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The FAI, The Airtricity League And Social Media.
On Saturday this excellent piece on the BackPageFootball.com website pointed out that while the country’s top professional league started on Friday night, nobody involved with social media in the FAI or the FAI-run League of Ireland cared enough to mention it. The @FAIreland account mentions the League Launch on March 1st.
The piece has gained a bit of traction on various forums and, of course, twitter and Facebook. Someone in the FAI clearly took note as today they sent this tweet;
For updates from the airtricity league follow our dedicated twitter feed @airtricityleag
— FAI (@FAIreland) March 10, 2013
The problem, as mentioned in that BackPageFootball piece, is that the @airtricityleag account is a combination of score updates and relayer of posts on their website. Their last non-score updates are from January 8th and 9th, and perfectly captures their use of twitter.
UCD sign up Barron for 2013: UCD have re-signed goalkeeper Ger Barron for the 2013 season.Barron has made 67 le… bit.ly/WN7d1M
— Airtricity League (@airtricityleag) January 9, 2013
Russell looks forward to new season: UCD’s first team reported back for pre-season last night as the countdown t… bit.ly/ZlgtLY
— Airtricity League (@airtricityleag) January 8, 2013
This isn’t the only official Airtricity League account either. There’s also @AirtricityLeagu which the eagle-eyed amongst you will have noticed just adds a “u” to the already awful @airtricityleag twitter handle. This account was set up first, and is still being used to relay additions to the website (including those posted to the other account);
Russell looks forward to new season bit.ly/ZlgtLY
— AirtricityLeague (@AirtricityLeagu) January 8, 2013
Did someone set it up and then just forget the password? The old account has 3,186 followers and has sent 371 tweets. Not exactly a huge account.
What about the new account?
The vast, vast majority of those 4,391 tweets are score updates from games. If you can find any update that looks like it was typed by a person, please let us know. It follows 109 accounts though, so someone has to man it at some stage, right? A little examination of those 109 accounts reveal that the Official Airtricity League account doesn’t even follow 7 of the clubs in its own league. From the Premier Division Bohemians, Drogheda United and Limerick aren’t followed by the account. In the 8 team First Division, the account only follows half the teams, ignoring Cobh Ramblers, Finn Harps, Longford Town and Salthill Devon.
So who does the official Airtricity League twitter account follow? Well these are the latest additions;
So even with one of the League’s top strikers (Danny North), the owner of one of the League’s clubs (Mick Wallace) and the Shamrock Rovers reserve physio (Willie Conlon) being connected with the league, they’re still left with an English-based German journalist, an official Portuguese club account and both official and unofficial accounts from an English club (and no other English clubs).
What do you think? Storm in a tea-cup? Any excuse for League of Ireland fans to have a moan? An example of the FAI’s indifference towards its League? Another example of an Irish sporting body not understanding social media? Let us know in the comments