In the last six months, I have noticed poker news websites are opting more and more for the 'news in brief' format. This is where, rather than writing up a single news story in its entirety, the writer opts to provide a round-up of several news stories from the day, with a quick summary of each.
So for example, yesterday at PokerStrategy, our own versionfeatured the story of Brad Booth calling out Phil Hellmuth, the Mizrachi brothers opening a dealer school, an update from the PokerStars cruise, an interview with Patrik Antonius, and a story about a poker related gun range shooting game.
The first of these aggregated poker news articles appeared back when I was at PokerNews.com, in what is called the Nightly Turbo - I'd love to take credit but it was Matt Parvis and Elaine Chaivarlis you can thank for that. We have also been doing a version of it for some time at PokerStrategy.com called The Daily Rewind, and in the last few months I have seen a great number of other sites following suit.
I, for one, really like this format of poker news reporting, because I think it achieves a lot in a short space of time.
First of all, there is simply too much news to report story by story these days. The poker media is a limited resource, we cannot possibly expect to cover every single story taking place in poker like the BBC or CNN can, so aggregated news stories are a great way to include a lot of stories into your daily reporting.
Likewise, a lot of news stories are certainly worthy of mention, but difficult to make into a standalone news story. A complete nobody winning a moderately noteworthy tournament for example, worth a mention, but difficult to turn into compelling writing.
I also like them, because those sites that do them well treat the audience like an adult and actually link to other websites. There was a time when an affiliate website would never link to anyone else, but the very nature of these articles means you have to provide the original source of the news to allow the reader to go off and discover more about the story. Being confident enough to link away to a potential rival, because it is in the best interests of giving the reader the whole story, in my opinion gives the original site a great deal of credibility.
The best reason for this sort of poker news reporting is that it reflects the way we want to consume our media these days. We want to know everything, we want to know it now, and we want to bypass a lot of the crap and be presented with the core information.
I must say it is a pet peeve of mine when people will not read a long piece of text and demand the 'cliffs' instead, but I think I am in the minority there.
The format also makes them very easy to consume. They tend to have very nicely broken up text, lots of pictures, the core information right at the start.
I know that on paper makes the audience sound like a five year old, but the reality is that one of the biggest challenges faced by poker media (And, in fact, anyone who produces web content) is getting people to stay on the page for more than a minute. The average reader does not even pull the scroll bar downwards on a news article, but these attractive snappy features are much easier to digest and have a much better time on page score.