One of the main objectives when I took over as sports editor was to help build our online impact to a higher level. We have seen continued growth in that area over the past couple of months as more and more hits are showing up on our Facebook and Twitter accounts, as well as our website.
The numbers have nearly doubled as the word has spread. I get a kick out of checking our social sites and seeing names of players and their parents and sometimes even grandparents joining the ranks of daily followers to our websites and social media sites.
Although we print just twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays, sports take place on a daily basis. As I become more comfortable with the area and continue optimizing local coverage, more information is reaching more people. Those times that I am at events, I do my best to update our sites in real time, sending out Tweets and Facebook updates with game information, allowing for immediate details for those in attendance, and especially for those who are not.
There is nowhere else in this area from which to get such data.
I am starting to develop a network of help that can get this information to your hands from all venues, whether Green Forest plays to the east, Eureka Springs plays to the west or Berryville crosses county or state lines.
We are discussing and doing research on the ability to live-stream certain events through a webcast. It's coming, eventually, to all media outlets. Television stations, radio stations and newspapers all have access to the same information on a global level. But my personal and professional concerns are the happenings of Carroll County.
Local events, such as this Saturday's lawnmower races at Yocum Creek Speedway, last month's truck and tractor pull and the weekly bowling standings and results from Town and Country Bowling Center, can only be found in our network. TV and radio stations consider themselves networks. I want you to consider us your local network. And I will continue to strive to make it a place you visit every day to gather new information.
Where else are you going to find the finish time for your son, daughter, grandson or granddaughter in the latest cross country meet? Or the rushing stats of whatever football team is playing in the area? With basketball season just around the corner, and already started in Eureka Springs as you see in today's edition, more information is going to be hitting our network than ever.
It should be a constant influx of information on our website and social sites as we continue to feed our readers the information they want, need and deserve.
News, even in sports, is not always pretty. But you need to be made aware of the truth so you can be prepared for the present and future. These kids grow up fast. We have to embrace the things they do. They deserve to be recognized and held to higher standards. They represent our county as they travel across this state competing in various events.
Sports, and sporting events, reveal much about the personality of a community. If you want to have a good reputation, have a good personality. As ambassadors of their area, they find themselves in the spotlight. Sometimes, it's not very alluring. Sometimes teams win, sometimes they lose. Sometimes individuals perform well, sometimes they don't.
What really matters at day's end is that there is recognition for the hard work and dedication high school student-athletes provide. The coaching staffs spend countless hours of preparation time. They want to see their name in the paper or in a Tweet. And as technology increases, people of all ages are involved.
Athletics is a huge part of academics. I will discuss that topic in a later editorial, along with a few other issues that float around high school campuses that not many people are willing to tackle.
I am not afraid of the truth, or my opinion, as some of you have already witnessed. While I am not going to shy away from sometimes sensitive issues, I do it with only the best interest at heart. You can't please all of the people all of the time...
I just want to give you as many opportunities to read about your children and see their names, share it on Facebook with your sister or brother in Oklahoma, or re-Tweet it so your cousin that graduated two years ago can catch it and keep up.
It's a network. Information comes in. Information goes out. If you want to be part of the network, contact me. Or, just send me information. As the information grows, so does the network.
I look forward to seeing and hearing from you soon.
And I can't wait to write a column and post pictures from a hike and spelunking adventure next Monday.
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Chan Davis is Sports Editor for the Carroll County News. Contact him at email@example.com or 870-654-2742.