Seems that the hottest topic (at least for today) among the golf blogosphere is... well, exactly that... the golf blogosphere. Some of my favorite golf bloggers have taken the time and made the effort to point out the highs and lows of the trade, and very good points have been brought up. For example, Ryan Ballengee at WaggleRoom offers the following opinion regarding the current state of golf blogging:
"There are a bajillion places to get scores and other news. I'm hoping that Waggle Room is a place you'll come to and see three things: 1) news items that are hard to find; 2) breaking news, analysis, and interviews that will be nowhere else; [and] 3) links to other creative work that I didn't do or think of myself. And if you stop seeing those things, stop coming here. I'm serious. I'll get the hint that I've lost my way."
This is definitely very true about Ryan's website, and I personally feel he has accomplished many of the goals he has for that site. To be honest, these are very similar goals that I hope ChicagoDuffer.com will eventually reach in the years to come. Needless to say, golf blog sites like WaggleRoom.com are great examples of collaborative works by many different writing styles all hoping to achieve and provide the same goals. And, as the man himself said in the above quote, if the site changes in any way and stops providing what site fans want, then they should stop going to it. What more can a golf blogging site expect?
In another style and manner, the guys over at Niceballz.com offer similar golf stories and opinions as many blogs, but in a very unique way. The creators and writers at Niceballz.com carry a sense of humor that is not seen very often (if at all) in the world of blogging. In other words, these guys bring news and viewpoints to the reader in a manner that the reader can respect: in your face, no holds barred, and exactly how you would speak to your friends at a bar. Or, at least that is how my alcoholic friends talk to one another, but I digress. Regardless, the boys bring up a good point:
Do golf blogs by in large challenge the industry or players or the status quo enough? We would argue, again in general, that they do not. Why? Some of it is probably an access question. Golf blogs rely on agents, PR people at major organizations like the PGA and LPGA and other layers of gatekeepers to get access to the personalities that can help deliver great content.
I have to admit, I agree. While I have only had my blog up and running for a few months now, I could not even imagine who I would need to know to get an interview with an actual PGA or LPGA player (well, without doing certain personal favors, of course). But other industries can say the same, right? As the guys at Niceballz pointed out later in the same post, golf is pretty similar to industries that have huge reader followings and billions of dollars invested in the sharing of information via the Internet and through the fingers of the common (and interested) blogger.
Everyone has his or her opinion on how to run his or her blog. Personally, I have no idea where this particular blog will end up... if it ends at all. But I will say this: the state of golf blogging is strong, and I doubt anyone will argue that point. However, I do agree that content (this site included) could use a little boost in order to stand out in the world of online journalism. Personally, I will attempt to do that in an effort to make ChicagoDuffer.com more than just another mimic blog.