Friday, October 01, 2010

An Open Letter to U.S. Figure Skating

Dear U.S. Figure Skating,

I'd like to make an open appeal on behalf of figure skating bloggers who are both social media savvy and support U.S. Figure Skating.

When I began writing my blog five years ago, it was mainly a place for me to write my feelings about figure online diary if you will. I posted here and there and was proud I had a little corner on the Internet.

But as time has progressed and social media has advanced, my blog and the blogs of many of my social peers have gone from a simple diary on the net to a full blown resource for figure skating fans around the world. Over the last five years my blog has gone from a small audience to a large global audience.

I've gone from being a casual blogger to being very serious about my content. I understand that people are reading my blog for information, for insight, for perspective; and I take that very seriously. I take my blogging so seriously that Panasonic chose me to go to Vancouver and blog for them at the Olympic Games. While our amazing athletes including Evan Lysacek, Meryl Davis, and Charlie White were performing brilliantly, I was there blogging about them.

U.S. Figure Skating, I'd like to ask you to make a proactive step into the future of media and relax your media credential standards just slightly to allow for figure skating bloggers to cover your events, such as Skate America and U.S. Nationals. Absolutely bloggers should have to abide by the same rules and standards that other credentialed media are given and there should be strict qualifying standards for a blogger, but bloggers should be allowed none-the-less.

U.S. Figure Skating has a presence in online and social media but bloggers are, frankly, more in tune with the everyday online pulse of what's happening in the world of figure skating. Bloggers are using services such as YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook to not only provide content for fans of figure skating, but actually interact with those fans in near real time. And imagine all the online buzz you could create in the figure skating community by allowing bloggers to cover events as well. This is a win-win.

It's the 21st Century and there is a world of untapped media coverage at your fingertips. Will you take advantage of it?

Axels, Loops, and Spins


Pete Murray said...

I'm with you wholeheartedly on this Aaron! Appreciate your effort to open eyes, ears, and minds at U.S. Figure Skating.

Fellow Blogger - Pete Murray, Editor - Blazing Blades

Anonymous said...

Is this being sent directly to anyone at USFS? It deserves to be read by them. I hope this blog, as well as the other credible online blogs who provide countless amounts of figure skating coverage, are eventually allowed to be credentialed at skating competitions.

DW said...

I just wish I could go as a photographer! It's so frustrating to have to leave my "good" camera (or all of them) at home.

Vlad said...

I absolutely agree with you! Also need to add to this list other skating competitions such as Europeans and Worlds.

Best of luck!

-Vlad,World Figure Skating, editor

Vlad said...

In addition - the same letter need to send to ISU

Laura said...

I second this letter. It's so ridiculous for USFSA to operate as though it's still 1999 or something. If the other major sports organizations like the NFL (which really doesn't need the publicity) can allow bloggers in, I don't understand why figure skating, which needs to do all it can to find and retain fans, won't let us in.

The most grating part is that we have more skating knowledge and respect for the sport than many of the reporters who get assigned to these events a couple of times a year.

Elizabeth said...

Aaron, you'd be a great official blogger at any USFSA event. The USFSA could take a page from another ice sport, the NHL which gives more media credentials to bloggers than any other pro sport. The NHL has embraced being a "long-tail" sport with a smaller yet passionate fan base compared to other major pro sports leagues. They've been extremely successful with more game and behind-the-scenes coverage online as opposed to TV coverage. Fans with more access to the game through bloggers and other social media outlets will spend more on premium coverage to keep up with all the excitement on the blogs.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the belated comment, but still curious.
Do you feel that time will come when bloggers like yourselves can actually call that your career?