Thursday, August 27, 2009

This Young Man is Not All That Crazy

I think that the whole "social media" thing is best left to your down time, not your game time:
Yesterday, we reported on a study revealing that social media may be for narcissists. In what has to be looked at as related news, NFL star Chad Ochocinco has become one of the medium’s most prolific celebrity users, responding to fans, taking to UStream() almost daily, and suggesting he’ll tweet from the end zone at some point this season.

The NFL has come out and said no tweeting will be allowed during games, but on tonight’s Ochocinco broadcast on UStream, the wide receiver (and kicker) announced a creative way to get the job done that should also be a big win for some of his fans.

Ochocinco says he’ll soon launch a contest, in which he’ll select one of his followers each week, fly them to the Bengals game, and work out hand signals so he can have them update his Twitter() account while he’s on the field. The result will be Ochocinco tweets during the game that don’t technically violate the NFL’s policy of no cell phones during competition.

Love or hate Ochocinco, this is one of the cooler and more hands-on ways we’ve seen celebrity social media users engage their fans. Of course, if his performance on the field doesn’t live up to expectations, his team might have a few issues with his seemingly constant presence on the social web, which will also soon include an iPhone app that was announced on tonight’s show.

Marketing people love this sort of thing. Wanna bet there's talk of advertising Twitter in Cincinatti? Chad Ochocinco knows how to market himself, and he gets away with it, to an extent, because of the position that he plays. Fans expect a little flakiness from wide receivers now. Thank you, Michael Irvin.

Coaching people? I gotta believe there are some coaching people in Cincinnati that aren't pleased with the distraction. We should not knee-jerk, reflexively say "this is bad" because there's no evidence yet that it is bad. Your evidence of that would be, it's the third quarter, Chad Ochocinco can't get open, and rather than sitting on the sideline, looking at defensive sets and talking to his coaches about what he needs to do to adjust to what the defense is doing to him, he's signing with his hands to some joker in the stands.

Til then, the NFL's ban on Twitter is ridiculous. Twitter is a marketing tool, and the NFL is simply denying itself the opportunity to market itself through a tool everyone is getting more and more familiar with.

I have two Twitter accounts, one for Celebrity Disaster and one for An American Lion, and I should probably start a third for this blog. I'm thinking about it. I never thought the sports blog would explode like this, to be honest with you.

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