Many, many moons ago when I started BSO, there was no Twitter, MySpace was a fad, to get on Facebook you had to be in college, and a blog was something that people with too many cats did.
Oh, how times have changed.
Now, online media has taken over to the point that newspapers and magazines are almost extinct. The technology is so advanced that I can run BlackSportsOnline from a BlackBerry that is smaller than my hand.
One thing I always wish I had when I started BSO was a network of people who could help guide and advise me. In reality, I had to figure out most of this on my own through a lot of trial and error (a lot of error).
That is why I am so supportive of the Blogs with Balls intiative, which brings together the movers and shakers of sports online media to share in their experiences, successes, and failures to help the next generation of sports bloggers.
I was honored to be chosen as a panelist for one of the discussions that will be taking place during Blogs with Balls 3 that will be in Chicago June 4th-6th. Here is what my topic will be and also the other gentlemen on my panel:
Democratizing Sports Media: How Blogging Players, Fans & Leagues Are Changing the Game
Brian Cook (mgoblog)
Valli Hilaire (Fast & Fabulous)
Kevin Kaduk (Big League Stew)
Robert Littal (Black Sports Online)
Scott Reifert (Chicago White Sox)
MOD: Henry Abbott (TrueHoop)
Personally, I think it is the best topic because it speaks to one of the dangers of everyone having a voice in sports media. That is the gift and curse of online media. Look at it like this; what if everyone could carry a gun without a license? Sure, there would be some people who were very careful with that responsibility, but there would be others who would be shooting beer cans in their basement. That is how I feel about the saturation of sports blogs. But you will have to wait until the conference to hear more of my thoughts.
Beyond my panel, there will be other familiar faces from the sports media arena speaking at the conference:
Jason McIntyre (The Big Lead)
Alana Nguyen (Yardbarker)
Jon Greenberg (ESPN Chicago)
Enrico Campitelli (The 700 Level)
David Jacoby (ESPN, Sports Guy Podcast)
Ian Orefice (SI.com)
Just to name a few.
I would encourage anyone who has aspirations of getting involved in sports media or currently has a sports blog to attend. It is a wonderful networking opportunity, and on top of that you will acquire invaluable information on how these sites have succeeded when others have failed.
More important than all that, you get a chance to meet “Ya Boy” Robert Littal and that should be worth the plane ticket itself; you never know what might happen when I am around (hide the lamps).
Follow them on Twitter for the most up to date info.
Did I mention the event was at Wrigley Field?