Waiving the checkered flag on emerging media!

About a year or so ago, CNN reported that the number one word used, texted, emailed or spoken was the word “Twitter” or its popular derivative “Tweet.” That’s a pretty crazy statistic if you ask me! So, continuing along the same lines of last weeks post, I’ll be discussing an older portion of Twitter’s demographic. And since I couldn’t resist the whole “checkered flat” analogy, I’ll be doing something my boys at ESPN rarely do… talking Nascar!

Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Juan Montoya, and Michael Waltrip appear to be the Ochocinco’s and Brandon Phillips’ of the NASCAR world. Whether it be a picture of a ping pong table or newborn baby, NASCAR drivers are increasingly using Twitter to communicate directly with their fans.

Now that the 35 to 65-year-old portion of the NASCAR demographic are becoming more familiar with social networking, NASCAR sponsors are have began holding contests to promote their brand via Twitter. One brand worth mentioning is Best Western.

Using Michael Waltrip Racing and No. 00 driver David Reutimann as their platform, Best Western selected three of its Twitter followers to attend a race and “tweet to their heart’s content.” The three fans had an all-access pass to team meetings and conversations between Reutimann and his crew. This promotion was unique in that the flow of information came from fans, not race team representatives.

Well, I think that’s enough NASCAR for one semester! Until next time, Amy 🙂




Great American Ballpark isn’t the only place Brandon Phillips draws a crowd!

The Cincinnati Reds’ two-time Gold Glove winner and All-Star second baseman Brandon Phillips has proven himself a pro both on and off the field.

When the “trash-talking, shin-tapping, bench-clearing” second baseman logged onto Twitter for the first time this past February as @DatDudeBP, Reds GM Walt Jocketty and Head Coach Dusty Baker were unsure of what to expect.

Now, 3,633 tweets and nearly 110,000 followers later, it appears @DatDudeBP has, excuse the pun, a “handle” on this twitter thing. Over the past five months, @DatDudeBP has given away free tickets, flown fans to away games, he even attended a local 14 & U baseball game—simply because a 14-year-old boy asked him to. I think it is important we remember that, while many of today’s athletes receive hundreds of requests via Twitter daily, it takes someone like Brandon Phillips—whose sincere appreciation for his fans is recognized by many—to “take it to the next level and do something that will forever leave a positive impression on those who buy tickets or spend their time watching the game on television.”

As Amy Nelson so eloquently put it, “Twitter is just a medium. It’s the nature of the person who uses it that matters, specifically when that person is Brandon Phillips.” Phillips’ use of Twitter has not only given BP the voice he has so long needed, some even argue it’s helping him play better!

Don’t be fooled though, BP’s “trash-talking, shin-tapping, bench-clearing” days are far from over. He’ll still get booed every time he steps up to the plate at Busch stadium and crack jokes about the food in St. Louis. And sure, he may ruffle a few *cough* Cardinal *cough* feathers (I did it again, didn’t I? ) along the way, but he’ll also be the first to congratulate the opposing team.

I’m outta here! 🙂 -Amy

Wand to find your favorite professional athlete on Twitter? Click here!






An unlikely place to meet an IMC student…

I’m not sure if it was all the young men in letterman jackets or the name tags they were wearing that tipped us off, but my boyfriend and I found ourselves feeling a little out of place as we sat among a sea of football recruits at this years Blue and Gold Game. Among those recruits we noticed one young man who was sitting by himself. Immediately my instinct was to befriend him, my boyfriends was to get him to sign a letter of intent that night.

At some point, we took a break from all the football talk and discussed what he would be doing at WVU–other than just playing football. You’re never going to guess what he told us and I swear, I’m not making this up… He told us that he was looking into the IMC program. In which I immediately responded, “I started the program in January!” Even if he wasn’t weirded out by our initial approach, he, at the very least, must have assumed the athletic department had sent us.

More sports talk next week!-Amy

What my iPhone 4 and LeBron James have in common…

When you’re great, people expect great things. When you’re the country’s largest cellphone carrier, people expect great service. When your notably named one of the best players in the NBA people expect a great performance, especially in the NBA Finals!

Whether it be LeBron’s NBA finals performance or the iPhone 4 without it’s cover, they both tend to lack the qualities that make someone or something great.

Before we discuss AT&T, let’s do a quick recap of the NBA finals. LeBron James didn’t suck, he just failed to perform at the level in which he was expected–arguably costing the Miami Heat a championship. Many have even joked that he failed to show up in the fourth quarter. However, flu-stricken Dallas Mavericks star, Dirk Nowitzki didn’t. Nowitzki and his teammates outperformed and outscored the big-talking, trio of James, Bosh, and Wade.

Nowitzki and the Mavericks’ versus LeBron and gang is comparable to the recent matchup of AT&T versus Verizon–Nowitzki made no excuses (even with a 102 degree temperature) and Lebron, well apparently that’s how he spent his fourth quarter.

Originally, when consumers were complaining of so many dropped-calls, AT&T put the blame on Apple’s faulty antenna system. However, six weeks after Apple rolled out Verizon’s version of the iPhone 4, Verizon customers are reporting a dropped-call rate of only 1.8 percent, versus 4.8 for AT&T phones. Perhaps Verizon is the Dallas Mavericks of this situation?

So what exactly does this mean for the carriers? Unlike the NBA Finals, Apple is the guaranteed winner with the iPhone available on two of the largest cellphone networks in the U.S. As for AT&T and Verizon’s fate, well, that’s about as predictable as next years NBA finals!

The ball’s in your guys’ court now! Comment away! 🙂




Liar, Liar, Vest On Fire!

Lies and deceit. Two things former OSU Head Coach Jim Tressel and Pizza Hut have in common. Right now I’m sure you’re all thinking this is going to be one far-fetched analogy. It’s quite the contrary really. Both Tressel and Pizza Hut either claim or appear to have the children’s best interest in mind. But do they really? Lets take a look.

Jim Tressel:

Before news broke that Tressel was aware of his players dealings with tattoo artists and car dealers, Tressel was a highly regarded member of society, loved by Buckeye fans everywhere. And rightfully so. In his 10 seasons at Ohio State, Tressel 106 to 22 (66 to14) record in one of the most high-profile football conferences in the nation, seven conference championships (either shared or outright), eight BCS bowl game appearances, three BCS National Championship appearances, one BCS National Championship, and we can’t forget his nine to one record against rival Michigan.

However, Tressel status wasn’t based on coaching accolades alone. The man in the vest openly linked his on the field success to his faith. He shared his religious views openly, speaking at Christian events and writing about faith and sports in his books, including 2008’s Winning in the Game of Life.

Now you see where the situation gets a little hairy. Either Tressel truly made a mistake by withholding information or he’s not the man the Buckeye nation perceived him to be… I’m going with the latter.

In my opinion, Jim Tressel’s failure to report the NCAA violations by Terrell Pryor and gang had very little to do with protecting the players and a WHOLE LOT to do with ensuring another successful season—maybe even a national championship—to put down in the record books.

Pizza Hut:

Long before I began Googling “Pizza Hut and advertising to youth,” I considered myself a proud member of the Book-it program and had every Land Before Time hand puppet the Yum! Brand company advertised. Throughout my childhood, Pizza Hut was the coolest place (aside from Chuck-E-Cheese—and that is a whole new can of worms) my parents could take me for dinner—especially after I turned in a book report!

Aside from the cool little star the server added to my Book-it badge, before dinner I had my pick of several arcade games, a jukebox, and of course those 25 cent machines they conveniently place right by the door. Pizza Hut was a pretty cool place back then. And apparently it’s even cooler now…

In addition to the Book-it program and games, Pizza Hut has found new ways to knowingly contaminate our nation’s youth through its web sites, partnerships with popular kids TV programs, and sports sponsorships. They even have went as far as to hire Justin Beiber to read their annual webcast titled “America’s Biggest Bedtime Story.” I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of anyone much cooler to target their youth demographic than Justin Beiber. And over 500,000 people agreed as they tuned in to watch the pop sensation read from his favorite childhood book, “The Cat in the Hat.” Ethical or not, I’ve got to tip my hat to the marketing team responsible for landing Justin Beiber.

By now, I’m sure you’re all wondering how in the world Jim Tressel and Pizza Hut are at all comparable. Here’s how.

Just as Jim Tressel chose to deceive the NCAA and OSU fan base, Pizza Hut continues to deceive America’s youth by employing high profile clients to market their brand, as well as making themselves a known presence at every youth sporting event, in every elementary school, even on the Internet. Although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has brought the childhood obesity epidemic to the attention of Pizza Hut through subpoenas (requiring them to disclose details (including spending) on campaigns targeting children), Pizza Hut chooses to blatently ignore them, just as Jim Tressel did with his star athletes.

Unfortunately, Jim Tressel’s series of bad decisions have forever tainted his legacy. Hopefully this will not be the case with Pizza Hut—because we all saw how long it took McDonald’s to build their reputation back up after the film “Super Size Me.”

It’s all over but the crying (except for Jim Tressel, that is!) 😛




“Geesh Bill! You could’ve Just Googled Him!”

Dear Bill,

Maybe you really did think that you were acting in the best interest of the program when you contacted former Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter, Chuck Landon. Or maybe you were just pissed off. Either way, you could have chosen a much quieter method to dig up dirt on your predecessor Dana Holgorsen. A “power Google search” perhaps?

“Don’t be fooled by the simple layout of Google page. The search engine is much more powerful than you think. Below is a quick guide that covers just a few of the ways you can use Google to perform a power search, and get almost anything out of it” (yes, I really mean everything, Bill!).

Simple tricks

  • AND (same as “+“)
    All words that are linked by the “AND” (in caps) are included in the search results.
    eg. alcohol AND DanaHolgorsen, alcohol +danaholgorsen (do not put a space behind the “+”)

(Google seach all terms by default, so the “AND” operator is unnecessary)

  • OR (same as “|”)
    Put a “OR” between the search terms to fetch search results that contain either of the terms
    eg. misconduct OR arrest, misconduct | arrest
  • ” ”
    A ” ” quote denotes a phrase and can also be used to include stop words such as “and”, “to”, “a”, “an”. All the terms inside the ” ” will be included in the search results.
    eg. “Dana Holgorsen arrested
  • Exclude
    Put a – (minus sign) in front of the word/phrases to exclude the word/phrases
    eg. “Dana Holgorsen and Oklahoma State” -”WVU Head Coach-in-Waiting” will show result that contains “Dana Holgorsen and Oklahoma State”, but exclude the phrase “WVU Head Coach-in-Waiting”
  • Wildcards
    Put an asterisk (*) to represent a missing word
    eg. “WVU Coach Dana Holorsen Escorted From * Casino”
  • Synonyms
    Put a tilde ~ in front of your search term to include synonym terms in the search result.
    “~DanaHolgorsen” will fetch you result containing football, arrests, players, success, allegations, etc.
  • Setting number range
    Put a “..” (double dot) in between number terms to denote a range.
    “eg. “arrests 1993…2011

Search relating to sites

  • intext: Fetch search results that have the search terms in the body text of the page. Example: To find webpage that has the term “Dana Holgorsen Arrested” in the body text, type intext:Dana Holgorsen Arrested
  • inanchor: To search webpages that have the search term in hyperlinks. eg. inanchor:Dana Holgorsen Allegations
  • intitle: To search for pages that have the search term in the page title. eg. intitle:Dana Holgorsen Arrested
  • filetype: Finding a file of specific file type. eg. Oklahoma State Police filetype:img
  • site: Search only a particular site. eg. site:Okstate.com
  • Define: Find a definition for a term that you don’t know. eg. define:googlesearch
  • related: Find results that is related to the search term. eg. related:okstate.com (Find websites related to the OK State website.)
  • info:Find information about a site. eg. info:www.hailwv.com (Find information about the hailwv site.)

Google search even has a calculator, Bill.

Simply type in the figures that you want to be calculated and Google will fetch you the result.

Simple math:

  • Type in 1+1 and Google will return the result 1+1=2. You can also type in “one plus one” and get “one plus one=two”.

Complex Math

  • ^ denotes square. eg 2^20
  • sqrt() denotes square root. eg sqrt(16), or simply type square root of 16
  • sin(), cos(), tan() denote trigonometry functions. eg. sine(30 degrees), cos(60), tan(45)
  • ln denote logarithm base e. eg. ln 7, ln(7)
  • log denote logarithm base 10. eg. log 7, log(7)
  • lg logarithm base 2. eg. lg 7, lg(7)
  • ! denote factorial. eg. 2!

You may been blind to the benefits of a power Google search in the past and most likely, it’s too late to salvage your reputation as WVU head coach but you can still reap the benefits of a power Google search.

With all the free time you recently inherited, Google can assist you in planning your next golf outing (Google weather search) or even in planning a date night for you and Karen. (Google movie show times search).

To find the movie showtime, which theaters, location and average reviews, ratings.

movie: lord of the ring

Google weather search

You can use Google to find the weather forecast for your region.

Type in “weather West Virginia” or whatever place that you are staying to find the weather condition.


Hold the line, I’ll be back next time with more football talk! -Amy 🙂




I wonder what Cowherd would have to say about this…

By now, you’re well aware of my unhealthy obsession with ESPN Radio and the unique (sometimes far-fetched) analogies that stem from it. Since, I’ve yet to explain just how ridiculous this habit has become, I’ve listed a tentative schedule of what you have to look forward to in the weeks to come.

Liar, Liar, Vest On Fire! (I just couldn’t help myself) Lies, deceit, and scandal. Find out what OSU’s (former) head coach, Jim Tressel and the fast-food industry have in common.

Dear Brett, those Wrangler’s looked a lot better than that look you’re currently wearing… How we can learn from Brett Favre’s ‘sex’ting scandal and how to avoid similar incidents with new media.

What my iPhone 4 and LeBron James have in common… With 93 percent of adults online (and a vast majority using their mobile device), internet providers cannot build towers fast enough. Find out what companies brought their A-game and how future initiatives will play a key role in determining their fate.
…and then of course there’s the post I’m currently working on “Geesh Bill!  You could’ve Just Googled Him!” (I’ll keep you on the edge of your seat for this one!)

I’m throwing in the towel! 😉 -Amy