Over the last few years there has been such an increase in the usage of Social networking sites such as Facebook, Google +, Twitter and many more. On each site you are able to follow clubs, individual players and join various groups related to football and footballers from factual groups to completely jokey ones. It seems that when people talk amongst themselves about football you can have some really good debates and interactions with other fans. It has also been a platform for fans to share their opinions on matters that they are passionate about.
I haven’t gone into the realms of Google plus but I have a personal Facebook account as well as a professional page*, On Facebook I am admin to my football club page and I like various other football groups. But for me Twitter** has been the best for football. I joined Twitter last year for the purely professional perspective of chatting to people about football and it has been so addictive for me. People literally talk football all day and it is like a nirvana of knowledge and interaction. I have throughly enjoyed the communication with people I have had tweet conversations with and the contacts I have made. Throughout the season I was constantly talking to fans and on Match days there is always a running commentary to what is happening within games and then the discussion with fans after a game, I not only spoke to fans of the club I support but I spoke to fans from other clubs too. The humour that is generated through certain events always has me laughing and I have read some really funny tweets.
My main observation of Social Networking sites in regards to football this year is the accuracy of the news in which you hear. Every big news/transfer story has been Twitter trending or on a status before it has even hit sites like Sky Sports or BBC which is where I would normally source my information from. Obviously there have general rumours too but for the most part everything has come true in regards to what I have read. Whereas the ‘news’ that is sourced from the general media seems to be way off the target.
Is social networking fast becoming the real source of all football news now? It seems to definitely have taken a large proportion of my friends including myself. We all generally will use the information made available on Twitter and then read it on other sites up to 24 hours later for confirmation. I believe it is where people who have the inside scoop such as journalists, agents and even players themselves feel that they can announce information and then it is shortly followed up by the media.
Not forgetting that also through the perimeters of Social networking there are thousands of bloggers and independent writers that have new articles out all the time, writing with their own style and passion without qualifications and writing better articles than those of journalists. They are using Social networking sites and also sites that take on Fan Writers to establish themselves and publicize their work on a regular basis. I find myself moving more and more away from ‘professionally’ written newspaper articles and more towards the rawness of articles written by people who observe and watch and research and dare to have opinions and interact with people everyday in regards to football.
I banned myself from The Sun ages ago but I don’t read any newspaper for sport now at all. I will occasionally use BBC and I still frequently look at Sky Sports site but mostly I will check out independent and fan run football sites for news. All of these developments in this modern day- beg the question-How long will it be before Social Networking will eradicate the need for the media side of football?
*My Professional Page on Facebook is www.facebook.com/ThePitchIsBack
**My Twitter is @thepitchisback