Are You Ready for Some… Tweeting?

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As the kickoff to college football is approaching this weekend, I was curious to see how emerging medias have impacted the game.  It used to be enough for me to either watch sporting events live or on a huge TV with my friends.  Now I find myself not only watching the games but turning to my iPhone to check other stats, share my opinions about the game with friends and see what others are saying during the event.

According to a study by Catalyst Public Relations on sports and social media, 42 percent of NFL fans and more than half of college football fans are using Twitter during the games.  Social media has enabled fans to gather as if they were in their own sports bar and communicate with people they do not know.  Athletes also offer a view into their lives and personalities and communicate directly with their fans through social media.  Football’s most followed tweeter is Chad Ochocinco, who was ranked as the second most influential personality on Twitter with nearly 2.6 million followers, myself being one of them! 

Sports fans are also turning to blogs for their primary source of breaking sports news.  When the news broke of LSU QB Jordan Jefferson’s arrest, I turned to my favorite LSU blogging site for more information.

Tigerdroppings.com was created to give people the chance to discuss and share opinions online with others about LSU sports.  This site also features information on everything related to LSU and its sports practices.  Since the launch in 2001, Tigerdroppings.com has expanded to cover sports, politics, entertainment and other popular topics and has over 68,000 members.

In a world where people want things instantly, emerging media has changed the world for sports – including players, fans, commentators, coaches, etc.  Social media provides a great opportunity for people to disseminate information in mere seconds on a world wide level.  It’s a great opportunity for teams to communicate with their fan bases and develop a bigger following.  Teams can also benefit from a marketing standpoint by being able to access hundreds of thousands of fans through a click of a mouse while showing local businesses and brands their broad fan following.

In the spirit of the game, here’s my favorite commercial about the LSU vs. Oregon game on Saturday produced by ESPN College GameDay.

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You Are What You Tweet

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Due to the shift to interactive media, broadcasters are eager to provide new ways to increase viewer engagement.  Broadcasters have turned to Twitter which provides a forum for real-time discussion that turns watchers into participants.

Twitter enjoyed its widest television integration to date via the live worldwide coverage of the royal wedding.  During the wedding, users interacted with ABC News’ coverage by using the hashtags #RoyalSuccess and #RoyalMess to voice their opinion about the wedding.  They also shared their thoughts with CNN by including the hashtag #CNNTV, causing #CNNTV to trend early in the event.  And as audiences across the world watched the events on TV (I know I was up at 3 a.m.), they posted millions of tweets, peaking at 16,000 tweets per minute between 5 and 6 a.m. EST.

Here are some more examples of Twitter and TV integration:

1. Live Tweeting

The Travel Channel demonstrated an on-air Twitter integration that was simple but powerful.  Seven times during the season premiere of No Reservations, the Travel Channel told its viewers that host Anthony Bourdain was live-tweeting the show. When users found him on Twitter, his feed was funny, insightful and a perfect extension of the show.  As a result, Bourdain gained about 10,000 new followers that day with more than 3,000 of those during the premiere itself.

2. On Screen Hashtags – Roast of Donald Trump

Comedy Central aired the Roast of Donald Trump which featured the first integration of a Twitter hashtag on air.  Throughout the show, the #TrumpRoast hashtag was shown in the bottom-left corner of the screen.  This produced 35,000 #TrumpRoast tweets during the 90-minute roast – an average of 6.5 tweets per second! Through the use of this hashtag, Comedy Central was able to track its impact and by putting the entire conversation under one umbrella, it makes it more likely to trend.

3. Real-Time Visualizations of Audience Attention

The 2010 MTV Video Music Awards beat their last year’s tweet total with 2.3 million posted during the broadcast.  First, there was the visualization for web users in the form of a live Twitter scoreboard for people watching the VMAs at home.  Viewers could tweet directly from the app.  Second, there was a less frills version of the visualization designed for the VMA white carpet.  Third, there was a wide-screen version that was integrated into the main show on a 95 foot wide screen!

4. 360 Degree Live Events – 83rd Academy Awards

The 83rd Annual Academy Awards featured a 360-degree vent with a camera-snapping, live-tweeting host, an official hashtag on air, and a big, sustained second-screen conversation on Twitter.   Host James Franco tweeted live throughout the show with real time video.  This represented a new kind of event experience where viewers get to experience it from every vantage point, even the stage itself.  An official #Oscars hashtag appeared on air twice – once at the beginning and again at the end.

From live tweeting and on-screen hashtags to real-time visualizations of audience attention and the new 360-degree live events, incorporating Twitter into a television event significantly increases audience engagement.

Here’s a neat video I found of some examples of how Twitter & TV are integrating:

I am curious to see what integration you think is most beneficial!

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“By creating compelling content, you can become a celebrity.”

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How Many Do You Recognize?

If you are confused about what the formal definition of emerging media, you are not alone!  Although there is no formal definition, emerging media can be defined as “the evolving use of technology and digital content to enhance work, play, and learning, to broaden access to information, and to enrich personal connection by eliminating the constraints of time and location.” (Ball State University)

Emerging media by definition is something that is always changing. So what’s considered “emerging”? What’s relevant? What’s new? What works?  Emerging media is the beginning of a new trend as means of communication beyond traditional channels such as radio, television, newspapers and magazines.  It embraces the digital age, communication (and advertisement) through the internet, cell phones, tablets and computers.

Emerging Media is global and it’s real-time, an aspect traditional media is unable to offer.  Emerging media is in our living rooms with the TiVo, on our mobile phones as text messaging, chat, web browsing and GPS location based advertising, and is prevalent in the workplace (through the use of Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites) used to engage customers and heighten brand awareness.

Emerging Media is here, it’s now, and it’s everywhere.

I always ask my parents “What in the world did y’all do without cell phones?” when I really mean “What in the world did y’all do when you couldn’t purchase tickets to LSU games over your phone, shop for clothes without having to open up a computer or go to the store, control the DVR from your phone, Tweet while your on an airplane, etc?”.  What is even crazier to me is that my mother (who is probably reading this – Hi Mom!) is more technologically savvy than myself!  She can navigate through her iPhone, iPad2 and Kindle faster than anyone I have ever seen.  I remember “back in the day” when my friends thought my mom was so cool because she would send me text messages, now being able to just send a text is a thing of the past.

This commercial still gets me every time!

My favorite iPhone commercial parody (sad to say I know a few people who would purchase those apps)!

I look forward to explore different topics in emerging media and sharing my thoughts with everyone throughout the next 9 weeks!

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