by Colin Hodgson
EDMONTON – I’ve been plowing through the archives of The Curling News Blog, and wow – there is a LOT of material here. Great material.
I’ve seen scoops, in-depth features, pop-culture curling highlights and tons of exclusive, behind-the-scenes event reports from various Briers, STOHs, provincial championships, Worlds, Grand Slams, World Curling Tour spiels, World Juniors, Canadian Juniors, charity bonspiels, you name it.
Some of the bloggers who have preceded me are professional journalists, wannabe journalists, photographers, recreational curlers or curling fans and even big-name competitors – like Jennifer Jones’ second, Jill Officer (sample here). This is amazing stuff.
Then I noticed the “Rating” and “Comments” sections below each blogpost, where readers get to “vote” for each posting by choosing a rating, between one and five, and/or leave a comment about the posting. Some posts I’ve seen have lots of “star” ratings while others have none, and I’ve also seen some postings with a few comments, and others with exactly zero.
I began to wonder, what makes a blogpost popular? Obviously the subject matter is important – it has to be something everyone is talking about or thinking about. Another is the share factor: these days it’s all about how many “Likes” your Facebook page gets or how many “Followers” you have on Twitter, et cetera. A popular blogpost here at The Curling News website would obviously need an attractive subject but the blogpost itself would have to make an impact, and need to be something that people want to share with their friends, colleagues and so on.
I asked TCN editor gk if he knew, off-hand, which blogpost was THE most popular one on his site, dating back to when the blog first started in late 2005. He didn’t hesitate with an answer.
“I think it has to be one from back in 2010,” he said. “TSN had just started breaking in Russ Howard as a new TV analyst, and he was going to be working morning draws with Bryan Mudryk. Meanwhile the old gang of Vic Rauter, Linda Moore and Ray Turnbull were working the afternoon and evening draws.
“As we all know, Turnbull retired after the 2010 season and Russ moved up to take his place on the No. 1 crew, but at the time of the blogpost, Russ was still a new voice on the scene. So we called the blogpost ‘Which TSN crew do you prefer?’ or something like that, and invited folks to tell us what they thought.”
I couldn’t believe what he said next.
“To this day, this week in fact, people are still finding that blogpost on the web somehow, and are commenting on the TSN TV curling crew in that Comments section,” said gk. “It’s incredible. The page must rank high on Google when people search for ‘TSN curling’ or ‘Vic Rauter curling’ or whatever, because Turnbull is long gone and people keep using that page to make comments about curling shows, right up to now.”
I took a look myself and boom, there it was, from February 4, 2010, just before the start of the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games. And holy smokes, there are 49 comments to date, with a few of them coming during last week’s STOH and event the start of this week’s Brier!
It’s a blast, reading these comments. I think that everyone who loves curling on TV seems to love the TSN broadcasts the most of all, and the TSN talent crew above all tohers. But all of them get their fair share of criticism – Vic, Russ and Linda – and how!
Later on, I found this TCN blogpost, which republishes excerpts from a book written by an ex-president of CBC Television. This fellow was in charge of CBC during the controversial 2005-06 seasons, when CBC took over all the Season of Champions shows and TSN had nothing, and as the excerpt says, curling fans went absolutely nuts. Like, super-crazy, out-of-their-minds nuts. Just read the excerpts, you won’t believe that gentle curling fans can act worse than wild-eyed, booze-filled hockey freaks. Unbelievable.
And now I’ve realized it: the most popular blogpost I could ever write, here at the online portal of The Curling News, is about curling on television, specifically curling on TSN.
And who knows – maybe I’ve just written it!