Monday, December 14, 2009

Well That's All Well and Good For You

To all gymnastics fans in Australia, best wishes for a great Christmas and New Year.

Gymnastics Australia worked hard in 2009 to engage its members and gymnastics fans in general by providing a website with the most up to date news, photos and modern communication tools such as “twitter”.

There is more to come in 2010 so we invite you to stay connected to GA because we value your support and interest in our athletes and our great sport.

Please note that the GA e-News will take a short break over Christmas and return in the New Year. In the interim, the web site will continue to keep you up to date with all the latest news.

Have a great Christmas and New Year.

Ohhhh snap.

I'm standing right here, ya know.

Can't we all just co-exist? Or at least... can't I squishy in the middle segment of the "GA" and "AGB" Venn diagram and work among you guys for once? Even if it's for free? I don't take up much space.

Please don't put me out of business.

I kinda like it here.



Anonymous said...

I still expect more from them. In France they live stream nationals on their website. Belgium streamed TopGym, and then there is the Rushmoor Rosebowl too. Britain have BGTV and Gymdata. Romania/China/Italy/USA get TV coverage of national meets.

Yet we can't even get proper live scores or quick hits or anything and there is always only a couple of crummy photos from big events.

They can't even put the routines of the top girls on youtube. They film everything but must just let it sit in a draw and gather dust rather than letting fans enjoy it too. Now they don't even make the footage available for purchase like they used to.

It has been ridiculous having nationals in Perth this year and next year because everyone has to miss out barring the tiny proportion who live in Perth. If you are going to hold it in a remote location at least provide other ways for fans to have access, rather than treat it as a state secret.

Its just lazy and I am still yet to see any real effort from them with the exception of the web stream in 2008.

Mez said...

I love the concept of BGtv. And it's not just me - club bigwigs I've spoken to (lovely folks) love it too. And want it here.

I am inches away from calling up some of my connections and starting a one-woman "AGBtv" network! My next big investment is a video camera for filming comps, and I thought it could stretch to club/competition/athlete focus pieces as well (with permission of course).

There are corners of the market yet to be tapped, my friends! I won't be run out of town!

Anonymous said...

Perth is not the end of the earth you know. All us Perth people thought exactly the way you described when Nationals were held in Sydney and Melbourne and elsewhere in the eastern states. It had been positively YEARS since Nationals were last in WA. Give us a go.

Anonymous said...

Come on guys. How about a little Christmas spirit?

It is clear that effort has been made over the past 12 months to reconnect with members and fans of the sport.

Sure that might not or in most cases never will, meet the expectations of everybody, however I for one feel a little credit is certainly due and have appreciated the more frequent news, reports and the coverage from both the AYOF and AUS V JPN.

I also didn't realise that this blog was "competing" with GA. The latest post is beginning to reek of jealously and I am beginning to smell sour grapes.

If it is validation you are after, I think you are going about it the wrong way.

nswgymnast said...

mez, as if we would stop reading your blog! you make things much more interesting/exciting than GA could ever do!

Anonymous said...

i seem to remember years ago on the abc on saturdays they used to show an hour of gymnastics throughtout the winter (i think) - no idea what level it was but I'm sure it involved various states. I wonder if they could ever do anything like that again???

Mez said...

I'm not after VIP passes to nationals or a gold seat at PacRim or something. I'm shelling out my cash like everyone else. I'm not asking for GA kudos either. I don't exactly know what it is I'm asking for.

I'm more than grateful for the AUS v JPN tweets, and their video interviews prior to and after competitions. They've been great initiatives. I just personally found their message a little direct for my liking (eg directed AT ME). A little sneer-y, almost. Like they don't like the idea of people coming here when I've done my best to make this space a communal, positive one (far from the persnicketty image they must hold of private message boards, no thanks to their brief encounters with fandom-gone-bad).

Yes, in the blog's early days I had the odd snark about GA. I did make my feelings clear that they were making fans feel isolated and I simply find it interesting (global explosion of Twitter notwithstanding) that it is just now that they're coming across as so committed to keeping us vigilant to them. I do feel like this blog is partly responsible for this turnaround in fan-organisation relations. Not in a gloaty-gloat-I'm-the-second-Jesus kind of way. But it seems like only now are they realising a hardcore-fan interest in gymnastics and the concept of worldwide web scrutiny is not necessarily a threatening, sinister thing (or used by people nurturing said dispositions). Heck, I can't wait to see them update their official YouTube channel at last so the dedicated fans can stop worrying about smuggling cameras in to capture sought-after routines and losing sleep due to committed uploading!

There IS admittedly an element of competition at play here; not for traffic count or who-can-break-the-exlcusive-first. But in so far as I'm a member of the public answerable to... my swear jar and my conscience... and as such have a little more liberty with the details I can include, the names I can drop and the tone I can use. I'm the less formal GA news bar and I'm really not fussed which of us you read first. That said, I do pride myself on the timeliness of my work and the reliability of my resources. I'm the GA news page that updates outside office hours and on public holidays.

I've never wanted this blog to be, or even be perceived as, an insidious space. Nor am I a vindictive, ungrateful person. I feel like the gymnastics community's efforts at large - people who film routines, take photos, do interviews, scan articles, share their encounters, show their support full stop - could be celebrated more and simply taken on board a little more by GA. I think that's basically what my ideals boil down to. We're shaping the sport and its reception in this country as much as they are... and we're not the ones nutting out the rules for it!

Yet, in some way, I often feel like GA doesn't want me here. I don't know why. Maybe it's because of what I wrote in my early days, and my insistence that I've been doing for free what they've been paying somebody to do. Maybe it's because they think I will one day tip over into harmful gossip like a crazed Perez Hilton type for the rest of my days, and they're poised to send me an email asking for a retraction, or a total shutdown?

Again, I just felt like this particular message hit a little too close to home for me, given that I stake the blog's reputation on the very things they're publicly promising all of a sudden. Reading it through a few times, I felt like they were making it clear that my efforts (and your combined efforts that have been helping me so greatly) can be - will be? - rendered redundant sooner rather than later.

Anonymous said...

Hey Mez,
I think your thoughts and feelings were well expressed and obviously valid, however, GA are moving in the direction most people would agree we want and need. In an organisation (as opposed to an individual) all initiatives can't be introduced at once but at least they have acknowledged that there are enough fans out there to make it worth their while updating regularly and making some changes to the way they engage with the community. The improvements have been substantial and as such there doesn't seem much wrong with saying so. Is it the line about them having the most up to date news which is bothering you? that is the only line could be a little bit of an overstatement at this stage IMHO. If they are committed to having the most up to date news though that has to be a good thing. No matter how up to date the site is I don't see it as competition for your blog but complementary to it. As you have said, the tone here is much lighter and it is an interactive space which I'm pretty sure GA would not be looking to replicate. I don't know the people involved, maybe it is personal, but I would invite you to see this from a slightly different point of view; They have heard what you and the community here have said, they know what we want, and they are making an effort to do their bit. This means you and everyone who contributes here is responsible for making the difference that we are starting to see as much as if not more than the people who implemented the changes.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree with every thing you said Mez! I am behind you all the way, 100%! and I must say, it is your blog I always turn to first for news - I actually check it everyday, just to see if you've posted anything new out of competition times - and have likely been to your blog 5000 times more often than I've been to GA's site. And there's good reason for that. I don't find GA's website user friedly at all, nor maintained to nearly as good a standard as your blog is. Plus you do it all so much more informally, with everyday comical language. This clearly speaks to people and has proven a winner as a ton of our young gymnasts - from elite to just for fun kids - also read here, as that i think is is what you can be most proud of. You've attracted the masses in a way GA hasn't been able to, no matter how much they tweet or link other media outlets efforts! They'll always be behind the eight ball - heck it was only the other week they even joined twitter! They're just trying to be as cool as you but you'll always be above them. Even the gym parents read here!

It's always great to see how much you support this sport and how much you are doing to raise it's profile single handedly with your blogging efforts! GA seem content to just let the sport idle in it's non happening status the way it always has and they are a governing body just for the sake of being a governing body.


Anonymous said...

Love you blog - missed my train this morning as a result...

Maybe I am missing something here?

I have read and re-read the message from GA and personally I could see nothing more than a simple greeting and message to the gym community.

I did not feel the message was being directed at anyone other than fans of the sport and certainly don't think it was in any way a finger pointing or singling out exercise.

I am really looking forward to seeing what new directions they move in 2010.

Merry Christmas to all.

Anonymous said...

Mez, (a) I love your blog and I think you're doing an awesome job, but (b) I really don't think the GA message was directed at you at all. Indeed, I find it very strange that you think this.

GA is the official body of gymnastics in Australia. Sure, there's room for improvement, but they've made some good progress in the last 12 months. Baby steps and all that.

You are a fan and you've developed a fantastic blog for us, but GA isn't obliged to promote your blog. Unfortunately, that's the bottom line. We fans owe you something - you keep us informed - but GA probably doesn't think about it that deeply.

Very few sporting bodies promote fan sites - it just doesn't happen.

Everyone else, please let's not look for trouble. It's the festive season. :-)

Alanna said...

Hey Mez!
I love your blog so much! If I get bored in class (and the school firewall is down) I jump onto your blog to see what you've posted.
I think you're a great blogger keep it up!

I agree with Anon, we should have like what Universal Sports had for Worlds this year: A live streaming and then the streaming left there for everyone to watch it.
But I also think that having Nationals, whilst being a bit of a pain for us in the eastern block of Aus, in Perth is great because they haven't hosted Nationals before.
Think of it as an experience...not everyone goes for a holiday in Perth, so those that go to Nationals can take some time off and see whatever there is to see in Perth.=D

Anonymous said...

Mez, I always read your blog - and similarly read the GA news. I think GA are finally doing what you have been asking it to do for ages - provide the fans with more information! I don't think it was a personal attack on you at all. As a gym fan, just as it is nice to read the official news, it is just as good to read the snippets and bits of gossip you always provide in addition to the official news. So I think you should be pleased GA is finally waking up to the technology of today, rather than feeling threatened by them. Merry Christmas:)

Anonymous said...

Mez, I think your blog is reason that GA has stepped up!!!! you give us gymnastics fans wonderfull insight into Australian Gymnastics and I really appreciate you and your blog. Keep up the great work I would prefer your blog over GA anyday.

If GA could please provide us with Live Video coverage of Natioanals and Training Camps that would be great.

Anyway I love AUS GYM BLOG!


Anonymous said...

You sound a bit paranoid...reading any personal attacks into the commentary from GA.
Maybe you have been "fighting" them for so's a challenge now the "enemy has come in from the cold" Gotta love mangled analogies and metaphors.

Anyway you serve a role and are obviously appreciated by your fans. GA has stepped up..and deserve kudos for that.

You don't want to let the whinger syndrome prevail..otherwise this will be the blog equivalent of commercial talkback radio!

Anonymous said...

Yes Mez has given herself and does have a huge role in keeping fans up to date with all sorts of information from the gym world and she has done it well and at her own expense. Mez is the one that set the precedent of being willing to put in the time and effort in the first place just for the love of the sport.
Now GA has finally stepped up after years of barely an ounce of information going out to fans, although if one was to take a guess, their decision and timing to do so could perhaps be because they were a little put off by Mez and her ability to scout out information, news and of course her obvious contacts with people in the know, that GA was previously reluctant to share with their members.
Regardless of how they got there, kudos should go out to both. Gymnastics fans are much better off in their knowledge by having both AGB and GA striving to keep the gymnastic fans up to date and informed.
Gymnasts and gymnastics fans that l have spoken to are all thrilled at the amount of information that is now available to them.
To Mez and GA, keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

I have to say last anon, your comment that implies Mez is the only one who has put in the time and effort to bring stuff to fans is a little unfair. I think Chachakid deserves credit as the only one to provide videos of meets this year. If you go to his/her channel there is excellent coverage. While I appreciate Mez's work of course, you underestimate the effort he/she put into filming all that stuff behind the scenes.

Anonymous said...

I wasn't implying that at all and am sorry if you felt that. Yes of course there are many people who have assisted Mez, l thought l had that covered in my "Mez and her ability to scout out information, news and of course her obvious contacts with people in the know" comment. l don't under estimate the time or effort put in by anyone who contributes to the AGB including Chachakid, l am just grateful that they do.

Anonymous said...

whilst i enjoy reading this blog it is mainly about WAG and GA have a responsibility to all gym sports across Australia. it is their role to put up information and whilst in the past it has been lacking they have improved greatly. GA have to be responsible to their Board, Governments and Athletes first and we don't know what their funding is like. Their web person may only be a part time position and from experience when you have to wait to receive information from others before you can postonto the web it does mean that not everything is timely. Mez, you are reading too much into it, stop putting so much thought into it and just accept it for what it was - a greeting.
Information on the blog is great but at times can be speculative and at other times people post information that perhaps they shouldn't until it is confirmed by GA. As with the post following this where people are talking about the new National Squads and why GA haven't put up this information - perhaps they are making sure everyone who needs to be informed has been before they post this information. Would a parent really like to know if their daughter has made a squad by reading message boards before they have had a chance to read their own letter or email from GA?

amber... said...

NOOOOOOO mez's blog must stay!!! i luv the excitingg updates,the positivity it brings to the gymnastics culture! they way the nation gets involved on this site is amazing! its putting gymnastics out there and the support is amazing. :D