Sunday, May 24, 2009

Heather B. Compliments TBN. No, Seriously.

I've been taking a little bit of a break from the Buffalo News. That last Bucky Gleason column - I'm not linking to it but I think most of you know the one I'm talking about - really pissed me off. I've given Bucky a hard time pretty much since I started Top Shelf but most of it was in goodish fun. I admit, I enjoy getting that worked up about a column or article. Those arguments and debates are all part of the fun of being a sports fans. But while I may be overreacting, I found that last column to be insulting and it really made me question how much Bucky understands the local sports scene from our point-of-view and what our relationship to our teams are and really, I'd apply that to a few people in the sports department. Obviously, Bucky and co. aren't fans and they're not obligated to think like we do, but I do think they should probably understand who they're writing for. Even if you disagree with your audience, I think you need to know and maybe even respect where they're coming from. And the whole "Well, I don't mean to tell fans what to do or be condescending" thing bugs me. Either Bucky's a poor writer who couldn't get across the tone he was going for or he said exactly what he meant but isn't big enough to admit that. Either way, I'm over it. So anyway I've been on a bit of a TBN black-out with exceptions for a couple of people and things.

One of those exceptions has been Inside Pitch. It's hardly a newsflash that I'm a pretty big fan of Mike Harrington and he's been pimping the story in today's paper about Yankee Stadium and Citi Field for a while now. It is, as is to be expected, a really good read and I'd encourage any baseball fan to take a look. Lots of good stuff there comparing and contrasting the two new parks.

But the really cool thing about it, I think, is how TBN enhanced the print version for the website. I think it's been pretty interesting to see how print journalism has worked to keep up with the web and there are times I think TBN has done a good job with that and there have been times I think they've struggled. But this is awesome. In addition to the story just being laid out on the screen really well it's absolutely filled with links. Anything in the story that could possibly be linked is which means the story is loaded with extras: Google maps, Mapquest directions, subway and train routes, seating and pricing charts, concession and restaurant prices. You could come pretty close to planning an entire baseball outing to NYC with what's there. I think it's worth following the link above to the story and just clicking around in it. Very, very cool to see a newspaper figure out how to use the tools and strengths of the Internet. Rather than just make the web story a carbon copy of the print story, they made it better and they really made it fit the format. Well played, TBN.

Stay tuned for the exciting tale of Heather B. and Darryl Strawberry Day!

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