Hitting a home run with Little League communities

Bill Blevins has been consumed with an interesting side project the past week or so. He’s been making the ultimate Little League team web page for the Carolina Tigers (his sister’s family).

It leads with a blog, has player profile videos (the coolest part) and game-day slide shows.

Apparently, all the teams in the league are having a bit of a competition over who can develop the best web site. Here’s the rest.

Outside of Lawrence, where does this kind of hyperlocal journalism exist in the newspaper world? Not many places, I don’t think. So the question is, will more and more community members do it for themselves because newspapers aren’t doing it for them, or if newspapers did it (no matter how well), would people still want to do it for themselves — the inevitable result of egalitarian digital tools. If they’re doing it because newspapers aren’t, then only newspapers have themselves to blame for the missed opportunity. If they would do it anyway, then we’re in a lot more trouble than we think.

Disclosure for those who don’t know: Bill’s my boss.

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6 thoughts on “Hitting a home run with Little League communities

  1. Actually, to put a little more pointed note on your statement — “can anyone do it?”… I didn’t do much except install Plone and built the site in one night. The harder job is yet to come and that is for the team to keep things updated.

  2. It is hard for those of us that are not “computer wizards” and it is very very time consuming… so no, I don’t think “anyone can do it”!

  3. I should have been clearer — doing it exactly like Bill did it isn’t necessarily as easy as blogging, but these tools are getting easier to use all the time. And to do it just like Bill isn’t the only way. There are simpler, less time consuming ways that are still “competitive” to newspapers.

  4. I work as web content editor for a newspaper in a small town where local sports: little league, high school and college sports are huge. Unfortunately, our website is woefully underdeveloped. In particular, our sports section is sad and is not visited much which is ridiculous. I’ve started to develop a community site for the local sports scene using the Ning platform. Something very easy and done with very little or no programming. I’m waiting for the powers that be to give the OK to go live with it. Of course Ning could be used to create sites for individual teams.

  5. I think it’s important for papers to cover things like this. It would be so difficult to cover all Little League teams though … There’s just too many. But if there was some way to do it, you’d have an extremely loyal following since the players’ families couldn’t find this news in other places. Maybe papers could just provide a forum for the families to cover the topic themselves (blogs, user-submitted photos).

    I followed this same type of mindset for a recent project, Roller Derby Rundown.

  6. […] Can you imagine a newspaper web site covering Little League in town? It would be time consuming, but I think it would be worth it. Families of Little Leaguers can’t get the news in many other places. They’d come to your site … While they were there, maybe they’d read some other articles too. To cut down on the time and resources it would take to cover little league, maybe a paper could create the forum for the stakeholders to cover it themselves (like blogs and user-submitted photos). […]

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