Greg Wyshynski of the Puck Daddy blog broke a story regarding bloggers and their role covering NHL teams. According to Wyshynski, teams that do not grant any bloggers press credentials such as the New York Rangers and Edmonton Oilers, have requested that bloggers from other cities not be given access to their players. As it stands right now, a blogger covering the Washington Capitals does have access to the Oilers when they visit DC. Some interesting discussion happening online (Staples) about this including what the difference is between a journalist and a blogger.
Teams like the Oilers have the option and can choose what best suits their business goals. Unfortunately, shutting out all bloggers reduces the amount of information they can possibly use and share with their fans. Giving these bloggers access also gives a new perspective on the game and could potentially generate some new ideas. The blogs out there really represent the demand hockey fans have. For example, points and assist statistics are great, but fans want a lot more statistical analysis.
But is it best that they remain out of the mainstream press box and stay in their parents basement? If the Oilers were to grant them access, would it change the bloggers relationship with their own fans? What if a new set of bloggers emerges scrutinizing the now mainstream bloggers work?
If bloggers are granted press credentials at games, there might be some interesting ramifications. For one, their relationship with their own fan base would change. Becoming a part of the mainstream media panel could change the way their perceived. Instead of being that accessible individual, they may be seen as “one of them”. This could change how bloggers are received and if their work grants merit.
Also, their perceived motivations could drastically change. A blogger tends to function on intrinsic motivation. They do things for self-satisfcation, without the need for financial rewards. Becoming a part of the MSM segment might change the perceived motivation. The demand on them will be from external factors and may significantly increase. This in turn may discourage them or alter their blogging activity.
In my opinion, bloggers should be granted press credentials. Of course, not every single person with a website should be let in. A set of standards must be established and agreed upon by both sides. The Oilers can really benefit from having a new perspective on the game from people motivated by intrinsic factors. It remains to be seen what would happen in a market like Edmonton where hockey remains front page news even in the summer. Teams such as Washington do grant bloggers access, but Edmonton would be different just because of the Oilogosphere and their presence online.