On Fridays and Saturdays, while you’re off in whichever town watching Little Johnny run around with his teammates for school and town pride, many of you will start to wonder aloud what’s going on at the other games in your league, in your area. This is especially true late in the year, when Johnny’s team might — just might — have a shot at the playoffs.
In the past, many of us took to texting each other. You had a friend or relative hanging out across town or across county, getting you the scoop on what was going on at, say, Masuk or Norwalk or wherever. Coaches did it while scouting. Us media types did it while reporting.
Then came Twitter, the revolutionary (although most will say completely dumbfounding) social media tool. Yeah, it looks like a poor man’s Facebook. Just status updates? In just 140 characters? What gives? I’m here to tell you it is, in fact, an invaluable tool to disseminate information — particularly football scores — to the entire world, particularly to those who care to know about it.
Here’s how it works:
To anyone who has a mobile phone, any kind of mobile phone, that can text or (even better) get online, all you have to do is go to Twitter.com, and set up an account. Now you’re connected.
Now you’re ready to start sending updates from your game.
If you have a Blackberry or an iPhone or whatever, you get online and send your 140-character update from the game you’re attending. If you have just text capabilities, you can still send updates by adding your phone number to your Twitter account. Once you’ve done that, all you need to do is text to 40404 and it goes up on Twitter.
Anyway, your update can be something as simple as nor 24, ridge 13, or even something more advanced like: Little Johnny scores on a 5-yard run. Norwalk leads Ridgefield 24-13, 5:30 left in 2nd Q
Finally, your last obligation is to add what’s called a hashtag, a search term with a ‘#’ added to front. It basically categorizes your update in the Twitter Universe.
In this case, Connecticut High School Football is categorized by this hashtag: #ctfb
Add #ctfb anywhere in your tweet, and you’re done.
Now anybody who wants to know what’s going on in Connecticut High School football can search for #ctfb and get updates from hundreds of others across the state. They’ll see your updates. You can see theirs.
It’s very simple. Try it now. Go to Twitter.com and type in #ctfb in the search box on top of the screen (you don’t need a Twitter account to do this, by the way) and you’ll see a wealth of high school football updates and links already online.
Here’s a link to see the completed search
Now, of course you can skip all of these steps and just visit our High School Football Page, which will have a little widget box on the right-hand side displaying live #ctfb tweets.
It will look like a smaller version of this:
And, finally, we’ll have our popular live blog which displays all the #ctfb updates, in addition to a commenting feature, polls, scoreboards and lots, lots more.
Now, there’s some etiquette to be observed. If you’re going to post updates, please be civil: try not to bash coaches or students or curse or anything else that may be offensive. Try to be brief. No need to send play-by-play. That will merely clog the feed. Scoring updates will suffice, that’s all anybody is looking for anyway.
If you feel the need to do any of these things (maybe you have a specific audience who wants it?) just take the #ctfb tag off your update.
To all the other media out there, this is something we can all share tactfully, professionally. It really belongs to no one. So let’s not abuse it. Luv, your pal, SPB.