Steelers ramblings

So here are my thoughts on the Steelers, 14 hours after that stomach punch of a playoff game in Denver… not that anyone asked.

• Not to be too much of a doom and gloom pessimist, but last night’s loss marked the end of an era. There’s no way around it. When you’ve got a 37 year old James Farrior, a 34 year old Casey Hampton and a soon to be 36 year old Hines Ward, the writing is starkly written on the wall that the core of this 2-time super bowl champion is facing its professional mortality. Seeing Ward on the sideline in an overcoat during the 4th quarter–a time when he used to be counted on most–instead of in the huddle really stuck out to me. My brain tells me he’s played his last game as a Steeler, but my heart doesn’t want to believe it. In his mind he’s got some gas left in his tank, but the Steelers don’t seem to agree. I’m hoping against hope that we he retires as a Steeler, unlike Franco. Seeing 86 playing for another team next year (and probably the year after that) will be almost too much to handle.

• Witnessing a hobbled 30 year old Big Ben was a preview of what’s to come in a few years once he’s lost his mobility for good. Eluding, escaping and improvising have been the cornerstones of his soon to be Hall of Fame career. While he showed flashes of that last night with his TD throw to Cotchery, he isn’t the same without two good wheels (obviously). With the injuries he plays through on a yearly basis, there is no doubt his career will be shortened due to the constant damage to his body. His title as the toughest quarterback in the league gives him a Paul Bunyan-like image, but all those hits add up. A broken hand yesterday or a high ankle sprain today don’t bode well for his long term future. I have no doubt that he’ll have another Pro Bowl season next year and probably the year after that, which will mark his tenth season in the league. But if you think about it, deep down, how many more years will he be able to play after that? When you really do the math, we’ve only got 3 or 4 years left with Roethlisberger as the elite QB we’ve all come to know and expect. I remember seeing Marino is his last few years, and honestly it was sad to watch. A statue in the pocket that could barely walk, let alone run. The thought of Ben forced to be a pocket passer because he can’t move or create time in the pocket is hard to imagine.

•Fucking Tebow.

•Dick Lebau dared Tebow to beat his vaunted defense with his arm and damnit, if that’s what he did.

•A bad snap at the end of the first half, a fumble by Ben (that he recovered himself) at the end of the 4th quarter and some terrible clock management in the last two minutes of the game cost the Steelers 3, maybe 6 points. How doe we not call a timeout after the completed pass to Antonio Brown with 59 seconds left? Pretty Andy Reid-like if you ask me.


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Contemporary Media Issues Final Exam

Elon’s IMedia program is sponsoring a Media Issues Symposium titled “The New Media Landscape: What Should We Be Most Concerned About?” featuring Robert McChesney, Ken Auletta, Daniel Solove and Jonathan Zittrain.

1) For each panelist, outline his opening remarks.

2) You have been chosen as a moderator for the event. Critique two of the panelists’ remarks, drawing upon your own expertise and other perspectives on their topics.

Opening Remarks

Robert McChesney

Robert McChesney, author of The Political Economy of Media

The media today has devolved into a shell of its former self.  Barely recognizable to the brand of writing and reporting that was practiced even a quarter-century ago; today’s journalists have been painted into a corner of uncertainty by conditions beyond their control.

Economic factors have led to the consolidation of power in the media to a collection of extremely dominant corporations. These media conglomerates have blurred the lines between objectivity and profit, which has created a landmine-laden playing field for those trying to report the news. As a result, conflicts of interest have become commonplace and have eroded much of the public’s trust in those charged with accurately disseminating information.

Furthermore, technological advancements have created even more obstacles for the press. With the rise of the Internet–specifically the blogosphere–the very definition of what a reporter is has been called into question. Since anyone with a video camera and an Internet connection can report the news, we must be diligent not to overlook the professionalism and integrity that have always been the cornerstones of the industry.

While the digital age has brought with it many pitfalls, it has also created a platform that allows for a free flow of information, public discussion and debate. There is now an opportunity to level the playing field and rediscover the true role of journalism in America by creating a more regulated system of journalism, thus repairing a broken tool of democracy to its rightful place.

Ken Auletta

Ken Auletta, author of Googled

Don’t be evil. That is the motto of Google, one of the most powerful companies on the planet. We all hope that this axiom holds true as we move forward into an unknown future where every click of the mouse is recorded, compiled and stored in a climate-controlled warehouse of servers.

Google has become essential to the Online lives of millions of people around the globe, so much so that most of us cannot separate one from the other. Going Online is now synonymous with Google. The two are essentially interchangeable. What was once the simple act of searching has exploded to encompass nearly everything we do on the Internet. The company has quietly and expertly created a monopoly through numerous free applications aimed to streamline our Web experience (and put competitors like Microsoft out of business).

The trade-off, of course, for the use of all of these “free” tools is the personal information we give up to get them. Rather than shelling out $100 for Microsoft Office, we use the free Google Online word processor. For that “free” product, we fork over much more than we realize, however.

For now, Google assures us that it does not intend to do evil. It is out friend. But for how long? Corporations throughout history–even those with the best intentions–have always been in business to make money. We have shown a great deal of faith in Google, and up to this point they have lived up to their end of the bargain (for all we know). However, the personal information that we give up to Google on a daily basis has value to numerous corporations and government across the globe.

The question then becomes “how safe will that information be in ten, twenty or even fifty years from now?”

Daniel Solove

Daniel Solove, author of The Future of Reputation: Gossip, Rumor and Privacy on the Internet

The social media explosion that has taken over the digitized world in recent years has created an outburst of information sharing like never before. For better or worse, we are able to instantly communicate with anyone on the planet plugged into the Internet. At this very moment, someone is giving their whereabouts on Four Square or updating their relationship status on Facebook. Someone is calling in sick after a long night at the local pub and joking about it to their friends on Myspace. But the act of plastering this previously private information all over the Web is having some unforeseen real-world consequences.

From handheld mobile devices, to police car dashboard cams and convenience store surveillance, our once private dirty laundry now can be easily recorded and uploaded for the entire world to see. Anonymity is quickly becoming a thing of the past and is being replaced by a culture that values being on stage, all the time.

With the rise of social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, people are increasingly posting their thoughts, whereabouts or innermost secrets. The danger lies in the fact that once this information is placed online, it is out of our hands. At the click of a mouse, data is permanently thrown out to sea, never to be taken back. This can have life-altering effects, whether it’s getting passed over for a job, damaging relationships or even creating legal problems. Therefore, web users are advised to take a more cautious–look before you leap¬–approach when posting information.

Jonathan Zittrain

Jonathan Zittrain, author of The Future of Internet–And How To Stop It

Open-source Vs. closed-source. Collaboration Vs. individual ownership. Generative Vs. non-generative. These are the battles being waged in the world of technological advancement online.

The use of open-source development has been one of the hallmarks of the Internet as we know it. Full of cooperation and freedom, the idea of generativity has fueled some of the most successful online ventures.

However, some non-generative products have also been doing extremely well. The most notable of these ventures is the Apple iPod. With it’s continued popularity and corresponding unparalleled market share; the product has forced developers to play by Apple’s rules. This closed-source approach will eventually harm the principles that the Internet was founded on.

These themes of generative Vs. non-generative technology also come into play in the fight over net-neutrality. If the Web were to become privatized, it would mark a substantial shift in how information is shared, gathered and accessed Online. Furthermore, if a tiered system of were to be instituted, corporations would gain control of the flow of information like never before, resulting in the loss of the collaborative ideals that have been the backbone of the Web since its inception.

Critique #1 of McChesney

I take issue with much of McChesney’s opinion that journalism as we know it is dying because the newspaper industry is dying. No doubt, the printed newspaper’s days are numbered, but I don’t necessarily think that is the end of the world. In the short term, yes, it is going to make securing a writing job at a newspaper very difficult in the coming years. However, just like any other innovation, this will lead to progress. Obviously, it is the end of an era; but I would argue that it will force the industry to adapt and find new ways to survive. Some people might call this progress. I truly believe that an online newspaper can be a government watchdog just as easily as a printed one. Just because a medium is (in this case, the printed newspaper) is being replaced by a better technology that does not mean that the new medium can’t step in and serve the same purpose. Furthermore, I take issue with his assertions that objectivity is lost because parent companies make editorial decisions for financial reasons. I would argue that this fight has been going on since the dawn of the printing press. Today, a company like NewsCorp has a larger affect with its message because it owns numerous news entities over multiple media platforms. Obviously they have an agenda, but name me a news organization that doesn’t. Bias has always been an inherent flaw of journalism. One can strive to be as objective as possible, but the role of a gatekeeper has some level of bias built in. It is unavoidable.

Critique #2 of Auletta

I found Auletta’s comments about the future of Google and the potential issues of having such a great deal of user personal information to be very interesting. What I am most curious about will be what happens when Brin and Page lose focus on the day-to-day operations of Google. The book cites the examples of Steve Jobs of Apple and Larry Ellison of Oracle  (page 334) when they lost focus and then watched their companies suffer. With Brin and Page both being very young, very rich, with budding families and a number of hobbies at their disposal, what will happen to Google’s direction if they decide to put their creative energy elsewhere? How much of the “don’t be evil” motto is tied to them?  What happens when the next generation comes through those doors? Will they have the same morals and ideals? General Motors was a great company in the 1950’s but by the 1990’s they were running the company into the ground.

What happens to all of the information that the company has gathered when, in 50 years Google gets a “Godfather” offer that they can’t refuse? Will they be willing to drop their ani-evil stance for the right price?

This is a lot of faith to be placed in a private company. I just hope it does not come back to bite us in a few decades. Only time will tell.

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The New Frontier of Magazines

Magazines like GQ and Vanity Fair will be coming to an iPad and Facebook page near you soon.

After two and a half years working in the magazine industry, one thing became apparent: the future of print media was cloudy at best. With the collapse of newspapers happening before our very eyes, magazines needed to work to stem the tide and create some kind of economic model to exist in the digital world.

But the industry that is based on people reading words on actual (glossy) paper might have a few tricks up its sleeve after all. This month a Vanity Fair app for the iPad debuted in Apple’s App Store. On top of that, they along with many other magazines will be showing up this summer in the Facebook newsfeed of subscribers.


According to the New York Times, which got a sneak peak at the app that was released today, the Vanity Fair  June issue is expected to be available at the iTunes store with a $4.99 price tag–the same as a paper version. This is the first attempt by Condé Nast, the parent company that publishes Vanity Fair along with a number of other magazines, to venture into the digital world (not including standard websites).

Some hightlights:

• All of the magazine’s articles and ads are visible in the horizontal orientation, which means the app can count toward Vanity Fair’s total circulation.

• Behind-the-scenes videos of photo shoots are also available.

• The app “remembers” where someone left off reading, even if the person turns off the iPad and calls up text from that spot, and a navigation bar across the bottom and on the upper left directs the person to specific stories.

• Unique ads designed for the iPad show up in the both vertical and horizonal modes. Advertisers, for a fee could also include links in their ads.

The iPad app does create some problems for publishers, however. While they know the name and address of everyone who subscribes to its paper magazines, they cannot get that data from Apple about those who purchase the magazine on iTunes. To remedy this, the magazine industry is working on its own digital newstand so it can control the consumer relationship.


In addition to the iPad apps, publishers are also working with companies such as Synapse–a subscription marketing agency, and Alvenda–a company that specializes in Facebook shopping applications, to have the ability to sell subscriptions directly on Facebook Pages and even in users’ newsfeeds.

According to AdAge, beginning in July or August, users will be able to share articles with friends that can then be expanded into dynamic pop-ups on their newsfeeds. In addition, ads will direct Facebook users subscribe to the magazine elsewhere on the social networking site.

Interestingly, Facebook will not be taking a cut of the revenue generated by subscriptions via the app. What’s unclear, however, is how much information Facebook will reveal to the publishers, creating the same problem they are facing with the Apple App Store.

While newspapers have floundered when it has come to finding a good way to montise thier product, it is encouraging to see leaders in the magazine industry testing out the waters in new technology in order to reach customers in inovative ways.

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Apple Vs. Flash… It’s on like Donkey Kong

Ten months of graduate school can essentially be boiled down to the tangible, visible interactive media pieces that I can show future employers. Of these, about 90% were created using Adobe Flash. The cornerstone of Elon’s new iMedia program, Flash has always been synonymous with  interactivity and can be found on 98% of all U.S. computers.

Knowing this, I took to the software, specifically Action Script 3, very quickly at the start of the classes in August. By December I felt pretty comfortable that I could build anything… or at least eventually figure out how to build anything using it. As graduation looms, I would consider myself (while still a novice compared to the experts in the field) a “Flash guy,” meaning if I”m given the opportunity to create something, 9 times out of 10 I’ll be creating it in Flash.

I built a solid portfolio and started to look ahead to a future using Flash as a professional web designer.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the forum. Adobe–the maker of Flash, and Apple–the maker of the iPod, the iPad and many, many extremely popular consumer electronics products–got into a power struggle. The Adobe Vs. Flash war was on. Its winner would change the face of web development forever.

In actuality, the war has been going on for a few years now, ever since the iPhone and iPod Touch were released without supporting Flash. While an inconvenience for those who used the devices, many companies developed a stripped-down mobile version of their web site specifically for the iPhone.

The real fireworks began, however, in the months leading up the to release of the iPad. As comments were made by both sides, it became abundantly clear that the new, supposedly market-shifting gadget had no plans to support Flash. After its release, the sniping only intensified. Sites like Mashable and Digg became hotbeds for information leaks and gossip from the major players. Adobe alleged that Apple was tying down software developers to the iPad and would not allow the usage of cross-platform development tools, most notably Flash.

To combat this in its newly released Creative Suite 5, Adobe hoped to give developers the potential to convert their Flash programs into iPad apps, just as the corporation did for the iPhone. Apple’s responded by changing the iPhone developer terms to enable only a select few programming languages, excluding Flash.

Steve Jobs and Apple are in the midst of a war of words and platforms with Adobe's Flash.

Then, Steve Jobs, in an attempt to defend the company’s position to the development community, posted his thoughts on Flash on the Apple site in April.

His main points:

• Flash was created during the PC era – for PCs and mice. The mobile era is about low power devices, touch interfaces and open web standards – areas where he feels Flash falls short.

• Flash is no longer necessary to watch video or consume any kind of web content. It also isn’t necessary for tens of thousands of developers to create graphically rich applications, including games.

• HTML5, a more “open” software, will win out over Flash on mobile devices.

Simply put, Apple is more powerful than Adobe. When Steve Jobs makes a public comment, it reverberates throughout the Internet community. Consequently, Flash was unable to get into the game so to speak, causing Adobe to announce that it was removing the Flash conversion for the iPhone from future versions of the Creative Suite.

For now, Apple was won the battle–and possibly the war. Adobe essentially threw in the towell when it dropped its converstion option from the newly released CS5, but there are rumors of an upcoming lawsuit. Whatever the case is, the days of Flash having a 98% market share numbered.

As someone who just spent the past year learning Flash, this power struggle has been somewhat alarming. For the time being, however, Flash is still in demand throughout the world of web design and development. With another ten years before HTML5 is set to be the industry standard, I doubt the skills I have learned here are useless.

Even so, it’s a little disconcderting knowing that I just took a year off from the real world to become an authority in a program that may one day be akin to sanskrit.

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One more reason to avoid the iPad: No set standards

Breaking down the problems of the iPad

The Apple iPad has been an undeniable success since its release in April. Currently it is the must-have gadget for a legion of first-adopters all over America.

However in the halls and computer labs of Elon University’s Interactive Media graduate program, short of Robert McChesney there hasn’t been a greater source of scorn and derision. Discussion about its ability to only  run one program at a time, to its awkward size, to Apple’s refusal to incorporate Flash have permeated our classes. If a straw poll was taken at any point this semester asking if iMedia students were considering purchasing one, somewhere between 99% and 100% would have responded with an emphatic NO.

What is interesting about this vitriolic reaction to the iPad is that we, as the new breed of techno-geeks, are Apple lovers. All but 2 of the 36 students in the program have Macbook Pro laptops. Elon outfitted our on-campus computer lab with 25 Mac desktops. Nearly all of us sport iPod Touches (which came free after rebate when we purchased our iMacs). We are undeniably in the wheelhouse for Apple’s stereotypically young, hip Mac user. But overwhelmingly, the idea of the iPad has seemed misguided and unnecessary to us.

Critics have also givien the iPad a somewhat underwhelming response. A PC World review lists the major problems as follows:

  • No multitasking
  • No Adobe Flash (yet)
  • No camera or iChat capabilities
  • No HDMI port
  • 4:3 aspect ratio
  • Still dependent on AT&T’s 3G service
  • Dependence on adapters

On the heels of these critial reviews, this week Dr. Jakob Nielsen, hailed by some as “the king of usability,” published a 93-page report evaluating the iPad’s usability. Based on feedback from seven users who tested 34 different apps and websites, the report argues that iPad apps suffer from inconsistency and poor “discoverability,” due in large part to a new user interface with undefined design standards.

With the emergence of the nearly buttonless, multitouch iPad, these new usability problems have become glaring. First of all, because each app is different, the user never goes through a single usability learning curve. Instead the user is forced to re-learn how to navigate the iPad whenever running a new application. Flying in the face of standards for desktop-based platforms that were created over the last quarter-century, the iPad apps do not follow established and refined interface guidelines.

In addition, Nielsen states that since developers of the initial apps did not have possession of the device prior to launch, the majority of the first generation apps were essentially coded in the dark, which is why interfaces vary so much.

What this study tells me is that like any device the iPad is going through its initial buggy faze and will work out many of these interface problems over the next year.

However, even with set standards, the iPad simply seems like a device that does a great deal without really doing anything. All sizzle without any meat. More to the point, it seems like and a waste of $500 dollars.

Maybe I’m not the target demo.

Maybe I am being a techno-snob.

Either way, you won’t see me lining up outside an Apple store for the new iPad any time soon.

Now the new MacBook Pro on the other hand… when I can I get my hands on one?

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The Positives and Negatives of Ebay

When you really think about it (which is the job of an iMedia graduate student after all) interactivity online was born when Ebay hit the interetubes back in the day.

It had it all…

People selling stuff.

People buying stuff.

Pez Dispensers.

The thrill of outbidding someone at the last minute for a used garden gnome.

But what truly made Ebay stand apart was the concept of buyers and sellers leaving feedback. By allowing its users to comment about their experiences, Ebay transformed from a run of the mill auction site to an ever-evolving online community. One could argue that the feedback feature is why Ebay survived the Internet bust in the early aughts and is still thriving today.

Online feedback is the currency that fuels Ebay (if, of course you disregard the actual currency being exchanged). Consisting of a positive, negative, or neutral rating, each member’s Feedback Profile can be found right next to their name in parentheses. The people who sell things on Ebay for a living rely on positive feedback to build their reputation.

Rarely ever in an online forum, does one’s community reputation have such an impact on one’s real-life.

In role playing games like World of Warcraft, a player’s online status only affects that person in that virtual environment. It has no consequence in their  lives outside of the game (unless, of course if they become addicted… which is a whole other blog post entirely).

But in the world of Ebay, negative feedback can affect whether or not buyers will purchase from sellers in the future. This need for positive reinforcement is also the foundation of civility on Ebay, which in turn is the reason the community functions as a well as it does.

Essentially, the idea of positive and negative feedback is akin to Ebay’s interactive conscience. Without it, there would be anarchy. Pez Dispensers would rise up and virtually take over the world.

And that is a world I don’t want to live in.

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iMedia Interview with Alex Kreitman

In my four-part blog series about how new media is changing the world of sports, I interviewed professionals in the field to get their perspective.

In part four, to get the perspective of a sports journalist who is front line competing with social media, I interviewed Alex Kreitman, Online Sports Editor for the Burlington Times-News in Burlington, North Carolina.

iMedia Confluence: What are your thoughts on the ever-changing world of sports journalism?

Alex Kreitman: It started a few years ago with video and sports. It used to be that TV stations went out to pro and high school games. Then once every news organization had a website, they all had to do video. For instance, working at a newspaper, we had to do video. Sports highlights has been one of the most popular forms of video. At the Times-News, we do video highlights of high school and Elon University sports. What that has affected is the sports reporter’s job. At most places–mid market to smaller market, their sports reporters are required to shoot video, sometimes even take photos, which is all put online. Because they have smaller staffs, they have to do a lot more work. At our office at least, I don’t require our sports reporters to do all that. Reason being, I used to cover sports in print and I know how hard it is to do both. When you go to a high school football game, you have to keep your own stats. You really need to be focused on that to really make sure your story is accurate. You can’t be worried about keeping stats on a clipboard on the sideline when you have a video camera in one hand and a still camera in the other. So luckily we have enough resources that we can avoid that.

Now the bigger things coming into play are text message alerts and email alerts. People are required to send those out for whatever they cover. So our Elon football writer has been sending out text alerts all season. That’s something new that he’s been doing when he’s covering a game. He’ll also update the web during the game. Before you’d just sit there, watch the game, take notes and then write your story. Now they are constantly updating the web, sending things out and putting links on social networking sites.

iMC: What are your feelings on people getting their information from blogs versus traditional news outlets?

AK: It’s made it really different. We try to have some aspect of sports blogging. Not really in the reporting sense. We try to keep all of our reporting on the news site in the news format. We may only put up a couple sentences if say, Duke’s staring point guard is out with an ankle injury and we find that out before anyone else does. We would prefer to put it on the news site and report it as news rather than put it on a separate blog.

The reason we do that is that we have a hard enough time trying to get people to think to go to our website for news in general. We don’t want to throw in a blog separate to We trying to keep within the branding. Bigger markets have more resources and can have a full-time blogger. Where, if our guys are blogging–if they do it once a day, it’s kind of a miracle.

iMC: Has that advancement of blogs changed the way you write? Writing style in general?

AK: We haven’t changed our style, but it probably will soon. Very soon. The only thing that is changing is that our reporters think it’s easier now to write stories more quickly. With the format of writing a couple sentences and continuing to update, they write a lot faster. With a sports game, if you’ve got a half time update, you’ve got a lot of the story written already. In most cases it helps, especially with a deadline. I think eventually, everyone will be moving to a more simpler, almost bulleted style. Just the facts. No one wants to read stories anymore.

iMC: What are your feelings on many professional leagues and even the NCAA putting limits on the use of Twitter or other forms of microblogging during games by media?

AK: There are rules when we go cover NCAA tourney for basketball. They’re not really enforced that greatly. So many people up in the press box, it’s hard to monitor. It makes sense because schools pay for stat tracker systems, so they want to be the ones to send out the information. But in another sense we have the right to report the news, so if so and so is leading at halftime we have the right to report that. It’s kind of a fine line and with time those rules will start to become more lax. Unless they sit behind you and watch, or keep refreshing you blog page, they can’t enforce it.

iMC: Do you find there is a division between bloggers and traditional media?

AK: You can definitely see that they work differently. If you are there covering a game for a print newspaper or for television, you are going to ask certain questions framed for what you need. If you are doing it for TV you want a good sound bite. If you are doing it for print, you may be trying to get more of an understanding of the situation so you can word it a little bit better for the readers. With the bloggers, I kind of feel like in most cases they are laid back a little bit more. Not that they don’t do real reporting but the kind of just take what’s being thrown out there and regurgitate it. Sometimes they will ask questions but usually what they are reporting on is what everyone else is reporting on, so it’s kind of not all that tough to be a blogger. But there are other people like, for ESPN that stalk situations. If Drew Brees has a hamstring injury and they don’t know if he’s going to play, the ESPN blogger will constantly monitor the situation-calling team coaches and doctors to get constant updates. That’s more reporting than I would do if I were just writing a preview story for a game. I would wait until the last minute to get the most current info, but they are getting tons of updates.

iMC: Do you think sports media need a journalism credential or certification?

AK: I think at some levels it should be. The one thing I hate the most is when some people are discourteous or unprofessional at big professional or college games. It’s annoying and it makes the press corp. look bad and unprofessional as a whole. One thing our newspaper guys get frustrated with is student news reporters. We had one instance when a student reporter came to a press conference with his face paint still on his face. He went from cheering to reporting. They are students and they have the right to cover the game for their organization, but they should adhere to the same standards values and principals. But some people comes to games dressed like slobs and ask arrogant questions. That’s people. You can’t avoid that.

Essentially anybody could cover a game because what you lean in journalism school is more the technical writing, which unfortunately is going out the window a little bit. That’s where you get more bloggers or freelance writers because full-time sports writers are hard to come by now with industry cuts. At the Times-News we have a lot of students or part timers that cover games. When we’ve got eight games to cover and we’ve only got three staff members, sometimes you have to send one of those other people. In that situation you need a good editor, though.

iMC: Do you think micro-blogging is just a fad or a communications tool that will be around for a long time?

AK: I think people will be over it at some point. I know me personally as a sports fan, I would much rather have a stat tracker up on my computer than follow a twitter feed or a blog feed of someone reporting at the game with a sentence or two at a time. It goes back to the whole user experience, where I can see what I want to see when I want to see it. With the game trackers, everything is there. I click and see what I want to see.

I’d rather do that than sift through a couple sentences, where have the time there is misspelled words.

iMC: Are you worried for the future of sports journalism? Is it being replaced with athletes talking directly to the public?

AK: I don’t think so. In my experience, 95 percent of athletes and coaches–especially at the higher levels–don’t care to talk to the media or public on a regular basis. They see it as an extra chore to do, where they’d much rather go and watch the game tape or go to dinner after the game. League requirements make them talk to the media, which is a great thing because it’s public information. There are not enough Chad Ocho Cincos out there to report their own stuff. There seems to be more now with Twitter but they pick and chose what they want to say and the public is eventually going to want everything. If they lose a heartbreaking game, I doubt he’s going to pop up there and start calling out people for throwing incomplete passes, but if we in the media ask him those questions he may answer them.

iMC: Do you have any predictions on what is next on the horizon as far as sports and social media and marketing?

AK: The current trend of alerts is going to continue to be more popular. No matter where you are you’ll be able to find out if you team won their game. More organizations are offering text services, email services or desktop alerts on your computer. That’s going to become a lot more popular as it becomes more accessible and people get mobile phones and packages.

I really think that the online video–live streaming–will be what perhaps takes over and replaces the microblogging. Why do we need to sit and watch a reporters blog if you can sit and watch the game online. I think that in the last five years, so many more games are covered on TV now. We’re not going to spend all the time and energy to give you all these updates. We’re just going to show it to you. It’s what people would rather have anyway. I think that will be the future at some point, especially if you can watch that feed on your phone.


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