6 thoughts on “Social Media – Ego or self-promotion ?”

  1. A great piece by Peter, however, the headline is grossly misleading.

    I was expecting to read about whether Peter felt that Twitter or Facebook were good vehicles for promoting a player, raising awareness of themselves and the sport (thus attracting sponsors) or whether it was simply an act of an ego. Instead what is here is a very worthwhile contribution on whether social media is having a positive or adverse impact on journalism, which I would argue is a totally different topic to be honest – equally valid it has to be said.

    Unquestionably social media has changed the rules of interaction and I recently discovered from a director of one of the biggest publishing houses in the world that a significant criteria for signing new authors was how many followers they had. Given that fact, if players want to maximise their income from endorsements etc, surely it has to be embraced? Clearly top players have the choice, but for up and coming players surely it’s in their interests to generate sponsors so they can afford to compete further afield and cut down on the amount of coaching they HAVE to do to supplement their incomes.

  2. Interesting points made Peter – and love Fran’s introduction!

    I would agree that the use of Facebook and Twitter for many people, particularly those in the limelight needs careful consideration before making any comment!

    Whilst Facebook is a different medium to Twitter, comments from either and/or both have been used by many people – and not just the media. Prospective employers have been known to check out candidates social media accounts – (eg. only recently the young lady appointed by the Kent Police Commissioner was forced to resign over comments made previously on her social networking account).

    What has to be recognised is that whilst almost all social networking accounts have privacy settings in place so that what people might want to say within a defined group of people – stays within that defined group of people – it only takes one person to leak anything written down!

    Therefore, the golden rules that I have found really useful in advising colleagues and friends include (not an exhaustive list):

    * feel free to write anything you want – we do live in a democracy – and it’s our right to say what we want, however, despite that freedom there are parameters that should not be breached

    * sharing your work, performances, what you have achieved is a great way to promote yourself, projects, work, sport etc., …. just think very carefully before you write – and always check and re-read what you have written before posting (the odd typo is excusable – but poor spelling and incorrect use of grammar doesn’t do anyone any favours

    * therefore, it is never wise to write anything offensive, disrespectful (eg. racist, sexist, homophobic etc.)

    * or indeed, write anything which is unsubstantiated or untrue

    …. and never write anything in anger and/or after drinking alcohol!!

    Good luck in future tournaments – and I’m looking forward to seeing you play at the British Open in Hull!

  3. Sure there are elements of ego, self promotion and possible loneliness or isolation but as a new user over 75 I have found Facebook both interesting and educational when looking at comments made by people from all walks of life. I have been able to keep in touch with old friends whom I would have lost contact under normal curcumstances. Obviously a degree of caution needs to be used.

  4. I don’t see anything egotistical about social media at all. Quite the opposite really. Its a great way to promote the game and interact with fans upon who the success of the sport depends. With the Olympic decision fast approaching, squash players should be doing everything possible to reach out to fans around the world, network, and increase enthusiasm for the sport. And the easiest and fastest way to do that is through Twitter and Facebook. Fans care a lot more about you if you show that you care about them. And I’ll be honest, I’m seeing athletes from much higher profile sports like tennis, basketball, and UFC be far more accessible to fans on social media than squash players. Many of the guys in the top 10 do not have a Twitter account or if they do, barely tweet which is disappointing.

    If you want to remain competitive at anything in the modern world, you have to use modern methods and technology. Obama used social media extensively to win the 2 presidential elections and it could certainly help Squash win an Olympic bid.

  5. It’s been great to follow the successes of Pete and Daryl, who have both overcome one of the long-standing factors in Squash, the “North/South Divide”. With a culture of not speaking one’s mind for fear of reprisals, a degree of apathy can, and has evolved among many players in the South. Location, location, location, is more than just a TV show ! On a personal level, I have always found Pete and Daryl well-grounded, polite, considerate, and totally lacking any egotistical traits. Their personal lives are not public property, so if Pete chooses to keep his private life to himself that’s fine by me ! Nick Matthew more than compensates with his out-going nature that has helped to put Squash more under the spotlight than ever before.

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