Sunday, October 25, 2009

Weekend lengthened to help America, Justin Ware

News Release

Minneapolis/St. Paul: Justin Ware is going to now consider Sunday afternoons and early evening as “part of the weekend” in an attempt to get more out of weekends, easily the best part of the week.

“We took a hard look at how we’re dividing up our time and decided there’s more we can do with the hours we have on the clock,” said Ware.

Early evening Friday will continue to be considered the beginning of the weekend and Ware says he’ll continue to observe the weekend at an earlier day, should vacation allow. The moves are something Ware believes will provide himself with more enjoyment and is pretty sure can also help other people.

“I just think a longer weekend is something America could use at this point.”

To contact Ware visit:

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Social Media Lets Athletes Talk to Fans on Their Own Terms

Looking for some real, scientific research on the impact of social media? The University of Minnesota (my employer) might soon have some answers to questions about just how effective (or, gasp, ineffective) social media is when you're trying to bring about societal change.

The University of Minnesota's Tucker Center - a research center that examines how sport and physical activity affect the lives of girls and women, their families, and communities - is using their Fall Distinguished Lecture Series (DLS) to tackle some of the big questions about social media and what it means to women's sports. Read more about that event here. Meanwhile, many of the researchers working at the Center are busy putting social media to the scientific test and asking "Will this technological paradigm shift challenge or reproduce the ways in which female athletes are traditionally portrayed in mainstream sport media?"

One great point of view comes from Ann Gaffigan, Co-Founder of the Women Talk Sports Network. She argues that social media enables athletes to go directly to the fans: "Social media puts the power in the athletes' hands so that they can better control the message they want to send and the image they want to project. It also allows them to connect personally with fans and be available as a role model, which is what the fans miss out on when mainstream media fails to cover women's sports." In sum, as WTS Co-Founder Jane Schonberger points out: "Social networks allow female athletes to play the 'media game' on their own terms."

What do you think? Angela Ruggiero, Olympic hockey star, U of M grad student and DLS panelist, wants to know (and asks you in the video below) ...what impact on female athletes can/will social media have?