Wings Metablogging


Over at Abel to Yzerman Bill commented on the still-new official blog of the Detroit Red Wings, the Hockeytown Blog.

… They seem to be legitimately making the effort, and should be applauded for that…at the very least. Consider that they’re actually putting together a useful, interesting product? Well, now we’re talking groundbreaking stuff for an organ-I-zation that has been remarkably stale in all areas communications-related. Hell, I even Twittered them, and I still don’t know how to use that frigging thing.
So congrats to Shannon Paul and the Wings for taking a big step forward with the fans. Now don’t blow it.

When I first saw Hockeytown Blog I ignored it. For too many years I’ve seen the Red Wings organization pretend to try to connect with fans while actually just trying to make a quick buck off of them. The team still bills Red Wings World as “the most complete, in-depth fan site available” dispite the fact that it hasn’t been updated in months. Sadly, people believe the advertisements and pay their $40 to sign up, only to end up posting in one of the complaint thread in RWW’s forums.

(Don’t worry about me, I don’t pay to view those forums anymore. I’ve mentioned before that after my account with them expired I found a back door that lets me view them for free.)

So I filed away Hockeytown Blog in my head, remembering it but not giving it any thought, until a couple weeks ago when the “chief evangelist” at my day job came down to my office to rave about what a job Shannon Paul was doing for the Wings.

I checked it out and I have to agree. With the Hockeytown Blog, it actually looks like the Wings organization is making an attempt to connect with the fans.

There are always things I can complain about. I’ve said before that though I write in one, I hate the idea of blogs, so a lot of my issues can be chaulked up to that. The Hockeytown Blog design is awful, a complaint that I won’t let go of because – as a web developer – I know how easy it would be to fix that.

Those complaints don’t take away from that fact that I can see that the organization – or at least Ms. Paul – are trying. Five years ago would the Red Wings have allowed a fan to design an “I voted” graphic for the All-Star Game? Not a chance. That’s just one thing that’s changed this season.

Listing fan-run sites in the blogroll is a huge step forward, too (though leaving you off is a crime). Considering the fans have done a better job promoting the team than the team has for the last ten years, they deserve some credit from the organization.

I said that in my comment at A2Y. I’ve been running DetroitHockey.Net and its predecessors for over 12 years now and this is the first time I’ve seen the Wings organization do something of remotely the same quality of what fans have been able to put out without the backing of the team. Those fans deserve the link they get from HTB (as does Bill, even if he didn’t get one yet).

So, like Bill, I say congrats to Ms. Paul. I look forward to seeing what changes the Hockeytown Blog can make in an organization that is traditionally unfriendly to new media.

Clark founded the site that would become DetroitHockey.Net in September of 1996. He continues to write for the site and executes the site's design and development, as well as that of DH.N's sibling site,

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