Boston.com announced today that they will live blog Sunday night’s Patriots/Colts game using the Cover It Live software. (BSMW’s David Scott was an early adopter of the technology) They say this will allow for much quicker updates, while also allowing readers to interact with the writers during the game itself.
It’s an interesting experiment and might be worth checking out.
I do see a downside to doing it this way, and it goes like this: Oftentimes, if I’m out watching the game at a friend’s house, or even at home and I see something that I might want some more information on (an injury, or incident during the game), rather than going to a computer, or pulling out the laptop, I’ll often grab my phone and pull up Google Reader Mobile, where I have subscribed to the Reiss’ Pieces RSS feed. Then I can see on my phone what information Mike, or the other writers might have about the situation. I don’t see a way to do this with this way of blogging the game.
This brings me to another item that I’ve noticed that Boston.com has changed recently. Apparently they have turned off full feeds in their blogs, at least the ones that I’ve noticed (including Reiss’ Pieces). This is incredibly annoying. Readers now only receive a headline and perhaps one sentence summing up the entry, and are forced to click through to read the entire entry.
While I understand the reasoning behind this (more click throughs=more page views=more advertisements being shown) it is still an inconvenience, especially when we go back to the cell phone user. Before, in Google Reader Mobile, I could read the entries right in the application, and get the information I was looking for, now they require a click-through, and a whole new page – not always formatted optimally for the cell phone – has to be loaded, which giving the connection speeds, can take quite a while.
Not really the “instant information” fix I’m looking for in those situations.
Finally, I understand that online video is the hot thing right now, but I don’t always want it. I know some readers have complained about the videos, noting that they can’t view them from work, (or from cell phones again) or the computer they’re using can’t view them. For me, it’s a time thing. I don’t want to sit through a 3 minute video when I can read the same thing in 30 seconds. With some of the videos I simply don’t understand the appeal. Why do I want to see Dan Shaughnessy or Tony Massarotti from the Garden giving their views on the just-completed Celtics game? These videos are also being shoehorned into the blog entries, and while there are a few that are informative, for the most part, Boston.com would be better served just putting the material into text.
I like a lot of what Boston.com is doing to bring sports fans the latest information, these were just a few things I’d like to see improved.