I’m a huge football fan. I have been watching the world cup for the last 15 years and I can’t wait for it to start in 24 hours! There is, however, something very different with this World Cup, it is the first one that is being played in the “Twitter” age. To make the most of your World Cup experience we suggest following the conversations taking place on Twitter during the matches. This is a great way of engaging with fellow football enthusiasts from around the world. In addition, it will keep you up-to-date if you are unable to watch all the matches taking place.
There are a number of ways to use Twitter effectively during this “busy” period. We recommend using hashtags and saved searches or alternatively following specific Twitterers or World Cup themed lists.
1. Hashtags and Saved Searches
Hashtags and saved searches are a great way of keeping track of events that are developing on Twitter. Hashtags are essentially “tags” that Twitterers append onto their tweets so as to enable other Twitterers to immediately discern what the conversation is about.
During the World Cup you will want to follow the trending hashtag where most of the conversation is taking place. Currently, the two trending hashtags are #worldcup and #wc2010. As soon as you start viewing those hashtags a stream of tweets will start flowing into your browser or client. It is a messy affair, but it is an incredible way of staying on top of the World Cup as it develops.
If you think you’ll be using these hastags frequently you can save them as a “search” on the Twitter website (see “How to Save Searches”).
I personally, use the Twitter client TweetDeck which has a feature that allows you to open a separate column for each saved search. In this manner I can follow the hashtags alongside my regular tweets.
2. Twitter Lists
The problem with the hashtags is that anyone can use them so your twitter feed will be a mess of random thoughts. It can become impossible to figure out what is going on.
If you prefer a more streamlined experience, follow my custom made “World Cup 2010” Twitter list. This custom list includes the following Twitterers:
World Cup Scores: “World Cup Soccer Scores, Live 2010 world cup soccer scores”
Fox Soccer: “FOXSoccer.com headlines”
Four Four Two: “Humorous but wholehearted, polished but readable, substantial but accessible, it’s football’s most insightful brand – with added F.U.N.”
SI Soccer: “The SI Soccer feed is your source for Soccer and World Cup coverage from Sports Illustrated and SI.com writers and photographers.”
BBC World Cup 2010: All the World Cup news straight from the BBC.
AP World Cup: “Join the conversation as @AP covers the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Tweets from @lfmccullough, @chrislehourites and the @AP team in New York.”
NY Times Goal: “Goal: The New York Times Soccer Blog reports on the international game and the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.”
Telegraph World Cup: “World Cup 2010 news, analysis, pictures and video from Telegraph.co.uk”
CNN World Cup: “All the latest news on the 2010 World Cup in South Africa from CNN International.”
TheFA.com: “The official website for the England Football Team and The FA Cup”
World Cup 2014: “The FIFA soccer world cup tweets.All the latest FIFA news and information on the 2014 Football world cup. (unofficial)”
SA2010 World Cup: “Official 2010 FIFA World Cup South African Government website with all the information you need!”
2010 FIFA World Cup: “The Twitter page of the 2010 Organizing Committee.”
FIFAWorldCupTM: “The unofficial FIFA soccer world cup tweets.All the latest FIFA news and information on the 2010 soccer world cup.”
TM_WorldCup2010: “The latest Football / Soccer news from the World Cup 2010 in South Africa”
Top Tweets World Cup: “Top Tweets algorithmically selects and retweets some of the most interesting tweets about the World Cup. Enjoy!”
Are there any other interesting ways of using Twitter to join the FIFA 2010 World Cup conversation? Let us know in the comments.