (how they determine that is a story for another day). There are twenty-two Nationals blogs, with the top Nats' blog typically being #10-15 out of ALL of them. Currently, Nationals blogs hold the number 14, 19, 22, 23 and 26 positions in the top 700. Among teams, the Nationals' blog-o-sphere is listed as #6 (behind the Mets, Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs and Pirates). Pirates?
The Nationals have five blogs among the top thirty - the Mets are second with three, and no one else has more than two.
Some teams have no real representation in the blog world. The Padres have only five blogs, while the Braves have just eleven - I guess fourteen consecutive division titles don't count for much in Atlanta. The L.A. teams, the Dodgers and the Angels combined have six less blogs than the Nationals.
I am so proud of my fellow bloggers - all of them - those who have the time to blog daily, and those who don't. And the great news is we'll only get bigger, and we'll only get better. By you reading our blogs, you give us more power. By giving us more power, we have more access to the Nationals and their farm system. By having more access, we can continue to offer you more first-hand information about our Nationals.
Win-win-win. For you, for us, for the Nationals.
PS- I love the Logo
I'm long overdue in posting a comment on your site especially since you dropped some kind words on my site a couple weeks back. Great job day in and day out on the site. I know I can count on a good read on The Beltway.
I am a life-long resident of the DC area (grew up in PG, now live in western Fairfax County) so I appreciate the trips down memory lane.
You and the rest of the Nats bloggers do a great job giving us the latest and greatest news, analysis, commentary, etc. Keep it up
DC probably has an unusually high quotient of people who make their living reading and/or writing, and who therefore find doing so a completely natural and comfortable way to keep up with the team. While in other areas perhaps talk radio or TV programs are more robust or fill that fan base's needs better.
In fact, we could wonder, if we had really good local media coverage of the Nationals in Washington (with call-in shows for fans to express their own opinions) would the Nats blogosphere be as fully developed as it is?
All that said, I feel good that Nats blogs rank so highly in the scheme of things.
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