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Access to Information

Note: This is a sponsored post.  Samsung has asked SBNation's bloggers to post on the theme of "Enhance Your Experience" regarding the application of technology to sports fandom.  Bloggers were not obligated to participate in the campaign, and were given broad freedom as to the actual contents of the post.  This is post two of three Friday posts.

Sitting here in the press room at Staples Center prior to the Clippers-Pistons game, contemplating a post about "enhanding your experience" and how technology changes the sports experience for fans, I can't help but ask myself... why am I sitting here in the press room at Staples Center?

When I first start blogging about the Clippers, I had no intention of pursuing a credential, much less a career in journalism.  Now that I'm a journalism Master's degree candidate and a credentialed member of the media, there are probably more things I don't understand than those I do. 

But the technology revolution all round us is probably having a bigger impact on the way fans get their information than on any other aspect of the fan experience.  It wasn't that long ago that the story in the newspaper the next day was how you followed your favorite team.  The beat reporter, going to games and interviewing coaches, was the lifeline to information. 

But do I even have to schlep to Staples to cover the Clippers?  Experience would say no, since in fact I ran the blog for three full seasons before I ever had any access.  That's because fans in general have almost as much access as reporters at this point.  First and foremost, every game is on TV, so you certainly don't need me or anyone else telling you what happened.  The revolution in access is continuing with innovations like League Pass and webcasts of games.  When I lived in Paris in the mid 90s, I could get my scores anytime on the web - but I couldn't watch games.  Today, this very  blog boasts citizens in France and Italy and Sweden and Argentina and who knows where else, and they have access to most if not all of the games via the web.

Even the access to coaches and players is changing, and will continue to.  There's really no reason that Coach Vinny Del Negro's pre and post-game press conferences can't be webcast; most of them are now put on video and posted on the web after the fact. And players with Twitter accounts can tell fans exactly what they're thinking (if they can keep it under 140 characters).

I'm not suggesting that sportswriting is going to be a thing of the past; there's probably more demand than ever, and there will always be demand for well written analysis.  But the technology is advancing to the point where access is almost a non-issue.  Not because reporters don't need access, but because everyone has more than ever.  And that's a good thing.