Herder shows power of the web

One of Newfoundland’s
premier sporting events took place Saturday night and it was a perfect
illustration of the power, flexibility and range of new media over old media
and how the web works in the new news world.

 

The online coverage by Newfoundland media outlets of The Herder
Memorial Trophy hockey final was mixed.

 

The hands-down winner was The Sports Page. They put together
a team to televise the games live on the web. Streaming video to their website
and mirrored on the NL PRESS website, they averaged more than 8,000 viewers per
night from around the world who tuned in on their computers. Not to mention
having a parallel chat room where those people talked to each other while
watching. It was amazing to watch Newfoundlanders, supporters of the rival teams,
going at each other from the far flung parts of the world  as they watched the game together over the
internet.

 

The Sports Page also updated their website with still photos
and commentary throughout the night. Their full Herder story, along with a feature
story on the injured Jeff Oates, with a large selection of photos, was up on
their site an hour after the game.

 

Thirty minutes after the game finished NL PRESS had the
results and photos of the post game celebration on the front page of their
Newfoundland news website and available through their news service to
subscribers.

 

About the same time VOCM radio posted the results on their
website and followed up on Sunday with interviews and reaction from
Clarenville, home town of the winners.

 

The CBC had reporters, cameras and audio recording gear at
the game but as of Sunday night nothing is on their local website.

 

The Telegram newspaper, a major sponsor of the event, had
reporters and photographers on scene but as of Sunday night there was no
coverage, not even a photograph of the winners or their publisher handing over
the trophy. Only a paragraph with the results of the game and a note to readers
to get full coverage in the Monday Telegram. That would be more than thirty
hours after one of the biggest events in Newfoundland
sports.  I’m not sure sports fans will
wait until Monday to get news of Saturday night’s big game …and they don’t have
to anymore.

 

With no Sunday Telegram anymore this was the perfect
opportunity for the Telegram to use the web to deliver Saturday content to
their subscribers in a timely fashion. When the News is still new.

 

This is what people mean when they say that “old media”
doesn’t get new media and why most of their online offerings are still framed
in an old media mentality.

Deadlines and production schedules don’t mean anything in
the new world order. Deadline in now! If you don’t have the talent or the will
to keep up you get left behind.

The combined website traffic stats on Sunday morning for The
Sports Page and NL PRESS  say more than
12,000 people either got their Herder hockey news, or watched it live, on these
two websites. For a small website covering a provincial sporting event, in a
small province in a small country ….these are big numbers.

 

The traffic/viewers can be tracked by city, country,
referring site, operating systems and what search engines and keywords they
used to find it.

This is a marketing and sales staff dream, if they know how
to use it.  It’s also 12,000 people that
saw the ads on these website and not on The Telegrams website.

 

As wonderful as all that may be the most telling event of
the night was when I saw a guy talking pictures of the game with his cell
phone. I asked how his pictures were coming out and he said he was shooting
video on his 5 megapixel phone and posting them to his FaceBook page so his
buddy, who was working in Edmonton,
could see some of the game. I told him about the live broadcast on The Sports
Page and he posted the link to his friends …right from his seat in Mile One
Centre.

 

…and THAT is how news is done on the internet.