Busy-ness of sports sites

This post is from Poynter Institute’s E-Media Bits, a daily email and online newsletter. It raises interesting questions for us, as writers for digital media, as to how much is too much:

begin excerpt:

Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Posted by Steve Klein
The Busy-ness of Sports Sites and MySI



Sports portal sites: Way too busy, says Steve Klein.

Although I have been a sports journalist (and now teach sports writing and reporting, among other subjects) for the better part of my career, and had something to do with the shaping of USA Today‘s online sports presence, I don’t spend much time with online sports portal sites like Sports Illustrated, Sportsline or even the Big Dog, ESPN.

I mean, have you looked at those sites lately? Busy, busy, busy: deep in content, rich in multimedia, and time consuming.

End of excerpt.

Sports and news as genres or categories both are known for notoriously busy and cluttered sites. For simplicity’s sake, I visit the league sites for quick scores and results — NFL.com or MLB.com — skipping middlemen altogether. Klein says he prefers Yahoo!Sports for headlines, then goes into the niche sites and RSS feeds that suit his interests.

What’s really interesting are the attempts by media companies like Inform.com and Digg.com to allow you to customize your reading. Sports Illustrated recently launhed a free, customizable, downloadable desktop application called MySI to allow us to orient our information according to our team loyalties. According to Klein, SI also developed a recommendation engine that aggregates content and links to stories about teams that we choose.

User-control. “We” media. The big, old media companies slowly are ceding control. They have to.

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