Gutteridge’s Blog: Socially (media) awkward
By Darren Gutteridge
Last year, I wrote on Twitter that, er, Twitter (or social media in general) may be the one thing that would drive me away from wrestling. Seem overdramatic?
I stand by that statement. I don’t think it would actually get bad enough for me to consider not watching anymore, but I can’t tell you how annoyed I get when WWE decides to force their many social outlets into their flagship show.
Let’s take the opening hour of this weeks Raw. All in all, the show was brought to a screeching halt six times in the opening segments, totaling nine minutes of airtime (oh yes, the research has been very through). That means 15 percent (the calculator has been out too) of your hour of wrestling was devoted to funneling people towards the WWE app, including the most condescending moment in the sports history, wherein Cole told you exactly how to download an app. He trusted you to work a TV, and know what a "phone" is, but apparently this was a bridge too far.
This doesn’t take into account all the times that they more subtly plug their several social platforms. Every match except Del Rio vs. Rhodes had a Twitter insert, including the all new Twitter ticker bar, with tweets from other wrestlers. Cole and Lawler are also always telling people to go to Facebook, Tout, Google +, Myspace, Bebo, Match.com, MSN Messenger, Skype, Walkie Talkies, Telegrams and the like to spout their opinions.
And the thing I question the most about the current situation is this – what benefit would I receive if I participate? I watch Raw on delay most weeks, so it’s all pointless to me, but say I watched it live. I can vote on the app, but the votes are usually skewed in a certain direction before voting begins. I can use the various hashtags to ‘join the conversation’, and maybe get told I’m stupid or get ignored because people only really care about their own thoughts and opinions.
The WWE even make their own videos redundant by showing the Active videos on Raw. So if I had watched it on my mobile, I would merely have got the same video a few seconds beforehand, and then have to see it all again on TV.
That being said, I’m not oblivious to the benefits to WWE. The over-saturation in the first hour of Raw this week was obviously to try and drive viewership in hours two and three, as their hashtags begin to trend. Showing advertisers, sponsors and potential partners the sheer power they wield in social media circles can do them nothing but good. And all of that shows that people are utilizing the app, Twitter and all of the above, and enjoying it so much they want to return every week to interact.
Admittedly, they have improved slightly since their initial boom period. No longer am I subjected to random people ‘Touting’ their opinions that I didn’t ask for. No more do I get told that ‘CenaRox95’ thinks that Brock Lesnar ‘is up to something’. But it’s still a constant thorn in the side of anyone who doesn’t care, like me. And I worry were we’ll end up if the cycle continues.
Will we be getting 20 polls a show? Matches being shown on the app, so they don't get in the way of all the Tweets Cole needs to tell you about on TV? How about a tag team called the "Hashtag-team", who viewers can control right from the WWE app!
I would ask you to chime in on my argument with a hashtag, but that would be very hypocritical, wouldn’t it?
Thanks for reading. If you had any comments or thoughts on this, add me on Twitter via @Dazatheg (I am aware of the irony, thank you)
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