Yesterday EXPN ran a nice little round up on the skating blogosphere. It was, how shall I say, adequate. For the first time visitor this may seem like me railing against ESPN and their X games Branded channel EXPN. Sure, I've taken shots at the X Games in the past. Yes, I did think them canceling a skate vert competition was stupid. Do I think they are the anti-christ? No, absolutely not. Love them or hate them you can trace a portion of the action sports explosion in the 90's to the X Games. But, back to the task at hand ... the EXPN skate wrap up. All I can say is EXPN, in the immortal words of Jacopo Peterman: "congratulations on a job ... done." You've successfully mailed this one in.
Highlighting four sites: Quartersnacks, Platinum Seagulls, 48 Blocks and The Berrics was great. Each one of those sites is amazing in it's own right. Each one has a unique perspective and great content. All of it falls down a very professional and localized point of view. Honestly, you can't ask for much more. Except the fact that these are four of the most well known sites out there for skaters.
I'm going down the anecdotal path here. I am neither hip, nor cool, nor will somebody come to me looking for the latest trends. Therefor, if I know some good sites to check out skate content ...you can bet your ass everybody else has found them months if not years in advance. Couldn't you take 15 minutes and cruise through the Slap message boards to actually find links to what skaters are checking out? Hell a few links off Skate Daily wouldn't have hurt you.
The most important piece missing here though is that even though the content on your sites is great ... we know what we're getting. After a few visits the content forms a pattern. Come back a couple of more times and the pattern has evolved. Look at South of the North for instance, my product design geek side writes about sneakers, boards, and engineering. The content nerd part of me writes about how you are mailing it in ... come to think of it maybe I write because I care. Nah, that can't be it.
Here's what it is: once the pattern evolves nobody takes chances and nobody is willing to speak their mind. That's pretty sad for skateboarding which build it's identity on the back of individuals who would not conform. I say dive into sites like You will Soon, the recent issue of Vapors, the ongoing adventures of Gareth Stehr or Bobby Worrest's slightly creepy blog. Sure, you might not be overwhelmed every time but I guarantee there won't be a method to the madness.
Drawing a comparison... would you want to go skate the same five spots every day? I doubt it.
Let it get weird and let it be random. Don't distill skateboarding into categories of good because somebody has access to a three chip digital camera and pro tools. OK, enough ranting in the wee small hours. Time to pass out.