SITE NEWS: Audibles Comes to Twitter

This year, we're going to be experimenting a bit with the format of our Monday morning feature Audibles at the Line.

We started Audibles back in Week 7 of 2005. (Here's the first column, in case you are curious.) It was basically slapped together because we had no idea what else to run for content on a Monday morning. But there have been a couple of big changes since we first did Audibles.

First, you may notice that the original Audibles was a lot shorter than Audibles has been in the last couple years. There were fewer FO writers then. That means it was a lot less work to put together on Sunday night.

Second, back in 2005 we didn't have this thing called "Twitter." And over the last couple years, Twitter has wrecked holy hell on the idea of Audibles at the Line. The original point of Audibles was that it was a way for the FO writers to share thoughts with each other about the games we were watching. Then we put it online to share those thoughts with the readers. Now, we can easily share our thoughts both with other FO staffers and with all the readers, in real-time, through Twitter. So we've all found ourselves in the last couple seasons trying to figure out when we should post a thought on Twitter, and when it should go in Audibles, or when we should do both.

Readers have requested that we make Audibles an actual updated chat or liveblog during games on Sunday, rather than waiting to post it Monday morning. I've always been hesitant to do that, because I never wanted to assign specific FO writers to be online at any specific time. I like the idea that our Sundays are still free to be ours. My writers can watch the games they want to watch, with the teams they want to watch. They can comment when they want, and if they need to do something with their families, they can DVR a game and comment on it later. They can access an e-mail thread through a computer, or a mobile phone, so they can watch games at home or with friends or in a press box or in a sports bar or wherever they choose, without the requirement that they be constantly checking a chatroom.

Twitter gives us some of the benefits of an online, in-game chat without taking away the freedom of FO writers. It also opens things up for readers to contribute.

And so, we're going to play with the format of Audibles starting today. If you want to follow Audibles at the Line live during Sunday's games, check on Twitter for hashtag #foaud. You can also use this hashtag to make your own comments about games you are watching. All we ask is that you be selective in when you use the #foaud hashtag. PLEASE don't use it 20 times in a game. The best way to use it is if you want to specifically ask a question of an FO writer about a game we are watching. We'll try to respond to some of those questions over Twitter.

Tomorrow, we'll choose the best Audibles comments by FO staffers, with a few by FO readers, and run those as the first part of Audibles at the Line. Then we'll run a longer-form set of comments, a paragraph or two from each writer about the games they watched on Sunday. This should be more coherent than the usual Audibles, while still allowing for some back-and-forth between writers in a discussion format.

This new Audibles format is going to be a work in progress, so bear with us over the next few weeks as we get it into proper shape. But we think overall this new format will allow for more interaction with readers, more timely commentary during games for those who follow us on Twitter, and less very late Sunday nights for the Football Outsiders assistant editors.


17 comments, Last at 27 Sep 2017, 3:29am

#1 by ceolaf // Sep 08, 2013 - 2:35pm

What would be really nice?

Someone sets up an "foaud" twitter account of some sort, and uses that the retweet all the audibles from the crew on game day(s). That way, we could follow that account, without having to wade through all the other tweets.

That would be really nice.

Points: 0

#2 by Independent George // Sep 08, 2013 - 2:59pm

Maybe you should change it to #foaudibles, so you don't get accidental tweets intended for #fouad. I feel dumber just having read those.

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#3 by whckandrw (not verified) // Sep 08, 2013 - 4:36pm

I hope this doesn't mean the end of Audibles on Mondays, Audibles is my favorite FO "column". Twitter is somewhat limiting because of the 140 character limit and some of the best commentary in audibles is longer than twitter can accommodate.

That said, if this is an addendum to Audibles on Mondays this is fantastic. I don't really follow you guys on twitter because as great as the work you do is, I try to compartmentalize reading about sports into my "procrastination time" and I already follow too many accounts on twitter so being able to follow along your commentary via this hashtag is awesome.

Points: 0

#6 by rageon // Sep 09, 2013 - 12:22am

What he said.

I'm still waiting to discover the first thing made better by twitter, rather just 800 times more annoying.

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#10 by Sakic (not verified) // Sep 09, 2013 - 9:23am

Amen to that, brutha.

I love audibles but there is no way I'm joining Twitter to get the full experience.

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#9 by DEW (not verified) // Sep 09, 2013 - 9:11am

Well, the article specifically says that there'll still be an Audibles column, with part 1 being the compiled (and edited) Twitter comments and part 2 being extended remarks (that presumably wouldn't fit in the character limit of Tweets) so if that continues I'd say we lose nothing by the switch except for the value of any in-game humorous or cogent remarks that are too long to fit in a tweet, and obviously if a FO writer has something to say that *is* that long they can always still send an e-mail from the same computer or phone they're Tweeting from.

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#11 by Dean // Sep 09, 2013 - 9:53am

The best analogy for twitter I ever read (and I may have read it here) was that twitter is kind of like having a police scanner. You get nonstop static and every once in a while there's a nugget of useful information that will be found elsewhere in a couple minutes anyway.

Points: 0

#12 by Bright Blue Shorts // Sep 09, 2013 - 11:56am

Haven't been able to get back into Twitter since they got hacked around June time ... password won't work, can't be bothered to reset it ... don't trust them with my personal info any more ... shame not to be able to read Audibles :-(

Points: 0

#13 by sundown (not verified) // Sep 11, 2013 - 2:54pm

Only thing I've ever heard Twitter really helping is customer service. I've had numerous friends tell of getting instant reaction from the company when they griped on Twitter about getting the runaround through regular channels. Seemingly lots of companies don't really care if they treat customers poorly just as long as other people don't hear about it.

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#14 by Andrew Potter // Sep 11, 2013 - 3:51pm

I'm a researcher for a major soccer game. Twitter's enormously useful for finding information on players and clubs who aren't easily accessible through other means. If the head researcher for Scotland posts a question on Twitter about, say, whether Paul di Giacomo's retired, he'll usually get a reply within five minutes from somebody who knows; whereas it can take hours of trawling club websites to find that out himself. I don't know of any other format which allows access to that many people in that short a timeframe. Twitter's been a huge help to us in that.

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#4 by RickD // Sep 08, 2013 - 6:05pm

#foaud is very close to #fouad, a common name in certain parts of the world.

Something to keep an eye on.

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#17 by ankit121 // Sep 27, 2017 - 3:29am

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Points: 0

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