Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Scenedaily.com's Writers Now Video Stars


We have been watching with interest as the "convergence" of the NASCAR media continues.

TV shows like NASCAR Now want you to go to the ESPN.com website, while Internet sites like Rowdy.com now want you to stop by for fresh NASCAR video every day.

After switching-over to the Internet from magazine and newspaper formats, the big NASCAR media publishers are also dipping their toes in the water when it comes to video. As many NASCAR fans who watch Tradin' Paint on SPEED already know, print reporters on TV are always fun to watch. It turns out, the same is true for in-house produced videos.

Simply by clicking this link readers will be taken directly to the video page of the popular scenedaily.com website. Parked right there are over 60 free videos available to broadband users that discuss everything under the sun where NASCAR is concerned.

Sports fans may know that ESPN just scoured the nation and hired a slew of former newspaper reporters as NFL Football bloggers. The company that began with one TV network back in 1979 is now in a full sprint to develop and grow as much Internet content as possible in all different forms, including video.

While our friends over at NASCAR.com have a website that is just loaded with tons of NASCAR videos, it also has a very fundamental problem. It is tough to get around. With hundreds of links just on the front page, NASCAR.com is so "front-loaded" that it is overwhelming to many fans and casual users.

Meanwhile, sites like scenedaily.com are just growing slowly into the combination of news, blogs and video that we see from other sites covering professional sports. As usual, NASCAR is a bit behind the technology curve.

The pure joy of watching the scenedaily.com videos is seeing people who are clearly not used to being on-camera squirm and wiggle just like any of us would in that circumstance. When four writers are huddled around the company's conference table with their hands tightly clasped and nodding in agreement like Dave Despain bobble-heads, its just fun to watch.

Recently, the company has invested in a program that inserts a new picture behind the folks on-camera. Now, instead of checking-out the Charlotte weather through the conference room windows, viewers are treated to random pictures of tracks, cars and fans. This video is mandatory viewing for any fan who loves Bob Pockrass.

Eventually, the guys at Street & Smith's in Charlotte will wise-up and create a permanent set in the office that is well-lit and ultimately interactive. Just like any liveshot location at newspapers around the country, they will realize that the scenedaily.com logo needs to be in the background and that inserting a commercial before the video might even pay the bills.

But for the moment, NASCAR fans can get a glimpse of their favorite writers as they learn a new skill in a very public way.

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5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I really like scenedaily.com and think it's one of the best NASCAR news resources online, though it's not as well known as some of the other sites.

But I never click on those scenedaily web videos and have no plan to do so. The screen caps advertising new content look amateurish (though I did read and was greatly amused by Bob Pockrass's column about his embarrassment at having to go to the mall to buy makeup for TV cameras, which he had no clue how to do.)

My time online is limited during a work day and though I can access online video and streaming video from work and at home on evenings/weekends, I only do that if it's something professional which adds to my NASCAR knowledge. My initial impression of the scenedaily videos and the nascar.com videos (other than postrace press conferences) is they are not worth my time. If they improve later, maybe I'll make time.

I'd rather see the actual midweek and Friday driver press conferences on video than watch the writers on video (Written transcripts are provided for those on some sites, but it usually takes a day before they are posted.) Those Friday press conferences transcripts are pretty extensive and seem especially interesting (to me).

Anonymous said...

I'm an avid Nascar fan, but almost never look at Nascar.com. Their home page is a complete mess!

Anonymous said...

As a professional web producer, I can tell you that text stories always get more clicks than videos, unless the video is specifically of an unusual event or incident.

The stuff Scene Daily is doing is fun and a novelty, but it'll wear off, especially after someone looks at how few people are actually viewing the clips.

red said...

i agree w/the comments from all three anon posters. i rarely watch video clips of anything, even if i'm at a site already. to date, most clips seem irrelevant if the title of the clip is any indication of the content. i have a low threshold of tolerance for that.

nascar.com site is a disaster and i rarely click on anymore. a couple of years ago, it was my "go to" place for information but it is now just one endless ad. finding content has become needlessly difficult and, with access to other sources which are better designed and executed, i do not have to try and navigate such a cluttered site.

scenedaily.com is one that i check daily for content. i find the columns to be well-written (even if i don't agree w/the positions taken) and the site itself is easy to navigate. but, as i say: i ignore the video.

in general, for me it comes down to how do i want to receive information: written or viewed? i have always been a written word person and that is my default position. i watch the race, using various tools at my disposal, but only one of those tools has ever been visually based and that is racebuddy. otherwise, it's all written.

there may be synergy occuring between video and print but not for me. it may be a function of age (our 16 year old is far more visually oriented than i and is always viewing video online!), it may be a function of not enjoying watching a video on a computer screen, it may be a function of uninteresting content. regardless, it is not part of the nascar world that i visit.

Photojosh said...

Scenedaily may have cool content. But that crappy greenscreen effect is difficult to look at. You don't need to trick us into thinking you are at a track, just pull together some nondescript garage type set like Nascar Now uses.