Define “Fun” Again, FS1

When FOX Sports announced that it would be launching a “rival” to ESPN in the form of FOX Sports 1, many in sports and social media circles were thrilled. ESPN needs competition said some. The amount of drivel on ESPN makes it unwatchable said others. That was over a year ago. Some still believe that. 

How did I feel? Meh. 

Meh for the simple reason that sports networks just didn’t resonate with me anymore. I long ago tuned out ESPN’s non-event offerings. Only exceptions: 30-for-30 and E:60. Even their ESPN Radio offerings were a turn-off. Same goes for Fox Sports. Aside from a soccer match or an occasional NFL game, Fox’s sports offerings were putrid. So what would I need with a new sports network? Nothing. Especially since I have Twitter and my phone. 

Why watch a highlight on SportsCenter when I could see a GIF of it on Twitter? Do I really need to see the scores when it’s so easily accessible on the beat writer’s Twitter feed or on a phone app? Everything I need for sports news is easily accessible these days without turning on the television. What could Fox Sports 1 offer someone like me? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. 

Now that they’ve been around for a year and seeing stuff like this…I’m not missing much am I?

[tweet https://twitter.com/richarddeitsch/status/499955196420960256 align=’center’]

Didn’t think so.

[tweet https://twitter.com/richarddeitsch/status/499956566263885825 align=’center’]

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Truth be told, I couldn’t watch much of that video. I know some people who work at Fox Sports. I have no idea if they had anything to do with that ad or not. I truly hope not. FS1 has made some smart moves in recent months by hiring the likes of Bruce Feldman and Stewart Mandel for their college football offerings. Those two additions make up for the extreme misstep of the Crowd Goes Wild show and the still-employed Clay Travis. But, just barely.

The expectations and braggadocio of Fox last summer about FS1 were, in a word, FUN (The One for Fun).  They would challenge the mighty behemoth, ESPN. One year on, those expectations and braggadocio are gone. Disappointment might be a better description.

Long-term disappointment? Maybe not. As the saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day. But, with ads like that “one” FS1, your definition of FUN might need a bit of refining, especially for your long-term prospects.

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FINAL THOUGHT: Just in case you thought I was alone, a few replies to Richard Deitsch’s second tweet:

Twitter   richarddeitsch  College football is abt. passion  ...

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CadChica Sports

 Google+ Hangouts are only going to grow in 2014. Learn from the Master, Ronnie Bincer, and his Hangout Mastery group – join through my affiliate link.

#SMsports Q&A With My Twitter Friends #2

Never be afraid to learn from others

Twitter is a  necessary tool in today’s sports media. I believe the sports media was a key demographic in Twitter’s growth. There isn’t a week that goes by that I don’t learn something new about sports, whether it’s in-game news, social media, business, technology, sponsorship, or even relationship dynamics. Learning is part of the Twitter process for me.

Today is the second installment in my planned weeklong Q&A series discussing social media-sports (#SMsports) with my Twitter “friends”. Yesterday was the first installment with Andrew Bucholtz and Lisa Horne. My line-up today features:

Tim Cary – @TimCaryCBS Sports Social Media Editor

Kristi Dosh – @SportsBizMissESPN Sports Business Reporter, Author, Attorney and Radio Host

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1. Please tell me a little bit of your background and how it relates to sports.

Cary: I am one of two social media editors for CBSSports.com, and have been in that role for nearly three years. I have been a sports fan my whole life, and have dabbled in writing, live-blogging, announcing, coaching, etc. – pretty much everything but playing! So when I’m working, I’m watching sports. When I’m not working…well…I’m still watching sports!

Dosh: I’m currently a sports business reporter at ESPN, having previously reported on sports business at Forbes and Comcast Sports Southeast. Prior to my career in sports media, I was a practicing attorney. I’ve authored two books on sports business topics, Saturday Millionaires: How Winning Football Builds Winning Colleges (published September 2013) and Balancing Baseball: How Collective Bargaining Has Changed the Major Leagues (due out in 2014). 

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 2. What was the first social media outlet that you used?

Cary: I started on Facebook first, and then Twitter. My personal preference is Twitter (and honestly, it’s not close!), and I’ve enjoyed using that to network with people in sports media over the past few years. In fact, I found my current job because I was following my now-boss on Twitter.

Dosh: Facebook was the first social media outlet I used personally, but Twitter was the first I used professionally. I’m currently on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. For professional use, I find Twitter to be the most valuable – from industry Twitter chats to breaking news, Twitter is the one social media network I can’t live without professionally.

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2A. How often do you use other social networks like Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Vine, Tumblr, Pinterest for either personal or professional use? Which of those is your top preference? Least? Please describe your reasoning behind it.

Cary: I operate the @CBSSports pages on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, so sharing our content on those three platforms consumes much of my day. Like probably anyone in social media, I’ve dabbled in each of the networks you mentioned, but I don’t have a lot of extra time to experiment on a personal level. I like to interact with others and get news/headlines/content, so I tend to spend more time on Twitter to see what’s going on vs. some of the image-driven sites like Instagram, Vine, and Pinterest.

Dosh: I maintain both a personal Facebook account and a professional page on Facebook. I’ve found Pinterest to be most helpful in planning my wedding, but I’m always exploring new ways to use it professionally. I’m increasingly using Instagram to share photos when I travel for professional assignments and events and to follow others in the industry. I’ve found Instagram allows me to connect with others on a more personal level, because people often most photos that aren’t necessarily from professional endeavors. While I always advise people to focus on using these platforms for professional development, I think it’s important to sprinkle in (appropriate) personal facts, stories, and photos now and then to connect with people on a more personal level.

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3. What were the primary motives for your engagement in social media?

Cary: I used Facebook initially to connect with friends from college. My interest in Twitter was specifically related to my then-amateur sports writing hobby/career pursuit. I realized early on that it was a great way to share my content with an interested audience, and the relationships I’ve developed online have been invaluable to me. I have literally thousands of friends I never would have gotten to know if it hadn’t been for social media.

Dosh: I joined Twitter at the behest of an editor after I received my first book deal. Four years later I can say it’s the best move I ever made professionally. I’ve used Twitter to develop relationships with others in the industry, to share and promote my work, to enhance my research by engaging with sports fans, and to increase my own knowledge of the sports world.

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4.  In terms of Twitter, I like to call it the world’s largest sports bar. Discuss, trash-talk, meet new people all while you’re watching a game “together”. Is Twitter the best place to discuss sports in this social media age we are in? Why or why not?

Cary: I think it is, and I think a lot of the fun is finding the right people to follow. A lot of my follows are from the sports realm, and it’s amazing to see Kobe Bryant hit a buzzer-beater at 1 am ET, then open my phone a few seconds later and look at three or four DOZEN exclamation mark-filled tweets all sent at the same instant, even in the ‘middle of the night.’ News consistently shows up first on Twitter. Not TV. Not radio. Not newspapers. So for a sports fan who wants the very latest news, you have to be on Twitter.

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5. How long have you been on Twitter? What have been the biggest changes you’ve seen on the social network since you joined? Biggest upsides? Drawbacks?

Cary: I joined Twitter in March 2009. The biggest change I’ve seen is simply the number of people who now have an account and the integration with seemingly every product/brand/TV show/team/you name it.

I like following back when I meet interesting people, and I probably follow more accounts than most (over 3,000). The biggest drawback is I don’t get to read every single tweet. But I’d still rather have that connection and relationship and be accessible for strangers that could become friends, even if stuff slips through the cracks sometimes because I’m following what some would say is ‘too many’ people. I’ve met dozens of Twitter friends in real life, and turning online friendships into flesh-and-blood friendships has been one of my favorite parts of embracing social media.

Dosh: I’ve been on Twitter for four years. The biggest change is probably how much news is broken on Twitter now. I think Twitter is the best social media network for professional development if you’re interested in working in sports, because virtually everyone who works in sports is on Twitter. Not only can you connect with people you might otherwise not have access to, but there are industry chats to participate in and news is often broken on Twitter. The biggest drawback is that you can’t always trust the breaking news you see on Twitter. In the rush to be the first, many have jumped the gun on reporting “news.”

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 6. SI just came out with their Twitter 100 list of top sports accounts to follow. In your opinion, how valuable are these lists? Do you follow many of these accounts (describe reasonings please)? Do you have a top 5 of Twitter accounts to follow (sports or non-sports)? If so, who are they? 

Cary: The Twitter 100 list is a nice idea, but one of the great things about Twitter is no two people really follow the exact same accounts. Everyone has different tastes, interests, and specialties. I would say I follow the best reporters on the Twitter 100 list, but not most of the athletes/other personalities. If a star player tweets something important, it will show up on my timeline a bunch of other times because it’ll get thousands of RTs. So, I don’t follow a lot of players outside my personal favorite teams. In my opinion, the SI list got a few right and missed on some others, but every person is going to have their own take on that and it’s not worth nit-picking.

Dosh: I always check out these lists to see if there’s anyone I don’t follow who I should be following. The lists are valuable because I almost always find someone I didn’t know about who becomes a good follow. I usually check out the person’s last 10 tweets or so, and if there’s anything valuable or interesting then I give them a follow. I don’t have a top 5 list to follow, because I think you should be following people who best align with your own interests, which is obviously going to vary from person to person.

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7. Piggybacking on that question a bit with a two-parter: It feels like the negativity is greater than ever on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram. How much negativity have you dealt with in social media? Has it affected your use of the social networks (i.e. how often you log on to them)?

Cary: Yes, there is way too much negativity on social media…but there is also way too much negativity in the world as a whole. So I don’t cut back my usage of Twitter or Facebook because people say stupid things…I just tune out the ones who don’t have anything worthwhile to say.

Dosh: I have absolutely dealt with negativity on social media. The downside to providing easy access to others is that readers of your work can quickly and easily find you. That being said, my positive experiences have far outnumbered the negative. I’ve never had something so negative that it impacted my use of social media.

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7a. Are there any sports accounts that try to share more of the positive side of sports? Those who may be using social media to show there’s more than what happens on the court/field?

Cary: I think teams’ official accounts do a good job of highlighting what their players/coaches are involved with off the court/field. For as many arrests/idiotic decisions that get blared across the headlines, there are at least that many sports personalities who are using their influence to do good, and they don’t get enough credit. One sports account that jumps to mind: @ChaplainMarty. It’s neat to get a glimpse of athletes at my favorite school (Purdue) taking mission trips to Haiti and South Africa in their free time to serve the less fortunate.

Dosh: The first person who comes to mind is my friend Alicia Jessop (@RulingSports). It’s her mission to highlight the positive things athletes are doing off the field, and she does a great job of it.

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 8. With social media changing/innovating at such a rapid pace, especially at the sports level what is your outlook for social media and sports?  Where do you see sports going with social media?

Cary: They say the only thing constant is change, and sports/social media is a good example of that. It’s thrilling/scary/fascinating to work in a field where the technology and best practices are constantly evolving. I expect even more teams to add in-house social media reporters that don’t just post in-game updates to Twitter, but are dedicated to bringing fans the best beat coverage around the clock in 140 characters or less. Also look for sports stadiums/arenas to spend major time/effort/money upgrading in-venue cell/data service so fans don’t have to stay home to tweet during the game.

Dosh: When I guest lecture at universities, I always tell students they have to be on social media (particularly Twitter) if they want to work in sports. I think that is becoming more true with every passing day. There is no better way to have your thumb on the pulse of sports, and there are incredible networking opportunities.

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 9. Any final comments you’d like to add?

Cary: Not really. I just wanted to say thank you for including me and for those who may be reading this, feel free to reach out to me on Twitter – I’d love to talk sports with some new friends!

Dosh: If you want to use social media for professional development, my rule is to keep your content 90% professional and 10% personal. I think it’s important to work in personal details here and there, but your main focus should be sharing information pertinent to your career goals.

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THANK YOU Tim and Kristi. I appreciate your time.

** Follow Tim on Twitter – @TimCary or @CBSSports

** Follow Kristi on Twitter – @KristiDosh or check out www.kristidosh.com or her new book Saturday Millionaires

Up tomorrow: Freddie Coleman from ESPN Radio and Duane Rollins from Canadian Soccer News.

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CadChica Sports

#NFLDraft 2013: No Tweeting Zone

During last year’s NFL Draft, a mini-uproar occurred when NFL reporters, such as ESPN’s Adam Schefter and (then) NFL Network’s Jason LaCanfora, tweeted out draft pick selections prior to them being made. A small, vocal minority were upset that announcements on television were being “spoiled” by tweets.

Fast forward to this year, when word came down that both NFL Network and ESPN agreed to show restraint during the 2013 draft tomorrow.  As NFL Network puts it: 

“The networks have a “gentleman’s agreement” about not revealing too much, too soon.” 

Both the NFL Network and ESPN are broadcast partners with the NFL for the draft. The decision is logical from a business standpoint.

But not everyone will be following this plan. LaCanfora, who is now with CBS Sports (not an NFL draft broadcast partner), will be tweeting whatever information he has available to him. In a Q&A with Sherman Report:

What event is made more for Twitter than the NFL draft? If the teams have the information; if the guys in the production truck have the information; if the commissioner has the information; why wouldn’t passionate football fans want it as well?”

LaCanfora took to Twitter to reaffirm his decision, and call out those who disagree with it: 

Who is right and who is wrong in this argument? Both. 

Twitter is a choice.  Fans who don’t want to know ahead of time can choose not to be on Twitter or don’t follow those who will be tweeting the picks, like LaCanfora.  From a business perspective, if fans are complaining (even if it’s a minority opinion), I can understand why the NFL Network and ESPN have chosen to take this step. The question is, how effective will it be if others like LaCanfora are tweeting picks before they happen? Will they be “missing” the boat on being a news provider on Twitter? 

One other key name to keep an eye on tomorrow is Fox Sports’, Jay Glazer. Glazer has a reputation for dropping Twitter NFL news that others haven’t even sniffed at yet. Here is what he had to say on Twitter today, one of which was an extra long tweet below: 

The complete text of that tweet: 

So let me get this straight gang, you WANT us to tell you who ur team is picking

when you ask for mock drafts a month b4 the draft but you DON’T WANT

us to tweet them to you a minute before?

Glazer did follow it up with this tweet: 

Now it’s your turn. Vote below on whether tweeting picks before they happen is a good thing or not. 

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CadChica Sports

Sports Fans: Be Informed, Not Dictated To

A level playing field. For a fan like me, that is all I have ever wanted when it comes to sports opinions.

Prior to social media, sports opinions, for years, were dictated by media. Sports news came via radio, newspaper, or broadcast television. As internet and cable/satellite grew, the availability of information corresponded in kind.

And then along came social media.

In a February article published on mediabistro.com,

Platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have given fans the opportunity to stay
connected  with organizations, teams, sporting personalities, news outlets – and each other –

which has been hugely successful for everyone involved.

Indeed it has.

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In the context of sports, I agree with the above tweet.

Then again, I’m not the traditional sports fan. I used to be. Watch the games. Cheer for my teams. Check news online. Even on Facebook, I would follow “my” teams.

But it wasn’t enough. Something was missing for me.

I wanted more. I wanted to know the intricacies of media opinion. Why does a sportswriter say one thing while sports radio guy says something completely different about the same thing? Opinions vary obviously but, what about when the topic is “tweeted” by media from across the sports landscape? Twitter provides instant insight on sports topics with media from all parts of the country (world), with diverse family, educational, employment, cultural and racial backgrounds. Discard them if you will but those backgrounds influence the opinions of sports media.

That’s why Twitter is so valuable to the sports conversation. Wide ranging opinions on a subject from various sports news outlets allow fans to form “their own” opinion. No longer does opinion need to be dictated to fans. Unless, of course, fans stick to old standbys like ESPN. Nothing wrong with ESPN for sports news but sole reliance on it means fans are dictated “to”. Whatever broadcasting contracts ESPN has with sports leagues/conferences, their news tends to lean toward those topics. One-sided, biased opinion right?

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Not good enough for me. I want to be a knowledgeable sports fan. Give me varying degrees of opinion from people I agree and disagree with. I don’t care if so & so “hates” my team or they are “jerks” to people, they still might have information I might find useful on Twitter. It doesn’t mean I have to “follow” them. I put them on a Twitter list. Still accessing their tweets without giving them the “pleasure” of a follower number.

Consider this my “call” to sports fans everywhere to get informed. Use the resources available through Twitter to become a knowledgeable sports fan and not resort to name-calling tactics like this:

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CadChica Sports

Perspective Dictates Opinion On Lin

There are times when a subject requires discussion and times when it is best left alone.

To this point, I purposely avoided the Jeremy Lin frenzy. My reason has more to do with the over-saturation of the topic than anything else. That and I’m not really an NBA fan. But I cover sports, the story is still big and I came across the tweet above which prompted this.

Yes, he’s a great story. Yes, he is of Asian descent. Yes, he plays in New York. Throw all those together in a bowl, turn on the ESPN mixing machine and you have a huge story. A late ingredient to the ESPN-mix, however, has been the “Chink In The Armor” controversy.

The resulting firing of one ESPN staffer as well as another being suspended has brought the topic of race to sports. Depending upon who you ask, the discipline ESPN meted out was either horribly wrong or perfectly justified.

As I read varying opinions on this, including the tweet above, it brings me back to a tweet from my friend below:

Know this. My friend “Sugalean” has seen much in his years. I absolutely respect his opinion. He has probably seen more in his lifetime when it comes to racial issues than I will ever know. As a Hispanic woman, I’ve had some experience but nothing to come close to what he has. But, his tweet prompted me to dig a little deeper.

Our conversation continued to a stalemate. No hard feelings, just an honest to goodness dialogue. We disagree about race being part of the story.

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As I stated above, the Jeremy Lin story involves multiple dynamics: New York, his story, and yes, race. Don’t believe me?

And if race wasn’t part of the story, why the uproar over the ESPN headline?

Why? Because race is part of the Jeremy Lin story. Not the whole package, mind you, but it contributes to the explosion of Lin coverage.

And why would the Asian American Journalists Association weigh in with this post?

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All that said brings me back to the tweet that prompted this post:

Agree or disagree? Was the ESPN controversy and subsequent discipline an overreaction? 

If there is one thing I’ve learned in life, it all depends on one’s perspective. 

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TWEET OF THE DAY

Today, the fired ESPN staffer issued a written apology via Twitter. Using an application called TwitLonger, it’s a pretty lengthy apology. As such, I am unable to post the tweet itself but here is the link or click the link in his tweet below:

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CadChica Sports

Spanning the Twitterverse: Yahoo! Forde

Spanning the Twitterverse to bring you the constant variety of tweets
The thrill of the retweet and the agony of the unfollow
The human drama of the twitter timeline
This is CadChica’s Wide World of Tworts

Have I mentioned before how much I love Twitter? I have? I’m sorry. Really, I am. But I do love it. I just find it so fascinating the things you can find out as a sports fan, that you really never could before. Today…..was another one of those days.

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To some, just reading that may not seem like much but to the sports fan, it’s HUGE. College football and basketball writer, Pat Forde, to me is synonymous with ESPN. He was one of their mainstays, their ‘permanent’ fixtures, if you will. You say the name ‘Pat Forde’, you just knew he was an ESPN guy. It wasn’t that long ago that another ESPN fixture was unceremoniously fired/let go/relieved of his duties/had a mutual parting of the ways; Bruce Feldman. That was quite the Twitter-storm that I touched on in this post.

“Forde Yard Dash” (NCAA football) & “Forde Minutes” (NCAA basketball) have become must-reads for readers of ESPN.com. To most fans, obviously NOT ALL, he is a well-respected voice in college sports. From the tweets below, it seems as though he was respected in media circles too.

As of posting time, nothing has been confirmed by either Mr. Forde or ESPN so keep that in mind as you read what the Twitterverse had to say (if there’s a link in a tweet, click it):

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CadChica Sports

Spanning the Twitterverse: #CatchingHell

Spanning the Twitterverse to bring you the constant variety of tweets
The thrill of the retweet and the agony of the unfollow
The human drama of the twitter timeline
This is CadChica’s Wide World of Tworts

Tonight was quite an interesting night in the Twitterverse. If ever I wished I was doing a study in human behavior, tonight would be it. Why you ask? ESPN aired another 30 for 30 documentary tonight featuring those “lovable losers” the Cubs.

That is a little misleading, to be honest. Much like the promos for it, tonight’s 30 for 30 (“Catching Hell”) wasn’t just about the Cubs. It wasn’t just about Steve Bartman, although if the Twitterverse reaction was any indication most people thought it was. It was about scapegoats in sports. That explains the reason why former Boston Red Sox first baseman, Bill Buckner, was in the show. The Twitterverse didn’t seem to care so much.

What they cared about was Bartman. They didn’t watch to learn about the history of scapegoats. They watched because of his story. His story is that of a fan, which could be any of us. He was a man who was just a Cubs fan, but caught up in a media frenzy and public whirlwind of wrath.

The reaction was wide-ranging tonight. Rather than limiting tweets to just a few, I feel it is imperative to include a long list of tweets in this post. It provides context as to why I stated tonight would be a great night for a study in human behavior. With tweets from media, athletes and fans, in no particular order and without further explanation, here is the Twitterverse reaction:

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http://twitter.com/#!/DanWetzel/status/118850436676587520

http://twitter.com/#!/thesmugmufasa/status/118908880494395392

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THE TWEETS OF THE NIGHT

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CadChica Sports