Wednesday, March 30, 2011

How Google's +1 Button Can Help Sports Blogs

Working at Google, I've been fortunate enough to work with some incredibly intelligent and creative people on the cutting edge of technology.

Let me rephrase: I've been fortunate enough to sit somewhere near the middle of technology, clutching my English degree, while some great Google colleagues of mine carve out new edges to this tech-driven world of ours...

As of today, Google officially launched the +1 (that's "plus-one") button, focusing their core product (search) around people even more so and allowing your social networks to hold sway over your entire online experience.

This is an amazing opportunity for sports bloggers. In this post, I'll outline exactly what you should know and what you should do.

So, what is this +1 button?

The simple answer: it's a means for users (including your readers or other bloggers) to find recommendations from people they trust when they need them the most (when they search for them, for instance).

The more in-depth answer: I'll hand that one over to the Google marketing team. I'd also check out the video in my first link above.

Why should I care?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Dear Sports Bloggers: I Love You

Being a sports fan is a complex matter, in part irrational but not unworthy a relief from the seriousness of the real world, with its unending pressure and often grave obligations. 
- Richard Gilman

To love sports as a fan is at once rewarding, frustrating, empowering, enraging and (as the late theater and literary critic Gilman hints at) completely meaningless. Sports, he seems to say, mean escapism, but they become so much more critical and more complex to a fan. (Just try explaining why you love sports so deeply to someone who simply doesn't understand them or actively dislikes them, and you'll see what Gilman meant.)

Were he alive and plugged into new media, Gilman would see a growing community of passionate, fanatical sports bloggers who willingly add to the complexity of being a fan by exposing their views to the world. At the same time, sports bloggers help fans express themselves through social engagement online, helping cut through that complexity and strengthen the fan community.