Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Twitter and Ultimate - Any other good uses?

I'm moving on to be a so called technology-based-professor in a university setting, and for that reason I try and stay on top of new emerging technological trends, as much as possible. The reason for this is two-fold: one, the students I teach will be embracing these trends and living with them as normal parts of their lives, and two, these trends have an impact on science, research, and the world that we can't even guess.
Before, I get into things, I'd like to congratulate all of you who have migrated to feed readers for your internet reading (as I've suggested in the past). My daily reads on this blog are now 50% RSS reads and 50% browser clicks for the first time in the blogs history. RSS amalgamating tools are one tech tool that I think is great - it's the modern newspaper tuned to your likes.

But back to twitter. I'm a little nervous about the hype. Normally, when a new technology is hyped I have a vague sense of why it could be important. I've watched TED talks on twitter and sort of get the micro-based reporting element of twitter, but in general I don't really get it. My concern, is that I'm shifting into that age that says, "That music is just loud noises...why do they like it. It's nothing like the good old sounds of [favourite band here]".

Recently, I scanned this e-book (Why Bloggers Need Twitter) and I still don't see a significant impact for twitter. I guess I feel it's a mini version of a broadcast communication point - a mini-blog. Maybe I'm trying to make twitter too much. If it is a mini-blog, then the value is that it can be quick information dispersion, and that's where I'll leave it in terms of technology.

Now, given what I think twitter is, how does it impact Ultimate? So, far we've seen it as one of the best live score reporters. That, in itself, is pretty useful. If someone could add the score report with a 15 second video showing the score, then it would be really cool. I can imagine watching the early rounds of a tournament with scores and mini clips coming in at a regular pace.

Here are a few ideas of other twitter uses for Ultimate:

  • From a team perspective it's a quick wat to broadcast messages about practice, but does it differ from e-mail that much?
  • Ultimate blogs commenting might be more lively (along the lines of RSD) with a twitter network.
  • UPA and Ultimate organizations could get out reminders in another form to their membership.
That's all I could think of. I think in our game the live score report is the killer app. Hook that up to score reporter and tournament directors around the world will have a network that has value, and we might as well make some money off it with ads.

The final question is should I sign up for twitter? I don't want to be one of those anti-facebookers castoff as social rejects (social ludites) as they miss steps forward in modern technology (right Chua ;).



march said...

I'm with you Pete, I don't get Twitter either. It's blogging for those with A.D.D.

Jeremy Redburn said...

I was in the same boat but after following the Williams-Middlebury backdoor game at NE Regionals via I'm a convert.

shawn said...

People have so much sympathy for me for not being on facebook, so I get special invitations by electronic mail or I get sent links to pictures on the world wide web. I wonder how long this will last?

mvuong said...

I was thinking about Twitter the other day to organize a team, and I think it is better than email.

Since you can set Twitter to send updates to any phone with text messaging, you can send out a Twitter that everyone can get to whenever they want to and to their phones at the same time. It is also easier to do spontaneous social things since it can function as a mass texter, but a little bit easier. Also, email isn't as accessible yet as texts from Twitter.

Mackey said...

I'm still hedging my bets on Twitter too. Outside of using it to market a business or the like (for which it seems to work very well) I don't see it having too much relevance to my life.

Who knows though, if enough ultimate folks got into it (score reporting is a great start) it could make for a great barometer of what people in the sport are thinking/doing--the other powerful potential of twitter I see is the ability to search for something and get a pretty quick picture of what people are thinking/doing about it.

Methinks that's still a ways off though. I'll probably take it up next year (or perhaps take ownership of a team account) for score reporting, but that's all I foresee. I'm neither old nor a technophobe, either.

Simon Talbot said...

I used Twitter to update people on Australian Nationals this year, including "commentary" on the final. I had a lot of positive feedback from doing that and will almost certainly do it for other tournaments I'll attend.

In the absence of live audio or video streaming it does a good job of keeping folks updated a bit more in depth than a score reporter site. It's also easy for a 'reporter' to shoot off a quick text message with the score plus a few words on what's happening.