The SuperBowl in a Networked World

Like many others, I made time in my busy student schedule to watch this year’s Super Bowl between the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos. While I love to watch football, I found myself more interested in the commercials and halftime show than I was in the actual game. There was great action happening on my television screen, but my other screens, my iPad and iPhone, were rockin’ with social media updates!

It seems a major event can’t happen in America anymore without completely “blowing up” the social media world. According to Twitter’s Media Team blog, there were a total of 24.9 million Super Bowl-related tweets during the Sunday night telecast. The blog also indicates that this year’s tweet number surpassed last year’s 24.1 million tweets for #SB47, even with the unforgettable post-Beyonce blackout! (In case you’re lost, watch this 60-minutes Sports video for a recap.)

Networked Journalism

Lee Rainie (@lrainie) and Barry Wellman (@barrywellman) present the idea of “networked individualism” in their book, Networked: The New Social Operating System.

Another source, Jeff Jarvis’s blog post “Networked Journalism”, also focuses on the increase of citizen journalism, or what the author calls “networked journalism”, through social media usage. The author explains that social media allows both professional journalists and everyday people  to work together to tell an entire story. As the author suggests, social media allows for engagement, a two-way conversation, about a news story, instead of the traditional one-sided reporting. Citizen journalists, or what Jarvis calls “amateurs”, can comment, question, contribute or correct a news organization’s reporting on a given subject. Eye witnesses can use social media to provide perspective that reporters may otherwise not be able to gain. 

Networked Journalism in Real Life

Sunday’s Super Bowl was one of many recent events to engage both news organizations and individuals in the action. Personally, I was monitoring my social media feeds, but wasn’t really engaging in the action, as I was trying to explain the art of football to my international friends from Brazil. I tweeted a couple of times, primarily during a sense of pride when I watch the Coca-Cola commercial that featured my hometown! In case you need a refresher, watch the commercial on YouTube! The beginning shots are on the practice football field behind my high school and my athletic director was the referee in the commercial. If you still don’t believe me, check out this video about the making of the commercial – my next door neighbor is even in it!

Aside from wanting to spread the word about Ashwaubenon and Green Bay fame, the airing of this commercial is the perfect example for me to use when talking about networked journalism. When the commercial aired during the fourth quarter of the game, my social media feeds went crazy! People that I know from home were tweeting and posting about our hometown and organizations from outside the area, including Coca-Cola, were engaging in conversations about the commercial!

Readers, which Super Bowl commercial was your favorite? Did you catch the Coca-Cola commercial during the Super Bowl? 

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