Monday, August 3, 2009

My, how times have changed

I am about to end my 10th full year as the sports information director at Union. And it's been amazing time.

Looking back, what's been most amazing is how the profession, how I do my job has changed. A lot of this is due to advancements in technology.

(As a quick side note, let me just say that advancements in technology have been both a blessing and a curse. While it's been wonderful to do things that used to take hours, sometimes days, in a matter of a few minutes, technology has also added to the workload of a SID. Since technology has freed me up on some tasks, it bought on new tasks. It's created a vicious cycle. But I digress.)

When I began here, Union's athletic website was basic, simple. It had the schedule, rosters and coaches' bios. Not much else. Part of that was due to the crude program that our school used at the time. In the years since, as the program's have improved so has Union's athletic website. With each improvement, there is generally an added feature to the website. The first "bells and whistles" to the website was have releases and statistics. Today, we've got live game video and audio, live stats and blogging. And we're always looking to add more.

Where the biggest change - at least for me - has occurred is in utilizing emailing and doing away with the fax machine.

When I first started here, it would take me hours to send out stats and the release to the media. Following the completion of a game, I would head into the office and start faxing the stats to each, individual media outlet while I write the release - which will be faxed as soon as I get it done.

Before we had kids, my wife would help be in this task. She would fax the stats while I wrote the release. Even with her assistance, it would still take two hours. And after spending 5-6 hours working the game(s), that makes for a very long day.

Nowadays, it will just take me 30-45 minutes to send out the release and stats after a game thanks to email. Whereas I would just fax 15-20 media outlets before, now I can send the release to as many outlets that I can get email addresses for.

That's just a sample of how much technology has benefited the SID.

The Internet has been a great friend to the SID. In days gone by, I just to have to sit by the fax machine waiting on stats when our teams were on the road. Now, I can sit at home and wait on an email, or in some cases, watch the live stats.

And I've only been in the business for just 10 years. Just think about all the advances over the last 20, 30, 40 years.

I enjoy talking with fellow SIDs, especially those who have been in the profession for a long time. I never want to stop learning from others, and it's amazing how the profession has evolved over the years. You see how much it's changed during my short time in the biz. Just think of all the advances since World War II.

Kind of staggering when you think about it.

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