Reading about superstar athletes vs. the folks like you

By Steve Outing

It’s becoming common for users of our Enthusiast Group websites to tell us how positively they feel about what we’re doing. I’m feeling really good about this quote from YourClimbing.com member MeganM:

“I think reading about our sport’s superstars in the climbing magazines is OK, but YourClimbing.com provides more of an interactive and rewarding experience.”

That’s a really interesting comment. For years, sports enthusiasts have read about their sports in magazines, mostly — with advice and celebrity profiles written by professional journalists and freelancers, and the occasional athlete. But what we’re seeing with the EG sites (which are primarily about climbers/bikers/runners/et al sharing their own stories and images) is that people like being the writers and photographers themselves, and viewing the amateur musings of fellow enthusiasts who they can interact with easily and directly.

That’s not to say that I expect our sites to replace climbing magazines, et al. But I do think we provide an alternative media and that those magazines and our sites will share the audience attention (and the advertising) in the years ahead. The magazines can of course do what we do, but it’s a big cultural stretch for them to be as open as we are to publishing whatever comes in over the transom, no questions asked.

Author: Steve Outing Steve Outing is a Boulder, Colorado-based media futurist, digital-news innovator, consultant, journalist, and educator. ... Need assistance with media-company future strategy? Get in touch with Steve!

3 Responses to "Reading about superstar athletes vs. the folks like you"

  1. Amy Gahran
    Amy Gahran 10 years ago .Reply

    Steve — something similar could be said about “women’s magazines,” which have generally focused on presenting a stylized, unrealistic image of women, with heavy emphasis on celebrity.

    This is one reason, I think, why BlogHer, MommyBloggers, and other places where women gather and share their stories online are extremely popular. They’re not only participatory — they’re more real, and thus more resonant with the community.

    Sometimes I wonder whether the long emphasis mainstream media has had on “production quality” was merely differentiation — as if the media organizations were saying “We’re doing something you could never do yourself, nyah nyah nyah….” When in fact, communities often like and prefer to see — and put — themselves in the media picture, so to speak.

    – Amy Gahran

  2. Amy Gahran
    Amy Gahran 10 years ago .Reply

    Steve — something similar could be said about "women's magazines," which have generally focused on presenting a stylized, unrealistic image of women, with heavy emphasis on celebrity. This is one reason, I think, why BlogHer, MommyBloggers, and other places where women gather and share their stories online are extremely popular. They're not only participatory — they're more real, and thus more resonant with the community. Sometimes I wonder whether the long emphasis mainstream media has had on "production quality" was merely differentiation — as if the media organizations were saying "We're doing something you could never do yourself, nyah nyah nyah…." When in fact, communities often like and prefer to see — and put — themselves in the media picture, so to speak. – Amy Gahran

  3. […] Steve Outing observes: For years, sports enthusiasts have read about their sports in magazines, mostly — with advice and celebrity profiles written by professional journalists and freelancers, and the occasional athlete. But what we’re seeing with the EG sites [here] (which are primarily about climbers/bikers/runners/et al sharing their own stories and images) is that people like being the writers and photographers themselves, and viewing the amateur musings of fellow enthusiasts who they can interact with easily and directly. […]

Leave your comment