Blogs take many forms, some focus on horse health issues, some on lighthearted alternative content, some quantify industry happenings while others advocate for reform. I rarely write about anything aside from racing itself but on occasion I do acknowledge that there is more going on than what happens between the gate and the wire.
The blogging world is buzzing with the advent of the Paulick Report and NTRA chief Alex Waldrop's mention of one of the TBA posts and this is actually significant news.
For those who aren't aware the TBA is the Thoroughbred Bloggers Alliance, it's a collection of active racing blogs from all over North America and the world. Some are really top class writers who are gaining clout in the industry while others are just regular Joe's who provide entertaining content. They all blend together to provide a ton of good daily reading.
Why is any of this noteworthy? It confirms what many bloggers have been feeling for some time. More than just their mothers are reading. Perhaps for the first time in history regular people, without the last names Hancock, Phipps or Gaines, have an ear with some of racings most influential people. Not everyone who has an opinion has a useful or valid opinion but on occasion the fans of racing do come with some great ideas and legitimate concerns. It's a great encouragement that for the first time in history the powers that be can at least choose to ignore the common fan. You can't really ignore something if you don't know it exists. Now that they know they'll be making a daily choice to read and act or ignore. Either way, the message is being spread and what one generation rejects the next often embraces.
Racing forums have been around for many years but blogs are a somewhat newer convention. Forums rarely catch the eye because of their format and the fact that discussion and responses make the truly salient posts harder to find. Blogs may not necessarily have better, more relevant information but at least it's provided in a concise, easy to locate manner.
I personally am not a part of the TBA but I am a faithful reader and I am quite impressed with the impact they're having. The TBA was always going to have a negligible impact on non racing fans because typically those who aren't fans aren't looking for racing blogs but they're doing their best at impacting racing from within. Organizations like the NTRA are the ones who can reach out to new fans but the TBA and independent blogs now have the power to at least table suggestions to those who have the power to make changes.
It's a great day for racing.