The Social Media Mashup is here with the top stories from last week including a paralyzed football player who uses social media to inspire, America’s most engaging social network, the NCAA’s rules on social media, the worldwide launch of Google+’s Hangouts On Air and the NBA’s increased viewership from younger fans.
Paralyzed Football Player Signed to NFL Uses Social Media to Inspire
Most football players dream of making it to the NFL and Rutgers DT Eric LeGrand was no different – until a bad tackle during a kickoff return left him paralyzed in a game against Army in October 2010. The tackle left LeGrand with the fracture of two vertebrae and a spinal cord injury, but instead of giving up he turned to social media to inspire his fans and himself.
LeGrand has 60,000 followers on Twitter and his Facebook timeline follows the story of his injury.
I’m posting things every single day. I just want to motivate people not to take everything for granted and to be the best people they can be.
On May 2nd LeGrand was rewarded for his progress when his former coach at Rutgers, now the coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, signed him to a contract with the Bucs. When he posted the news on his Facebook he got more than 20,000 likes. Unable to earn money from the team with the salary cap, LeGrand has found peace on the web. Even though he can’t walk onto the field as he once dreamed, he still has fulfilled a dream of becoming an NFL player.
What’s America’s Most Engaging Social Network? You’ll Be Surprised
When asked what the most engaging social network is most people would say Facebook and Twitter, but research shows that the website Tagged leads the way. Tagged users visit the site an average of 18 times per month a static that trailed only Facebook whose followers visit the site an average of 36 times.
The social network site started in 2004 as a destination similar to Facebook, but when it realized Facebook was increasing too rapidly for competition, the founders made it into a “social discovery” site. It has become a place to make relationships – either just as friends or in a romantic setting.
Tagged CEO and co-founder, Greg Tseng, says the 10 million monthly users form roughly 100 million relationships per month. In addition, the company has been nothing but profitable in 2008 and hopes to be the next big thing.
Recently players have been tweeting at recruits to encourage them to attend their program, which has forced the NCAA to address this issue. For now the NCAA is treating these misdemeanors as minor secondary violations, but don’t expect them to continue doing that for long.
In the last few months alone Tyler Eifert of Notre Dame, Justin Meredith of Tennessee, Kenny Demens of Michigan and Keon Hatcher of Oklahoma State have all committed these violations in one form or another, and the list is sure to continue growing. True no team will ever be charged with major NCAA sanctions because of a tweet – or a retweet in Hatcher’s case – but the NCAA needs to address the issue so that it becomes clear to all college programs.
On Monday, Google rolled out the red carpet and opened its Hangouts On Air to all of its users. This feature allows anyone tobecome a live broadcaster. Oh wait, did I say anyone? I meant anyone with a Google+ account. Google is sneaky.
Here’s how it works:
Hangouts On Air uses the live streaming abilities of YouTube Live and features from Google+ to let users engage with more people on a live stage. This feature has been used for over a year now, but was only available to the top Google+ users (aka celebrities). In addition, this new aspect of the Google empire is supposed to help engage and promote Google+ with more active users. A feat that Google has struggled with as of recently.
The NBA has grown in popularity with the youth. Maybe it’s because the season was a third shorter, maybe it’s because teams are showing you don’t need a superstar to win, or maybe it’s because of the rise of social media. The NBA thinks it’s the latter.
Our fan response across everything we do has been terrific — from television to attendance to social media
Television ratings are at an all time high with younger viewers. On ESPN, viewers between the ages of 18-34 the television ratings increased by 15 percent. The NBA has always been good about keeping up with social media times. In 2008 the Slam Dunk Contest used text messaging to decide the winner in the final round. In 2011, the entire contest was decided by text messaging, and it helped make the contest appeal to younger generations. In addition, the contestants for the Dunk Contest often made YouTube videos and Facebook pages to help get the NBA and fans to put them in the contest.
What was your favorite story from last week?
Other social media articles from last week that you may enjoy:
- 10 Tips for Improving Your Fan Page
- Spotify Launches Two Matchmaking Apps That Let You Judge Your Dates by Music
- 4 Tools to Enhance Brand Engagement on Facebook
- Pay To “Highlight” Your Facebook Status Updates To More Friends
- How to Hide Pinterest Activity on Facebook
- Foursquare’s Plan for Making Money: Promoted Specials
- App-etite for Facebook: Mobile is the New PC
- What Does Social Media Success Mean For Your Business? [INFOGRAPHIC]
- Klout Looking for Clout With Brands
- 8 Ways to Get the Biggest Marketing Bang Out of SlideShare
- What Facebook’s Critics Don’t Understand: It’s a Platform, Not a Publisher