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I am so glad to have had the opportunity to attend the Blogs With Balls conference this past Saturday in New York. It was great to have so many people within the sports blogging community together in one room.
I thought the conference itself was well planned and, overall, informative. But for those of us who closely follow the trends in new media and advances made by those in the sports blogging community, no new ground was uncovered.
The opinions of the panelists were refreshing, yet expected; we sports bloggers are doing some great work…we are the future…etc.
I was a bit disappointed in the final panel discussion entitled, “Why We Hate You…The Media’s Take.” Here were the panelists:
Jeff Pearlman, Author, SI.com Columnist
Amy K. Nelson, ESPN
Dan Steinberg, The Washington Post’s D.C. Sports Bog
Jeff Pyatt, Real Clear Sports
Bethlehem Shoals, Free Darko, The Sporting Blog
Mike Hall, NESN
MODERATOR: Dan Levy, On the DL Podcast
The panelists did provide a lively discussion, but as you look at the list of panelists, only Jeff Pearlman and Amy Nelson have spent their entire career in the mainstream media. The others on the panel may have had MSM experience, but also possess a working knowledge of blogs. It would have been more beneficial if the entire panel were made up of those in the establishment media, especially those critical of bloggers.
Heading into the conference I was disappointed by not having the ability to live blog from the site. But it turned out to be a welcomed relief not to have Internet access. It afforded me more time to meet with people, share stories, and make new contacts. It was nice to get away from the technology for a few hours.
I did take my video camera and was able to conduct interviews with some of the people in attendance at the conference. That leads me to one other criticism…the conference was held in the basement of Stout NYC, a restaurant in Manhattan. The atmosphere was superb, but the lighting was not suitable for video. Most of our interviews were conducted in front of a dartboard illuminated by a spotlight. So take that into consideration when viewing the videos.
My first video was not in front of the dartboard spotlight. It was in a similarly dimly lit room which was used by event organizers as a holding area for the speakers. It’s with Chris Lucas of HHR Media, the organizers of Blogs With Balls…
Check back as I will post more video interviews from the conference in the coming days.