#Revs Ridiculousness and Real Fandom

Well, it’s back. It only takes a single tweet to ignite a debate in #Revs land about the hashtag #Revs.

(Let me note right up front, there’s thread here that I do agree with, which goes something like this “For goodness sake it’s only Twitter.”  True.  If you are firmly in that camp, please, just move on or you’ll be driven – even more – crazy.)

So back to the fire burning on Twitter, where you’ll note I was not a fire-starter.  I’ve seen the apathy or lack of understanding and (had) decided 140 character debates weren’t worth it. But, as a fan who thinks logic might help the team, a silly self-promoter and someone interested in the topic of Twitter use for marketing, etc. I do jump in when baited.  I’m more gasoline than match, I suppose.

So since 140 character sound-bites feel good, but explain little, I’ve again resorted to a blog post.  Again. I’ve just re-read my original post called #Revs Delusions Of Twitter Grandeur and I still stand by the logic and reasoning.  If you want to spar on Twitter or wherever – please read that first.  I won’t repeat all the points again – but they are valid and foundational.

But I figured I’d comment on activity I’ve watched pass by on Twitter recently and add a few other comments.  BUT PLEASE READ THE LAST ARTICLE TO UNDERSTAND HOW MY VIEW IS FORMED. Some of the quotes here are from my good friends, terrific, well-intentioned people – who are just wrong.

When I think about this, do I think about it as a Revolution fan or as a Revolution-watcher with an interest in marketing and social-media strategy?  The latter.  As a fan, I understand the “don’t surrender” mentality, but as a thoughtful watcher I giggle at its uselessness.

The entire crux of the issue can be summed up with two simple questions.  What do we think the reasons of having, and having the team promote, the #Revs hashtag are?  Do you think the current environment surrounding the hashtag would be viewed as successful if balanced against those goals?

If you think the goals are about positive promotion, engaged fans, increased and balanced news and conversation – I’d say the results, while not zero,  are a far cry from where they would be without all the “noise” associated with #Revs.  The team promoting the “noisy” hashtag makes it look that much worse.  If it was “just” the fans, so be it.

Now onto the Twitter logic fantasies…

“It’s OUR hashtag.”  My previous post already discusses the absurdity on claiming something is ours in a social-media world.  It “feels good” to defend the un-defendable, but look where it gets you. It gets you to “I’m WASTED.” in one tweet, and season-ending surgery for a player in the next.  Show me the trade-mark, I’ll show you what’s yours.

“Our #Revs will outlive their bar.”  Really? What if the Revolution Bar chain becomes the TGIF of the UK?  What if the Revolution are rebranded when Santander gives cheap funding for a Soccer Specific Stadium? (Ha.)  What is the obsession with these stupid letters?  Pride over logic.

Various forms exist in the idea that “We’ll flood it with our own content until they submit to our awesomeness.”  The first article covers this as well, but 1) they don’t use Twitter like we do, 2) they don’t care, and most telling – wouldn’t we see THEM bitching on the how we are abusing what they think is “theirs” just the way we do?  THEY DON’T CARE, SO WE CANNOT WIN IN THAT WAY.

A popular, and understandable concern is “What message would it send?” First, what message does it send now?  What does it say to an on-the-fence Revolution fan? It says: bush league.  Every AM we are filled with wasted youth and ridiculous statements.  Is that a better statement?

NOTE THIS: my original article was written in FEBRUARY.  What would this discussion be if we made a logical change then?  Dead. We’d have been annoyed for a few weeks, but it would have been over.

(Sure naysayers, it’s possible – though extremely unlikely – that we could run into this problem with whatever else we choose.  A) probably not.  B) they’d need to be similarly bizarre users to our current UK friends to not care about all the noise.)

Another refrain: “#Revs is fine when there’s news.”  Great.  And when the Brits are sleeping during our PR cycle.  And the moon is in the right phase and the tides are in. C’mon. The positive halo effects of those rare wins for us are very short lived.  And then we’re back to the same ridiculousness.

And lastly, there’s the concern that if we all – or at times me in particular – stopped talking about it and just invented (my word) things to discuss about our lagging team, this wouldn’t be an issue.

Fine.  I realize my version of fandom isn’t everyone’s.  I’ll get painted as the ultimate advocate for surrender.  Admittedly, as I’ve written about, I’m not a card-carrying #NTID guy, per se.

But I very much want soccer and the Revolution to survive and thrive.  I’ve been a season ticket holder.  I’ve bought the merch.  I’ve dragged the kids.  I’ve stood in RFK to watch the lose that heartbreaking final.  Thriving , to me that means we need both die-hard, bleed for the team fans as much as we need logic and good decision-making.

So yes, sometimes I am slow to jump on the positivity and find it easier to critique. Sometimes calling a lemon a lemon (which is what we’ve been given) is indeed easier than trying to make lemonade.  It’s not my job as an outside onlooker to be the beacon of positivity and promotion or chief lemonade maker.  Serve me some though, and I’ll drink. It happens from time to time because I’m ALSO a fan.

But we cannot simultaneously claim that nobody holds the Revolution to task in the media, and then also harass the independents – even as obscure as I – for calling out a failing.  And the Twitter strategy (strategy used lightly) is failing.

I cannot wait to read to commentary from on the real fans on #Revs, amongst the high-heels, sleazy boys, proclamations of drunkenness and vodka related noise.

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