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Posts Tagged ‘Bill Simmons’

ESPN To Employees: Stop Tweeting You Twerps!

In the last 36 hours, the US Marines have banned Twitter use, the NFL has banned Twitter, and now comes news that ESPN will only let employees Tweet if, you know, it’s not about sports. What’s next? Shaq can’t tweet about random acts of Shaqness? CNN can’t tweet about news? I can’t tweet about blog posts and blog about tweets? What is the world coming to?

Ive said it before and Ill say it again. I want to know about an NBA reporters vacation and car shopping experiences.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. I want to know about an NBA reporter's vacation destinations and car shopping experiences.

In all seriousness, ESPN could not be more shortsighted in it’s gagging of employees and in it’s approach to Twitter. Let’s look at the internal memo which they thankfully(foolishly?) released. Via Deadspin:

Specific Guidelines
· Personal websites and blogs that contain sports content are not permitted
· Prior to engaging in any form of social networking dealing with sports, you must receive permission from the supervisor as appointed by your department head
· ESPN.COM may choose to post sports related social media content
· If ESPN.com opts not to post sports related social media content created by ESPN talent, you are not permitted to report, speculate, discuss or give any opinions on sports related topics or personalities on your personal platforms
· The first and only priority is to serve ESPN sanctioned efforts, including sports news, information and content
Assume at all times you are representing ESPN
If you wouldn’t say it on the air or write it in your column, don’t tweet it
Exercise discretion, thoughtfulness and respect for your colleagues, business associates and our fans
· Avoid discussing internal policies or detailing how a story or feature was reported, written, edited or produced and discussing stories or features in progress, those that haven’t been posted or produced, interviews you’ve conducted, or any future coverage plans.
· Steer clear of engaging in dialogue that defends your work against those who challenge it and do not engage in media criticism or disparage colleagues or competitors
· Be mindful that all posted content is subject to review in accordance with ESPN’s employee policies and editorial guidelines
· Confidential or proprietary company information or similar information of third parties who have shared such information with ESPN, should not be shared
Any violation of these guidelines could result in a range of consequences, including but not limited to suspension or dismissal.”

“Prior to engaging in any form of social networking dealing with sports, you must receive permission from the supervisor as appointed by your department head.” Twitter and social media helps to pass content along and inform viewers of upcoming programming. This is free advertising! That fans want to read! Bill Simmons constantly pimps ESPN’s fantastic upcoming documentary series ’30 for 30′. Is this a bad thing for ESPN?

” The first and only priority is to serve ESPN sanctioned efforts, including sports news, information and content.” My favorite one. On ESPN besides the oft-mentioned Simmons, (who is going to have the biggest name on my tag cloud soon) Marc Stein and Ric Bucher tweet about in progress reporting before a story is ready for submission. While this might sound a little dangerous, they use their news judgment as experienced professionals, to decide what little nugget would be simultaneously interesting to readers and harmless to divulge. Why does ESPN insist on treating their employees like irresponsible children?

“Assume at all times you are representing ESPN. If you wouldn’t say it on the air or write it in your column, don’t tweet it” More of the same. ESPN has a history of taking itself too seriously. On a March 27th B.S. Report podcast with his boss John A. Walsh, Simmons shared five gripes about ESPN and the first one was that ESPN could have a better sense of humor about itself. Walsh agreed. but he didn’t reallyaddress the concerns. This is an example of outdated thinking and is exemplified in their approach to employee tweets. Twitter has many different applications, especially for a giant media company, and its shocking that they wouldn’t want to embrace this.

Social media connoisseur, Chris Brogan put it this way:

“You can use your robot feeds to blurt out posts and showtimes and stuff, but if you want connectivity to people, engagement to your content, and a sense of participation on the social web, making people only talk about ESPN is a quick one-way ticket to “who cares?”

Over at Deadspin the writer chronicled how ESPN employees were scared to send over the memo and believed that Bucher was “flagrantly testing” the new policy. Simmons tweeted “My take on the great unspoken: Ultimately it’s good if (redacted) incorporates (redacted). Had to start somewhere. I trust @rfking(ESPN.com editor-in-chief). So there.”

Too bad we’ll never know if that’s what he really thinks.
UPDATE: I don’t think my post is what did it but…ESPN responds to backlash and criticism.

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For a chance to have my blog posts delivered to the comfort of a popular social network, follow me @TheRealAdrianC on Twitter, where I retweet  loads of interesting and important stories each day, send out social media news, and of course, pass along my humble blog posts, to you, the discerning new media devotee.

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Drunk on ‘Sexcess’: What A Lavish 1999 Magazine Launch Party Has To Do With A 2009 Recession.

Ten years ago Talk Magazine was the you know what of the town.

Ten years ago Talk Magazine was the 'you know what' of the town.

Bill Simmons, popular national columnist from ESPN, has taken a liking to Twitter. As such he posts early and often @sportsguy33. One of his recent tweets was about the startling difference between the much ballyhooed launch of Talk Magazine in 1999 and the stark reality that confronts the industry now. The story is a great read, chronicling the absolutely over the top nature of a party in front of the Statue of Liberty, complete with floor pillows and celebrities bumping into each other in a shrouded outdoor atmosphere. A quote from the story:

“Ten years ago, journalists, long the salarymen of the publishing economy, began gorging on big contracts and options from digital start-ups like shrimp at a free buffet. With coveted writers commanding $5 for every typed word into magazines that were stuffed to the brim with advertising, there was a fizziness, some would say recklessness, in the air. The industry was drunk on its own prerogatives, working a party that seemed as if it would never end.”

Does that sound familiar? While I was reading it, suddenly my mind was shifting away from the mistakes of magazines and I felt like this wasn’t about the writers and publishers at all. The paragraph above could just as easily be describing the culture on Wall Street. Is it passe to bash these companies? I don’t think so. Especially because they continue to operate in a reality other than the one most of us inhabit. In 2008, 4793 Wall Streeters made over $1 million in bonuses. They received taxpayer money and doled it out liberally. But surely those practices have mercifully ended, correct? These companies, ones that received TARP payouts, they’re not back to their old ways are they? Well actually they are, as Goldman Sachs prepares to hand out $11.4 billion this year to its employees. I don’t know enough about this topic to say for certain that companies like Goldman should be exercising restraint for the good of their company. What I can say is that I’m pretty sure  it looks terrible for them to be tossing money from the rafters while the rest of the country suffers through the worst recession and job market in a generation. But what I can’t say authoritatively, I will let others do.

The New York Times: “Goldman, analysts warned, is embracing financial risks that many of its competitors are unable or unwilling to take. While Goldman managed those risks this time, its strategy could backfire if the markets turn against it.”

Moneyweek: “Trading in fixed income, currency and commodities generated half Goldman’s record revenues. That can’t last. Competitors will return and clients will lose enthusiasm for trading as the rally runs out of steam. And as investors lose their appetite for government debt, Goldman will also struggle to continue earning fees by finding buyers for this.”

New York Daily News: “The scary thing is we’re about to see the cycle repeat itself – and it will lead to near insolvency at another firm too big to fail,” said John Coffee, a Columbia law professor. “High-risk, high return trading – where managers share in the upside, but not in the downside – has already returned to Goldman Sachs, and other banks will say they have to do the same thing so they can compete with Goldman.”

Well! That sounds fantastic. Let me see if I get this straight. It’s hard to get your mind around complex issues when you’re not gifted with the intelligence and foresight of financial tycoons, executives, and CEO’s, so bear with me. With Wall Street drunk on a mix of success and excess, let’s call it ‘sexcess’, our financial system was on the brink of failure. It was saved by the government. The government still owns some of these companies, like one-third of Citigroup, for example. So last year amidst the meltdown, these corporations continued to shell out big bonuses. Now this year, despite everything that happened, a little success, in one quarter mind you, has led companies to throw caution to the wind once again. “Screw it! We’re back,” seems to be the sentiment. And on top of this fortunate news, analysts believe that other companies will feel that they need to embrace the risky practices that led to near catastrophy and threatened our fair republic.

The amount that Americans should be outraged is incalculable. Maybe, David A. Viniar, Chief Financial Officer for Goldman Sachs can take us away with a comforting quote. Something to make us all sleep a little better tonight.

Viniar on bonuses, from NYT: “We pay for performance.”

I bet the publisher of Talk Magazine was thinking the same thing in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, on a night not so long ago.


For a chance to have my blog posts delivered to the comfort of a popular social network, follow me @TheRealAdrianC on Twitter, where I retweet  loads of interesting and important stories each day, send out social media news, and of course, pass along my humble blog posts, to you, the discerning new media devotee.

Friday Night Links

I’m starting a new weekly feature. Is Friday night the best time time to get readers to check out interesting links? Maybe not. Is Friday Night Links the best ‘links’ related phrase I could come up with? Yes. Yes it is. On to the links.

I defy you to keep a straight face during this:

Groundbreaking stem-cell treatments help animals get back in the game for $3,000. Humans could be next.

Texas Governor Rick Perry may consider invoking 10th amendment’s state’s rights to pushback against a national healthcare plan.

Mayors, assemblymen, and rabbis, oh my. Corruption scandal nets two mayors and other officials from New Jersey to Brooklyn.

Time-lapsed video of Manhattan Bridge swaying with trains and cars. It’s supposed to happen to some degree but it sure is a little disconcerting:

If you like James Blunt’s, “You’re Beautiful”, you will love ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic’s “You’re Pitiful.”

You know how they say people in sports or pop culture are geniuses? ESPN’s Patrick Hruby debunks some of them.

Just a shoutout(linkout?) to where I like to get my politics fixin’.

Lebron gets dunked on by high school kid. Nike and James went to great lengths to keep this underwhelming video off of Youtube. Here’s the Youtube link:

Bill Simmons answer’s 5 Questions from Mediaite including thoughts on Twitter.

A sentence from this piece says it all. “The transformation brings new blood to the doughnut war in America’s most competitive market.” I knew not of this cutthroat dougnut war. I guess I was naive.

Lifetime’s Movies. An A through Z listing. So amazing. I think “When The Cradle Falls” and ‘Vows of Deception” are my faves.

Newsweek with some not-so objective journalism when it comes to the star of The Ugly Truth.

Saving the best for last. Japanese Fangirl beats over 10,000 people to meet the stars of Harry Potter. What ensues is so fantastic, so unfailingly unique, that you can’t help but watch in utter amazement. You want to look away but you just can’t. Oh and click the link. The one with Daniel Radcliffe(Harry Potter himself of course) is even better than this one.

Top 5 Movies of the 2000’s?

We’ll segue from sports to movies. The other day I was listening to the B.S. Report, a podcast by Bill Simmons. It’s a very popular sports-centric podcast but he talks a lot about pop culture as well. Basically, he said that its 2009 and we don’t really think about it, but the decade is almost over. His question was simple. What are the top five movies of the last ten years? The criteria is excellence when it came out, rewatchability and originality.

So here’s the thing. I love movies. I watch a lot of movies. I think I could make a good list, but surely one that would evoke an argument. But I know for sure that I could come up with a better list than he did. He said number one would be Almost Famous. What a joke. He tried to shoehorn The Dark Knight in afterwards but his credibility was already dust in the wind. Here is my list(it took me ten minutes to get my Google search on)

The Dark Knight made more money in its opening weekend than the top 12 grossing movies did this year during the same weekend.

The Dark Knight made more money in its opening weekend than the top 12 grossing movies did this year during the same weekend.

1. The Dark Knight: The decade will be known as the Decade of the Superhero and there were some good ones and some awful ones, but The Dark Knight was far and away the best one. Heath Ledger’s death and excellent performance seal the deal.

2. Gladiator: The classic, “Hero suffers and gets the bad guy in the end” movie but done so well. If it’s on, you’re watching it plain and simple.

3.Lord of the Rings: Return of the King: Slipped from #2 because of the rewatchability and originality criteria(its a sequel, can’t be too original) and maybe its a lifetime achievement award type of deal for a great series of movies, but it defined the decade and if it wasn’t the  decade  of the hero, it most definitely was the decade of the epic movie. Peter Jackson must be hoping for even one-quarter of the success for his new project.

This thriller was about memory and the human mind

This thriller was about memory and the human mind

4. Memento: I channel Simmons here. Maybe it won’t make many top five movies but I remember watching this movie without pause on the DVR was like if the earliest humans watched a quick intructional video on how to make fire. So much was happening and I didn’t really get it until the end, but I loved it.

5. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: This one was/is a favorite of the ladies. Don’t get me wrong, I liked it but I’m putting it here because it holds up really well and aces all of the criteria for making it a great movie. Romantic comedies always seem to do well but the right anti-romantic comedy really gets both guys and girls talking because they’re more real I guess.

Movies that just didn’t make the cut are Kill Bill 2, Collateral, Happy Feet, Wedding Crashers, and Crash. Comment, discuss, disagree. But don’t lob insults. Keep it PG.

(Make your own list at Toptenreviews.com)

Check out this video for a top 50 list complete with a serious tune!

A friend takes on the difficult task of his own, top five list.