24th June 2011
You want to write these days? Blogging ain’t enough. Jump on the social media train, as it’s left the station. Twitter in. Blogging out.
But, if Twitter is “in” then that begs the question: Are reporters, authors, columnists allowed to be “social” on a social network?
Or, more correctly, am I allowed to have personality?
It’s a thorny question. Write for ESPN or other mega-outlets, then there are social network policies. Some writers aren’t forced into policy, but the mandate from publishers are pretty clear: talk your articles up. “Promote your outlet. Keep other aspects of your life out of the social network space. It’s dangerous to us.”
Those that follow also have an interest in whether you talk about everything from your morning cup of Joe to what’s playing on your iPod. Some have come for the information you provide. “I want your information and personally, I don’t want to wade through the chaff. Keep your life separate.”
I get this, kind of. Twitter is a tool for many to get information. On the other hand, some Twitter’s greatest aspects are that a) by definition it’s social, and; b) it gives authors a chance to show their something besides a breathing RSS machine – a robot there to dispense news.
It’s happened to me. I was politely asked (see below), and to that end, it provided the opportunity to ask some of the over 7,000 followers I have: “Should I keep sports biz and personal commentary in separate Twitter accounts?”
The overwhelming response was to keep it a mix. For some strange reason, people want to know what I think of music, news on autism, and other nonsense. More than one said it was refreshing and added personality. Hitting close to home, Kevin Goldstein understood something else:
If there’s something lacking, it’s personality from some of those reporting sports on Twitter. This maybe due to company policy. It may also be that there are some that view Twitter as nothing more than a vehicle to pimp their stories. Or, it may be that they’ve built a following to the stage where the need to show some color is deemed unneeded. Whatever the case, I hope fans get to know the writers. Some are as compelling as those they cover in the media.
I always am astounded that there’s more than zero following me. I just don’t seem to me to be compelling. To all those that do follow, thanks for coming along for the ride. For now, take a dose of sports biz, and… get a dose of whatever else is going on in my little world.
FOLLOW MAURY BROWN ON TWITTER: @BizballMaury
Maury Brown is the founder and president of the Business of Sports Network. He is a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney and Variety. He has freelanced for the New York Times, MSNBC, Baseball America, NBCSports.com, and Yahoo! Sports. His contact info is here.
SELECTION OF RECENT ARTICLES:
- Confessions of an Independent Sports Writer (Sports Bash)
- Why Jim Crane Could Become Baseball’s Most Controversial Owner (Forbes)
- Divorce Settlement Shows Frank McCourt is Rearranging Deckchairs on the Titanic with the Dodgers (The Biz of Baseball)
- Law Firms Are Approaching NFL Players, Not the Other Way Around (The Biz of Football)
- NBA labor strife puts TV on defense (Variety)
- MLB on precipice of renewed success (Variety)