1) The Daily Spin (A Tennis.com blog): Written by Jonathan Scott
– Scott is best at doing what nobody else does in the world of tennis journalism does. He covers more of the pop culture end of the tennis spectrum. Such stories are crafted to entertain the reader rather than give them the details of a match.
– The Daily Spin somehow finds a way to keep things short and do so without repetition. You’d think that writing every single day about something off of the beaten path in tennis could get old, but he exhausts those wells by using various mediums, from a “top-5” list for a category to interesting videos, so on and so forth. Also, his posts are never too long…short and sweet, where he gives the reader something to peak their interests, and not enough to make them bored of it.
– Scott’s way of building community is answering questions, from responding to blog comments that are related to the post, to answering his Twitter followers if they bring up a good point or idea.
– Four ESPN Tennis writers operate this blog, but the most frequent poster is ESPN Tennis Editor Matt Wilansky. Their strength is that they find interesting and thought provoking ways to analyze tennis. In a way, it is harder news with a twist. Instead of writing why a match was so great, Wilansky will throw in bullet points with Tweeted reactions and pictures, etc.
– A lot of blogs post every day, which has proven to be successful many times, but Wilansky and the other writers hold off unless there is really something that will be good. There are many bloggers who post every thought that comes to their head, but what Wilansky puts up makes a reader think, “hey, what’s next?” That kind of deflects the negative side in that they only post once every few days.
– This blog builds community in a different way than interaction. Sure, each of the writers do tend to answer their followers on Twitter, but the thing is, they all are hard news tennis writers that end up on the actual ESPN Tennis page. The blog is a way of sending readers to see what other aces they have up their sleeves.
3) Zoo Tennis- Junior and College Tennis– Written by Colette Lewis
– Colette Lewis runs this blog, and by far its biggest strength is doing something that nobody else does. She covers junior tennis, where no money is involved and there aren’t always sponsorships and such in the situation. She simply follows the best of the young players in the United States, and at some points in the world, until they become the next top professionals, and the cycle begins again.
– Quite frankly, not many people on the journalism side of tennis do a good job of finding who will be next. No, I do not think that calling whoever wins the Junior title at a Grand Slam tournament is a good way to evaluate future talent, because most kids who win the Wimbledon, US Open and other Junior titles do not end up getting very far in their career. There are reasons for that but that could take quite a while. Colette goes out to the junior tournaments that mean more in future forecasting of potential rather than prestige, to interview and see who could possibly step up in the future.
– Colette does a TON of tweeting, so as some of the bigger tennis personalities re-tweet her, more people follow her blog and end up asking her questions on Twitter or on the blog which she answers a decent amount of the time. She has become the “go-to” resource for junior tennis, so her blog has kind of become in a way, the home of junior tennis, building a community.