ESPN sidebar microblog

I like what ESPN is doing in the sidebar on their NBA scores page. It’s a timeline of both tweets and short ESPN posts, integrated together with a clean design that fits the rest of the site.

This timeline is a great use of microblogging. The short posts aren’t limited to tweet-length — they’re often around 200 characters instead — so they can feel complete and informative while still being concise. I’ve suggested 280 characters as a guideline for microblogs, and having the extra characters to work with really makes a nice difference.

I took an example screenshot from ESPN and included it to the right of this post. The first two posts are these special ESPN microblog posts, and the third is a tweet. I don’t know what CMS-like system is driving this, but you can imagine using WordPress post formats, custom fields, or categories to achieve something similar.