Ian Thackaberry may be the youngest teammate on the TV on your PC sports club, but don’t let the size and age fool you. At only 22, Ian is one of the most avid loyalists to the Portland Trailblazers and has taking his love and passion for the sport, the players and the team strategy onto the blogosphere. He now manages Thack’s Blazer Blog, where he provides game and player insight, all from the mind of a baseball and Generation-Y enthusiast.
Ian chatted with us about how he became fascinated with social media, how he and his friends watch and enjoy their sports content and now that he’s hooked, what he is looking to do to improve his sports blog and add a level of value for all sports enthusiasts.
How did you begin blogging and why did you decide to blogs specifically about the Portland Trailblazers?
It all starts with a passion for the game of Basketball. I love to play, watch, and learn about it whenever I can. Every fan has a favorite team and mine is the Portland Trailblazers. I watch almost every play of every Blazer game because I want to know more than whether we won or lost; I want to know how we won or lost.
At the beginning of the season (October, 2008), a fellow Blazer fanatic showed me all the good blogs to go to for news on the team. I was always aware that blogs existed, but I really had no idea of their capabilities. As I spent more time exploring the sports realm of the Blogosphere, I began to understand how the general subject of Social Media was developing. It fascinated me, so I started writing my thoughts on each game in my own blog and contributing posts to others. It wasn’t long before I was totally addicted.
Tell us about how you access and enjoy your sports content.
I get a lot of my general sports information from ESPN. I’ll have it on the TV as background noise in the house, and I check the website daily. When it comes to the NBA and the Blazers, though, I have to go elsewhere. SportsCenter dedicates maybe one minute of airtime (if I’m lucky) to a 48-minute Blazer game, and follows it with a few statistics by the top performers. For a guy that wants to see the entire stat sheet and in-depth video of how it happened, that’s obviously not nearly enough. I always end up on a computer to check ESPN.com, NBA.com, and my favorite Blazer blogs.
What do you foresee on the evolution on TV and entertainment devices?
I think television as we know it is dying, especially in the case of sports. The depth and dimension of the World Wide Web – the ability to click your way through a train of thought and customize what you are viewing – is too convincing. Ultimately, television will have to adapt to the Internet and not the other way around. In the case of sports, you can see this already happening as ESPN has developed a thriving online community.
You mentioned expanding your blog and providing new features? Can you elaborate and what will set you apart from other sport bloggers?
I’m in the process of designing a blog that will attempt to bridge this gap. Film of each game will be organized in various manners based on the pertinent issues of the team. For example, if a player comes back from an injury, there will be highlights dedicated to how they looked. If a player scores a lot more points than normal, a reel will be dedicated to sequencing each basket. You get the idea…
Anyway, the idea is that a fan can pick and choose which particular aspects of the game they would like to review, as opposed to being limited to a general summary of the entire game. Hopefully the outcome will be a whole new way to appreciate Blazer games after the buzzer sounds.