Apparently, the NHL is recruiting “celebrities” (and I think we need to stop ascribing this title to everyone who has a TV show, given that these days practically everyone does have a TV show) to blog about the NHL during the playoffs.
I guess, in some boardroom somewhere, this seemed like a grand idea. Among the celebrities teeing up to blog are Lauren Conrad (only known to MTV fans), Jason Reitman (who has directed one noteworthy movie), Kevin Smith (who brought is “Gigli”) and .. uh .. well, a list of people I honestly can’t be bothered to look up.
This is the same year when the NHL, which tries to centralize everything, unilaterally declared that all the teams had to abandon web properties they’d spent years evolving, and have their web sites and services consolidated and templated under a single umbrella– built and maintained by IBM and Cisco because of some sponsorship program. Many teams were angered by this decision. MSG Entertainment sued the NHL because of it.
In this “blogging” strategy, the philosophy of Centralization appears to be the recurrent problem. These Celebloggers (most of them) already have their own blogs, on their own web sites, where they have aggregated their own audiences and are driving readers every day. In their wisdom, however, the NHL is forcing these bloggers to post messages … uh … on the NHL web site, nested behind half-a-dozen menus, in the ironically-named “blogger central“. Of course, these “blogs” don’t really look like blogs … they’re difficult to read, difficult to navigate, and (big surprise) it’s a daunting task to even dig up the RSS feed link.
So, instead of capitalizing on the opportunity to introduce the NHL to new audiences via the celebrities and their channels to their own fans, the NHL has once again squandered the opportunity to gain exposure by centralizing everything on its own web site, which of course is almost exclusively (though infrequently) visited by.. you guessed it … existing NHL fans.
So what results are they expecting, exactly?