22 December 2008

Football Banter Platform Launched

Football writer Rick Waghorn has launched his new social media initiative - Backchat.

The founder of myfootballwriter.com unveiled the “rolling conversation feed” earlier this month on his website dedicated to Norwich City FC.

Funded by Channel 4’s digital innovation fund (4IP), Backchat is using microblogging platforms to host conversations among football fans and journalists.

Users are encouraged to post text messages to specific channels on Twitter and Jaiku and the conversation can then be followed via these two sites or via the automatically updated feed on myfootballwriter.

Writing on his blog, Waghorn says of the project: “It is this idea of media being these ‘camp-fire communities’; places of warmth and welcome; and decent chatter… with the journalist merely there to throw more logs onto the fire; to pass round the mulled wine and the mince pies as the conversation ebbs and flows around him or her.”

And since the feed’s opening day – during the derby fixture between Norwich City and Ipswich Town – Waghorn has reflected on the possible benefits of this conversation.

“Backchat is not just a ‘social media’ tool. It is very much an old media tool in terms of its ability to deliver/publish news instantly.

“Team news was the classic; in my hand some 45 minutes before kick-off; there you go, two ‘newsy’ type tweets slapped onto the site as others are still phoning teams over to the copy-takers…”

He concluded: “That’s Twitter/jaiku/backchat as a tool for the journalist, not the community; a breaking news device par excellence.”

Backchat is the first project to launch from the 4 Innovation for the Public fund, which aims to “deliver publicly valuable content and services on digital media platforms with significant impact and in sustainable ways.”

[HT - The Digital Content Blog.]

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