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Gizapage: Gimmick or Grand Slam?

What is GizaPage? Well, here is what they have to say for themselves:

About GizaPage


GizaPage is a social media hub that helps consumers and brands optimize their social media outreach by aggregating and serving their many profiles side by side on one webpage and under their own domain.

Of course…that’s what they want you to think.  I decided to try it out.  Basically, GizaPage is a social media hub – the site dashboard, once you’ve created an account, brings together your social media pages for easy access and control, as well as easy viewing for others.  Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, YouTube, Flickr, LinkedIn, Delicious, Digg, and Tumblr are all among the accounts that can be brought together by your GizaPage.

What does this service cost?  Nothing, yet…the beta version has been released, but is still a work in progress.  The better question, perhaps, is whether GizaPage is, indeed, a service?  From an internal monitoring standpoint, as a business or individual, there is value to having all your accounts in one, easy-to-monitor location.  Log-on to tweet, and, while you’re at it, quickly Digg what you are blogging about, update your Facebook status, and link to a YouTube video all from the same homepage.  From a information-consumer point of view, a stalker so to speak, this would be ideal.  Having every bit of social information output from an individual or company in one place would simplify things greatly.

If Gizaage catches on, individuals will need to be even more careful and considerate about what information, pictures, videos, or stories are posted online for job reasons.  This could potentially bring increased peer-to-peer accountability to the world of social networking.

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Building Support via Social Media

Grove City Lacrosse Wolverine LogoGrove City Lacrosse Junior Goaltender Andrew Dymski recently wrote an article titled, Utilizing Social Media to Create a Strong Support Base. The article discusses how a club team, like Grove City Lacrosse, can use Twitter to inform fans and build support.  Dymski refutes the thinking of those who doubt the ability to communicate substantive information to fans via Twitter, and focuses on three effective uses of Twitter for sports programs: tweeting in-game updates, communicating with league media, and notifying “fans and followers about the program.”  His well thought-out points and experienced-based insights have received attention from sites such as MCLAfan.com and the Effortless HR Blog, and offers valuable information to those seeking to drum up support using technology.  The information in the article is just a taste of the many ways to utilize social media effectively.  Check out the full article below:

Utilizing Social Media to Create a Strong Support Base

Utilizing Social Media Article by Andrew Dymski - WordBlurb ImageAs a club team experiences some success and seeks to transition into a sustainable virtual-varsity program, they will soon realize that a strong support base is a necessity.  With varying levels of commitment from colleges and universities, the program is typically left with the responsibility of getting creative to come up with the resources necessary to play a competitive season.

Social media gives programs a chance to establish a national support base by connecting, engaging and informing their audience.  In this two-part series, I would like to share the potential that Twitter and Facebook have to offer your program.  Through these cost-free channels you can tap into a huge potential by simply reaching out and giving alumni, parents and fans, and even the media, something to cheer for.

Part I: Twitter

Most people shake their heads and wonder how you could ever communicate a meaningful message in 140 characters or less.  The truth of the matter is that Twitter has transformed the way teams in the MCLA communicate with each other and transmit information to their fans and followers across the globe.   I would like to share with you three ways MCLA teams can use Twitter to position themselves for success: tweets from the sideline during games, communication with MCLA media and informing fans and followers about the program.

Tweets from the Sideline

Tweets from the sideline have brought an ESPN bottom-line feel to the flow of information coming out of the MCLA.  They allow anyone to track the progress of the game, virtually play by play.  Take an enthusiastic stat keeper or an injured player, give them a smart phone and let them work.  By following teams, you are updated on information faster than ever before.  This is a quick and easy step to inform your support base.

This season Collegelax.com gives every game a specific code to hash tag in your tweets.  By placing this hash tag at the end of all of your tweets it feeds the information into Collegelax.com.  This centralizes the information flowing from both benches in one easy-to-find place.  This gives your program a chance to be seen on the national level.

Communication with MCLA Media

Twitter gives teams a chance to directly communicate with the MCLA media, most of whom are very active on Twitter.   Jeff Brunelle, cofounder of Lax All Stars says “Social media has played an integral part in marketing Lax All Stars, and now MCLAFan.com, because it helps us directly connect with lacrosse fans on a personal level…Simply put – We hang out where you hang out, and that’s how we become friends.”  Jeff hit the nail right on the head, congregate where your audience congregates.

Teams can use Twitter to harness the power of PR to promote their program and draw national attention.  The team dictates the message that is broadcasted to the world.  No longer are you dependant on a magazine doing a feature story on your program to gain a voice.  Sadly, many teams around the country aren’t getting the full benefit of their Twitter presence.

The key to the effective use of Twitter is to speak, but more importantly to listen.  You can tell the programs that do a good job of listening when the number of people they are following is roughly equal to the number of people following them.  You want to be following other teams in the MCLA, media members, bloggers, merchandise companies, airlines, parents, fans and alumni.  You want to be able to provide effective information and then hear feedback from your following.  By effective listening you gain a chance to participate in a two-way conversation instead of just shouting at people.

Informing Fans and Followers

Club players are very invested in their college lacrosse experience, but when they graduate they are left to find somewhere else to focus their attention.  Twitter gives alumni, who are still very interested in the program they helped to create, a chance to stay in the loop.  Getting alumni reinvested in the program unlocks amazing potential.  There is the possibility of financial gifts, material donation, help for graduating seniors looking toward the workforce and the list goes on.

Alumni can simply sit and listen to updates as they come out or they can actively engage in conversation with the team.  Through Twitter they have the opportunity for quick answers to questions, a place to send messages of congratulation and support, and reflect on past memories.

Twitter serves the same purpose for parents and fans.  Parents are often miles away from the school and could have no greater connection than knowing that their son plays for the team.  Often these parents were actively involved in their son’s high school team, but what now?  When the program provides tweets for them to follow parents have the chance to engage and participate with the team as the season progresses.

Grove City Lacrosse Junior Goaltender Andrew Dymski

The playing field is literally leveled in sports communication today.  If you wish to see the full fruit of a presence on Twitter, it takes a commitment.  You need to be active in posting value-adding information that your followers desire.  Remember, be a good listener first, respond to feedback and adjust your content accordingly.  Only tweet information that is going to add value or get your followers excited.  Keep in mind that it is important to keep your content consistent through all of your communication channels.  Don’t be afraid to be creative and show a little personality in your online presence.  If you wish to receive anything, first you must give.

Some resources that can help you get started are www.socialnetdaily.com, www.mashable.com, and www.thesocialcmo.com.

Some teams on Twitter to help you get started: @GroveCityLax, @DucksLacrosse, @TommiesLacrosse, @UMichLacrosse, @GVSULAX, and @BC_Mens_Lax.

Happy Tweeting!

-Andrew Dymski

Twitter: @AndrewJDymski

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Social Media Case Study: Grove City Lacrosse

Grove City's Josh Hostetler Dodges to the Cage

Grove City's Josh Hostetler dodges to the cage in a game

Grove City Lacrosse began to step up the program’s online presence in the fall of 2009.  From redesigning the Grove City Lacrosse team website, to seriously investing in a social media presence with a Facebook Fan Page and Twitter Account, the team has increased efforts to connect with alumni, recruits, and fans via the internet.  The results have been astounding.  Facebook fans, Twitter followers, and site visits have exceeded expectations, but the best part has been the resulting interactions.  Grove City Lacrosse alumni are able to connect with the current program like never before.  Thanks to news and active updates on Facebook, game reports, news, scores, statistics, and stories on the website, and a constant stream of tweets, including live game updates, alumni can closely follow the team’s progress.

The online community created by the Wolverine Lacrosse program has created value for many parties. Thanks to the increased online presence, Grove City is far more visible to the national lacrosse community, allowing other leagues, teams, and fans to learn about the program.  Relationships between the current team and Grove City Lacrosse alumni have grown dramatically.  High school lacrosse players looking at colleges have discovered the Grove City Lacrosse team through social media and the team website, allowing the team to connect with recruits.  Parents of current players and Grove City Lacrosse fans can closely monitor the team’s progress, on and off the field.  Current team members leading the social media marketing efforts gain valuable experience, knowledge, and skills.

Currently 6-0, Grove City is a likely candidate to qualify for the MCLA D-II National Tournament in Denver, Colorado this May.  As the team continues to emerge on the national scene, the online presence of Grove City Lacrosse will become even more valuable in terms of recruiting possibilities, national recognition, and the continuing growth of the Grove City Lacrosse brand.

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Collaboration Keys Creative Commons

Conceivably, the collaborative concept behind Creative Commons is the key component to Web 2.0. Allowing users to share online property beyond the conceptual level leads to greater efficiency in the global community.  Generally, users are free to utilize the materials on Creative Commons without going through licensing hassles or violating property rights.  This is a win-win scenario for everyone.  Creators get their work exposed to the public, users find materials they need, and viewers of the new content get better content than might otherwise be possible.  And content is key.  Creative Commons, regardless of the success they ultimately achieve, has made a significant contribution to a collaborative, Web 2.0 world.  Congratulations on the collaborative concept contribution Creative Commons.

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No Penalty Box for Internet Entrepreneurship

In the realm of Internet Entrepreneurship there is no penalty box, no barriers between you and the win.   Internet Entrepreneurs are free to pursue any idea and make it work.  An example of a creative idea that is working?  www.hockeyfights.com.  Featuring all the latest hockey fight videos, fight logs, the ability to search for any fight video in a multitude of ways, news, a blog, and many other interactive, community-building features, hockeyfights.com uses a unique idea to offer desired content to users.  Users have the ability to rate fights, vote on the winner, author comments, participate in forums and chat rooms, and follow the site through social media.  Hockeyfights.com is an example of the ability of Internet Entrepreneurs to draw users through any type of content they are passionate about.

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