Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Social Media Social: Newsday TweetUp

If you want to talk about hockey first, sure -- here goes. The Flyers won game three of the Stanley Cup finals last night at the Wachovia Center extending their home turf winning streak and ensuring -- The Hawks hoisting the Cup in Chicago.

I called a Flyers win all day. I’m not surprised, but I may be to blame as well. I never donned the boa feathers last night in the third when the Hawks looked like they needed a little extra magic. They looked tired and slow and hardly managed any shots on goal. Once they headed into overtime it was pretty obvious the game was going to the Flyers. Okay, but enough about that.

Earlier in the evening I attended the Newsday TweetUp with a group of prolific Long Island Tweeps. I don’t attend many of these functions because they are usually in places far-far away -- like Manhattan. This was down the street from my office. I couldn’t resist and I’m glad I didn’t.

But it’s not just because I got to meet the people behind the ½” avatars, but also because the discussion solidified the purpose of Twitter. As @stevehaweeli from WordHampton PR explained, Twitter is a Community in it’s truest sense of the word. It is a place to bring like minds together even from across all geographic boundaries. It is a tool, it is entertainment, it is marketing, it is socialization and it is ever expanding.

While social media sites and Apps are springing up faster than the crab grass in my yard, I find myself still behind the times in this ever expanding universe. But it is actually by choice. (I actually JUST downloaded TweetDeck two days ago and am still fighting with it.)

Being easily recognized is something I’m comfortable with -- at a hockey game. That’s my comfort zone. I belong there. Being recognized OUTSIDE of the Nassau Coliseum is something I find surprising. Being not only recognized but warmly greeted and complimented for my work still makes me feel like Sally Fields at an Oscar podium. (Really old Norma Rae reference that 98% of you will not get. Go ask your mother.)

What I am attempting to get at, and taking the long road home to do it, is that Twitter, while classified as a Social Media site, for me is more of an ever expanding news exchange and think tank. I could never imagine following thousands the way @LovelyLu does, I already find myself struggling to keep up with those who really interest me and I know I'm missing out on more.

The “List” grouping function is essential and having certain Tweeps Tweets directed straight to my phone is my hockey news life line. Where would I be as an hockey blogger without @katiestrangNYI’s up-to-the-minute Isles news announcing itself on my Samsung phone? Sunk. That’s where. But it still leaves me thinking I may need to do some judicious pruning in order to maintain clarity of content.

Carl Corry, or @carlcorry, Newsday’s Online Editor, Local News, asked what we all wanted to get out of Twitter, I realized that while we all may look for the same things, we prioritize them differently. I also realized that we all felt the Twitterverse is addictive, so managing time and content is becoming increasingly difficult.

All I know is: Without Twitter I would be lost. (But that still doesn’t mean I’ll jump on 4-Square because the whole idea of people knowing EXACTLY where I am every minute of the day truly freaks me out. No… really… it’s like a stalker tool. Ewwe.)

So thanks to @jonmccarthy, @carlcorry, and @patriciakitchen of Newsday and their invited TwittSpeakers for an informative evening. And thank you to all the Tweeps I was finally able to meet in person. It was truly a treat.

As a hockey aside, the one smallest tidbit I took away from the evening regarding our Islanders came when one reporter said he never knew there were that many Islander fans from all parts of the country until Newsday went pay-wall. It just goes to prove that while hockey may not be one of the "big three" sports, we are a rabid, vocal, electronically connected force to be reckoned with.

Don’t mess with us hockey fans! We’re willing to throw down the gloves any time.

1 comment:

Steve said...

Well put 7th - and great to meet you last night. We're all lucky you're bloggin like you blog! Go Isles!

Steve