Monday, January 19, 2009

Technorati's Top 5 Sports Blogs

I went through the top ranked sports blogs according to Technorati's "authority" ratings. It isn't even close to a perfect measuring tool, as there are many fantastic blogs that don't have a high authority rating for one reason or another. But, it is reliable enough to key us into some great blogs.

Below are the top-7 sports blogs and what I think makes them stand out. All 5, as best I can tell, are independent of major news organizations or other large entities that prop them up.
  1. Awful Announcing - There's good reason why AA is at the top. First of all, it has lots of reader participation, but there has to be a reason why people read and take the extra step of commenting on posts. AA has discovered a niche that people love to discuss, sports announcing. We love to complain about Dicky V when he doesn't give enough credit to our team. We love (or hate) to see a new sideline reporter screw up an interview. The key here is loving and hating. There's no middle of the road, which means boring, which would mean people wouldn't participate and visit again the next day. AA is deserving of their top spot.
  2. Baseball Musings: Read through Musings and you'll find it's expertly written and often funny. It has a great mix of time-sensitive news and posts that will remain popular for a long time. It has a simple layout, which makes it easily read. Sure, there are lots of ads, but they are kept completely out of the reading area; if you don't want to see them, your reading won't be interrupted. A blog I hadn't heard of, but one I'll keep reading.
  3. Bleed Cubbie Blue: A member of the Sports Blog Nation netword of blogs, BCB is self-styled as "a Chicago Cubs Fan Community," it is certainly that; there are enough comments on every post to fill Lake Michigan. The site makes use of a variety of media, social media links that make it easy for readers to hype up the site, and expert content that feeds the appetite of Cubbie fans. It's everything a fan blog should be. I'm a Reds fan, but this blog almost converted me.
  4. Minor League Ball: Another member. Minor League Ball only has a Google PageRank of 3, which, though respectable, doesn't denote a massive following. So, it must carry some weight with it's readers to have a good Technorati authority rating. The blog looks at the stats and bios of top minor league prospects, which would lend itself not to a big following, but a devoted following of statistically minded baseball fans. If that is truly the case, and I believe it is, then Minor League Ball fits perfectly into it's niche and delivers the goods.
  5. Mets Blog: "A Grand Central Station for Mets Information" it surely is. Editor Matt Cerrone knows the Mets and it shows. Great content that his readers crave is what he delivers. He does it through good writing on timely subjects, interesting vlogs (video blogs), and a cool Fan Confidence Rating graph based on reader polls.

(Who said baseball is in decline? I know people still love it, but I wouldn't have guessed four of the top-five)

Each of these five deliver 1) strong content, 2) meet readers expectations, 3) are tightly focused, and 4) have a good, uncluttered design. Those things together are a winning combination. Obviously.

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