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Posts Tagged ‘ESPN’

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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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.