A new year and that means new ideas for us on the sportsdesk at the KM.
This Monday we’re planning something new for us, something that had been tried out by other media outlets elsewhere in the country and we’re hoping Gillingham fans get involved too.
We’re planning a Monday lunchtime chat/debate about all things Gills.
I’ll be hosting the online event but it’s a platform for you, the fans, to have your say and fire any questions at myself if you want.
I don’t pretend to be a fountain of knowledge when it comes to the Gills, but let’s see how it goes.
We’ve previously tried using live software among the Gills fans and it was a real success when we broadcast during games. Unfortunately we had to pull the plug on that because of licensing issues.
There are drawbacks to live coverage as it often means mistakes creep in, particular spelling! Try typing something while watching a match at the same time and you’ll see what I mean.
Here at the KM we’re keen to have fans’ comment and have a regular list of people who give their pre-match and post-match reaction to games. Obviously we can’t print everything, as we have to be wary of defaming anyone, but we won’t on purposely stop people commenting because it may not be in agreement to the football club.
Several fans took issue when we had to close the comments section a while back on Kent Online. This came around the same time as the Gills’ “media blackout week” following the Dover debacle.
The reason we pulled the plug on comments was because 99 per cent of them were defamatory. We had “Mark Stimson”, “Alan Julian” and “Paul Scally” all coming on with their opinions. We have to monitor comments closely and it was getting ridiculous so instead of spending valuable time filtering them we had to, sadly, close it.
Maybe it’s because of an up-turn of results, but those silly comments have disappeared, and we seem to have a few more thoughtful and insightful contributors at the moment.
Probably one of the best things about the technology at our disposal now is that news can be immediate. Sometimes that can be a pain when it comes to writing for the newspaper. I’ve lost track of the amount of times the Gills have made a signing a few hours after our deadline.
Another drawback to the immediacy of online is that when I make a mistake there is no hiding! On Saturday I accidentally said it was Akinfenwa’s sixth goal of the season, not his seventh, and boy are some people quick to notice!
The good thing with the internet, however, is that it enables us to cover events as they happen, a benefit to the many Gills fans I’m sure who have a variety of news outlets now to keep on top of things.
We’re hoping as many of you join us as you can on Monday. It’s a new thing for us, it may not work, but let’s just give it a go! And of course, we welcome your comments, good or bad!