It is easy to become a blogger, anyone can just log on to WordPress or Tumblr and create an account, write a post and it’s considered blogging. Some people blog because it is a hobby and they enjoy it but it’s the real world and who wouldn’t want to make money off of doing something they enjoy? In “How Bleacher Report Made Crap Journalism Pay”, Eskenazi comments on how Bleacher Report (a site with reader produced content) become so successful.
Bleacher Report was started by 4 friends who were huge sports fans and wanted to connect with other sports fans. The site quickly rose to popularity because it operated based on the idea of quantity over quality. But as time went on, the founders of Bleacher Report realized that valuing quantity over quality would not help them make their site into a profiting business. With that being said, Kaufman and many others were hired to spark up the site and enhance the quality of the posts.
One of the reasons Bleacher Report has such a huge fan audience is probably because “Bleacher Report employs an entire analytics team to comb through reams of data, determining who wants to read what, and when, at an almost granular level. In this way, the site can determine the ideal times to post certain types of stories—thus meeting a demand that doesn’t yet exist, but will.” In this way, Bleacher Report focuses on what’s going to be popular to garner the most visits on their page, which is what advertisers pay for when they post their ads on the site. The editors of the site come up with headlines which are then given to readers who will generate content for those headlines. Essentially, Bleacher Report publishes what they predict people are going to search for.
In the case of Bleacher Report, it seems as if it is impossible to create a profitable journalism site that maintains the quality and integrity of journalism. By creating headlines to cater to what will interest the most people, Bleacher Report essentially limits what fans are able to write about even though their original motto was a sports site created by the fans, for the fans.
In addition, Bleacher Report provides tips for their writers when publishing posts which include: key on a keyword, create hyperbolic headlines, cater to the masses and bet against the mainstream. These are just a few tips which all have one goal in common – to garner the most views and responses from the audience.
Unfortunately, many sites operate as Bleacher Report does – simply writing to get views. But in a world where everything is becoming digital and technology has become such a huge part of everyday life and virtual popularity can translate into actual money… people are more motivated to operate as Bleacher Report does. I guess in the end, Bleacher Report is simply doing what they have to do to survive and thrive. Even though the quality of the posts isn’t that great (but continuing to improve), people will still continue to visit the page daily and write for the site.