Which aggregator is better? Paulick Report or Equidaily?

33 thoughts on “Which aggregator is better? Paulick Report or Equidaily?”

  1. Hats off to you for an interesting and somewhat ballsy post! I couldn’t really pick a favorite between the two of them because they do have different approaches that you outline very well.

    I love that you highlight that they are both hard to read. I agree. I wish Equidaily would upgrade to use some content management that would make it easy to find links that are no longer on the homepage. Particularly because he puts a lot of effort in to his editorial selection. There are plenty of times when I think about a link that I saw there that’s gone after it’s cycled it’s way through the homepage.

    I also find Paulick’s screen refreshing annoying. If a site must have screen refreshing (and I’m not convinced that his site updates frequently enough to bother visitors with a screen refresh) a site like the Huffington Post does it without much interruption, i.e., it doesn’t take you back to the top of the page, for example.

    On a positive note, they both do a fab job of curating news. I’m not the person who has to manically scour a million places every day and I certainly don’t have everything in my RSS reader so I think they’re both vital/kick-ass as they do have different sensibilities. I would miss at least half of the stuff out there if it wasn’t for their sites. And Paulick’s original content certainly fills a void, regardless of whether you think he’s sensational or not (I think he has sensational moments, but don’t think of him as only sensational).

    Raceday360, which you also mention, fills an even different niche (beyond just being well designed!). I think of it as an editorial aggregator. She’s has a decent amount of blogs and columns that just automatically feed into the R360 page and some that she manually enters from her copious RSS collection. It’s also handy to have headlines on the side to be able to get a quick scan of the news. Honestly, Raceday360 is my pick for the “best” one, and not just because we’re collaborators and friends, it’s because it’s “best” for my sensibility. I start with R360, then to Paulick and then Equidaily. Paulick’s content is always more “fresh” (frequently updated) than Equidaily’s. Another great thing about R360 are the tags… wanna see everything at R360 about the Breeders’ Cup, Zenyatta, NYRA, etc? Easy, just click the tag and see them all.

    I love that you brought up that both have favorite bloggers. No disrespect to Paulick or Craven but does Paulick include every Craven post in Best of the Blogs? LOL. Paulick seems to favor Craven, Patten (Handride) and Mann (Left at the Gate) while Merrow seems to favor Genaro (Brooklyn Backstretch), McCalmont (Triple Dead Heat) and Martin (Colin’s Ghost). I used to get a fair amount of play at both but can’t remember the last time either linked to me (besides Paulick’ static link to my site). Mind you, I haven’t been posting very much but I’ve had a few post that would have normally been picked up by one or the other that have gone unnoticed. Any blogger who tells you they don’t notice that kind of stuff is a big fat liar! LOL.

    Again, great post… would love to see some of those emailers actually comment!

  2. I originally didn’t post a comment because I felt it would be disingenous to do so without acknowledging that I posted on this topic about a year ago, and I’m not a big fan of the “hey, look at my site” comment.

    But, encouraged to do so by Mr. Fernando himself…I love that this conversation continues, and I love that there’s enough racing content out there that the three main aggregators–Raceday360, Equidaily, Paulick–don’t duplicate each other exactly; each offers links to content that the others don’t.

    To be fair, for some time my site was linked regularly on the Paulick Report; perhaps coincidentally, since my departure from the Thoroughbred Bloggers’ Alliance, that has happened less frequently, though Ray did recently link to a piece I wrote about the Beldame earlier this month, and as we all do, I appreciate when any website (including this one–thanks, Sid) links to my writing.

    I hope that you get lots of comments, Sid–glad that you got such feedback privately, but here’s hoping, as Dana did, that some make it on to the site.

  3. Dana, great points, and I agree with you about raceday360, too. You are right on about the favorites you named, too, which i guess everyone notices. And as o_crunk mentioned to us on twitter, no rss feeds, either. got some email responses on that, 2.

  4. I find that the ease of reading and the broad content picked up by Raceday360 makes an attractive combination and it is my choice of aggregate news along with Chicago Barn to Wire and the Daily Race Form.

    Good writing as always Sid.

  5. Both Equidaily and Paulick do a great job at providing me with interesting racing content that I would have never stumbled upon if it were not for them.

    I happen to visit Equidaily more often and after watching the interview with Mr. Merrow it leads me to wonder how all the time he dedicates to updating his site actually pays off. The site barely has any advertising on it. Hopefully he is being compensated for his hard work.

  6. Sid,

    A really fair and honest depiction of the sites. Well written as always. I have to say it was fascinating reading your analysis of the two. Sometimes you are so close to something that you wonder if you see it the same way others do.

    Obviously, the difference to me is Ray Paulick. Whether you like him or not, you have to admit he’s a top notch writer and has really moved the conversation on some key issues. I appreciate what Seth is doing and my hat’s off to him especially if he’s doing this without much compensation. I know we have our hands full around the clock on the Paulick Report so that sort of commitment for a cause with your free time is commendable.

    As for all the bloggers, it’s not a conscience choice to pick up certain blogs over others. Dana, Teresa and Jessica, if you’ve got a good piece you want considered, feel free to send it over to me at brad@paulickreport.com (sometimes articles slide through the cracks). We like your writing a lot and really appreciate all of your contributions throughout the last year and a half.

    Being a part of the horse racing world has been an awesome personal and professional journey. Our industry is blessed to have so many wanting to make a significant impact. It’s one of the reasons why I remain optimistic about the ultimate future of racing.

    Brad Cummings
    Associate Publisher
    Paulick Report

  7. Sid,

    First, thanks for labeling my blog “entertaining.” I consider that high praise.

    For me, I tend to hit Paulick Report first, but that might be the product of his recognizing my writing as often as he does.

    I know when Equidaily picked up the NY Times criticisms of mine, the resulting traffic increase was very similar to that of a “Paulick bump,” so I think their daily hits quite likely (as you note) are on par.

    Each no doubt has its own segment of the market, with a little spillover between, as Stephen suggests.

    Also, as Turk mentions, I do get my share of hits from Raceday360.com. Because it picks up everything I write, the traffic from that site is more consistent. I’m guaranteed anywhere from a few to a few dozen hits from RD360, no matter what I’ve written.

    While Ray Paulick has placed my blog as a standing link on one section of his page, the only time a significant increase in traffic is realized (from either Paulick Report or Equidaily) is when additional notice has been taken by placing a headline link somewhere, and not just the name of the blog in the “roll.”

  8. Sid –

    I went to that RaceDay 360 site and found and clicked on Mary Forney’s interview with Seth Merrow (of all people).

    Are well all connected in some way or not?
    Before we know it, Mr. Merrow will have an interview with Mr. Paulick on how and why he “stole” the Equidaily layout. 😀

    No. But seriously I enjoy both news aggregators.

    But let it be known that I’m reluctant to post on The Paulick Report blog because of open identity posting issues and how the Paulick blog seems to be used to advance the agendas of the advertisers of the Paulick Report. The Kentucky slots issue is one of those hot topics.

    As for RaceDay 360 it is very professionally laid out
    but all of these news aggregators must be consistent in gathering the items of interests and be impartial pertaining the news sources. Let the readers be the judge.

    If there’s a favorite blog of Mr. Paulick that’s fine.
    That should not however make automatically make it into the “Best of the Blogs” section because that blog once took a shot at Stacy Bearse.

    The readership of all news aggregators deserves better than adults enjoying their roles as mudslinging bullies.
    We’re all better off when cliquishness is left out of the equation.

  9. brad, thx for the comments. i was remiss in not mentioning your part in PR. btw, the story u have today from indian reuters on the horse sale in china — it’s the same sale that u covered from the aussies last week.

    glenn– meant in praise; the ny times piece was outstanding (http://fuguefortinhorns.blogspot.com/2009/10/i-want-revenge-not-story-new-york-times.html), but the post on the blood-horse headline, srszly, was da bomb! (http://fuguefortinhorns.blogspot.com/2009/07/omg-blood-horse-are-you-effing-kidding.html)

    knight — good points on PR; as for ray using glenn so much, how couldn’t he after the grenade he lobbed at blood-horse over the headline — not to mention the photo with it

  10. Hey Sid,

    Probably a good time for this article, since Ray P has had some more time to get his feet wet and build a following, so it was a great read on this Monday for me.

    I, like everyone here it seems, check both. When Seth puts up his daily sweep, I end up reading at least four articles which I deem interesting. I think he does a good job with his choices, and I think it cuts right across the spectrum of fans, bettors, owners, trainers. I don’t think I have missed a day in years.

    I go to Ray’s place a good four or five times a day due to the religious updating of the content, and to see if he has written something I find interesting; I think that is his edge.

    They are hard for me to compare because they are so different. Is it a cop-out to like both?

    For a sport that is falling on hard times, we are (in 2009) pretty blessed to have some good stuff to read, imo. Patrick’s aforementioned work with the TBA via twitter and elsewhere gives us a good snapshot of articles. Jessica’s work is as good as I have seen anywhere, to be quite honest, with 360. I sometimes find much of the trade press to be too worried about the advertisers (I don’t blame them, they pay the bills), so places like the TBA, 360, Paulick and Equidaily are perfect for me to read, learn and hopefully be entertained, and I am glad we have them.

    I do not visit the DRF, Bloodhorse or really anywhere else. Maybe that is my bad, as I am sure there is some good stuff that I want to read on those sites, but it is what it is. The above keep me as updated and I am happy with them.

    Thanks,

    PTP

  11. I like both sites but the problem with Equidaily is that they are almost always way way late on breaking news. Sometimes more than 24 hours late. For someone who follows the news closely the Paulick Report is much better for now because of Equidaily’s slow breaking news updates!

  12. I like both. I prefer PR because of the content Paulick writes and the fact PR is updated most frequently.

    Will check out Racing 360.

  13. There are a tremendous amount of redudant readers between Seth and Ray’s two sites yet they adhere to the important rule of the page being fast to load. I’d hate to see the day that either becomes ladden down with sound, graphics, et al.

    Any big story will be on both however I’ve noticed Seth’s often is lagging in getting refreshed – if something happens mid-day it won’t be there until morning. the upside is that Seth (and I assume loyal readers with site referals) tends to unearth more diverse stories and sources.

    Frankly we all can look at the big three: DRF, BloodHorse and TB Times but I like see articles from a lot more places.

    The two sites are different animals in that Ray offers original content topics/contribution pieces and polls. While Seth will dig into the wagering aspect and find those interest situations of older horses winning, astronimical payoffs, bridge jumping, plus during Saratoga he has his daily best bets.

    The refreshing of Ray’s site every minute or so becomes a wee bit irksome and while I’ve on occasion provided a comment to his feature article it would appear the same old tiresome “gang” rules the roost with feedback remarks.

    I don’t see the need to be “loyalist” for either site especially when it doesn’t cost a nickle to view either page. I am a bit dumbfounded when people complain that Equidaily is hard to read yet they like Racing 360 which does not allow for quick scanning. To each their own.

    At the end of the day the fact that both sites exist without a costs to readers and carry diverse stories, news and information plus are inclusive of the blogs they reference on occassion its all a win-win.

  14. Both have the same format of news site that gets a million hits a day…plain and simple, pick the headline you want to read…
    Works for me.

  15. As PTP asked, is it a cop out to like them both? No. As most everyone who commented on here said — and the 20 or so that sent in emails said — both sites have a place in today’s news world, and most readers apparently look at both sites for news, even though there are minor preferences among viewers. A combination of factors — reduced mainstream coverage coupled with the technological advances that have spawned new media writers — has led to the rise in popularity of the aggregators mentioned here, along with the TBA blog feed and raceday 360 wire and others less known than them. This has led to more interesting commentary in general, and I, for one, think that at this juncture in information flow some of the best stuff is available on the numerous blogs that form a significant part of the aggregation backbone.

  16. Love the post…and as Dana pointed out above, I get a little more play on Equidaily. I can vouch that my hits AT LEAST TRIPLE when aggregated on Equidaily.

    I’ve been mentioned a few times early on at the Paulick Report but might have slipped off their radar.

    I will take Brad’s advice and send him my most recent posting!

    Keep up the good work here at SF!

    Cheers

    Keith

  17. It’s interesting to note the type of traffic that each site sends, as Keith indicates it can be quite substantial!

    R360’s traffic has been on the increase all year, between it and Google I have very solid traffic, particularly for a site that is not regularly updated.

    Generally speaking Equidaily sends quite a bit more traffic than Paulick’s Best of the Blogs but anything published above the fold or featured on Paulick sends as much if not more traffic as Equidaily. It can be upwards of 300-600 unique visits each per day depending on the topic… not bad!

    I’ve only gotten a stray hit here and there from TBA since leaving earlier in the year. But only TBA sites are featured on their homepage, as it should be.

  18. The “aggregators” provide a valuable service. Like many others, I check equidaily & PR every day as they save valuable time from having to ferret out those stories on my own. I like Paulick’s tendency to editorialize and take stands on controversial issues because it generates honest debate and discussion; which is needed.

    Another issue to consider is the importance of having paid journalists covering important issues w/in the sport day in and day out. We need journalists like Frank Angst and Matt Hegarty, to name just a few, along with their successors, to be able to make a living as professional racing journalists.

  19. matt hegarty needs to stop converting guineas to pounds and then dollars in his Tattersalls sales coverage!

    i’m serious, matt, but srszly, you do a fine job on other topics!

  20. Steve M – I think many of the blogs mentioned in this post are ones belonging to either established writers or consistent free-lancers. I really wonder if the abundance of web content has any effect whatsoever on pro journalists. I doubt the papers would open up more space to make room for stories…i think the web just provides readers with bonus coverage.

    (Writers, like the rest of the business world, are left wrestling with the concept of how to make money online.)

    All this talk about hits and content and I think the part I’m most jealous of in Sid’s post is the number of COMMENTS! Comments are sustenance for bloggers!

    My current comment record belongs to a post I wrote about the Hartford Whalers theme song. ARhghghghg….(I believe R360 picked up that post!)

  21. I read both and check on them usually twice a day. The one thing that pushes Paulick over the top is his editorials that allow for debate by readers on big issues concerning horse racing.

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