With variations depending on where you look, a few main categories tend to dominate the 130 million or so blogs available on the web. There are plenty of news and political blogs such as the Daily Kos, especially with the upcoming U.S. election. Some of the most highly-trafficked blogs focus on entertainment, such as TMZ. There are also lots of technology and business blogs, such as TechCrunch. And of course, there are millions of personal blogs written by people just like you. The Alberta blogosphere (blogs written by Albertans, taken collectively) has its fair share of blogs in each of these categories, as well as another popular category – hockey blogs.
Not only do Albertans love to watch hockey, they apparently love to write about it too! There are dozens of blogs about hockey in our province. At least 20 of them focus on the Calgary Flames, the Edmonton Oilers, or both. Perhaps the most well known of all of these blogs is The Battle of Alberta. Written by Calgarian Matt Fenwick and Edmontonian Andy Grabia (with various contributors from time to time) the blog covers all things related to the Flames and Oilers, and frequently hosts passionate discussions in the comments section. The Battle of Alberta was created in September 2005 and averages 1500 page views per day.
Edmonton writer and National Post contributor Colby Cosh doesn’t write solely about hockey, but he does post quite often about the Oilers on his blog. Other popular blogs devoted to the Oilers include Covered in Oil, Lowetide, Hot Oil, and Irreverent Oiler Fans. Don’t worry if you get hooked reading these blogs – many of them frequently post in the off-season, and there are plenty of other Oiler blogs you can check out. In fact, there are so many blogs that write about the Oilers that they have given themselves a name – the Oilogosphere.
The great thing about these blogs is that they’re written by passionate fans. These bloggers generally aren’t interested in making money, and as a result tend to post things that you wouldn’t necessarily find in your local newspaper. For instance, The Battle of Alberta has done an excellent job of pointing out the rhetoric coming from all parties involved in the potential new hockey arena in Edmonton. Also unlike newspapers, Alberta’s hockey blogs are free of any restrictions on format or content. You’ll find team analysis, game recaps, statistics, news and rumors about trades and signings, discussion of articles in the mainstream media, and much more.
And from time to time you’ll even find some humor amongst the blog posts. The members of the Oilogosphere like to use their own terms to refer to players, plays, and other things such as the Colin Campbell Wheel of Justice – which refers to “the method by which the length of NHL suspensions is determined.” You can find an up-to-date glossary on The Battle of Alberta – they update it each season.
I’m quite excited for the return of hockey, and I’m sure Alberta’s hockey bloggers are too!
The Oilers begin their preseason tonight at home to the Canucks. You can find the game notes and a live stream here. The Flames get underway tomorrow night at home to the Panthers.