When Tim Rosenthal graduated from Suffolk College in Boston in 2008, he didn’t know how to use any of the new journalism technologies that were beginning to appear, but now after just two years at Insidehockey.com he has become something of an expert.
“Alot of this stuff you can pick up on the fly,” said the 24-year-old Rosenthal. “The secret is you have to use everything from live blogs to Facebook and Twitter, there are just so many options for the readers.”
Rosenthal, who was a bit of a Luddite when joined the staff of Insidehockey.com right out of school, is now very active on message boards, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
“These sites are a great way to get the word out about what we are doing,” Rosenthal said. “We are a small independent site and we don’t have a built in fan base so this helps us reach them.”
Rosenthal said that the Insidehockey YouTube page has been most successful with several of their videos drawing more than 1000 hits in a single week.
“The video’s are the ideas of the individual writers,” he said. “We try to get a good background in the sport and then find things that could be interesting as videos.”
It hasn’t always worked, Rosenthal said that some topics are duds that don’t generate much interest, but as long as the video’s are topical and current then tend to do very well.
Recently, Rosenthal posted a video preview of the Boston Bruins and Buffalo Sabres Eastern Conference playoff series that drew more than 400 views in its first 24 hours.
But YouTube isn’t the only place that Rosenthal and Insidehockey have found to stir up interest. Twitter and Facebook have become useful tools as well.
The Insidehockey.com fan page on Facebook has over 1300 fans and posts links to nearly every story, video, chat and blog on Insidehockey.com. The Facebook page has also become the place to chat about the stories for readers.
Insidehockey.com does provide a system for comments, but it is under used by readers in favor of people discussing stories on the Facebook page.
Twitter has also been a great ally for Rosenthal. Posting on the handle @rosieshockey, Rosenthal keeps his more than 400 followers abreast of what he has written as well as tweeting updates during games he is covering.
“I started Tweeting last year, its a totally different following than Facebook,” he said. “Most of our readers are on Twitter or Facebook, not both so using both allows me to get at either groups of people.”