Live Packers blog has given fans interactivity

Published 5:31pm Sunday, March 24, 2013

A rolling list of text may not be the most exciting way to follow a sports game by a longshot. But people had fun with it, including me, and it added a layer of immediate interaction not available for Austin Packers fans anywhere else.

People from Florida, Texas, Arizona, Wyoming and even Kuwait tuned in — and participated in — the live blog at austindailyherald.com to follow and comment on the Packers boys basketball team through sections and the state tournament.

Packer support has been huge at every game, with fans turning out in bigger numbers than opposing teams’ fans. But for the thousands of those who have been stuck at work, out of the radio coverage area, unable to find the games on television — or for those who wanted to interact with other fans while simultaneously following the games through other media — intermittent updates on a little, rectangular screen have been more than enough. One follower was stuck in school but was able to find out what was happening roughly four seconds after me.

The updates may not be instantaneous like on television, but the pauses in between create more drama, and the blog has actually been slightly ahead of video and audio broadcasts at times. Everybody following was itching to know what happened. People constantly asked for time updates, especially at the end of games. One blogger even went as far as to tell me to “type faster.”

Through five games, the live basketball blog has been a learning experience. Having sports editor Rocky Hulne at my side has allowed for interesting stats and commentary that in other formats may not have been available.

Thanks, fans, for following us through all the drama in the playoffs. But that may not be the end of it. The whole live blog concept can improve, and it begs the question, “How else can it be used?”

Email Matt Peterson at matt.peterson@austindailyherald.com.


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