Friday, July 17, 2009
NASCAR Discovers Bloggers
TDP established a working relationship with the NASCAR Media Relations staff when this project was started back in 2007. Since then, some things have changed.
Many traditional newspapers and news organizations were forced to leave NASCAR behind as they consolidated due to tough economic times. Veteran reporters were let go and the NASCAR media scene changed for both the fans and the teams.
Now, the remaining members of the traditional traveling media are working in a very different way. They provide original content that is then moved around the Internet with lightning speed. Many reporters actually use Twitter to update fans during the live race and then write a full story after the checkered flag.
This changing media dynamic is not limited to NASCAR. Websites like Deadspin, The Big Lead and the AOL Fanhouse have changed the way many fans enjoy their favorite pastime. They represent the blogging side of sports on the Internet.
NASCAR has now made the first move to deal directly with bloggers in a new program that gives more access to information for some select websites. Click here for the story posted at NASCAR.com about the "citizen journalist" announcement.
As you may have noticed, TDP is on the list. What this program essentially does is reach out and grant more access to information for the bloggers. It grants access to the NASCAR media website that requires a password to get official photos, news and updates. In addition, it removes the roadblock of not allowing bloggers to get credentials to press conferences and the infield media centers.
This does not mean for one minute that a bunch of fans are going to show up and eat free pizza in the media center while pretending to type on their laptops. NASCAR went through a lot of websites and tried to pick an interesting cross-section. At most, this is the first movement of a very large and tightly controlled glacier with NASCAR stamped on it. The media ice may be thawing just a bit.
To most fans, the website list features a lot of familiar names. Some of these great sites have been plugging away at this sometimes touchy sport for years without any access to official information or press conferences. NASCAR gets a lot of credit for opening up and trying to address the shifting media dynamic.
My friends over at The NASCAR Insiders asked why no stories had appeared on the web about this new media wrinkle. My feeling is that it will take some time for this to shake-out in terms of building new relationships between bloggers, NASCAR officials and the mainstream working media.
We will certainly keep our readers posted on what is going on and how things change as this new initiative moves forward. I am a regular reader of almost all the sites on the list and think that NASCAR did a good job in this selection process.
As usual, we welcome your comments and questions on this topic. Responses to questions will just be posted right in the comments section. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thanks for stopping by.