Have you noticed the slightly new look that ESPN has rolled out for their news articles? Take a look at the screen shot to the right (or click here to view the article). Right up top in prime viewing position, you can see:
- Email/Print links (have been there for a while)
- A Comments quote box with count
- Twitter and Facebook share buttons
I don’t know what you think, but all of a sudden, this layout has a lot more of a “blog” feel to it, and I think it’s great. To me, this is an example of how “traditional” media (a news website) has identified elements of “social” media (blogs) that will positively influence their business. These elements highlight an emphasis on generating conversation and sharing information, two key principles of social media.
Now you might say that ESPN has been using their “Conversation” product on their website for a while. However, instead of burying it at the bottom, they’ve put it above the fold, showing an increased dedication to this aspect of their site. They’ve also made the Facebook and Twitter buttons more prominent, which will easily lead to more active sharing of their content across these social channels.
It’s great to see how new forms of communication and media continue to be a positive influence on more traditional channels, and a company like ESPN trying to combine the best of both worlds.