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

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Journalism Judgment In A Twitter World

Context.

In the world of 140-characters on Twitter, context can be a missing element.

Come on people. If you didn’t get the sarcasm that’s on you. 

I shouldn’t have to explain my sarcasm on Twitter. Get with it people.  

Can’t you people take a joke? 

Journalists, bloggers, and others working in media have made those statements on Twitter over the years.

Toward fans.

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Do you understand Twitter? Do you understand how people use it?

How I use Twitter is vastly different from the next person. Many in journalism circles use it as a news feed. Others use it as a communication tool as part of their business (brand) strategy. Some use it to simply connect with their friends. Still more use it to find those who have similar interests (i.e. shared favorite tv shows, team, etc…). I’m a collection of all of the above. Mostly sports news mixed in with a bit of non-sports news and minimal personal information. That’s not the same for everyone.

As Twitter has grown, so has the idea of journalist branding. Particularly in sports media. Twitter is a broadcasting tool for journalists. Broadcasting one’s own content or opinions can be the norm. Now more than ever it’s about the clicks.  The more popular you are (followers) on Twitter, the more traffic you drive to your publication’s site. Gain followers – generate clicks. Gain followers by sharing your opinion…especially controversial or sarcastic ones.  It’s as if the thought process for some media is, “I have an opinion or a joke about this story. I need to share it on Twitter. My followers need to know it.”

It’s along that line of thinking that this tweet resonated with me recently.

[tweet https://twitter.com/AlanShipnuck/status/491286070458216448 align=’center’]

Is this statement true? Is everything we do “judged the same” in the online world? Is what we post on Twitter judged the same way as a blog or a video post? Can you tell the same thing about someone in 140-characters as you can a 1,000 word article? Perhaps we should ask Chris Kluwe (reference: his Deadspin article).

  • Chris Kluwe can’t be moral crusader after Twitter rant – CBS Sports
  • Chris Kluwe is both a hero and a hypocrite – Bleacher Report

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gavelBy Brian Turner (Flickr: My Trusty Gavel) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Are we judged the same on all outlets? Or, does Twitter, with its 140-character limit, have its own set of rules in today’s journalism? Needing perspective, I corresponded with a Twitter-friend who has worked in both media and social media. Tom Buchheim is the Lead Content Strategist for American Family Insurance. He was also involved in television broadcasting for several years. I asked Tom a series of questions on the topic of journalism and social media.

Can we be judged the same everywhere? Is it that black-and-white of an issue? 
 
“In this context, I think journalists seeking legitimacy should expect similar reactions across platforms and mediums. A reader is a reader. A fan is a fan. A hater is a hater. You can qualify opinions much easier in a column/blog post. It’s much more difficult and subjective in 140 characters (or less).
 
That being said, at some point, your personal brand becomes what people see, and if you’re consistently trying to be sarcastic or funny via social media, then people begin to expect it.”
 
Tom went on to say that there are certain sites he reads, not for their feature stories but for “their clever use of social media, their capture-the-moment-perfectly tweets and snarky approach to sports”. As Tom told me, “We have a superficial relationship, and I’m OK with that. “

On Whitlock’s tweet that SI’s Alan Shipnuck replied to

“To Whitlock’s credit, he’s being transparent enough in admitting his account is pure folly. My problem is it diminishes his serious writing/columns/reporting. It’s so “out there” that it’s off-brand for what I expect him to say, especially as someone whom I enjoyed hearing from weekly when he was on “Sports Reporters.””

Does personal branding supplant old-school journalism now? 

“I hope personal branding never supplants old-school journalism. There’s a place for personal branding — especially in sports — but we have enough loud-mouths out there. Earn your stripes through good reporting. I expect more — and I think others do, too — of journalists, no matter where they’re sharing opinions. To me, your work should be the showcase piece for your personal branding. But I understand how buzz and getting more readers, followers, etc. works.  know of friends in TV news who are under constant pressure to grow and engage more and more in social media. It’s harder to do that by just sharing really good content — unfortunately. We’re a headline-grabbing society with news cycles that last hours instead of days. That makes me sad for journalism. For old-school journalism.”

Context on Twitter

If you’re trying to be funny, someone will misinterpret the tweet. So then it’s probably not funny, right? Or you’re just not funny. Humor is hard. Big brands struggle — and usually fail miserably — with humor in social media, because it’s so subjective. We’re also a very skeptical society, even more so in social media. Twitter will see blood any time there’s a chance to knock someone down, especially sports writers or other journalists attempting humor. Or big brands.

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FINAL THOUGHTS: First, my thanks to Tom Buchheim for providing his perspective for this post. 

Second, Twitter is what you make of it. That’s been my belief for a long time. If you don’t like what someone tweets, don’t follow them. Simple, right?

There are very prominent media members, well-respected, that are quite popular on Twitter. Early on, I followed them. I found them to be arrogant, condescending and egotistical. They questioned fans who questioned them no matter how right the fans were. Now that I look back on it, to use a popular term, they “bullied” with words and dismissed fans who disagreed with them. I unfollowed them. I moved them to a Twitter List because they were great writers and I wanted to read their articles. Eventually, that wasn’t enough to keep me connected to them. I removed them from my Lists altogether.

Simple.

But, should I have to?

Well, that’s the beauty and curse of Twitter. Twitter allows you access to people who were not previously accessible. Depending on how much journalists filter themselves, Twitter allows for a peek into who they truly are. Personality, political and religious beliefs, even their favorite restaurants (think FourSquare check-ins and food pictures) can all be seen through the eyes of Twitter. That’s not always the case in their writing, unless they are a columnist. Columnists are paid to provide their opinion. 

In print, at least.

On Twitter, everyone can be a columnist, providing their 140-character opinions. Not always in proper context. It’s up to the user to decide how to interpret and convey their opinion to others. We’re all different in our personalities so why is that we should interpret one’s writing and tweets the same way. We don’t. And we won’t until someone creates that sarcasm font I keep calling for (sarcasm). 

As quickly as a tweet is written, that’s how quickly a judgment is made. With an article or blog post, the reader has time to fully grasp the context of what the writer is trying to say on a subject. I should say, “more words” not “more time”.  Like Tom said, “your work should be the showcase piece for your personal branding“. That doesn’t mean that comes through in only 140-characters. 

At least, that’s my “judgment” on the issue. 

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CadChica Sports

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Passion Drives Us

I understand this tweet.

As someone who works in media, I get how media has a different mindset than the fan. Cheering for a team, especially one that you cover, has always been, shall we say, frowned upon. No cheering in the press box. That mindset often carries over into writing or reporting.

Part of what drew us to working in sports media in the first place was our passion as sports fans. Growing up, we loved sports. We were fans. We immersed ourselves in every play, every official’s call, every stat, every game.  We were invested in our team. They became part of our identity.

And, yes, sometimes to the point of fanatical.

Perhaps that’s part of the charm of being a sports fan. As much as I dislike fans taking it too far, I understand the passion behind it. Our favorite teams become part of our lives, season in and season out.

© CadChica Sports

© CadChica Sports

Teams have our hearts. So much so that sometimes they can bring us to tears.

And to me, the right type of tears are a-okay.

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FINAL THOUGHTS: I know that sentiment in the above tweet is shared by others in media. Once you start working in sports media, the “fan” in us begins to fade. We no longer get what it means to be a fan the longer we’re in it.

By that same token, most fans don’t understand what it means to work in the media. Travel tweets…no, travel-complaint tweets come to mind. Tweets like this, for example:

I don’t want to lose my affinity for “my” teams. But, I also need to view teams, games, athletes from a media perspective. It’s a delicate balance now that I’m in media. Passion is important to work in media. Passion is what drives fans to the point of tears.

Is passionate balance a thing?

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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.

 

Tuesday Ten: Ken Fang

Tuesday 4-29

Fortuitous.

A fortuitous opportunity was presented to me prior to tonight’s Tuesday Ten Show.

My guest on this night was Ken Fang. Ken covers all things sports media for fangsbites.com and awfulannouncing.com. While my intention was to discuss all things sports media with Ken, the NBA provided a fortuitous opportunity to discuss something more specific: Donald Sterling.

  • 1:23 – Introduction to Ken Fang
  • 2:55 – The role social media plays in covering sports media
  • 6:43 – Sports media reporting of today’s Donald Sterling punishment handed down by NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver
  • 9:29 – TMZ, Deadspin and their place in the sports media table
  • 11:55 – How much pressure have the TMZ’s and Deadspins put on the traditional sports outlets?
  • 13:55 – (Audience question) When will we hear from Sterling? Who will break that news?
  • 15:15 – When will we hear from David Stern?
  • 16:26 – The future of sports media
  • 18:26 – Do the major sports outlets need to take more risks?

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My thanks to Ken Fang for joining tonight’s Tuesday Ten. To connect with Ken:

Join me next Tuesday, May 6th, when my guest will be Clair Wyant, Internet Marketing Specialist. I’ll also be joined by my friend and occasional co-host, Tariq Ahmad.

To stay in the loop on all of the latest Tuesday Ten shows, SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube channel here

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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.

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

Spanning the Twitterverse

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

BASEBALL OUCH!!!

You make the call? Hit by pitch or pitch hit by elbow?

A SPECIAL HOF AWARD

The story linked to this tweet is so great that I had to share. Not a story to be missed.

WHISTLE BLOWER TWEET?

Leave it to Ohio State to stir the pot while tucking their tails between their legs. I’m not an NCAA expert (are there such things) but go to the link on the tweet and judge for yourself.

http://twitter.com/#!/Kala_Andrews/status/70580766786060288

TWEETS I COULDN’T FIT IN YESTERDAY’S POST

In case you missed these, below are a few interesting tweets for your reading pleasure. Funny, informative and sad. *Sigh*

Funny

Informative

Sad

TWEET OF THE DAY

Usually on tweet of the day, I try to find one that just tickled my funny bone but not this time. This is Wide World of Tworts and Twitter’s popularity increase brings about the tweet below. I am whole heartedly agree with this post, albeit ALL sports media not just ESPN.

CadChica Sports

Spanning the Twitterverse: Social Media in Sports

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

TWORTS

I posted earlier today a couple of tweets from ESPN’s social media columnist, Maria Burns-Ortiz, regarding the fun of fake Twitter handles. You know, the ones who use names of famous people and “pretending”, or not, to be those famous people. My post here.

Ms. Burns-Ortiz has some great tweets out there about what I call “Tworts”. In case you haven’t read my blog before, it’s a combo of Twitter & sports (yes, I thought it up all by myself). I am a firm believer that Twitter is having and will continue to have an affect on sports, athletes, sports media, and all others involved. I mean if we can have a guy taking beer orders at Mariners games via Twitter, safe to say Twitter will, if it hasn’t already, change the whole entire sports experience.

The flip side of that is of course, interpretation of tweets. With the recent controversy surrounding Rashard Mendenhall’s ill advised tweets regarding Osama Bin Laden and 9/11, which I blogged about earlier ,in my opinion it will only get worse unless teams address it head on. The need to hold pre-season/in-season/post-season social media seminars with experts in the field. The NFL, in an effort to keep controversy at bay, need to do this with all rookies coming in. Knowldege is power. And knowledge of social media and how to use it can produce great dividends.

Some athletes get it but many don’t (some would argue Mendenhall doesn’t). Ms. Burns-Ortiz RT’d (re-tweeted) this below from the LA Times newspaper. Great article and insight.

MY TAKE: I think Twitter is phenomenal (stating the obvious I know). But, Twitter can be used in ‘phenomenal’ ways for athletes’ benefit. Case in point? Heath Evans@realfreemancbs, tweeted this back on May 2nd. Had I not seen this tweet, I never would have known about the work that Evans and his wife are doing.

This is the kind of stuff that athletes should use Twitter for. Sure followers are nice but if you’re going to have a large following, why not use your platform for something good instead of just spouting off nasty or controversial stuff all the time? Random tweets are fine (i.e. tweeting about a good workout, what movie you saw, etc..). As an athlete, even the ones who aren’t as big of a household name, using Twitter to affect the world around you in a positive way is how Twitter can work for you, not against you.

However, far be it from me to say “you should only do it this way”, because that’s not true. If an athlete is willing to stick his neck out and tweet something controversial, go for it…provided they are willing to deal with the consequences. If they aren’t, then teams had better get their acts together and start having those social media seminars I mentioned earlier. It’s not just the athletes. The same goes for every member of the team organizations as well as extended families of both athletes and organizational personnel. The title of the seminar: SOCIAL MEDIA: HIT ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK.

As I’m sitting here thinking about it, I think the sports media should follow suit too. There’s some really stupid stuff being tweeted by the sports media lately. Not posting any examples but just something to watch out for. 140 characters is enough to get anyone in trouble if you’re not careful. Including me.

CadChica Sports