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Adventures in social media

(Continued from Page 1)

With a little over 6 minutes left in the fourth quarter on Saturday, the Newman Comets trailed by 11 points to the Aquin Bulldogs during the 1A River Ridge Sectional final.

Time was running out on Comets’ season.

When I had sat down at the media table a few hours earlier and popped open my laptop, I found that time was already running short for me, at least in terms of computer use.

My intention Saturday was not only to cover the game, but also to provide continuous updates on our Sauk Valley Sports Facebook page, which also reflects on my Twitter account (@DanWoessner).

The purpose being to open a dialogue with the fans with smart phones in the stands and those sitting at home or work that were unable to attend the 2 p.m. tip.

In the short term, it’s my charge as sports editor to figure out how we can combine social media, the website and the print edition into a comprehensive package. In the future, the digital end may actually phase out the print edition altogether.

Anyway, the little battery in the corner of my screen read 89 percent when I opened the computer. It dropped quickly to 88 before I even signed on to Facebook.

By the time I logged on and was ready to send out my hello post to the 380 faithful followers on Facebook, I had lost another percent.

Unlike the Newman boys, who never wavered when they fell down by double digits, I started to panic.

Looking around, the nearest outlet was along the gym wall. Way too far for my cord to reach while covering the game. I hurried over and plugged in before tip off for a couple minutes of juice and did so again at halftime. Neither effort resulted in much help.

On the court, Tim Wilson fouled out with 2:05 left in the fourth quarter and Newman down by three. With Newman’s top player on the bench, surely, the Comets were done then.

All I could do was hope that my battery would make it to the end to keep up the updates. The ‘likes’ were starting to increase and some faithful readers started to leave comments, and post updates of their own.

As regulation time neared its end, I was sure I’d make it.

Then Mike Lee converted a three-point play with 20 seconds left to tie the score, and the rest of the clock ticked away shortly after to force overtime.

Gulp. The battery neared 30 percent and I wondered if it would make it all the way to zero, or just turn off whenever it got too low to continue functioning.

The Bulldogs once again jumped out to a four-point lead, and no one seemed to be able to stop Lucas Diemer. This was going to put the fork in Newman.

I noted that Diemer had to switch jerseys due to blood right before the start of overtime. He made his first six free-throw attempts and one field goal after that. My story lead could be about him considering a permanent switch.

I reminded fans that if updates stopped it was because my battery died. Maddie Richmond and Matt Gingrich both vowed to keep the updates coming. Gingrich was actually faster than me getting them up.

Then Lee hit his second 3 of the overtime and the game was tied at 57-57. How was this happening?

Moments later, the Comets took the lead for the first time since late in the first quarter. They never gave it up, winning 61-57.

I scratched out that Newman won the sectional title – well sort of, I spelled sectional wrong – before scurrying to shut down the computer.

I beat the battery by about 15 percent. Even so, it was time to do a duty that likely won’t ever change in sports reporting.

I went to talk to the winners.

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