The Big Ten Clearly Gets Social Media; the SEC Clearly Does Not

B.Senior Analyst IAugust 17, 2009

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 05:  The National Anthem is performed before the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Game between the Texas Longhorns and the Ohio State Buckeyes on January 5, 2009 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.  The Longhorns defeated the Buckeyes 24-21. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

News comes in this morning from Mashable, the world's largest Social Media news blog, that the Southeastern Conference (SEC) is looking to ban ALL social media usage at SEC games. Stupid is as stupid does, as Alabama graduate Forrest Gump would say.

Mashable is the most prolific blog for breaking social media news. It garners more than 7,000,000 monthly page views.

Earlier this month, Mashable reported that the conference informed its schools of the new SEC media policy, which pretty much spells out a ban on all social media usage at SEC games. 

Ticketed fans are not allowed to “produce or disseminate (or aid in producing or disseminating) any material or information about the Event, including, but not limited to, any account, description, picture, video, audio, reproduction or other information concerning the Event.”

For nerds like myself, that translates to mean that there can be no Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, TwitPic, Flickr, or any other service that could in any way compete with authorized media coverage. The SEC wants a complete lockdown and isolation of their content from social media usage.

The Big Ten seems to be taking the exact opposite approach, a sign that they clearly get the direction of where the world is headed. Their social media campaign encourages and embraces fan participation. 

The Big Ten actively promotes the use of social media, sharing content online in a plethora of different formats so that fans can redistribute and utilize. On their website, they offer a large selection of team podcasts for download and offer the ability to embed their videos so bloggers can post videos to their sites. 

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They also list all of the Big Ten team Twitter and Facebook accounts and encourage fans to continue sending them more information. This says nothing of their own very active Twitter account that promotes anything and everything Big Ten.

Another clear sign the Big Ten knows what it is doing is that they recently released their greatest games of all time on Hulu. With over 25 hour-and-a-half-long videos, fans can get a dose of their favorite games from the past.

The Big Ten wants to share its content, embrace the fans, and encourage them to talk about their product. The Southeastern Conference wants to isolate its product, taking the RIAA approach to the sharing of content. 

The SEC should follow the lead of the Big Ten rather than basing its decision making on the fear of what it doesn't understand.

Follow the @IowaHawkeyes on Twitter for more updates on this topic. 

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