This week's segment on Harftime focused on golfer Bubba Watson (@bubbawatson) reaching out to a fan via Twitter, and the explosion of followers and retweets surrounding the @AFLTribunal Twitter account (three guesses why).


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Bubba Watson helps a duped fan

Often regarded as one of the best social media users amongst professional athletes, Watson responded to a fan who had tweeted him excitedly with signed memorabilia to let him know it was a fake. Not too worry, however. Watson promised to replace the fake birthday present with a real signature from the 2012 Masters Champion.

The @AFLTribunal handle goes gangbusters

The AFL only set up the @AFLTribunal Twitter handle in April, but it's proven to be a hit amongst fans. With the Chris Judd “chicken wing” case the main meal at this past Tuesday's hearings, the handle picked up some 3,000 new followers in a few hours.

It was a great initiative by the social media men behind the scenes at the AFL. It's an easy way to keep the fans informed and ‘Judd' was trending across Australia at the time.

Unfortunately, a few players might get a whack or two for their tweets during and after the penalties were handed down to Judd (four weeks) and North Melbourne's Jack Ziebell (@jackziebell) especially. Roo big man Drew Petrie commented on the Ziebell ban (four weeks) with an interesting view of the decision.


Unfortunately for Drew, the key forward has received a please explain from the AFL, along with Geelong midfielder James Kelly over their tweets. Will be interesting to see where this story goes.

Until Next Week

Listen to Harf Time on Wednesdays (at 2:45pm) when Sean Callanan discuss sports digital with Daniel Harford.

Tune into Harf Time over the weekdays from 12-4pm on 1116 SEN.

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Podcast transcription

Harf: Time to check in now with our Sports Digital Media Guru, Sean Callanan at SportsGeekHQ, just about everywhere and every platform on the globe. Good day Sean.

Sean: Good day Harf, how you doing?

Harf: Going very, very well thank you, why aren’t you here with me?

Sean: I have to get back and do a few things after – after this, so I couldn’t get out to the House of Golf, but I did bring some golf Twitter news for you.

Harf: Right.

Sean: Bubba Watson, who you might know is on Twitter and very active on Twitter @bubbawatson, actually did a really nice thing during the week a fan tweeted that they were really happy that their dad had got them a Masters flag signed by Bubba Watson

Harf: Yep.

Sean: And Bubba Watson – – –

Harf: That’s nice of him.

Sean: Yeah very nice of him, but Bubba Watson replied “sorry buddy I don’t sign the middle that’s a fake”.

Harf: Oh no.

Sean: Which is pretty disappointing for the fan that thought oh you know I’ve got a great piece of memorabilia, but Bubba Watson has replied to him and said “Don’t worry buddy I’ll send you a new one happy birthday”. So just real – – –

Harf: Oh good Bubba.

Sean: – – – real good way to show you know how athletes can connect with fans. You know Bubba Watson’s probably got a few strikes against his name but that one’s a credit in the books for him.

Harf: That’s a massive win that is. That’s the power of Twitter right there for the fan, (a) to spot the fake and then (b) to get the legit item.

Sean: Yeah exactly, exactly.

Harf: Well done Bubba man. Well done Bubba.

Sean: But the thing from last night. Twitter, we’ve spoken about it but it definitely went gangbusters around the whole AFL Tribunal and coverage of – of the Judd.

Harf: It was good wasn’t it?

Sean: It was really good and the thing that I thought was really good and a really great initiative of the AFL, and they have been doing it for a few weeks is they’ve actually got a Twitter account, @afltribunal.

Harf: Yes.

Sean: Which was pretty much covering a blow by blow, it’s
effectively like the court report in Law & Order punching out tweets every time there was a bit of commentary, a bit of backwards and forwards, and it gave the fans completely new insight into what actually happens in the Tribunal. You know I’ve never been in a, you know, AFL Tribunal as a spectator I don’t know how many times did you go up to the Tribunal Harf?

Harf: I was only once as a defendant. I was only in there once and it was still intimidating as the bloke who got whacked.

Sean: Yes and the thing is you know for most of them they would be pretty much you know like sitting in a court room in you know an episode of Law & Order, but the backwards and forwards and because there was so much interest, and I thought what the AFL did quite well, and the AFL Tribunal account did quite well was actually responding to fans as well. Because there was people just clambering for information and unfortunately there’s only so much information coming out of the Tribunal, it was good to hear all the statements from you know Judd, and then following up on the Ziebell case as well. But the account itself gained 3000 followers in the 3 hours of the Tribunal.

Harf: Did it really?

Sean: So it just shows the viral nature of Twitter and how eager people are to share that content and it also shows a way that you know the AFL can connect and engage with fans, it’s you know much better to have it on an opt in single opt in account, so if you want to get the Tribunal updates you can, but if you don’t, you don’t have to go and you know have the AFL feed particularly, have lots and lots of updates.

Harf: Well it is very convenient and the AFL Tribunal feed last night was great and I agree with you, gave a terrific insight into what was going on, the discussion that was going on and taking place in the Tribunal last night. It’s also pretty easy to vent your frustrations as we’ve learnt throughout the last couple of years on Twitter, it’s easy just grab your phone or your iPad and just say what you think, or type what you think and there might be a few boys feeling the pain after last night’s Tribunal in regards to Jack Ziebell.

Sean: Yeah I think Drew Petrie if he had his time again probably would of have been best to put the iPad away. A few of his tweets probably went over the edge, and I think then also you know a few of their players actually retweeted that. Now if you take those tweets in complete isolation, you think oh they’re pretty bad, but then when you listen to you know Jonathon Brown this morning, he pretty much said a lot of the same things that a lot of the boys were saying in the tweets, so you know there has to be a little bit of common sense prevail I think if you go down the path of you know swearing and having a fair crack at the Tribunal you’ve got to very careful, but other than that you know most of those tweets were okay.

Harf: Most of them were okay, some of them were not. To check out for the latest from the world of sports digitally and follow him @SportsGeekhq if you want to follow Sean on Twitter. Thanks mate appreciate your time today.

Sean: No worries Harf.

Harf: Sean Callanan, one of our stars and digital sports media guru.