The Twitter Effect


Hard to believe how long twitter has been around now isn’t it?

I know you are sick of me saying this, but it is a tool simply made for those of us who love sports, news and entertainment. For hockey fans it’s especially incredible.

I can tell you that it’s made life so much simpler living across the content from my home town.

Fantastic article on about how twitter is changing sports coverage, and it’s one that given this audience I thought I should point out to you:

“Now you’re writing running stories on Twitter,” ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter said. “It can make you look like you’re vacillating or changing your mind, when in fact you’re reporting.”

Add to that the pressure of knowing competitors may tweet news first — and at least within media circles, the certainty that people are keeping score.

Take March’s Tim Tebow trade, Schefter said. The Denver Broncos agreed to trade the quarterback to the New York Jets, but when the deal apparently fell apart, they tried to work out a trade to the Jacksonville Jaguars instead, only to reverse course and return to the Jets. At one point, Schefter recalled, a credible person involved in the deal told him that Tebow was headed to Jacksonville. Rather than tweet that, Schefter waited to check in with other people — and another credible source told him to hold off.

“The story had changed so much that day, I thought it was really important for me to double- and triple-check it,” he said. “I could have put on Twitter that Tim Tebow was being traded to Jacksonville. Had I done that, I would have been remembered as the guy who got the Tim Tebow story wrong.”

Fascinating stuff in this article, and I think it really raises some interesting points on the future of media especially in sports.

Twitter has certainly changed both the way we consume our news and the sources of our news too.

Yes, there are still those trusted types, who we rely on in every vertical. There are those 2.0 sources who only emerged as a result of social media and the blogosphere and then there are the those who simply just piss you off; the trolls, the wannabies, the pretenders. During the prominence of blogs they would report wild stories that would cause those in the know to chase down stories that didn’t exist. That faded away pretty quickly. Today in the social world there are so called insiders who somehow achieve a huge audience with no real substance behind them. The question is why, or for what gain?.

Then, there are the legal implications:

“Legal precedent is only beginning to emerge. The most high-profile legal case concerning ownership of a Twitter account pits California writer Noah Kravitz against mobile-phone site, his former employer. Eight months after the two parted ways, Phonedog sued Kravitz, calling the writer’s Twitter followers a customer list and seeking damages for the loss of that list.”

We all remember the case of the MSMer who got fired for performance reasons, yet conveniently only after posting religious beliefs on his twitter account don’t we? Interesting times on both sides of the border.

The ESPN article does a great job of addressing the fascinating implications of where we are in social media today and where it may be going. It’s long, but worth the investment of time.

I don’t know about you, but I just love Bob Elliott’s column in today’s Toronto Sun, especially the plea from Jose Bautista for the Jays to make bold moves to help the team:

“If that’s what it takes … it has to be done,” said Bautista. “I know it’s wishful thinking, maybe we can add one and win. Maybe people like Brett Cecil and other guys take advantage of the opportunity. Given an opportunity in crucial situations brings out the best sometimes.”

It’s nice to see the same passion from a star as being expressed by the fan base.

Simply put, it’s time for ownership to put up, wouldn’t ya say?

I know this isn’t popular and some MSMers will certainly email me for piling on or being mean, but nothing makes me skim or skip an article faster than anything that has to do with CFL football. I am really sorry. I know it’s anti-Canadian to say so, but every year for the past, I don’t several, more than 5, I’ve tried to follow pre-season coverage. I’ve watched a couple of games and despite what all those who cover the sport and those who love it say, I just don’t see the entertainment value. Maybe because Toronto sucks. I don’t know. I can tell you I grew up on Argo football and I loved it as a kid. Barnes, Holloway etc…. I knew every player. Today, it’s just not compelling and for that I am sorry.

Lastly, listening to Chris Berman on MLB Home Run Derby is like a condensed version of Pierre Mcguire doing the NHL draft or a game for that matter. Wholly mute button Batman.


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Robert C.
Robert C.
July 10, 2012 5:10 am

If a CFL game is on and I’m home, I might watch. But I’ve never followed the league closely. Main reason is being from Atlantic Canada, and becoming a football fan in late 80s/early 90s when I lived in New Brunswick. Closest CFL team was Ottawa and right before we left NB that was the infamous US expansion era. If I had a rooting interest then I might’ve started watching a lot of CFL games. However franchises in Sacramento, Shreveport, San Antonio wasn’t going to cause that.

I watch a tonne of NFL and here in Kingston, Queen’s Football gets a lot of interest. Yet this weekend a cab driver asked me if I knew when does the CFL pre-season end? Not a good sign. Especially when the Stampeders are in town practicing between games in Toronto/Montreal.

July 10, 2012 9:43 am

Watching John Kruk and Adam Jones eat ribs with George Brett between them made the derby worth seeing. And I didn’t think Berman was nearly as bad as he normally is.

July 10, 2012 10:50 am

RE: Berman – my son and I watch Bautista’s first round with the sound off (it was necessary at the time due to our surroundings); later tuned in to watch parts of the derby, with the sound on. MUCH more enjoyable with it off.
(My wife’s comment after about the third HR call – “Wow, that’s annoying”)

July 10, 2012 11:48 am

Agree with you Syn. Chris Berman is BRUTAL for play by play of the Home Run Derby but last night he was not as bad as usual.

Poker Guy
Poker Guy
July 10, 2012 1:03 pm

Berman should just stick to NFL Gameday & Primetime. Hand over the duties of calling the HR Derby to someone else. His schtick of back, back, back, etc. has worn out, long ago.

July 10, 2012 3:03 pm

I’d like to see regional TV ratings or a real survey done in the GTA regarding what teams and sports we follow. I think some of the older media people might be surprised at how much of a non-entity the Argos have become, particularly with people under 40. The relative popularity of the CFL in Toronto has been slowly declining for about 30 or 35 years now, and it’s sunk to a level where it will likely never return to being as big a deal as it once was, similar to horse racing, junior hockey, and boxing. I heard Jeff Blair acknowledge the CFL gets more media attention than it really deserves, as if he was apologizing for the way it’s pushed at us by them. Several times I’ve heard Mike Richards claim that CFL TV blackouts (and there weren’t many of them) were the major cause of the decline, but I disagree. The CFL was something people in Toronto watched mostly by default when there was little or nothing else available, when it otherwise may have been their second, third, of fourth choice. But with the now almost unlimited entertainment and media choices available, that situation no longer exists, meaning the CFL has been left behind, and there isn’t much they can do about it. If anything, focusing on their history is only reinforcing that negative image of being something that once mattered to your father and grandfather.

Just to make the point about our sports viewing being less parochial than it was:
If you are old enough to remember 30 to 35 years ago, most people in Toronto had probably never heard of the European soccer tournament, never mind watching it and getting excited enough to have flags on their cars.

Mike S
Mike S
July 10, 2012 6:01 pm

If you guys think Berman is bad on baseball you should hear him on ESPN’s coverage of the US Open golf tournament

I am not as big a fan of Berman as I used to be but I am still a fan, as long as he sticks to the NFL studio shows

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