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Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Social Media: My favourite blogs, Part I

My latest article from Bristol City's matchday programme, Red Alert:
Birmingham, Oct 23rd

With more and more people using Twitter, reading blogs and viewing a tranche of news websites, finding what you want to online can be an arduous, confusing and time-consuming process.  To help you out if you’re just stepping into this labyrinth, or just want to explore further afield, I have identified some of my favourite destinations and will run through these today, and in some future editions. 

BLOGS Part 1: As you can imagine there are a copious number of blogs and no-one could read them all.  I’ve excluded any Premier League specific blogs for the simple reason I don’t really read them.  There’s more than enough space dedicated to the behemoth of English football as it is, so instead I’ll focus on four of the most interesting, varied and well written sites that concentrate on the Football League and its members:
The Two Unfortunates (thetwounfortunates.blogspot.com / @twounfortunates): Having recently invited one of the Two (now occasionally more) Unfortunates onto this page you’ll be familiar with the name, but if you want an all-encompassing, unbiased and authoritative view on the football league, it’s clubs, it’s players and the issues it faces then look no further. 
A meticulously researched weekly match preview and 'The Monday Profile', in which a player is hand-selected to be profiled are amongst the regular features, while the regular ‘Conversations with….’ Series offer a more in-depth look at a selected club.  I also enjoy reading their ‘Great Football League teams’, focussing on the glory years of one of the clubs who has enjoyed life outside the top flight.
The Seventy Two (theseventytwo.com / @the72football):  Headed and mainly written by Leicester fan David Bevan, this independent site offers a fabulous perspective on the current affairs of the world of football from a football league point of view.  Board and managerial changes are often covered with aplomb, whilst the recent Media Week series, where the site invited a number of other bloggers to focus on football and the media provided plenty of interesting views and a large sprinkling of humour.
Other more hard-hitting and potentially controversial recent pieces include suggestions that MK Dons could be good for English football and that the Premier League giants should be able to independently source TV deals.  Posts are always well worth five to ten minutes of your time and comment.
Girl on a Terrace (girlonaterrace.com / @girlonaterrace): Rochdale fanatic Sarah Lomas only created her blog earlier this year, but with nearly 50,000 hits it has become a great place to see a female perspective on football.  Although there is a strong focus on Rochdale – one of the more intriguing success stories of recent years – there is a strong general interest backbone to the blog, whilst a weekly poll gives an interesting insight into her readership. 
This intelligently written blog integrates videos, pictures and charts alongside the text and proves – once again – that Messrs Keys and Gray were sadly and disappointingly wide of the mark with the outdated comments that cost them their jobs, as Sarah explores some of the more fascinating off-the-pitch aspects of the beautiful game.
A United View (aunitedview.blogspot.com / @unitedite): Sheffield United follower Ian Rands is what I call a ‘proper’ football fan. Alongside an always informative mix of Blade-specific posts sits a brilliantly presented ‘Charting the season in football’ which looks at current stories through a series of charts and pictures and always makes me chuckle.
Additionally a handful of his personal experiences, watching either the Blades or his wife’s team Bolton Wanderers are written with real passion and generically enough that you don’t have to be a fan of either club to feel real affiliation with the articles.  His Dislikable XI series in the summer was also a huge success, with all contributors neatly mixing players from their fierce rivals with those who just downright annoy them!

Enjoy your reading!

On becoming new Nottingham Forest manager last week, Steve Cotterill wasted little time in banning players and staff from Twitter (I wonder if his Chairman is included in the ban?).  This is why, courtesy of one of the better-paid players in the squad, Ishmael Miller:

“Listen I don’t wanna here anything bout I don’t look interested! Everyone can **** off in don’t like it don’t follow me!!!!!!!”

Clearly Cotterill was upset at the spelling and poor grammar….

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