Friday, September 12, 2014


This was always the week that TigerBlog thought was the toughest for the Princeton football team.

The newness of training camp is over. Classes have started. Every other fall sport is playing. The rest of the football-playing universe started its season weeks ago.

And yet the Ivy League has one more week to go until kickoff.

TigerBlog used to love the 10-games, 10-weeks Ivy football schedule. Now, TigerBlog would love to see the season start this week and have all eight teams take Week 6 off. Play five games. Take a week off. Play five more games.

Maybe it'll come to be one day. Maybe not.

It won't be this year, when Ivy football is still off this week. And if you're an Ivy football player, you can't wait to get going, only to be faced with one more weekend of watching on TV.

By next week, it won't matter. Princeton will be at San Diego in its opener, and away it'll go. In the blink of an eye, it'll be Halloween and the Ivy race will be reaching the top of the stretch.

For this weekend, there is no Ivy football.

There is home field hockey Sunday at 1 against Bucknell, after the Tigers are at Penn State today. And the women's soccer team is at La Salle tonight and then home Sunday against Villanova at 4, in a game that can be seen on ESPNU.

Other than that, everyone else is on the road this weekend. And by everyone, TigerBlog means women's tennis, women's volleyball, men's soccer, men's cross country, women's cross country and men's water polo.

Looking for updates for all those events? Well, you can do what you usually do. Get them from Twitter.

Starting today though, Princeton Athletics will be trying something a little different.

Starting today, Princeton Athletics introduces @putigers_live, a second official athletic department Twitter feed.

That's @putigers_live. An offshoot of the original Twitter feed, @putigers. The logic is to have one feed for in-game updates and another for everything else.

Princeton has a busy weekend coming up. It's nothing compared to what happens in the winter and spring - and especially when the fall and winter or winter and spring overlap.

On those Saturdays, there can be nearly 20 events. That's a lot of updated on one Twitter account, and TigerBlog's fear is that it overwhelms people who aren't looking for those updates, to the point where they simply unfollow to get rid of the traffic.

The solution is one feed for updates only.

The problem, of course, is that everyone who is expecting updates on @putigers needs to now follow @putigers_live. The hope is not to the audience in the transition.

As for the original @putigers, there will be additional content coming to that feed as the fall goes along.

It's incredible what Twitter - and all of social media - have become. TigerBlog loves the 3,000-word feature, but there is a lot to be said for the 140-character format. Yes, it speaks volumes about the world's current lack of a real attention span.

But yes, it's a great way to get the message directly to those who want it. And yes, there is a huge thirst for creative content.

That's the new challenge in athletic communications. Stay current on technology. Always come up with newer, interesting content. There's a lot more going on than just keeping stats at games.

It always brings TigerBlog back to the same place, which is how much the business has changed since he first got into it and where is it going from here.

TigerBlog remembers when livestats first came along, and he thought to himself "who is going to sit in front of a computer all afternoon following a game." At the time, that's all there was. A computer.

Now? There are smart phones and tablets and who knows what's coming next. The need to provide immediate - and easy to find - updates is a primary function in athletics on all levels.

TigerBlog gets frustrated when he can't find out scores from high school games when he wants them, but he gets why he can't. On the college and pro level? That's unacceptable.

Princeton has done a very good job of getting scores out to those who want them.

TB hopes @putigers_live will be the next step in making that effort even better for Princeton fans.

So go and follow it. And get all your updates there. And check out @putigers for the rest.

And have a good weekend.

It's the last one without Princeton football.

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