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Prep/small college blogs

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by ouipa, Dec 12, 2008.

  1. ouipa

    ouipa Member

    Hey all,

    Been a while since I last posted here, but I need some suggestions. I've been tasked by my paper to start doing a prep and small college blog out here. I've never had to blog on local content before, especially preps, and since I just got this job (my first) in the spring, I'm not completely familiar with all the players and team schemes yet. What are some good blogs I should be looking at for ideas and as a template to get me started? Any suggestions on what sort of content I should be publishing?

    I cover three high schools and one D-II college. Not a lot to work with, but we just want to get the ball rolling right now. They want me to start doing some live in-game blogging during prep and college basketball games (which will be a huge change of pace, given that I won't be keeping my own stats anymore). Any links to good blogs of that nature, and any tips there?

    Thanks a ton.
  2. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member


    I still don't get who would read an in-game blog of DII sports or high school sports. A manager read somewhere that blogs are the in thing and said to an editor, you should start a blog.
  3. pseudo

    pseudo Active Member

    At the Buffalo News, there are two sports blogs that have pulled in over a million page views -- the Sabres Edge (started during their '07 playoff run), and Prep Talk, roughly 14 months old. I won't hesitate to say I'm a big fan -- in fact, during the deadly-dull Bills' home loss to San Fran, I sat in the stadium reading Keith McShea's live-blog of the Orchard Park football team's state-championship game on my phone. (Yes, it was more entertaining than the game in front of me.) And to kind of answer Stitch's observation, the commenters included OP alumni from around the country, plus family and friends of the players who couldn't be in Syracuse.

    Aside: while I'm touting McShea and the rest of the preps staff there, I also liked the commemorative pages they put together for each of their state-champ teams: http://www.buffalonews.com/highschool/

    Check out the blog, and if you have any questions, Keith's always been cool about answering e-mail. Good guy.
  4. Lollygaggers

    Lollygaggers Member

    A live blog from basketball would be tough because it's much more fast-paced than football. Readers do like those things, though. I'm doing live chats from football championships this season and it's gotten a good response. I'll cross-publish some things from my blog to the paper if its newsworthy enough, but blogs are good places for rankings, breaking news such as college commitments and then just random stuff. Maybe you pick an athlete each week and ask them five random questions (favorite movie, pets, blah blah) and post that. I'm sure they'll read it and their parents and maybe their friends. Make it what you want.
  5. Trey Beamon

    Trey Beamon Active Member

    I like the blog. And those state championship covers are outstanding.
  6. Angola!

    Angola! Guest

    stitch - are you ripping in game blogs or live updates for high school sports?
  7. awesome
  8. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    In some markets, there isn't a point in live game blogs. It doesn't drive enough traffic to merit the work. And I don't see much use for D-II game blogs.

    But I see a blog as an extended notebook for some schools that don't get enough ink in the print product.
  9. zebracoy

    zebracoy Guest

    Off-topic: There's no Class B?
  10. pseudo

    pseudo Active Member

    Zebra, the Class B team from their area didn't make it to the finals.
  11. Angola!

    Angola! Guest

    We do live updates during all the high school games we cover and we do an online scoreboard, but I would tend to agree the in-game blog might be a bit much, especially for D-II.
  12. ouipa

    ouipa Member

    That's my problem. The issue is, what do I blog about? I've been having this problem when it comes to columns, too. I work in a small market, over 1,000 miles from where I grew up, with nothing but a few small schools with kids that definitely won't make it past this level. I've been pointed to high school blogs before, but those blogs often talk about much bigger schools in much bigger markets with kids that are much more likely to make it to D-I schools (then I could blog about where this kid might be going, how he's progressing, etc. Here, I can't do that). I'm in my first season covering winter sports here, so I don't know the players well enough to know how they've done in the past and where they're going in the future, other than what coaches have told me.

    I want to blog to get practice for the future, but I just don't know what to blog about! And the same goes for columns. Like I said, I need to write something people around here can relate to, and I just don't know if I've been here long enough to make personal opinions on local stuff when I've only been here for eight months. I don't have the history, context or personal connection to help readers relate.
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