Since 1995 - Insightful commentary on the Georgia Bulldogs

Post A win for Auburn

Friday May 30, 2008

Georgia fans are losing a valuable online resource. David Ching will be moving to the Auburn beat.

The value of Ching’s blog wasn’t that it re-hashed what could be found on any newspaper’s site. He didn’t bring a stunning command of Georgia’s tradition and history or some amazing insight into the game of football. He had the commodity that separates pros from the amateurs – access. What made his blog unique was that he shared that access with us – he brought you inside, walked you around the practice field, and gave you the impressions and nuggets that would never make in the paper but were so important for fans. Just read the comments to his post breaking this news to understand the connection.

The guys running the online-only subscription sites know all about that. Patterson, Legge, Dasher, and the others who have worked with them found out quickly that interaction with their subscriber base was oxygen for their sites. Those subscribers expected more than you got from a newspaper, and those sites delivered in part with technology and multimedia but also by using their access as a jumping-off point to drive discussion, encourage feedback, and guide future content.

One thing Ching demonstrated was how easy it was for a relatively obscure newcomer to build a personal brand. I would wager that only guys like Towers, Strickland, and Kendall who have been around the beat much longer or write for the major papers have higher name recognition among the hardcore online Georgia fans. Ching’s blog was as reliable a resource as most newspaper sites, and I admit to reading his blog much more often than his online articles at the paper’s site.

Sorry if this reads like an obituary. David should know that his site was appreciated and will be missed by Georgia fans, and the few Auburn fans who can read will quickly find him as useful of a resource as we did.

Ambitious journalists covering Georgia should realize that there is a vacuum out there now. Hopefully someone will step in to fill it this fall. With many in traditional media struggling to figure things out, it’s great to see those who jump in with both feet, and it’s unfortunate when we see one of them move on.

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