Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Making a Video With Magisto: Wildcat MMA [Video]

A previous assignment I had required me to create an Instagram Essay related to my beat. 

For the assignment, I had to produce a minimum of five photos that tell a story about something related to my MMA beat. 

I used to take a class with a couple of MMA fighters/college students who work at the Chico WREC center part time as jiu jitsu and kick boxing instructors, and I decided to pay them a visit for my assignment. I wanted to make them the subject of my photo essay, and I was able to get some pretty good photos.

After doing the project, I had plenty of photos that I did not use for the assignment. I didn't want to waste them so I decided to make a video out of the extra photos I had with Magisto.

For anyone who hasn't tried Magisto as an App, I really recommend it. It was really easy to use. With 3 Simple Steps:

1) I had to click on all the photos that I wanted for my video.

2) I had to pick a theme from 10 different choices.

3) Pick a music to use as background for my video. It had a selection of different music, but it also gave you the option to se your own music which I thought was a really nice feature.

I didn't have to edit the video at all, it generated a video by itself from the photos that I selected.

There were a couple of drawbacks though, like only being able to pick up to 10 photos for a video, unless you buy a $4.99 monthly subscription or a $9.99/year subscription that lets you pick up to 30 photos. 

It also takes a few minutes for the app to actually generate your video which is a little bit off-putting, but overall I thought that it was a really useful app and it is something that I will use in the future. 

Here is the finish product:




Here are the finish product after I posted them on Instagram.










Friday, April 17, 2015

UFC & Twitter: How to compete with mainstream sports 101

The birth of social media has dramatically changed the landscape of communications.

Because of social media, big corporations can no longer stifle the airwaves. The avenue of how to reach one's audience has grown significantly. 

A smaller corporation can now reach the same audience that bigger companies used to dominate because of their television deals and bigger budgets for advertising and promotion.

This is true in the sports world as well. 

In Northern America, the NFL, NBA and MLB--with the NHL not too far behind--have been dominating the airwaves for decades, with no signs of slowing down in the foreseeable future.

The dominant presence of these sports made it difficult for alternative sports and games to get television deals and promotions for the longest time.

But not anymore.

Since the birth of the UFC in 1993, more than 20 years ago, it has become the fastest growing sport in the world.

Long before its television deal with FOX, the UFC was surviving through Pay Per View shows.

So how exactly did the UFC do it?

UFC & Twitter:

One of the biggest reasons why the UFC was able to make itself a household name was its incorporation of Twitter in promoting its brand.

Without the help of sports channel like ESPN and other such sports channels to present its breaking news, the UFC was still able to reach its audience through social media.

Fighter gets injured? No problem.



Want fans to know about an upcoming fight card? Okay.


You want your fighters to promote the fight card to excite the fans? Why not.



Despite not having as much coverage from sports news networks such as ESPN, the UFC has been able to compete with mainstream sports like the NFL. 

MMA might not be on the same level of success as football just yet, but it has only been less than 30 years since the sport was incepted.

In time, who knows.

Maybe the UFC will become a billion dollar league where fighters will be getting paid on the upwards of 8 figures each fight. 

With its incorporation of social media, the sport of MMA has been able to thrive. And with social media channels getting better every day, only time will tell if MMA can grow with it.


Friday, April 10, 2015

UFC Fairfax: #punchesandpancakes

Last weekend's featherweight extravaganza featured two of the best fighters in Chad Mendes and Ricardo Lamas head-to-head, to decide the next title challenger in arguably the most stacked division in the UFC.



Mendes would end the fight in devastating fashion with a first round TKO of Lamas. 

The win propelled Mendes back into the title picture. Within the next couple of months depending on what happens in the Connor McGregor/Jose Aldo match up Mendes could be up against Aldo to fulfill their trilogy, or against McGregor in what could be the Irishman's first title defense.

Either scenario is a possibility posing very different yet very intriguing match ups.

Mendes and Lamas were just two of the weekend's biggest winners and losers. 

Here is a look back at my experience covering an MMA fight for the first time.

10 A.M. FIGHT NIGHT?



In what can only be assumed as a way for the UFC to avoid going up against the NCAA's Final Four games last Saturday, The Fairfax fight card kicked off in the early hours of the day.



The UFC used the hashtag #punchesandpancakes as the trending topic for fans to participate and tweet about the fights as they happened. 

FANBOY Moment...

Prior to the fight, I decided that I would do a live play-by-play of the fights, and I tweeted out to the hashtag that the UFC had set up.


Despite misspelling the word Pancakes, the UFC favorited my tweet, which was one of the coolest things that has ever happened to me while tweeting.

NOTICE ME LIST MOMENT!:

When the UFC Fairfax main card kicked off, it went on just as I predicted the fights would go.

Dustin Poirier would be successful in his move up to 155 lbs. Julianna Pena had her comeback beating her opponent via TKO in the first round, Michael Chiesa would get his redemption after suffering a TKO/Cut lost against Joe Lauzon in his last outing. 







Then there was the Masvidal vs. Iaquinta fight, which would end in controversial fashion and create the biggest buzz of the day in the MMA world. 

The fight would go to a decision with the judges giving the nod to Iaquinta, 2 rounds to 1. 

People in the fight world disagreed with the decision, as a lot of fans--including me--had Masvidal winning the fight 2-1.




What would happen afterwards would take people's post fight reactions in the Twitter world to the next level as "Raging" Al Iaquinta would live up to his name. 



The Fairfax crowd yelled out their disagreement of the decision, setting off Iaquinta in a fit of rage.

Iaquinta turned to the crowd yelling out expletives while being interviewed after the fight on live television.

Reaction was swift on Twitter, highlighted by UFC President Dana White who was speechless.









 OVERALL ASSESSMENT:

I really enjoyed covering my first live UFC event via Twitter. It gave me a chance to participate with other people as they watch the fights even though we weren't all there. 

Fights are different from other sports in that if a fight goes to a decision, no one really knows who wins for sure. Only by watching it with other people or participating in a conversation with other people can one truly gauge who is winning in a close fight.

It was also a good experience for me, because at some point it will be what I am going to be doing as a professional.




Saturday, April 4, 2015

UFC Fight Night: Mendes vs. Lamas Predictions

After giving featherweight kingpin Jose Aldo, the most competitive fight of his UFC career, number one contender Chad "Money" Mendes returns to action to face fellow top five contender Ricardo "The Bully" Lamas.

With Aldo set to tangle with Connor McGregor later this year at UFC 189, the winner of Saturday's bout may very well be the next in line for a title shot.

Here is my predictions of Saturday's main event.

UFC Fight Night 63
Fairfax, Virginia; Fox Sports 1 (11 a.m. ET/1 p.m. Pacific)

Chad Mendes (16-2) V. Ricardo Lamas (15-3)

I have a hard time not picking Mendes to win this match up. He has beaten every one he's faced in the division not named Jose Aldo. 

The Team Alpha Male product shows vast improvements in his striking every time he steps into the octagon, which has been accelerated by the coaching of Duane Ludwig.

Though Ludwig is no longer in Sacramento to hold pads for Mendes, Kampmann has been summoned to fill that role. This fight marks the first camp that the two have spent together.

Only time will tell if their partnership will result in a title, but there is no question as to what Kampmann can add to Mendes' striking arsenal.

That being said, I cannot imagine Lamas wanting to trade with Mendes. Money's ever improving footwork and combinations will most likely prove too much for him.

The only way I see Lamas winning this fight is if he could take Mendes to the ground, but with a guy like Mendes who has never been taken down in his UFC career, this is easier said than done.

However, if Lamas could take the fight to the cage and rely on dirty boxing to nullify Mendes' movement, he might have a chance.

But in a five round fight, and with Mendes' cardio, this just seems like too much of an uphill battle for Lamas.

Pick: Mendes by Unanimous Decision.



Friday, April 3, 2015

Twitter and the Fight World


With another installment of UFC Fight Night just one day away, MMA fans are clogging up people's social media news feed with predictions of who they think will win this weekend.

Twitter has been a great tool for fans because it is one of the best outlets to find out all the latests news that go on in the MMA World. 

Whether or not a particular fight is cancelled due to a fighter getting injured, if a fighter misses weight on Friday before the fight, or who people are picking to win, all of these information could be accessed by fans by simply clicking their Twitter app on their phones.

The growth of mobile phone technology has been instrumental in the success of MMA as a sport. 


Social media apps like Twitter, helps an organization like the UFC create hype around their upcoming events without having to heavily promote it. 

Fans are the ones who create the anticipation and excitement of fights through their conversations on Twitter.




Even though MMA fight coverage aren't as extensive on ESPN, fans are still able to access live play-by-plays of fights through MMA journalists' twitter channels. 

Coverage of the fights, and the events leading up to the fights could be accessed by fans through their phone by following MMA beat writers and news outlets.


Without the accessibility of MMA through social media, it would have been harder for the sport to garner the attention it has now. 

With the help of social media apps like Twitter, and its accessibility through mobile devices, MMA has been able to compete against other main stream sports that get more coverage from bigger outlets like ESPN.

[Speaking of the upcoming UFC Fight Card this weekend, come back tomorrow for my preview and prediction of the Mendes v. Lamas main card]


Friday, March 27, 2015

The Josh Neer Dilemma: To fight a civilian or not

Former UFC fighter and MMA veteran Josh Neer, was in the center of a controversy last month, after he posted a video on YouTube that showed him beating up a civilian in his MMA gym in Iowa.


As expected, Neer's video went viral instantly, with a number of MMA news outlets--including TMZ Sports--sharing the video on their websites. 

After the first wave of negative reactions from the MMA community, Neer posted a response on his Facebook account to defend his actions.

Neer included a screen shot of his conversation with the man on the video, identified as Patrick Martin, an aspiring MMA fighter with no professional experience.



Despite Neer's statement on his Facebook posts, his video got mixed response from the MMA community, with some people agreeing with what he did, while others who claimed that he was wrong for taking up Martin on his challenge.



The Iowa Athletic Commission, the governing body where the beating took place, also responded after seeing the video, saying that they were going to investigate what happened and Neer could face some consequences for his actions.

No repercussions for Neer was ever issued after the investigation, nor did he face any legal issues, with Martin not wanting to press charges.


It is hard to take a stance on what Neer did. As far as legalities are concerned, Neer is of the hook, being that Martin does not want to press charges. In the court of law, he did not do anything wrong, as it was a mutual agreement between the two of them to fight.

There is however the ethical side of the incident, and whether or not Neer was right for beating up Martin.

Here is a careful examination of both sides of the argument...


PRO's:

According to acclaimed MMA trainer and American Kickboxing Academy head coach "Crazy" Bob Cook and a number of current and former MMA fighters, the incident involving Neer happens often.

Civilians come in an MMA gym all the time challenging professional fighters to a fight. 

Some guys who have been in plenty of street fights think that because of their experience they can just step into a gym and face off with a trained professional.

It is a slap on the face to the men and women who work hard everyday  and sacrifice their lives to achieve the level that they are on, in the MMA world.

For someone to step in a gym and think that they can be at a professional's level right away because of their experience fighting on the streets is disrespectful.

If Neer was telling the truth about Martin undermining his training as a professional, then he had every right to do what he did.

To show it online for everyone to see could serve as a warning for people in the future.

A testament as to why MMA fighters get paid to do what they do, and to show that there is a difference between a professional fighter and a guy off the street.

CON's:

Whether or not Martin was telling the truth does not matter. Fact of the matter is, Neer is a professional and should not have succumbed to Martin's challenges.

Simply put, you do not see Lebron James playing a game of pick up basketball against people who criticize him and call him overrated.

As a matter of fact, people would be more forgiving of James dunking over Joe Schmo on a one-on-one game, than they ever will be of Neer on top control over Martin while raining down elbows.

Fighting is a violent sport. One where even a trained professional could severely get hurt during a fight.

What Neer did paints MMA fighters in a bad light. It confirms some people's stereotype of MMA fighters as hooligans; but anyone who pays attention to mixed martial arts would know that this is the furthest from the truth.

It is also not just the fact that Neer beat up a civilian but him throwing soccer kicks after the fight was already getting broken up that puts him in the wrong in the situation.

FINAL ASSESSMENT:

Overall, everyone involved in what happened should take the blame.

Neer and Martin are both at fault for even agreeing to fight in the first place. 

Neer should not have fought Martin knowing that it wasn't even a fair fight. Martin, on the other hand, should have known better than to challenge a man of Neer's caliber.

The people around at the time are also to blame, for not breaking up the fight and letting it happen in the first place, especially the head coach who endorsed the fight in his gym and for recording the fight in the first place. 



Friday, March 6, 2015

Hunting for a Tweet: An exercise on using twitter as a journalists

By Jose Olivar & Julie Ortega



Twitter is an important tool for any one who wants to be a journalist. 



One of the key things that a journalist must learn to do in order to be successful, is being the first person to report a breaking news.

One of the best ways to put news out to one's audience is through social media. However, there are a few things to remember while using Twitter as a professional.

1) There is a difference between a person using Twitter in a professional or personal level. One cannot just tweet out things using words like "LOL" or "OMG"; as well as using ":)" to relay information as a professional. You cannot expect to be taken seriously if you casually use these things. Much like writing an email to an employer or a co-worker, you must use the same type of etiquette while using Twitter as a professional.

2) Urgency is not an excuse to misspell words or have grammatical errors. As a journalist, your job is to tell stories using words, you will seem like an unreliable person if you can't even properly spell out words on Twitter.

3) As I have said, urgency is not an excuse specially when it comes to accuracy and getting the facts right. It is, after all, why people follow journalists on Twitter. You want people to trusts what you say and the only way to do this is by reporting facts right. The same can also be said with the little things like spelling people's name the right way, and getting their information properly.

On March 4, one of my journalism classes had our class get in groups of two for a scavenger hunt for Twitter. 

The key of the activity was to find the things that were on our lists and tweet about it, under a 2 hour time limit.

Along with the time limit that we were under, we were also required to follow some of the rules that I have just mentioned.

With my teammate Julie Ortega, we went on our way to try and find the things that were on the lists, and we posted our results on her Twitter, @julieOrtega_



Below are the highlight of our day, and the tweets that our group were able to put out during the scavenger hunt.


Student on the Street


Wildcat Pride (Fans)


Hungry are we?


First-year 'Cat


'Cat Clubs and Organizations


Grad 'Cat (73 days to graduation)


Flat 'Cat (Freestyle)


Professor on the Street


Smart 'Cat (Academic excellence)


'Cat Facts (Little known facts)



The exercise really tested our skills as journalists and it showed us what it was like trying to report on the field. 

My partner and I, have previous experience tweeting out play-by-plays during sporting events, but we have never been in the position to tweet out breaking news before. 

It was definitely very helpful but also challenging at times. It gave us an idea on what it will be like using Twitter once we become professionals in our field. 


Below are our 3 favorite tweets from other students in our class who participated in the scavenger hunt.



1)We thought this one was really funny and pretty at the same time. Chico State does indeed have a beautiful creek that runs through it. The use of "the trees declined to comment," on the tweet was pretty clever as well.




2) This second one was really informative and Rachel did a nice job of using the panoramic view on her camera, as well as the angle of the shot she used. We also didn't know the information she gave about the WREC--which was also really cool.



3)On this third one, we thought that Jenice did a nice job using her camera, it is a really clever angle and the way she played around with this photo really made it interesting.