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Using MySpace to contact players?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Eagleboy, May 26, 2007.

  1. Eagleboy

    Eagleboy Guest

    I've been thinking about different ways to contact high school players who won't return a traditional phone call and heard about a co-worker who uses MySpace to send them messages. I don't agree with the practice - I shun MySpace myself - but the guy has pretty good success in getting the players to respond to him. I've heard of other people sending text messages in order to get in touch with them, but I think that's just a little too informal as well.

    I prefer making a phone call - four or five of them in a short time span, if need be - in order to get in touch with these players, but in the interest of getting through and getting them to return contact, I've got to consider alternative sources. Using text messages may be a little more acceptable, but does using MySpace to send them messages cross some kind of awkward line in terms of informality/immorality? Especially given that we all know the debates about MySpace and the controversies about drinking, partying, etc., I'm worried that it would shed the whole relationship in a bit of an awkward light.
  2. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    I've never personally used MySpace to contact a player, though I do check the pages frequently to see what these kids are up to. I have heard contacting them this way can be effective.

    I would suggest not using your personal profile to contact them. They may not recognize your photo, if you even have one, or think it's creeping that someone XX years old is sending them a message.

    Create a profile for your newspaper or your sports section. That makes it more official, more formal.
  3. I know many high school athletes, who I have covered this year, that use MySpace or Facebook.

    With that said, I don't think it's appropriate on my part or anyone's part for that matter to bother them. I don't think they would like it if I pester them. If I want to talk to them, I talk to them after the game by asking the coach's permission. That's the professional way to go about it.
  4. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    I've used MySpace to contact sources in the past. Actually, my reporter used my MySpace profile to contact one person for a story he was working on and he later gave her his contact information so that he wouldn't have to use my profile to contact her.

    I feel like if there's a chance that you'll get something from a source using MySpace or Facebook or text messaging and you're having trouble reaching them via other means, go ahead and use MySpace or Facebook. If they don't respond to that, write that in a sentence to let your readers know you tried.
  5. MonitorLizard

    MonitorLizard Member

    I'd leave out the part about trying through myspace, though.
  6. accguy

    accguy Member

    A couple of weeks ago, the school I cover got a commitment from a kid. The cell I had for him didn't work. I got him through IM. Basically said, "this is accguy, you have a number where I can call you?" He gave me a number and I called.
  7. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    I have lobbied for IM on our computers, facebook and myspace accounts for all reporters. To stalk? Hell no. To contact? Hell yes.
  8. leo1

    leo1 Active Member

    i'm not a reporter any more but i think anyone who thinks myspace is an inappropriate method of contacting sources is a little behind the times. kids have myspace profiles. it's not an intrusion to use their page to contact them. if anything it's less intrusive than an IM or phone call.

    just make sure you're contacting who you think you're contacting!
  9. donaugust

    donaugust Member

    This is key with any new form of contact. Who's to say the person on the other end of the IM or text message is who you think it is?

    Or on the other end of the phone, if you don't know their voice?
  10. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    My God.
  11. In Cold Blood

    In Cold Blood Member

    Can't say that I've ever used myspace before, but high school kids do have a heck of a time returning my phone messages, so maybe it's an avenue I should explore...

    Maybe seeing photos of Joe Schmo high school quarterback bonging a beer will be a little awkward, but if it gets you in contact with him to do a story, I think its an acceptable means of communication.
  12. FishHack76

    FishHack76 Active Member

    Only if you want to end up on "To Catch a Predator" ....

    "Hello, anybody home? I brought Mike's Hard Lemonade!"
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