ESPN's new "Blog Buzz" feature has already taken some flak from some of the bloggers that it was intended to feature.
In their debut edition yesterday, the two "blogs" that they featured really weren't blogs at all. One was an online newspaper article, and the other was a piece from one of ESPN's own "bloggers", who are really a part of the ESPN machine, and not "bloggers" in the true sense.
Today's edition showed another reason why this might not work out as well as ESPN had anticipated. Two of the top 5 topics were involving ESPN themselves. One was the feedback from bloggers on the previous day's Blog Buzz, and the other was ESPN letting Stephen A. Smith go. Sportscenter Josh Elliott had to tiptoe around the Stephen A. Smith topic, and then defend ESPN in a rather awkward segment where he basically apologized for their miscues and promised an improvement in the future.
The problem with this, however, is that the ESPN-oriented blogs are not going to go away. How will the WWL react when several of the top 5 topics are things that they either can't discuss, or are simply anti-ESPN? Do we really want to see a daily segment featuring ESPN trying to justify the weird and sometimes inexplicable things that it does? Doubtful.
Do the network bosses really want their sportscenter anchors to talk about how the most popular story of the day was a bunch of guys drooling over their co-worker Erin Andrews when Playboy's next "America's Sexiest Sportscaster" poll comes out? So far, they have managed to avoid openly talking about Andrews' sex appeal. But the fact is that it's one of the most prominent blog topics out there. I can't wait to see how they react to that, because it's bound to happen.
I appreciate the fact that ESPN is finally trying to give a tip of the cap to the blogosphere as a whole, but this seems like it is destined to blow up in their faces eventually. I'm just looking forward to seeing what sets it off.
ESPN's 'Blog Buzz' Segment Fails Miserably [The Sporting Blog]
Morning Sportscenter, Now Featuring Blogs Chatter [The Big Lead]
ESPN New Blog Buzz Is Destined To Fail