I always think that you can explain almost anything in terms of football or cats, and those of you who have seen me talk with probably of heard about one or the other — what I’m really doing is using smaller examples to explain big concepts. Football has given me another great example over the last few weeks, this time of really innovative, interesting and fun (hyper)local media.
It’s the Billesley United FC twitter feed. Billesly are in the third division of the Birmingham AFA League (I think, it really doesn’t matter), and have had an un-named fan covering their matches this season:
It’s fun, partisan, a bit rude, cliquey and at times incomprehensible (cold fingers and the mobile web aren’t the best combinations for reports) but it’s great.
With only nine followers (including me who doesn’t know any of the team, or anyone connected with the club) it’s not reaching a big audience — but I suspect that they aren’t bothered. It’s everything that’s great about social media: they’ve just gone and done it, and not been drawn into any conventions that mainstream media have used before.
A real point that’s missed by some people in the hyperlocal land-rush is that since no-one’s paying you can do pretty much whatever you want. Sometimes that will find a wide audience, sometimes it won’t — there may not be an audience there — but if you do what you enjoy then that’s enough of a point.