SA Blog Awards - Sports Finalists Review
Best Sports Blog
[A weblog written exclusively about any recognised sport]
- africansurfer.com : This a new discovery for me. And what a gem the awards have unearthed. Reading Africansurfer we follow three guys Tim, Lurks & Stone riding their 1981 Landcruiser up the west coast of Africa from Cape Town to London. I truly love the design and layout of the page. The writing is effervescent and appealing, with good mix of stories, quick updates and photographs of their adventures. You can't help but feel inspired to embark on an adventure after reading what this trio has gotten up to. Now if I can just get over this incredible bought of jealousy!
- sportblogs.24.com/ghana2008 : From one end of the inspiration scale we quickly descend to the other. This blog, maintained by Citypress as best I can see, is merely a list of weak commentaries/summaries of the Ghana 2008 African Cup of Nations football games, and this excludes the semi-finals and even the final. I am not sure how this made it onto this list, being a 24.com vanilla blog, there is no design merit, something that I think is important in this space as it mirrors the personality of the blogger and compliments the writing creating an overall experience that transcends simple prose. Enough said.
- sportblogs.24.com/frg : 'FRG' stands for 'Front Row Grunt.' Yes, you guessed it this is one of the six rugby-themed blogs in this category. As per the previous review there is no design kudos to hand out here, so let's concentrate on the content. Clearly there is much passion for the game here. While the is a wealth of results and game summaries here, you will also find some hard-hitting comment and opinions sneaking through. Thanks FRG for helping us raise this bar.
- compleatgolfer.co.za : One of two nominations that skirt the boundaries of the definition of a blog. The homepage is the online version of the print magazine of the same name. I am going to assume the nomination was for the latch-on blog 'The Mole's Blog.' The topics are varied, but golf related. There are the obligatory results, golfer profiles, equipment reviews and even some humour. The design is again held to ransom by the publication's overall image which does detract from the good content each post I viewed contained.
- keo.co.za : A serial nominee for blog of the year (2006 & 2007) and winner of this category in 2005. It must be stated that this category was discontinued after 2005 and has only resurrected again this year. Keo.co.za, Mark Keohane's genius creation when the SA blogosphere was still in it's infancy. The timing, combined with the pedigree of the writing team has lead to this blog becoming a blog with a massive readership. The page is functional, updated constantly and very often the source for breaking news. It's particular focus is rugby but it has branched into reporting on cricket as well. Keo.co.za has a vibrant community that often means you can get as much enjoyment and information from the comments as from the original post.
- sarugbyblog.com : Sticking with the rugby blogs. SARugbyblog probably tops the bunch, which is evident but it's rapid rise in popularity after is was first published. It has a balance of results, commentary, news and video relating to the game of rugby. This creation is a professional looking and well laid out page.
- pakiscorner.com : Like SARugbyBlog Paki & Hazard supply their readers with a mix of results, game summaries and video, predominantly around the game of rugby. The big difference I find here is a personality. Despite the presence of the all important 'About' page, the contributors allow their sense of humour to permeate their short posts. I have said it before, but this is what should differentiate a blog from a mainstream publication.
- blog.ecr.co.za/justplain : This is an interesting entry in this category. Although Darren Scott has been synonymous with sport programming on various Multichoice sporting channels, this blog is affiliated to his East Coast Radio show. Although there will be the odd sporting entry, it's more of a general interest blog. It's wide range of topics covered usually have a humourous twist.
- rugbydump.blogspot.com : Another blog that has experienced meteoric rise. Unfortunately, like too many finalists, there is no 'About' page, so I can't tell much about the contributors, other than there is a South African, a Canadian, and a Welshman. The blog features rugby videos of the best tries, tackles, funny incidents 'and more' and is updated at least daily. Interestingly the videos featured are not necessarily only from current or recent games, but from classic games in the past as well. They have a massive repository already built up, and rugby fanatics can spend hours wading through the short videos. The page design fits right into the subject matter, sufficiently masculine with an impressive index list down the right column. Rugbydump is a well thought out concept that will continue to be a success well into the future.
- iamastormer.com : Like compleatgolfer.co.za, I assume that the nomination was not for the landing page but for the associated team blog found once you enter. With just three entries in the section, it seems strange that this 'blog' managed to garner enough support and make it past the censors to get into the finals of this category. iamastormer.com is the official Super 14 franchise, Stormers fansite. It has a functional design, perhaps a little defensive when compared to the style of play expected from the team it supports.
My Prediction :
- I have been unable to find any evidence of Keo.co.za mobilising it's readers to vote, otherwise I would say this category is theirs for the taking. The same goes with rugbydump.com, but I think they have fresh new appreciative readership that may just mobilise itself and pull them to the top.
- Eish's pick : AfricanSurfer.com