As Bruce is on vacation this week. BSMW will be featuring reviews of some of the websites and content from several Mainstream Media outlets this week.
A few weeks ago, I had compared WEEI.com to CSNNE.com to ESPNBoston.com. In that review I noted that NESN.com wasn’t on the same level, content-wise, as those three outlets.
That just might be by design.
It seems to be generally conceded around the NESN.com offices that the aim of the site is traffic. That’s how they make some money from it, and accordingly, they do what is needed to get those high traffic levels.
The site is aiming to target a specific market base, which consists of search engine traffic, casual Red Sox fans and to capitalize on referrals from the TV side. They’ve done very well with that.
Because quick traffic is their aim, the content is different from what you will get from sites that are trying to retain readers longer on the site, engage them and keep them coming back every day. NESN.com’s aim is quick-hitting, often-updating blog posts on the latest items big and small that happen throughout the day.
NESN.com packs a lot into each page, with headlines running down the left hand sidebar, on the home page, each team/sport has its own section of headlines. The right sidebar is a mix of scores, which posts are getting the most comments, links to site contributors and video thumbnails. There is a lot to take in, but to NESN.com’s credit, it is pretty well organized.
It is generally a young staff at NESN.com, with a number of recent college graduates getting their start in the sports media business with the site. They also take advantage of the veteran NESN on-air staff as contributors, with video segments with Tom Caron, Jerry Remy, Dennis Eckersley, Peter Gammons and Jack Edwards being featured regularly. Some of the on-air contributors also contribute posts, as when Don Orsillo does a mailbag or Kathryn Tappen writes about the Bruins.
Some of the best writing the site has to offer include up-and-coming Patriots reporter Jeff Howe, Evan Brunell, who was/is a big part of the excellent Red Sox blog Fire Brand of the American League, and veteran Boston hockey writer James Murphy. They, along with others, provide some good original content for the site. Other articles I’ve seen on NESN.com aren’t so original at times. I’ve seen posts that were little more than a bunch of quotes pulled from other sources (once it was even Patriots Daily) and assembled into a post with a few lines of comment around them.
Videos on the site load quickly and come in very clearly and smoothly as you would expect from a multimedia site of this size and scale.
Overall, NESN.com is a good destination if you want a quick look at what is going on in the world of Boston sports, or are bored in the middle of the day and want to look in on some offbeat Boston sports items. It’s a good resource for the video segments from the TV side, and is worth a daily visit, if only to check in to see what they’ve have to offer that you might’ve missed somewhere else.
Tomorrow – Boston.com/sports.