Sunday, March 18, 2012

NFL Free Agency

This week I am going to take a slightly different take on my blog. We are going to analyze one of the largest stories in the world of sports through podcast this. There is no doubt that social media has changed the world of professional football, but where the change has become extremely noticeable is in the the free agent frenzy. Tune in to hear what I have to say this week! For links to what I am talking about in my podcast check out mashable, the Rochester news, Adam Schefter's Twitter page.

Here is the link to my podcast!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Job Hunt Frenzy

Have you ever gotten so mad that you just wanted to spout off on Twitter? Hasn’t the urge to write a nasty, expletive-laden blog post or Facebook status ever taken over your judgment? Well if you are in the market for a job you better think twice. According to a 2011 survey by Reppler, up to 90 percent of employers check out their applicants’ social media presence during the hiring process.

Like it or not, the content you post on social media sites are not really all that private. Anybody, including employers, can access these posts. In fact, Twitter posts are especially vulnerable to during the hiring process since Twitter profiles are open for everyone to see. Every tweet you fire off is logged and available for employers to view later. That one inadvisable tweet you wrote about your boss two years ago is still lurking out in cyberspace just waiting to haunt you. 

Another touchy subject is your Facebook. Especially with the new timeline feature, your wall posts, statuses, comments, and photos are all logged and readily viewable at any time. In fact, one of the worst problems that people run into is an embarrassing photo taken years ago on that evening nobody talks about cropping up during the interview period. Employers are looking for these things, not to turn down good candidates, but instead to protect the company image. 

Whether it is fair or not, bosses are no longer merely using a resume, cover letter, and interview to judge who you are. Employers view your conversations on social media, positive and negative, as an extension of your personality. As an employee, you are an extension of your company on social media, even when you are off the clock. Drunken pictures and expletive laden Facebook statuses are not the way to win over a boss.

Social media is not completely evil for job seekers though. The same Reppler study found that 68 percent of employers did hire a candidate due to something they noticed in the candidate’s social media portfolio. It is all about keeping yourself honest and watching what you post. A little caution can go a long way in trying to earn a job in today’s social media driven world.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Social Media Changing College Recruiting Forever

National letter of intent signing day never used to be one of the most treasured days on the sports calendar. For the most intense college football fans, the day used to mean little more than a few preview articles in the newspaper and wrap up of the recruiting class with little fanfare. Things have changed immensely though, and it does not seem as if there is any going back.

Today, national signing day is almost like a holiday for football geeks. A day when grown men can gather around computers to celebrate 18-year-old boys choosing where they will play a game they still love, America’s game, football. Fans are no longer questioned about their fanatical following of recruiting updates. It is all just part of the college football landscape undoubtedly changing due to the rise of social media.
One of the best examples of this change is the constant updates through blogs, such as Black Shoe Diaries. Fans no longer have to wait until tomorrow’s paper or even a web article to be posted to find out who is signing where. For the instant gratification nuts in the room, social media is now being used to put all this information in the palm of your hand at a second’s notice. For instance, as soon the recruiting deadline passed, Black Shoe Diaries posted this article, which highlighted Penn State’s successes on a rocky recruiting day. 

The fact that information is accessible immediately is undoubtedly the driving force behind national signing day entering a whole new realm of hype and media personnel are not the only ones taking advantage of this hype. Coaches and players alike have turned to social media to assist in the recruiting process. Coaches find that they must join social networks, like Facebook and Twitter, to keep up with the competition. They also use social media to get a better understanding of who the players are and gauge off the field character.

Players are also using these mediums to get their name out there and boost their recruiting prospects. They can use Twitter direct messages and personal Facebook messages to contact coaches without any recruiting violations being imposed. This is a great way to get around all of the violations hype that has been flowing in the recent years.

Gone are the days when we would find out about the recruiting class from our favorite college next year on the field. Now, whether we like it or not, college recruiting has been changed by social media. The process will continue into the future, as well, as mediums change and new mediums form.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Social Media Changes the Super Bowl

Let’s face the facts; social media is changing our world and everything we hold sacred. Even the Super Bowl, America's greatest tradition has been altered by social media. Sure the on-field portion of the game is still the same, but everything else surrounding the game is changing to catch up with the public’s new favorite form of communication.

One of the most cherished portions of the week leading up to the Super Bowl does not actually have anything to do with football. The buzz about this year’s Super Bowl commercials grew to an all-time high with the increased exposure thanks to Twitter and Facebook. Corporations paid up to $3.5 million for a 30-second advertisement spot in Super Bowl XLVI. Many of these commercials also encouraged fans to get Tweeting about their products, such as Budweiser’s #herewego and #makeitplatnum, as well as, GE’s #whatworks, and Audi’s #solongvampires Twitter campaigns. 

Coca-Cola also ran an ingenious marketing strategy including the now-famous Coke bears. The advertisements aimed to get people interacting with Coke on Twitter and Facebook, as well as, checking out where the bears were ready to interact with fans.  Conversley, Papa John’s also lost big this Super Bowl by running a social media campaign stating that the company would give away free pizzas to America if the opening coin flip was heads. #Oops

To top off this opportunistic marketing moment, companies vied for the “most talked about” award. The award was created to honor the company that garnered the most mentions on Twitter in the week prior to the Super Bowl. This season, Dannon’s commercial, featuring John Stamos, earned the “most talked about” award with 1,170.4% increase over normal traffic on social media sites. 

We even are starting to judge the teams on the field by how much buzz they created on Twitter leading up the game. The New York Giants blew away the New England Patriots with roughly 63% of the tweets about Super Bowl containing a Giants mention.

Finally, the game day experience is changing, as fans look to Twitter for in-game news and updates about the teams, commercials and halftime show. In fact,  during the game, every trending topic was consistently about the Super Bowl. Some of the most popular hashtags went to #SB46, #jasonpierrepaul, #Madonna and #thisM&M. Whether we like it or not, American is changing to fit with the times and that includes out most sacred of events: the Super Bowl.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Twitter Takes the Cake

Sports have changed forever. No, it was not the NFL lockout, the Boston Redsox breaking their 84-year World Series drought, Brett Favre retiring, or even that the Detroit Lions making the playoffs for the first time since 1995 that changed sports. It was a modest invention in 2006 that has changed the direction of sports for good. That invention is known best as Twitter.

Before the invention of Twitter, athletes had no feasible way of reaching directly out to and interacting with their ever-growing fan bases. Then one day it became all too easy send 144 characters worth of personal sentiments to a favorite athlete. Fans and the media alike swarmed to this new medium, looking for greater access to their favorite players.

One of the greatest changes to sports is the way sports reporting is handled. Before the days of Twitter, journalists had to go through the team to get to a player. Scripted, monotonous and often boring press conferences were the only real way of gaining insight into how a player felt or thought during the game. The answers became predictable and if you listened to enough press conferences, you came to understand that there was a strict code on what should and should not be said in the media.

Twitter has revolutionized this process though. Athletes can speak freely, whether it is articulate or not. The problem becomes when athletes speak their minds without thinking of the consequences first. Almost daily, Sportscenter utilizes the biggest, most unscripted press conference to get juicy tidbits to fill airtime. Instead of using statements issued by the team, they go straight for athlete Twitter accounts to get the latest juicy developments or find an interesting take on a breaking topic, just ask Matt Hasselbeck.

What goes unsaid though is that no matter how great the ability to interact with athletes and see what they are thinking may be it also is very dangerous territory. Sometimes players go a little too far and they get into deep trouble. It is a trend that, while fun for fans, needs to be controlled before too many athletes reveal things that should not be public.