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Using TweetDeck to Track Sports Stats in Real-Time

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In our first year out of college, my roommate and I are making every effort to be frugal. We bring home-made lunches to work every day, take the T whenever humanly possible… and subscribe to the most basic cable plan offered in our area. These attempts are generally quite rewarding — we not only save money, but also eat healthier than we may otherwise, avoid the frustration of getting lost or stuck in traffic during cab rides, and wind up reading or socializing with friends in the evenings rather than spending hours in front of the TV. Now that college basketball season is in full-swing, however, I am starting to feel the burn of a life without cable.

My beloved UConn Huskies (who are currently ranked 18th and undefeated at 7-0-0 after tonight’s heart-stopping game against unranked Boston College) have played five televised games in the past three weeks. I have been able to watch a whopping zero. Sure, Boston bars sometimes air UConn basketball games, and I always have the option of begging the indulgence of a friend with an ESPN package. But what about when I want to watch from the comfort of my own home? Gametracker is great, but its reload time is often quite slow, and paying $10 to listen to game audio somehow doesn’t seem worth it. While brainstorming my options before tonight’s 7PM jump ball at Madison Square Garden, I finally thought of the perfect way to follow my Huskies in real-time: TweetDeck.

The free website Gametracker provides stats and a play-by-play game recap, but reloads infrequently, with a time lapse.

TweetDeck is generally used to keep an eye on Twitter timelines, mentions, interactions, and more in live-time, giving users the capability to monitor multiple aspects of a number of different Twitter accounts simultaneously. Tonight, however, I used TweetDeck as a source of live stats and real-time game play reports by following both UConn and BC‘s men’s basketball teams’ Twitter accounts.

TweetDeck enables users to track specific Twitter accounts in real time, each in a different window for easy visibility.

My preference, of course, would have been to experience the 70-72 game live at Madison Square Garden, and my second choice, to watch it on a big screen TV. But by simultaneously using Gametracker and TweetDeck, I was able to keep an eye on my team’s (and their opponent’s) stats and receive real-time score and play updates, all without leaving the comfort of my ESPN-free apartment. I — like many other social media marketers and enthusiasts — had previously used TweetDeck only to monitor and maintain social media relationships. Using the tool for personal entertainment this evening made me wonder — what other social media sites, tools and platforms can serve a purpose outside the marketing world? Please feel free to comment below with your answer(s) to this question!

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