Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Information Overload

The NHL Entry Draft was completed last weekend. Lots of speculation/gossip but no action.

For me, it was the biggest case of information overload I have ever experienced. Several websites provided instant updates, Oilersnation.com had a live blog and NHL insiders were tweeting away. Add to that any verbal discussions, SMS exchanges and email threads.

Not once in the past have I ever had this many sources going at once for an important day in the NHL. It was very overwhelming.

And here's the best part: NHL free agency begins tomorrow. Any players that do not have a contract for the upcoming season hit the open market and get signed by any team. Let the madness commence!

I think this ties back to Clay Shirky's chapter about everyone becoming a source of information. Initially, we had the big networks covering these events. You would just go with whatever they provided.

Now, you have hundreds of websites providing insider information, speculation/gossip, salary information about every NHL team and real-time stats. It's up to the user to decide what is best. Unfortunately, this can create a lot of information overload.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Oilersnation.com on Global News

Oilersnation.com creator Adam Rozenhart and Team 1260 radio host Jason Gregor got interviewed by Global News anchor Lynda Steele on Wednesday.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Oilersnation.com Update!

As of Monday June 22nd, a grand total of $3,315 was raised to send Jason Gregor to Montreal. On friday, Oiler fans will have a source to provide all the up-to-date news regarding the NHL Entry Draft.

Here's a link to the latest Oilersnation.com blog entry.

They are definitely on to something.

A group of fans who want in-depth coverage and analysis of an important event just raised enough money to send a correspondent. Mind you, it's a person that is in the business and has lots of professional experience. Regardless, it's a great example of what a group of fans can accomplish with the help of the internet and social networking tools.

What this also shows is how demanding fans can be.

There will be hours upon hours of coverage from the major networks such as TSN and Sportsnet. But they provide more of a blanket-approach, attempting to cover all the Canadian teams and the major stories.

These Oiler fans, however, want in-depth analysis of their team and ALL the stories that relate.

Friday, June 19, 2009


Oilersnation.com is a website that provides news and columnists covering the Edmonton Oilers. What started out as a simple blog site with some readable posts from a “Wanye Gretz” has now become an example of social media success.

Initially a couple bloggers would post their opinions and thoughts about the Oilers, opposing teams, players and management. Soon after, a couple more bloggers joined providing more detailed stats and some different perspectives.

Included are Jason Gregor, host of Just a Game on the Team 1260 and Robin Brownlee, a former sports columnist for the Edmonton Journal and the Edmonton Sun. Both guys are well connected and have tonnes of experience covering local sports.

Once they joined, the site became a primary source for breaking news and analysis.

A big step was taken on Wednesday.

Brownlee wrote an interesting article discussing how the NHL Entry Draft in Montreal will only have a few traditional media outlets present.

Tough economic times have newspapers, like a lot of businesses, slashing
budgets. Compounding matters, newspapers have been dying a slow death for years
now — the reasons are many.

The people behind the website decided to start a paypal account to pay for Brownlee’s trip to Montreal to cover the draft. According to the latest article on Oilersnation.com, donations are still coming in. As of Friday afternoon, Brownlee is unable to make the trip so his colleague Jason Gregor is the next possible candidate to cover the draft.

Talk about power to the people. Instead of relying on the large sports media outlets like TSN and Sportsnet, a group of Oiler fans have come together and sponsored an individual, with the necessary credentials, to cover the event for them.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

You're a bum!

Here's a clip of Alex Rios of the Toronto Blue Jays leaving a charity gala in Toronto. From this clip, it looks like Alex turned away a young fan who wanted to get an autograph and was then heckled by another fan for the current batting slump he's in.

A couple days after this clip made the rounds on the interweb, Rios made an official apology for the outburst.

You think he would have apologized if Youtube wasn't around?

Social networking tools and advances in technology are changing the behaviours of human beings. Pro-athletes are thinking twice before losing their cool in public or even turning down kids who want autographs.

These guys and girls are considered role models for kids but are under a lot of pressure to not only perform on the field, but also carry themselves professionally off of it.

There's plenty of examples of how technology changes individuals and society. But professional sports specifically has a lot of intriguing stuff.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

What the heck is a "fan"?

According to Wikipedia:

“A fan, aficionado, or supporter is someone who has an intense, occasionally overwhelming liking and enthusiasm for a sporting club, person (usually a celebrity) group of persons, company, product, activity, work of art, idea, or trend.”

The belief is that the term derived from either the word ‘fanatic’ or ‘fancy’. When you think about it, they kind of mean the same thing, except fanatic carries some more extreme connotations than the other.

What sounds more accurate?

“Jimmy really fancies the Denver Broncos.”


“Jimmy is a real fanatic about the Denver Broncos."

But like I said, the two words have similar meanings.

When I think of fanatic, I think of mad men. This includes those that would die for the object of their affection and admiration or those that would do anything to see their icons succeed. An obvious one would be religious extremists.

But sports are a religion to some, a hobby to others.

The term itself, in my opinion, is a little too broad. I can see how someone who shows up to every game, screams at the players to hustle and then goes home to pray that the team wins the next game would be called a “fan”.

But what about the guy who watches the sport for entertainment and doesn’t really care if anyone wins or loses. I don’t think this person can be categorized with the other mad men.

The fan has become its own entity and is a pretty interesting thing to delve into a bit further. The relationship that exists between the fan, the object of their affection and the environment that encompasses all of these items is very intriguing.