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The Twitter World Cup

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James Pearce | 12:52 UK time, Wednesday, 30 June 2010

It was a Wednesday afternoon about 15 months ago. I was at my desk at the BBC's Television Centre, preparing to go and grab a sandwich for lunch, when a colleague came up to me and asked if I had plans for the next hour.

I didn't know it at the time but my life was about to change forever - well, actually that's a slight exaggeration but I'm trying to build up some drama here!

My colleague told me that he was going to a BBC seminar about Twitter but didn't want to go alone. "Come along," he said "Twitter is the future."

I'm sure that I just stared back at him blankly. I hardly knew what Twitter was - it is a social networking site - and a sandwich would have been a much more appealing prospect at the time. Anyway, we reached a compromise. I would go to the Twitter seminar as long as we could stop off for a sandwich on the way..

Looking back on it, I'm not really sure why I agreed to go to the seminar. I think it must have been a very dull day in the office. It certainly wasn't because of any great fascination with Twitter. I knew only one fact about it - that it was the forum on which information about the Hudson River plane crash first surfaced.

Rescue boats float next to a US Airways plane after it crashed into the Hudson River.Rescue boats float next to a US Airways plane after it crashed into the Hudson River. Photo: Getty

The seminar was intriguing. It was clear that here was a form of communication that was completely different to anything I'd used before. That afternoon I opened a Twittter account. The rest, as they say, is history.

I was initially cautious. As a broadcaster who is used to rabbiting on for ages, I was always going to find it difficult to condense my thoughts into 140 characters. But my appreciation for what Twitter can provide has grown to such an extent over the past 15 months that I now class it as an essential tool of my trade.

In my view, the list of stars at this World Cup - which already boasts Mesut Ozil, Ghana, vuvuzelas etc - should also include Twitter. This has in many ways been the Twitter World Cup. Let me explain why.

I arrived in South Africa on 1 June - the day of the England squad announcement. I'd been sent ahead to report on the team's arrival at their Rustenburg base, while some of my colleagues remained in London to cover Capello's 23-man selection.

Once I touched down in Johannesburg, I was, like so many other people, eager to find out who was in and who was out. The problem was that Capello had told his players but the Football Association had decided to delay any announcement until later in the day.

That's when Twitter came into play. When the players found out, they naturally told family and friends, who started tweeting.

In the end, the FA's announcement was almost irrelevant because anybody using Twitter had known the names of everybody in the squad at least an hour earlier. The England squad announcement was basically made via Twitter.

Time and time again over the past few weeks I've relied on Twitter for information. Those of you who use Twitter will know that the England team was revealed by footballer-turned-radio presenter Stan Collymore before every match.

The former England striker had an indiscreet contact in the England camp. Within minutes of the players being told who had been picked, Collymore was announcing Capello's selection to the world.

Of course, there are downsides to Twitter, too. You have to be careful with the source of information. Rumours can spread quickly. On the day of France's first match, Twitter was full of false gossip about Thierry Henry.

One of the problems with Twitter is that information spreads so fast that inaccuracies can soon spread out of control.

The England players were banned from tweeting during the tournament but once Rio Ferdinand had returned home after his World Cup was ended before it began by injury he was soon on Twitter.

Fabio Capello talsk to his players in trainingIt did not take long for England team news to leak out via Tweitter. Photo: Reuters

It will be interesting to see what Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has to say about Twitter when the Premier League season begins but currently anybody who wants to interact with the England captain can.

It's the interactivity that, for me, has made Twitter so useful. Yes, it's great to be able to find out information so quickly - and to pass it on as well - but it's also such a good barometer of public opinion.

When you're reporting on a World Cup as a journalist, it's actually very easy to misread the mood of the public back home. We are very cut off out here. We go to the team press conferences every day but that is a controlled environment. We don't have the chance to sit in a pub and chew the fat with fans.

Twitter has given me a far better ability to gauge what people have been thinking back home. Before Capello's final press conference in South Africa, I tweeted a message asking England fans to tell me what they'd like the journalists to ask the coach. Within minutes I'd had about a hundred replies.

Twitter has given you, the viewer or reader, the opportunity to tell me, the journalist, what you're thinking. Now, that doesn't mean that I have to listen to everything that I'm told - I do have my own mind as well - but it has to be healthy for that dialogue to exist.

I know from many of the messages that I've received that Twitter has given some of you who aren't in South Africa the opportunity to feel far more closely connected with this tournament than previous ones.

Whether you're following Ferdinand, or Kaka or maybe Motty, you're able to monitor their movements and their opinions. If you don't like what they say then you can message them directly.

Reporting on a World Cup is a privilege. Those lucky enough to be sent to South Africa have been on a fascinating journey. We've all had experiences that we'd like to share.

If Twitter helps you feel more involved, gives you the sense that we're taking you with us on that journey, then, in my view, it has to be an asset for any major sporting event

Comments

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  • 1. At 2:05pm on 30 Jun 2010, Ross wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 2. At 2:06pm on 30 Jun 2010, Jesus the Teddy Bear wrote:

    To be honest I would rather the BBC didnt use external websites like Twitter, you have a forum system were you can interact with people, and of course these blogs.

    I am not the only one too, a few people have complained about Twitter use across the BBC - http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mbpointsofview/F1951574?thread=7551561

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  • 3. At 2:27pm on 30 Jun 2010, shearer96 wrote:

    So tell me this. How did we - the humble fans - follow world cups in the past? Did we miss out on huge swathes of vital information because you scribblers were unable, without twitter, to bring it to us?

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  • 4. At 2:54pm on 30 Jun 2010, Jordan D wrote:

    Is Ross, @wossy and is he bitter because his contract didn't extended?!

    James - as you know I regularly communicate with you on Twitter and the fact that your World Cup started with a dodgy engine on a plane will be missed by the masses who don't.

    You're right - Twitter has allowed those of us who aren't out there to really feel involved and to actually put our views across. I know you told me I had misread the opinion on Terry's press conference, whereas I turned out to have got it closer to the truth that those there!

    Keep up the good work, @jordandias

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  • 5. At 3:23pm on 30 Jun 2010, Coplandrdloyal wrote:

    Twitter is just for people who like to feel self important, who actually cares what Rio Ferdinand for example, or Stan Collymore thinks?

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  • 6. At 3:41pm on 30 Jun 2010, Tim Hodge wrote:

    I think it's been a welcome extra dimension to the coverage of this World Cup. It's provided additional insight into what's been happening in South Africa and of particular interest to me the work of sports journalist like yourself. It's been a fantastic forum for discussion and debate.

    Keep up the tweeting I say.

    @timothyhodge

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  • 7. At 3:47pm on 30 Jun 2010, gerardmartin wrote:

    @Coplandrdloyal the point about Twitter is not that we are avidly keento know what Mr Ferdinand and Mr Collymore are thinking the point is that via Twitter they might supply us with good relevent football news/info. Twitter is an excellent way of sharing info , ( you just have to learn how to disregard all the associated nonsense that people sometimes tweet. )

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  • 8. At 3:49pm on 30 Jun 2010, JoC wrote:

    James as a journalist Twitter might be 'the future' but please remember not everyone is on it (you weren't up to 15 months ago) and whilst it's short 140 character limit might be snappy and 'now' it's prone to rumour mongering as full facts can't be displayed so I'd be careful with the libel cases.

    I looked forward to many of you BEEB guys' blogging during the tournament as have enjoyed many of your past articles but have felt I've missed out on plenty of interesting stuff as many of you have chosen to 'tweet' tit-bits instead of using your BBC website blogs to keep us fully informed and involved. I believe this is only your 3rd WC piece to blog? I don't have time to go to a seminar to understand how twitter all works either unfortunately.

    I can read the comments on twitter without an account but it's not the same and soundbites often go off on complete tangents and quality writing's hard to find.

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  • 9. At 3:57pm on 30 Jun 2010, U14357625 wrote:

    Twitter is for sad little people looking to promote their poorly written football blogs.

    Incidentally, you can follow me @footycomment or read my blog.

    http://footballfutbolfitba.wordpress.com/

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  • 10. At 4:30pm on 30 Jun 2010, Applejak wrote:

    I agree with the majority on here. Twitter just seems like a huge waste of time to me and I'm firmly in the target age group. Sure it can spread news quickly, but if Stan Collymore is posting team updates at 2.00 I expect an article or a blog on BBC.co.UK by 2.05. Is that too much to ask? Frankly I couldn't care less about waiting 5 minutes for an update or whatever plane trouble you apparantly had in SA. I don't want to know you or interact with you, I just want news and the occaisional opinion piece.

    To be honest I find it quite offensive that with the millions that the BBC spends on it's (fantastic) website all you see everywhere is links (adverts) for a third party, private website. Like others have said you have blogs and forums - why not use them and post here instead of on Twitter?

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  • 11. At 4:44pm on 30 Jun 2010, Jupiter wrote:

    Why do the beeb keep plugging twitter? How about using your own website instead?

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  • 12. At 5:12pm on 30 Jun 2010, Jesus the Teddy Bear wrote:

    Its funny isn't it.

    The majority on here are saying "Use your own forums / blogs" and yet we know the BBC wont take a blind bit of notice.

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  • 13. At 5:17pm on 30 Jun 2010, gerardmartin wrote:

    @ Bertwepster....I would imagine that a journalist out in the field can tweet his/her relevant info by using his mobile phone/smartphone. This short tweet can give the bare bones of the news facts. Later a fuller report can be written by the journalist which can go on to a blog or forum. For immidiate news Twitter will always be better to use than a blog.

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  • 14. At 5:46pm on 30 Jun 2010, Ross wrote:

    Shockingly enough, my first rant was banned. Hmm.


    Twitter is used by a small minority of idiots. The majority of people use Facebook, simple fact. Twitter is rubbish and it just seems so in love with itself. '@dave = lollerskates!111oneeleven' urgh. Do I want a match report via Twitter? Just..no.

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  • 15. At 6:54pm on 30 Jun 2010, CelticVillaChelsea wrote:

    If you dont like twitter just don't use it, simple as :)

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  • 16. At 8:24pm on 30 Jun 2010, MeanMrMustard wrote:

    Some people probably complained about the invention of the wheel, or of sliced bread, or the internet. And they are free to not use the wheel, sliced bread and the internet. But these products are available for those that want them. Consumer power will dictate whether or not they are in demand.

    With regards to Twitter, you will never get match reports or in-depth articles there, but the Beeb hacks have often posted links to pages on this website that I might otherwise have overlooked. It also serves as a fine medium to give a heads up on upcoming events - the visit to Robben Island was mentioned first on Twitter and allowed me to make sure I was able to see the piece when it was shown on BBC1.

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  • 17. At 8:37pm on 30 Jun 2010, CanaryJ And GloverJ and sometimes SpurJ Save 606 wrote:

    Your a star on Twitter

    I follow you and find your tweets some of the most intresting on there

    @Canaryjwatson

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  • 18. At 9:13pm on 30 Jun 2010, HCR3 wrote:

    For all those saying 'Twitter is for idiots' etc. I beg to differ.
    Twitter is the only place where I can get news from my local community run cinema alongside news from people like the NFL, the ECB and even the UK Parliament! It's also good as I can pick up these updates on my phone when I'm out so I don't need to be at a computer to find out what's going on the world that's of interest to me.

    It is also worth baring in mind that the BBC needs to move with the times - I know plenty of people who see the BBC as irrevelant and would be quite content if it disappeared - if interacting with people in other ways helps promote the BBC amongst people who may not otherwise use it then that's got to be a good thing, hasn't it?

    Finally, yes there is joking / sillyness on Twitter but so long as decent, full length reports continue to be written then it's all good - and don't say that the reports are not being written - for example, the report of Andy Murray's match against Tsonga is nearly 1000 words long and was posted shortly before 7PM - very soon after the end of the match.

    (@hcr14)

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  • 19. At 9:18pm on 30 Jun 2010, nopskazoid wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 20. At 00:01am on 01 Jul 2010, Alternat1ve wrote:

    Twitter is a great tool for collecting information, opinion and news on the things that interest you. My World Cup experience has definitely been enhanced by following interesting football journalists such as James Pearce.

    In the last year or so, twitter has become a great community where interesting debate about football is rampant. Information about different European leagues is far easier and quicker to obtain via twitter, and overall coverage of football is far broader and more stimulating than what the majority of newspapers or television channels offer.

    The future of football/sport coverage on the web will certainly continue to include Twitter, regardless of the naysayers.

    @alternat1ve

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  • 21. At 02:28am on 01 Jul 2010, jamieridgway wrote:

    i find your blog extremely outrageous in the austerity times we are in. we are all struggling to make ends meet & if twitter is the future why dont we all join & cut the massive expenditure on the bbc licence fee we are all paying , as far as i can see we have a lot of different reporters (some including there brothers???? on a bus, which always gets mentioned as "somewhere i forgot") the bbc coverage has always been "better" than the rest but if twitter is your new first report, then im sorry but times need changing

    interestingly how many bbc personnel in total have been covering the world cup and to what EXPENSE......

    or should i should just log in to twitter to find out

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  • 22. At 08:07am on 01 Jul 2010, Mr3enn wrote:

    Ceefax is still the Daddy. Until the scheduled fratricide in 2012, when Auntie is to kill it for good. Some would say, (I would say), for bad.
    Rest in peace page 301, your memory survives in a generation's thumb movements.

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  • 23. At 08:55am on 01 Jul 2010, Danny Last wrote:

    For what it's worth, I agree with footballfutbolfitba. It's just a sad tool for football bloggers and journalists to promote their worth. I can't believe he had the cheek to leave his details on here though. We at http://europeanfootballweekends.co.uk/ wouldn't dream to swoop so low. Those following me on Twitter at @DannyLast would tend to agree as well.

    Re. Ceefax - Page 312 (football news in brief) used to be the highlight of any given day.

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  • 24. At 09:25am on 01 Jul 2010, jrjasper wrote:

    Twitter is brilliant simply because it's not regulated. That's the beauty of it.

    It's straight from the horse's mouth, and if you know how to filter through some of the waffle (of which there is unfortunately a little too much sometimes) you can glean some really insightful information from journalists, footballers, pundits etc.

    Really though, it's just a different form of communication so I'm not sure why people need to say it's better or worse than conventional journalism. Let the two go hand-in-hand.

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  • 25. At 09:29am on 01 Jul 2010, spudseven wrote:

    If your feeling bitter
    When you heard He hit Her
    What you thought when he missed a sitter
    Someone famous just dropped some litter
    Twitter, Twitter, Twitter.
    Its made life that bit more *******

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  • 26. At 10:04am on 01 Jul 2010, Steve wrote:

    I agree with Jesus the Teddy Bear (post No. 2), I'd prefer that the BBC didn't use external services like Twitter.

    I know micro-blogging is a quick, easy and addictive way of communicating, so as an alternative why doesn't the BBC take advantage of something like identi.ca?

    The indenti.ca software is Free and Open Source so wouldn't cost much to implement, and it cooperates with other social media, including Twitter if you must.

    Just a thought.

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  • 27. At 10:20am on 01 Jul 2010, Coldframe wrote:

    What is it about Twitter that turns normally detached, objective journalists into gushy PR people for the world's favourite microblogging service? You've completely failed to mention the numerous times the service crashed and people couldn't access it. Yes, that was a sign of its popularity, but also of its fragility.

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  • 28. At 11:02am on 01 Jul 2010, Radar wrote:

    I don't use Twitter, but I do understand the benefits it can bring. As a result I feel that it is good to see that BBC journalists are using the service to interact with their followers.

    If you don't want to use it that is your personal preference but you should accept that other people do like it and use it as their source of brief information. I actually like the odd twitter update being included amongst live text (as long as it isn't instead of the live text) as it helps to provide a different insight.

    If the BEEB were to produce a service of their own as suggested it wouldn't reach as many people and surely the aim of the BBC is to provide information to as many people as possible.

    The main concern would be BBC journalists using Twitter instead of contributing to BBC's website, which in general is fantastic.

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  • 29. At 11:34am on 01 Jul 2010, RobH wrote:

    Saying Twitter is for idiots is like saying email is for idiots. It's a means of communication and how "idiotic" it is depends on how you use it and what you do with it.

    I went to see a show last night and using my phone on the way back searched the name of it on Twitter. I found several mini-reviews from other people who'd been in the same theatre. Isn't that great?

    I like the Beeb using Twitter. It allows integration with millions of other people who check and use the platform, and is not simply a top down means of communication. That's great. For those moaning about the liscence fee, one wonders how much it would cost for the BBC to build a similar bespoke system to Twitter rather than getting some of their reporters to sign up for free accounts.

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  • 30. At 11:46am on 01 Jul 2010, smernicki wrote:

    14. At 5:46pm on 30 Jun 2010, Ross wrote:

    "Twitter is used by a small minority of idiots. The majority of people use Facebook, simple fact. Twitter is rubbish and it just seems so in love with itself. '@dave = lollerskates!111oneeleven' urgh. Do I want a match report via Twitter? Just..no."

    Thi post lacks any credibility and probably comes from someone who thought the internet was for children and wouldn't last, and calls aeroplanes 'iron birds in the sky'. If your head is not in the present, stick with what you know. Simple. There are a million places to get your info from, perhaps tomorrows newspaper is the place for you. I for one think Twitter is the most immediate, informitive and to-the-point tool on the web. It frequently brings me breaking news, new discoveries on-line and some amazing insight.
    See you in the future...if you ever make it.

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  • 31. At 11:58am on 01 Jul 2010, smernicki wrote:

    25. At 09:29am on 01 Jul 2010, spudseven wrote:
    If your feeling bitter
    When you heard He hit Her
    What you thought when he missed a sitter
    Someone famous just dropped some litter
    Twitter, Twitter, Twitter.
    Its made life that bit more *******

    ------------------------------------------------

    I don't want to bore you,
    But I'll know stuff before you,
    But it sounds like you are old anyway,
    and they didn't have this in your day,
    and you dried you clothes with a mangle,
    and you just don't get new fangled,
    So move over Grandad the futures here,
    And you're not part of it...that is clear.

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  • 32. At 12:18pm on 01 Jul 2010, Kieran Smith wrote:

    You seem to be getting quite a lot of flack on here regarding Twitter James, though personally, I feel a lot of it is unfounded.

    Firstly, Twitter (I do have an account, but use it very infrequently)is an exceptional way of sharing information on the go. I too was a sceptic before signing up, but am glad I too took the plunge.It is perfect to get a fast, effective message to people that don't have time to sit and read full-length articles. It allows you to read between the lines with short, sharp headlines.

    The other great thing about Twitter (and the reason I love your tweets) is it is subjective. It lets us delve into your personal experiences of say, the World Cup, as opposed to the formal BBC news reports we have grown to love and expect. Twitter provides the little anecdotes that otherwise, only appear in these blogs, and as long as it doesn't mean the regularity of those blogs decreases, I for one am in favour.

    As I said, I'm not a 'regular tweeter' (a twit, however, I'm not so sure!), but the beauty of it is, I don't feel as if I am missing out on anything if I don't check it regularly. It is a tool that works well alongside other news mediums, and recommend the sceptics give it a try - I'm sure people thought the same with the internet and preferred scrolling through ceefax not too long ago, but who does that nowadays?

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  • 33. At 12:44pm on 01 Jul 2010, spudseven wrote:

    Smernicki its not that I'm a boring old toad
    Just sick of all this information overload
    don't need to be constantly looking at my phone
    because I'm worried about feeling all alone
    I don't need a new laptop or iPhone lease
    To discover myself and find inner peace
    Its all just stuff to cloud my mind
    Turn off, tune in, drop out

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  • 34. At 4:19pm on 01 Jul 2010, James Pearce wrote:

    Thank you for all your comments. I do understand the concerns raised by some of you. Everybody is different, and individuals are always going to have their preferred ways of receiving information. I don't think that anybody would seriously suggest that Twitter should be the only form of media communication, but it is a new addition that I believe has its advantages. Let me give you one example. Last night I bumped into Ghana's football team. They were singing and dancing together. It really was a fantastic sight. I recorded some video on my phone. Through Twitter I was able to upload it immediately, and users around the world were able to watch it within seconds. The video is being used by the BBC today, but Twitter provided an immediate outlet for it. I know that many people do like the immediacy that Twitter provides. For anybody who is interested you can see the video here http://twitvid.com/DVMG7

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  • 35. At 5:07pm on 01 Jul 2010, JoC wrote:

    Fair comment James...but why weren't the BBC able to use you Ghana players video footage straight away too?

    Hope I'm not being not being rude but you are paid by licence payers in the UK or am I wrong - I appreciate you wanting to reach a world wide audience aswell but they can log into the BBC Sport site along with all of us anyway so cannot quite understand..please clarify?

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  • 36. At 5:36pm on 01 Jul 2010, Auqakuh wrote:

    Uh. Almost nobody uses Twitter. How is it a barometer for public opinion, therefore?

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  • 37. At 5:40pm on 01 Jul 2010, I want to see Iniesta on a rugby field wrote:

    I came across many of the BBC guys twitter pages, and for me it was very interesting to read unedited, real time comments regarding what you were experiencing. They give an interesting insight into your real feelings about things as they happen and also random, arbitrary day to day things.

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  • 38. At 6:00pm on 01 Jul 2010, parkji wrote:

    @ JoC (35)

    I think the point about the video is that (and here I make an assumption) the BBC had not asked James to capture the video, he did so of his own accord because he felt what he was seeing was worth capturing. He naturally passed it on to the BBC because he felt they would be interested (which evidently they were), but he didn't have to if he didn't want to because it was a personally captured video.

    I think Twitter is great, it's a fantastic way to keep up to date with the latest local, national and international news (in all fields) and, as stated in the article, discuss your own views with those of respected journalists, pundits, even players.

    If you don't like it, don't use it, but don't label all those who do use it as idiots (note this is not directed at you JoC, but others who have commented) simply because you don't like it, that is just being rude and childish.

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  • 39. At 6:17pm on 01 Jul 2010, JoC wrote:

    #38 parkji comments

    No offence made or taken..don't worry and I genuinely understand twitters use for 'personal' or 'off the job' stuff. James is entitled to use his free time as he pleases and post what he likes - maybe I came across too harshly..I dunno?

    One question - and it's not meant as a dig or anything - do the BBC pay for twitter videos they are sent freelance and if so how much?

    I suppose that's the problem when official journalism crosses over into general public territory and the waters become muddied?

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  • 40. At 7:16pm on 01 Jul 2010, James Pearce wrote:

    #35 JoC, You're not being rude at all. In fact you made your point very politely. I'm no expert in technology, so I'm not the best person to talk about this, but if I send a video from my phone to Twitter it is there within seconds. I have posted quite a few videos there during the World Cup - some better than others. The BBC has used the better ones and not used the rest. If BBC correspondents could just send whatever video they liked straight onto the BBC website there would be chaos! Quite rightly the BBC only uses the very best content. The Ghana video last night was very good, so the BBC is using it, but that kind of material is never going to be able to appear on the BBC website as quickly as Twitter, as it needs to go through an editorial process before it is put up on the BBC website. I hope that makes sense. James

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  • 41. At 8:39pm on 01 Jul 2010, georgiesthebest7 wrote:

    James - From what I can make out Twitter is the 'lazy mans blogg' -could be wrong of course, but it does seem a bit whimpish?

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  • 42. At 10:25am on 02 Jul 2010, addicted_7 wrote:

    Thats why i am (@adddicted_7) following u for more newes!

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  • 43. At 12:18pm on 02 Jul 2010, JoC wrote:

    #40 James - Thanks for taking the time to give such a well considered answer.

    If I'm reading you correctly it seems to boil down to a question of 'quality' and 'censorship' on the BBC's part then? I'm no tech expert either but I think Auntie should give it's own Sports News Correspondent greater editorial control over what he can and cannot post though ie. greater journalistic freedom ;)

    I hear what you say about the chaos that might ensue though with the quantity of postings though as that's sometimes how Twitter comes across 'chaotic' - each to their own I suppose? Maybe with the blogs we get the 'A-Sides' release and with Twitter the 'B-Sides' (with the occasional diamond piece thrown in)?

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  • 44. At 11:15pm on 02 Jul 2010, krishnamurthi ramachandran wrote:

    Dear Editor,
    All your very long briefings of this wonderful football cup matches events,and other related to stories in twitter and to BBC editors blog,as a sports editor with long innings are marvel to your grade and to BBC!s upswings from so many angles.
    Back to this particular subject, i used to read BBC News hour from face book and from your straight channels.
    Todays match between Ghana and Paraguvay are excellent and worth watched and seen by many,many football lovers, fans from entire world.
    Both teams were played very well.
    Here, logic holds true..
    Win vs defeat are common on any games.
    I wish that, you will continue to witness,chat with players, organizers and get many thought chewing writings from you in later matches.
    Please carry on this noble profession as a sports journalist and create a new vibrant ideas to make England football to come out from her very bad plays in recent matches and make her to come out with flying colors in any international football matches.
    As a man of interests to England!s day today affair, England has to come out from her crippled shell to main light at the earliest to many vital fields.
    Sports, economics, social living, building more resources, creation of more moral and economic values, to overcome from many losses in Afghan/Iraq conflicts, to continue to class leader role in restoration of her prestige at the earliest.
    Still, i am not able to digest English poor performance in world cup football matches.
    This is the second world cup football failure from England.
    As a journalist, you can prove !Pen is mightier than a weapon! at all times.
    Thanks for your correct reporting, and more interests to know from twitters football coverages,blogs from BBC world services, sports pages and this list is endless.
    Once more appreciations goes to BBC for covering Rainbow nations world cup football matches schedules to us.,
    Best wishes for future wonders from you as a journalist,editors blogs and as a interesting sports journalist to many sports lovers,sports organizers and this list is endless.,
    .

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  • 45. At 12:15pm on 04 Jul 2010, evasouth wrote:

    I guess d many advantages of twitter beats d disadvantages. Everyone wnts 2b d first 2 knw.

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  • 46. At 8:28pm on 04 Jul 2010, G_K___ wrote:

    Twitter is certainly the future. Of glorious, illiterate idiocy. Hurrah: Pass The Cheetos.

    The essay reduces to the newspaper article. The newspaper article reduces to a loosely-cobbled mash of soundbites. The soundbites reduce to a single sound-bolus.

    Yes indeed. Cometh the Twit, cometh the Twitter.

    But why live in the past? The next development (as those in the loop already know) is Twittest: similar, but with a five word max, and a two-syllable limit per word. Yes yes, I know what you're thinking, but CRUCIALLY - bigger letters, reassuring primary colours. Soon after, we'll make the next evolutionary step - a single cartoon image, with the journalist's contribution being a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down.

    And from there, the stars.

    It has always been recognised - has it not? - that the general public is awash with the unwashed. Isn't it reassuring, then, to note the wide range of cosmetic solutions now available to even the grubbiest, emptiest pocket? Their clean shiny faces and designer clothes (those ARE originals, no?) speak the egalitarian wealth of our society.

    However, we can scarcely hope to airbrush out full-blown idiocy. So let's embrace it. We are not, after all, elitists.

    Blah blah blah. LOL. Thx.

    OK - I admit it. There are wilful morons in the world. People who are not merely unintelligent or ill-informed, but who do not WANT to know, who REVEL in their absence of comprehension. The BBC once saw it as its public duty to inform and educate these people - to introduce them to ideas they had never known existed, to raise them to heights they had never imagined for themselves. Now it just wants to bring its own aspirations down to their level. Because - bien entendu! - whatever we write must be understood by the semi-literate, and the borderline illiterate. Otherwise we are being discriminatory. And that can't happen.

    [ads in five] and so, to summarise:

    c u

    thx

    nite

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  • 47. At 03:30am on 05 Jul 2010, isdezedannogvrij wrote:

    I can`t stand the twitter nonsense. I was watching a Dutch political debate about a month ago and some "journalist" actually was keeping us updated on everything going on in twitterworld, with all kind of stupid, but appearently neat statistics and completely meaningless opinions. They could also have used the PC to fact check some statements of party leaders, but no, lets ask what "Lollipop76' thinks. Its pathetic.

    I saw it on CNN first, long before it came to Holland and the BBC. The sad thing is that I was laughing at the poor Americans who have to withstand such timewaisting efforts to get news more feddable to the internet generation. It doesn`t surprise me one bit that CNN lost viewers when they think of things like this (there are more examples).

    I`m truly annoyed and sad that this nonsense is being adopted in Europe. I know copying ideas is popular in the world of media, but this should have been waved away. It takes away the true value of high quality reporting. I`m very dissappointed in the BBC for using twitter. As a Dutchman I enjoy your site normally a lot, with the exception of the following big events; Wimbledon, World Cup football and European Cup football. I`ll twitter to you why in a nice, short message. My twittername is "EnglandwcWinners2010".

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  • 48. At 10:23am on 05 Jul 2010, willy wrote:

    Why are the FA obsessed with Foreign Managers. Just look at the record for national sides managed by foreign managers in the World Cup, ZERO. When are they going to realise that success will only come when we have an English manager who has played either at international level or at least premiership level. The players need to relate a manager who has shared the experience they are going to go through. The Germans actively cultivate their managers from their previously successful international players as do most of the other successful teams in world cup history. We needed a Winston Churchil and instead we got a Mussolini. At least he made the right decision to renegotiate his severance package before the world cup began.

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  • 49. At 10:39am on 05 Jul 2010, Cheryl wrote:

    If someone at work were to speak to you and say in words of 140 characters or less, 'Have you seen this interesting piece in the Times?' is that a dumbed down discourse? Well, no. It's just a short utterance that leads you onto to something fuller and more considered if you have the time and interest to follow it up. Twitter, amongst other things, is often just a doorway to excellent, thought provoking content. It's how I arrived here. It's daft to be cross with a doorway or with the people who choose to use it.

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  • 50. At 10:44am on 05 Jul 2010, Cheryl wrote:

    It also gives you a way to let people know your view - witness the flood of messages to @SeppBlatter after the England and Mexico games re the use of technology in the game and his subsequent tweeted apology to English and Mexican fans...

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  • 51. At 6:53pm on 05 Jul 2010, mac_knife wrote:

    So then why not use Facebook???? There are far more users there than on Twitter.

    I for one will never bother with Twitter.

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  • 52. At 7:37pm on 05 Jul 2010, neonMoongod wrote:

    I have a twitter account but never use it. Do you know what I will remember from this world cup? Do you want to know? I'm telling you anyway, of course - I will remember this world cup for FOOTBALL! I'll remember it for us being poor and then being 'the worst team in the world' (before the same happened to 'the best team in the world' as the journos called them. I'll remember the brilliance and excitement of Chile's style. The passion of the Ghanaians. The attacking brilliance of Germany. The hilarious collapse of the french. The complete ineptitude of the BBC when it comes to guessing how the selected England Line-up will play - oh, that's not football, but it displays my contempt of journalists who are running out of angles to make their reports on action that we all see with our own eyes interesting. WE SEE THE FOOTBALL - you really don't need to be telling us about twitter on your sports page. This is closer to celebrity gossip...and do you really believe what you read on there? I suppose you really must be a professional journalist...

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  • 53. At 00:57am on 06 Jul 2010, Cheryl wrote:

    Use facebook if you want, variously delight in and critique the live action if you want, talk about it down the pub if you want, read about it in the newspapers if you want, follow it and discuss it on Twitter if you want, exploit the connections between all of these media if you want. Where's the beef? They're not mutually exclusive. There seems to be a widely held notion that Twitter makes you stupid. It doesn't. Sometimes I'm composing quick responses in less than 140 characters, sometimes I'm working on my 80,000 word thesis. One doesn't preclude the other, nor will tweeting make otherwise skillful, knowledgeable journalists inept or unable to write their longer pieces as they have always done.

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  • 54. At 10:06am on 06 Jul 2010, colinwilliams23 wrote:

    Oh, G_K_ (no.46) - can I vote for you at the next election? You sum up my feelings so well. I can sort of see a use for Twitter, but still feel so uncomfortable that the never-ending drive for "immediacy" and "interaction" is a poor substitute for a desire for accuracy and a sense of perspective. Clearly, there will be times when "Help! Fire" is a more useful communication than, say, "May I have assistance? There appears to be some form of aerobic combustion taking place in the vicinity". But I value the kind of journalism that provides a sense of balance and has an eye for the kernel of what's important amidst the chaos of all the comments that surround the story. My life isn't so grand, in the grand scheme of things, but I really don't have time to read and evaluate thousands of twitter messages so that I can compute the story myself - for most news, certainly sport, I'll be happy to wait until a decent journalist (and, James Pearce, you are one) can take the source material and turn it into an article for me. I know I'm old-fashioned. But the wheel was invented many years ago, and it does still work.

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  • 55. At 10:59pm on 08 Jul 2010, Cheryl wrote:

    Unless you've used it you don't really get it. It's a bit like saying French is just mumbo jumbo just because you don't speak the language. I've used Twitter successfully in combination with a blog tool to teach epistemology on a Masters level course so to dismiss it as being for 'idiots' who are 'inane' and 'illiterate' is to misunderstand it's potential. Of course it's not everyone's cup of tea but the platform doesn't detemine the intellectual level of the discourse, the participants do.

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