Five reasons why the 2010 NCAA Tournament is the biggest event in the history of social media


Everyone has their own unique preferences when determining which sporting event is the greatest. Many people prefer the Super Bowl, other traditionalists believe the Fall Classic is the best event in sport while I'm sure there's more than a few odd individuals who think that title should go to the Daytona 500. The debate is impossible to settle but it'd be difficult for anyone to refute the uniqueness and spectacle of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. 65 teams, single elimination, an endless number of storylines.

Going beyond all of that: the Big Dance is tailor-made for the era of Twitter, Facebook and blogging, much more than any other sport. That, combined with the timing, will make this year's Dance the biggest event in the history of social media. Quite the claim, I know, but here's five reasons why it could be.

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Oscars, live events, illustrate why sports broadcasts have most to gain from social media

Once again, the conversation on Twitter is dominated by a single item. Even if it isn't even completely true, social media and Twitter in particular can make one feel like everyone else is doing the same thing they are. But isn't that the point of social media, to find, network and converse with people who share similar interests? That is never more obvious than with an instance like The Oscars. Or, well, the Super Bowl.

In a story I've been meaning to highlight for sometime, and couldn't agree with more, The New York Times points out that it appears as though social media has created a virtual live 'water cooler' for major televised events and have a major impact on television ratings.

The Nielsen Company, which measures television viewership and Web traffic, noticed this month that one in seven people who were watching the Super Bowl and the Olympics opening ceremony were surfing the Web at the same time.

“The Internet is our friend, not our enemy,” said Leslie Moonves, chief executive of the CBS Corporation, which broadcast both the Super Bowl and the Grammy Awards this year. “People want to be attached to each other.”

This is something I've been trying to harp on for some time, going back to the NBA's rise in ratings. Of course, it could have something to do with the fact that my timeline is dominated by snarky sports bloggers and sarcastic beat writers. A look-in:

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