You can post an article about Calipari having a bowel movement and the UK fans will be all over it, analyzing it, discussing it, trying to figure out what was eaten, etc. This doesn't surprise me though, there's not much else to do in perpetually overcast Kentucky but wait on basketball.
Ever been to the site SummerHoopScoop.com? Ever read the recruiting opinions and news provided by Jonathan Paige?
If so… you’ve been duped.
Using Twitter, messageboards and blogs, “Jonathan Paige” turned himself into a recruiting guru. He had more than 500 followers on Twitter and ran up 20,000 pageviews. Not huge numbers, of course, but the information his readers grabbed at his blog was further disseminated by those readers.
And his information was often false, or at least, falsely acquired. “Paige” explained his made-up news on his site yesterday:
“With hardly any effort… without ever leaving my couch… I was AT the tournaments. I had “well-informed” opinions about recruits. I was a source that people looked to.”
Among his followers on Twitter were real college basketball reporters — which shows why I hate Twitter (as always, you can follow us on Twitter right here!) — recruits and assistant basketball coaches.
“Paige” says this about how his false info spread on blogs and messageboards:
“Most of the fan blogs collect any conceivable information (about their team of choice) available on the internet in one place for fans. There is no real filter and this is where fans go for information. Messageboards served the same function.”
“Paige” says he was simply conducting an experiment by making himself a recruiting expert… without ever leaving his couch. In conducting the experiment, he drew several conclusions that he passed along to his followers yesterday:
* He found “that the easiest fanbase to sway was Kentucky, followed closely by UNC, Duke, and UCLA.”
* Jeff Goodman of FoxSports.com is “the best overall source in the business.”
* “Keep your ears open to bad news as well as good news. When you hear negative news about your school’s chances with a recruit from a trusted source or all the fact don’t add up in your favor, don’t go into denial about it. Just accept what you are seeing and hearing. A Scout.com analyst is not wrong just because he brings bad news. A random recruiting Twitter account is not right just because it tells you what you want to hear.”
There’s little doubt “Jonathan Paige” and his experiment will get quite a bit of coverage in the coming days. His experiment has proven — again — that we’re in a dangerous new age when it comes to information.
Everyone is the media these days. But not everyone took media ethics classes in college. And not everyone who did take ethics classes took to heart what they were being taught.
So “Paige” is right that readers should be careful when it comes to trusting sites. We suggest you trust sources that have proven over time that they’re not just after pageviews. We also suggest you trust those sites that have proven over time that they have no bias toward or against a coach, a school or a conference.
Oh, and for your recruiting news, I’d just use our Recruiting page, if I were you.