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Attention sports writers who live-tweet games: No one cares

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by schiezainc, Apr 23, 2015.

  1. schiezainc

    schiezainc Well-Known Member

    OK. So I've been debating writing this in various ways on the Internet and on various posts on this message board but, honestly, I think this needs its own thread.
    If you are a sports writer on Twitter please, for the love of God and all that is holy, stop live tweeting play-by-play at whatever stupid game you are at.
    It is boring, it clogs up everyone's news feeds and it's going to lose you subscribers.
    Now, don't get me wrong, I am not against Twitter. It took me a long time to embrace the platform and I absolutely get where people are coming from with using it to develop a following and keep those follower informed.
    But live tweeting a game is not the answer.
    "But Schieza!" I'm sure you'll argue. "That's what my followers want! That's why they've followed me!"
    You're wrong.
    And dumb.
    I'm sorry but this has to be said. If you're live-tweeting play-by-play, you're doing Twitter wrong.
    Twitter is not the place for you to write dry "So and so hits a ground-rule double, Podunk takes the lead 3-2." tweets.
    Anyone who cares about the game you are covering is either 1.) Watching it or 2.) Attending it.
    The rest of your followers do. not. give. a. shit.
    At a game and want to tweet throughout it? Awesome. Go for it. But do it right.
    The right way is to use it as a platform to interject little quips or color about what you're watching, not to use it as a running scoreboard.
    Anyone who cares enough about a game to follow along with you in that manner would do the exact same thing with a CoverItLive window. That's fine. That's not what Twitter is supposed to be.
    I post this rant because there's a local D-I college basketball team in my area and whenever they play at home, THREE of the sports writers from this area that I follow, who all cover the beat for the team, live tweet during the game.
    One of them does it right. The other two, who are otherwise incredibly talented individuals who I have worked with and for and respect, do not.
    As an example, let's say Player X steals a ball with 10 minutes left in the second half of a close game, pulls away on the fast break and dunks it over Visiting Player Y. This is a sample of the exchange that will immediately clog up my Twitter feed:
    Sports writer 1: Player X with a steal, fast break and big dunk. Podunk takes a 43-42 lead. 10 minutes to play.
    Sports writer 2: A steal, fast break and dunk by Player X gives Podunk a 43-42 lead halfway through the second period here at Podunk.
    Sports writer 3: Man. What a play by Player X. Visiting Player Y just got posterized. Made him look silly.
    Sports writers 1 & 2 are boring. They both immediately get unfollowed by me because I'm either at the game shooting it, at home watching it on TV, on some sort of website following along with the score or I don't care.
    Either way, those tweets do nothing for me from a news perspective and, I imagine, the same can be said for a large percentage of their followers. Simply put, if they cared, they already saw the dunk or saw the lead change in the box score they're watching live.
    No need for 75 tweets during the game that essentially act like a running play by play.
    Writer 3? A little personality shown goes a long way. Either I saw the play because I care and his tweet enhances the experience and makes me laugh or I didn't see the play and now I want to.
    So I guess what I'm saying is please, for the love of god, stop live tweeting play by play ... especially if you're at some game that literally has less than 50 people in attendance.
    No. one. cares.
    OK. Rant over.
    Let me have it.

    TLDR: Stop doing basic play by play on Twitter. It's annoying and stupid.
    jpetrie18 likes this.
  2. Cosmo

    Cosmo Well-Known Member

    While I agree with your basic premise, I disagree with the fact that people who care will be either at the game or watching it on TV. Life doesn't work that way all the time. I find myself at times on Twitter looking for a score from the beat writer of the team I'm interested in. I'm not saying you should go overboard with it. In basketball, I tend to limit score updates to the media timeouts, adding a line of color/analysis after the score. Baseball, generally only after innings when scoring happens or after a particularly interesting sequence. You're right that you should let your personality and subject expertise shine on Twitter, but sometimes, you need to throw the nuts and bolts out there too. Not everyone is a 100 percent hardcore fan who will listen to a game on the radio, watch it on TV or be glued to live stats. Not to mention with high schools, sometimes people from afar are just trying to get a feel for where a game stands, so a score update every now and then can be particularly useful. But running PxP is awful.
    bigpern23 likes this.
  3. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member

    SFIND likes this.
  4. MisterCreosote

    MisterCreosote Well-Known Member

    Don't follow people whose "tweets" you find boring or stupid. There. Problem solved.
  5. jr/shotglass

    jr/shotglass Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry, schiez, I look at this one from a diametrically opposite view.

    I think play-by-play updates -- especially from events that are not covered by other outlets; i.e., radio or tv -- are very useful. And not everyone who wants to know about the event can be there.

    Second, I'd rather have somebody doing it straight than tongue-in-cheek. Just the facts.

    But here's an option our writers have taken to which wouldn't need to disrupt that Twitter feed. They do their running reports in the comments section of a website post. It's worked very well.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2015
    SFIND likes this.
  6. MisterCreosote

    MisterCreosote Well-Known Member

    This is a big reason why I think Twitter in general is stupid.

    Everyone wants to do shtick. And, that is often diametrically opposed to informative newsgathering.
    SFIND likes this.
  7. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member

    But like you said, don't follow stupid people.
  8. TigerVols

    TigerVols Well-Known Member

    Aren't pretty much all baseball games above the HS level covered live by some sort of digital media PXP?
  9. Mr. Sunshine

    Mr. Sunshine Well-Known Member

    Early leader in the clubhouse for Dumbest Thread of the Year.
  10. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    Hot take!

    Actually, it's probably too long of a rant to be considered a hot take.
  11. Kato

    Kato Active Member

    I cover hockey and use Twitter for more analysis, commentary and scoring updates. I use some form of a live blog/live chat to do more play by play stuff (I say some form because our company keeps changing the platform for that, going from Cover It Live to Scribble to Live Fyre), in order to not "clog up" followers' feeds. I think it's a good compromise.

    One area where Twitter can be really helpful, though, is to have scoring updates. Much like radio PxP people who aren't good at remembering to say the score, there are plenty of beat writers who tweet from games who simply forget to put in the score.
  12. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member

    Hot take with an awfully slow burn.
    YankeeFan likes this.
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