The sports website Bleacher Report gets a lot of grief in the sports blogging community. The Sports Pickle, a satire site run by the esteemed D.J. Gallo, recently ran this mock-up of Bleacher Report‘s newly redesigned front page, and it hits on all the perceived shortcomings of the upstart website — spelling errors, annoying slideshows that boost page views, untimely columns about staid topics, stupid columns about stupid topics, etc.
Nevertheless a lot of people read Bleacher Report, which claims to be the 4th-largest sports media site in the U.S. with 20 million monthly readers. Mind you, this traffic is no doubt buoyed by some voodoo search engine optimization, which seems to put BR articles at the top of most sports-related Google searches. Perhaps that helps explain why Time magazine named Bleacher Report one of its Top 50 websites of 2011. Here’s the write-up from Harry McCracken, a name we believe to be real.
At Bleacher Report, the sports reporting isn’t performed by a tiny staff of full-time journalists – it’s done by thousands of fan-contributors, which is why it feels so deep and so passionate. The standard of quality is markedly higher than at some community-created news hubs, where “citizen journalist” can be a synonym for “poorly paid amateur.” Like a sports-themed variant of the Huffington Post, the site has a penchant for wacky lists and sideshows. Many of them, like “50 Bold Predictions for the Rest of the MLB Season,” are nicely done, not just fluffy filler. Read more