Washington Post Wants Free Labor for New Blog

NATIONALS JOURNAL, the WASHINGTON POST baseball blog, points out a new WASHINGTON POST blogging effort this spring: THE GROUNDS CREW. Since the Post can’t possibly cover all aspects of the opening season of Nationals Park and will have their employees in the press box, they’re recruiting commoners to write about their park experiences.

President Bush throws out first pitch for Washington Nationals

(”… and this guy blocked my parking spot before the game…”)

About a dozen bloggers will be selected through the application process and work on a group blog with the assistance of editors to talk about any aspect (parking) of the new park experience (parking), both negative (parking) and positive (not parking). The deadline is Friday, leaving plenty of time before Opening Day to train the bloggers. (”…and, for God’s sake, don’t mention Kornheiser.”)

It’s a wonderful effort by the WASHINGTON POST, which has been an early adopter of citizen journalism and the Internet for some time. From Dan Steinberg’s DC SPORTS BOG to online chats with stars of the POST to an excellent use of video, the POST has not only captured the broad outlines of the uses of new technology (”blogs… we need those, right? Web 2.0ish?”) but the vibe as well.

The POST’s sports blogs capture the loose and colorful feel of online coverage without losing the professionalism of a major metropolitan newspaper. Videos are both technically sharp and entertainingly off-point, showing another side of the men and women we see on the field of play. They’re also willing to experiment and fail, unusual for a conglomerate.

Best of luck in this new venture; it will certainly be intriguing to see if the new voices have anything new to say. If they don’t, though, the Internet will provide. Someone must have a unique opinion on Washington sports, right?