The Media Learning Curve: Still yacking it up

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To expand on today’s column (linked here) about Victor Rojas’ new sports social network website Yakcy.com (linked here):

First, thanks to Maury Brown’s BizofBaseball.com (linked here) for writing about Yakcy.com when it launched last week.

Rojas (email him here), who will make his first Angels’ regular-season broadcast on April 5 when they open the season at home against the Twins, explains on Yakcy.com that his interests in the media go beyond just broadcasting for the Rangers and Marlins in the past. Prior to deciding on a broadcasting career, he did marketing and communications in minor league baseball, Arena Football, NHL and Performing Arts Center of Greater Miami. He also worked for GolfSpan.com.

We asked more about what happen with this webtool once fans figure out its general purpose and navigate through it all:

Q: We see on Twitter where reporters use it as a means of reporting news as it happens. Is that something you see happening with Yakcy?

A: I really don’t know. The focus now is just on social interaction and coining a new term in networking. It’s about interaction of fans especially at one event. Ideally, one feature will be links to hot stories and postings. I really hope that’s why people would be leaving Twitter on that day and going to Yacky, just to talk about the game. I understand that and it’s difficult to control it, but right now, that’s my focus.”

Q: Did you have to coordinate this with Twitter or Facebook ownership to make this work for you?

A: We’re a separate entity. Twiter and Facebook have an open API, so like Tweetdeck (linked here), all the other applications feed off a firehose from Twitter. So if you click on the Twiter logo, you put in your credentials and Twitter will ask you: Yakcy wants to interact with your account, do you allow or deny. It’s up to the user to grant permission. There are people who may have up to 5,000 followers and the last thing they want to do is burden them with posts from Yakcy pertaining to a Steelers-Bengals game. So you don’t have to stay on Twitter to have the same experience.

Q: How do you find most people coming to Yakcy so far?

A: The whole mindset is running through any number of scenarios — raising money, spending it on advertising. I think the best way is to get it out there on the grassroots level, put it in the hands of the users and see if it can catch a spark here and there, then we can make decisions on it. If people don’t like it, what’s the point? Then the onus is on you to spend all that money and be accountable.”

Q: What other ways to you see people using Yakcy?

A: Just think of yourself sitting at a game at the Big A and on the scoreboard it shows the Yankees are up 17-2 on the Red Sox. That’s just static infomation, unless there’s some highlight video. You’ve got no idea how it got that way. With the mobile app, you go to the Yankees clubhouse and scroll through and virtually put yourself at Yankee Stadium so see what’s going on from a fan’s perspective.”

Q: What’s the long-range thoughts about this — could you be the Mark Cuban of sports social interaction?

A: I can’t look that far ahead, there are too many things to concentrate on. Right now, it’s already consumed me and I’m having fun learning about everything on the tech side. Down the road, I can’t control that stuff. Ask anyone who lived in the dot-com generation of the late ’90s. The whole social media thing can go away. Twitter has yet to roll out monetization, but they get money thrown at them every day. I can’t look at it that way. I’m a broadcaster first. The minute I start worrying about the bottom line, I get away from the focus and that’s how products and services lag behind.

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